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Karen Brenner's Horse Paintings Blog - Spring & Summer 2010


White Silk Stockings Shines!
Posted August 29, 2010

White Silk Stockings is a flashy mare! She lit up the pasture as trotted happily through the grass, seeming to put an extra bounce in her step just for the camera!

Cheryl, who nominated this half-Arabian, Half Saddlebred mare, wrote, "She has displayed the type of personality that SOOOOO many people have NO idea about. Calm, willing and easy to be around; a true representative of her breed, with kindness not only in her eyes, but within her soul!"

The "Beautiful Horses of Indiana" web page showcases paintings from the series. More will be added each week.

posted by Karen Brenner

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The First in the new series "Beautiful Horses of Indiana"
Posted August 26, 2010

Yes, it's time to unveil the first painting in my new series, "Beautiful Horses of Indiana." I started working on this project in January, sending out press releases inviting horse lovers in Indiana to nominate their favorite Hoosier Horse for the project. The response was tremendous! Thank you to everyone who sent in nominations!

Because I travel to photograph every horse chosen for the series, I had to limit the number accepted -- this year to 50. It was so much fun driving around Indiana seeing amazing horses everywhere I went!

Since my return, I've been busily working on the paintings. I think I started drawing number 15 yesterday. And I finished painting number 1 the day before! So now it's time to start posting the paintings -- as they are completed -- on my "Beautiful Horses of Indiana" web page (and blog, of course!)

Well, you're probably asking, where is that first painting??

Here it is:

paint horse painting

(You'll need to go to the "Beautiful Horses of Indiana" to read about the horse in this painting - FWF Bostons MS TuSpotz.)

posted by Karen Brenner

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. . . they go together like a horse and carriage.
Posted August 21, 2010

I know I sound like a broken record, continually touting how well daylilies and horse manure go together, but I have to say my four equine partners and I created some super daylilies! (Flower foes, stop reading now.) When I first started innocently growing a few daylilies in summer of '08, my excuse was, "I might start doing paintings of flowers again." Well, before I knew it, I was addicted. With only about 20-30 daylilies I started hybridizing -- dabbing pollen here and there-- keeping no records of crosses whatsoever. By fall I had 2,500 seeds, which I planted in a newly dug flower bed (filled with composted horse manure tilled in of course).

There's good and bad news about Daylily Addiction:

The bad: At the end of summer 2009 I had 6,000 seeds for which I dug new flower beds last fall for planting and this summer and have spent hours sweating out there trying to battle the weeds.

The good: Those first seeds from 2008 are now blooming plants! With really pretty flowers!!! Just for fun, I've posted some photos of my seedlings on a special web page: Daylily Seedlings

Also good news: I have completed a few flower paintings. Here's my favorite daylily painting of "Summer Star" - yes, daylilies have names!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Just an Update . . . on the Beautiful Horses of Indiana
Posted August 21, 2010

You might be wondering what I've been doing all summer since there seems to be a lack of new paintings appearing on my website. Well, I've been busy! After returning from photographing horses for my newest series, Beautiful Horses of Indiana, I've been drawing and painting away in my studio. It takes months to complete each painting -- due to my technique using multiple layers of translucent oil paint. The first Indiana painting is nearing completion! And there are about 14 sticky paintings at various stages of completion scattered around my studio. So stay tuned . . . . new paintings will be coming soon!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Paddington Bear - a Pennsylvania FAV!
Posted August 21, 2010

You might remember Paddington Bear from the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania series. He was so beautiful, I had to do an additional painting featuring this guy! Here's his new portrait!

You'll find his first painting on Page 2 of the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania section.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Akhal Teke Gold
Posted July 9, 2010

Have you ever seen a golden horse? Not shiny-clean. Shiny gold -- like a golden horse atop a championship trophy.

Well, here's one for you to see! It's Gidasp, an Akhal Teke stallion who is one of the horses I got to photograph for my new painting series, Beautiful Horses of Indiana. I think capturing his metallic gold color in a painting will be a challenge, but thanks to some wonderfully bright sunlight, capturing it with a digital camera was easy! Look at that shine!

Akhal Tekes are a rare breed, genetically engineered to be extra shiny. They come in a variety of colors. Click here to read more about Akhal Tekes.

IRUS Stables' website has more information about Gidasp.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Two New Sections Added
Posted July 7, 2010

You'll find two new sections on my website - Dog Paintings and Flower Paintings. If you've been reading my blog, you've seen some of my new dog paintings. There will more posted soon! So dog lovers stay tuned.

And I must confess my Daylily Addiction is over the top right now, since my flower beds are overflowing with colorful daylilies. I started dabbing pollen in 2008, and my first seedlings are flowering. New -- never seen before flowers appear every morning in my garden. It's so exciting! (And possibly the reason I've gotten way behind on blogging.) All these flowers have inspired me to create floral paintings! I've done a couple with acrylic. And now I'm experimenting with my favorite media - oils. You'll get to see them occasionally on this blog, and in the Flower Paintings section of this website. (Hey, with my horses producing all that compost, daylilies are a perfect fit to compliment my horse habit!)

And you'll see a couple new horse paintings as well! I just need to point my camera at my paintings instead of those daylilies! Maybe some day soon!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Indiana Has Terrific Horses!
Posted June 29, 2010

I'm back from my week in Indiana where I photographed horses for my new series of paintings, "Beautiful Horses of Indiana." WOW - they have LOTS of BEAUTIFUL horses! It was such a fun trip! And each day I was amazed by the horses I got to meet!

You'll get to see each horse during the next year as I create -- and post online -- a painting of each exquisite equine! It's going to be an exciting year of painting ahead!

I took over 8,000 photos; there were 53 horses on my itinerary. Thank goodness for digital cameras! Even though I spent every evening on my trip sorting through the day's photos deleting the bad shots, I ended up with about a thousand to review and make "final" decisions on compositions for each of the paintings. Sometimes I change my mind right before I start a painting, so these "final" decisions might change in the future.

We were so fortunate to have good weather following us as we drove through Indiana. They were having bad storms and flooding while we were there -- but the storms were in regions where we were not. Only once did we have to find a different route due to flooding. We'll that's not counting the drive way we could not go up due to the home being surrounded by flood water - complete with fish swimming in the back yard. Luckily the drive to the barn and the arena there were dry!

I have to share two of my favorite photos from the trip. When we pulled up outside the barn yard at one farm, we were greeted by a choir of Schnauzers. They were encamped in their own picket fenced play yard, complete with a platform so they could see over the fence and a little play house. The dogs serenaded us throughout our visit. It was so cute!

The first Beautiful Horses of Indiana paintings will be completed in a few months. Until then stay tuned for some non-horse paintings! (And a couple horse paintings too.)

posted by Karen Brenner

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Chili Dogs
Posted June 15, 2010

With all these hot, humid days in OHIO (!!) I thought we could use a chilly painting to cool us off. These huskies are portrayed in a frosty setting with cool colors to give us a winter chill. (Of course, they are not your typical "chili dogs.")

posted by Karen Brenner

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bernese mountain dog painting

Bernese Mountain Dogs
Posted June 7, 2010

What? Another dog? Yes! There will be a mini series of pups during the summer months.

These Bernese Mountain Dogs were one of my favorites at the dog show.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Move Over Horses . . . . Bring on the Dogs!
Posted May 27, 2010

Now that the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania series has been completed, I've been painting some dogs in honor of Piper, my Airedale puppy who is now almost 7 months old! First I'll share her newest snapshot.

Airedale puppy

Isn't she a doll?! And oh so sweet!

And now for the unveiling of the first of my dog paintings that are based on my visit to the dog show at the Cleveland IX Center last December. It was an exciting adventure! I've never seen so many dogs in one place in my live! I took lots of photos -- of lots of different dogs! What fun.

One of my favorite breeds was the Bull Terrier, so of course I had to do a Bull Terrier painting! Here it is:

posted by Karen Brenner

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Contest Winner is Thistledown Sheridan
Posted May 14, 2010

The winner of the "Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania" contest is Thistledown Sheridan's painting! One of my favorites!!!

This image is now available on T-shirts, mugs, tile and a variety of other gift items in my newest Cafe Press Shop.

There were over 850 votes! Thistledown Sheridan had 93 votes!!!

Someone asked if there was a prize for coming in second, and I'm sorry, but only the winner receives a Cafe Press Shop. The other "Top 5" paintings in the contest were: Token, Cierra la Creme, Shining Eye Linda and BooBoo. And lots of other paintings received many, many votes as well!

I will privately contact the voter who won the drawing, and will receive $25 worth of merchandise from one of my Cafe Press Shops.

Thank you to everyone who voted!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Mt. Hope Dutch Harness Horse Sale
Posted May 1, 2010

Today is the Dutch Harness Horse Auction in Mt. Hope, Ohio. Go if you can! If you cannot, mark your calendars for next year!

My friends and I went to the preview parade last night and loved seeing the stallion parade - featuring Dutch Harness stallions and (my friends FAVORITE...) Friesian stallions. Both breeds are amazing!!! The stallions were shown driving buggies behind the Mt. Hope Auction Barn. A big crowd was gathered (I'm guessing 95% Amish -- and who loves horses more??) to watch the horses trot by! Following the stallions were the horses that will be featured in the auction today -- almost 150. They were mostly Dutch Harness crosses and a few Friesian crosses plus at least three full Friesians and some full DH.

Of course I had a blast taking photos! Here a a few:

Here's a link to the auction bill for the event: Mid-Ohio Dutch Harness and Friesian Horse Sale. I was amazed that there were so many Friesian stallions living close to my home in nearby Amish Country! They are beautiful horses -- as are the Dutch Harness horses!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Field Trip to My Studio
Posted April 30, 2010

Yesterday there was a field trip to my studio! Thirteen 4th grade art club members, their art teacher and four parents + one bus driver came to my studio to look at my paintings, watch a mini painting demonstration and sketch my horses. The students were inquisitive and bright! It was fun having visitors! And my horses loved them -- and the treats they held out for them to munch through the fence.

Of course my puppy Piper was delighted to have visitors who hugged and played with her. Some of the students sketched Piper as well as the horses! Piper demonstrated her great skill at weaving through the poles -- straight branches I have pushed into my yard -- (horse folks --- think pole bending done by dogs without a rider of course!). And the fourth graders enjoyed going through the weave poles too!

It was fun to meet the kids who love horses and art!!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Black Velvet
Posted April 27, 2010

According to Kris, Black Velvet's owner, this gleaming Friesian/Percheron mare is the official greeter for travelers entering Pennsylvania from New York. That's because her pasture is along the board between the two states!

What a lovely greeter!

Kris told me that a friend of hers found Velvet at an auction, and knowing that Kris was interested in Friesians, gave her a call! Kris jumped at the chance to own this beautiful mare, who even without papers clearly depicts the beauty of both breeds.

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.


posted by Karen Brenner

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Beautiful Horses of Indiana - Who's In???
Posted April 15, 2010

The list of horses for my Beautiful Horses of Indiana series is posted online today! Here's a link: Selected Horses.

Over 150 horses were nominated -- and they all sounded wonderful! And I'm so excited to squeeze in over 50 horses for this new series!!!

It will be fun to meet all the horses and horse owners!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Horse Expo Was Fun!
Posted April 14, 2010

How do 53 paintings fit in a 10' x 7' booth??? Here's a couple photos of my booth in Alletown that Noelle, who organizes the Elite Equestrian expos, shared.


posted by Karen Brenner

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Horse Expo Was Fun!
Posted April 12, 2010

The Elite Equestrian Horse Expo was so fun! It was such a treat to get to visit with the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania horse owners who came to see the 53 paintings on display. I especially want to thank those who had purchased their paintings for making a special trip to the expo to bring their paintings to be included in the display! Thank you!!!

It's so fun to hear about how the horses are doing! Monique, whose horse Boomer (Cotton Candy Clyde) is pictured on today's blog, told me about a video that the two of them had done. (Boomer loves to perform to music.) I asked her to send me a link, and here it is: Boomer and The Easy Outs.

My booth was wall-to-wall paintings with no room to spare to hang up my tiny "Horse Paintings by Karen Brenner" sign. Luckily I'd created a scale drawing of my booth at home. It took quite some time to virtually arrange the 53 paintings on the display rack. Without that preplanning I would never have been set up in time for the 10 am opening.

The Expo had demonstrations all day long -- and my booth was right outside the demo ring -- so I could watch! Of course most of the time I was busy talking to people, so I just picked up tips here and there, and have yet to figure out why one demonstrator recommended grabbing your horse by the tongue!

While I was at the Expo I got to be on the live radio show!! And the roaming local cable TV crew used my painting-filled booth for a film clip!! How exciting!

It was a fun weekend! Thank you to everyone who came out to the show!

posted by Karen Brenner

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April's Midnight Dream Catcher - spotted draft horse

April's Midnight Dream Catcher
Posted April 5, 2010

April's Midnight Dream Catcher is one amazing horse! If he weren't so big, I'd think he was part puppy because I've never seen such a loving, calm stallion. He is a very special Spotted Draft horse whose spots, April pointed out, almost spell "Victory." You can see the first two letters - V I - in his painting. I'm hoping he brings April in all life's challenges.

It's impossible for me to imagine Dreamer as anything other than sleek and fit, but April's nomination of Dreamer told of a tough start that became a wonderful life for her guy:

"Dreamer is a once in a lifetime horse! He was neglected, starved and abandoned before I 'rescued' him almost 2 years ago. He was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, even back then - a big skinny baby without his front teeth. With loads of love, patience and hard work and nature/maturity of course, today he is a wonderful, loving easy-going, playful BIG boy who has come such a log way without holding even the slightest grudge against anyone and WHAT A LOOKER!

" I had always heard stories about other's experiences finding their 'perfect diamond in the rough.' He IS my perfect dream come true after 17 years of wanting a true-blue friend and companion that I have so intensely bonded with right from the first moment I saw him. I know we are meant to be together for a lifetime and I couldn't have asked for anything more! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't for a moment believe that he was meant for me and I was meant for him! To watch him prance in the pasture would cure anyone's blues and brighten even the darkest skies for he is truly a gentle giant."

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.


posted by Karen Brenner

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Karen Brenner is passionate
about horses and art!
She enjoys traveling to horse farms
and equine events to
photograph horses
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