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Horse Paintings Blog - December 2010


Posted December 29, 2010

Wil-E-Coyote had nothing on Wil-E-Cherokee! This paint mare was outfoxing her owner Jory and Jory's mom Renee when we drove up to take photos. And we were so happy! Why? Because we were running about 45 minutes late, and if Cherokee hadn't been "entertaining" her owners, they might have given up on us! Thank you Cherokee!

Cherokee was finally captured from her pasture -- where she'd been dodging between her field full of buddies -- moments after we arrived. Then she put on a wonderful show for us in the arena -- running full steam ahead with her mane and tail flying. She was full of energy!

Cherokee uses her speedy-crafty ways in her sports or choice - barrel racing, poles and dash for cash - at the horse shows where she and Jory compete. I bet they win a lot!!

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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Posted December 27, 2010

'Tis the season for snow! This has been a great year so far for snow fans, and Cindy's Amish family knows how to have fun in the snow!

Phil, who tells us his daughter Hannah spends most of her free time with Cindy, wrote, "Winter time Cindy gets used to pull sleds and saucers for Hannah in the snow. Also the boys are avid snow boarders going frequently up to Michigan to board. The last two winters they created parks in our pasture with snow hills, curves and jumps with pails of water to help. With Hannah riding, Cindy tows the boys on a 50 foot rope, similar to a boat and water skiers. The boys, Hannah and Cindy spent countless hours out there. Cindy knows to go at a full gallop approaching ramps and curves then slows up for safety."

I'm glad I got to meet Phil, Hannah and Cindy. Phil gave me a tour of his garage and a look at his top-of-the-line Amish buggies. Quite impressive! And we got to walk over to his neighbors so Cindy could pose by this manmade lake - which used to be part of a strip mine. The land has been reclaimed and is a beautiful setting for the "English" family who lives there.

But best of all was watching Hannah and Cindy together. They really are, as Phil wrote, "best pals."

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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Black-As-Knight Coat Enhancer
Wow! It Does Work!

Posted December 21, 2010

Pure Dynamics is a compact, super black Quarter Horse stallion. When I met him, I thought, I would love to have this horse! He's just the right size -- not to tall -- and so sleek and trim. Plus he had such an expressive face. He's simply a lovely Quarter horse!

The goal of my painting was to capture his intent gaze. And I thought I had it just right. So I photographed his painting, even pasted it on this blog page and started writing a post about him. But I just was not pleased with the painting. Pure Dynamics has a pure black color that was not represented in the work.... Sure, as an artist, I love to invent colors. My husband is ALWAYS saying, "Show me the photos of that horse. I'm sure it is not purple [or blue, or whatever color I've chosen.]" But I like to have the imaginative colors enhance the beauty of the horses. That just wasn't happening for Pure Dynamics. Take a look . . .

So, the painting went back to the studio. Just three coats of Black-As-Knight coat enhancer and look!!! -- TA-DAAAA....

I like it!!!!

No... that's not quite true. I had to do some clever painting to get this new look!

So now you have a choice in coat color enhancers! Either a supplement called Black-As-Knight or an artist who can paint that horse whatever color you want (on canvas of course).

Take a look at Pure Dynamics' website for some photographs of this BLACK beauty!

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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Gator - Quarter Horse

Posted December 14, 2010

Gator is a red roan Quarter Horse who could easily be a model! What an ideal Quarter Horse! His strawberry roan coloring is a perfect mix of white and sorrel.

Gator was nominated by Julie, a friend of his owner Randy. Her story of the pair's special affection for one another convinced me that Gator should be part of the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project. Here's what she wrote:

"Gator has been a loyal friend to his owner Randy. Randy was in a terrible riding accident out west that he almost died from. Gator was his usual horse that he took with him, but not this time. The horse he was on threw him then came down on his face. Randy's face had to be rebuilt along with his will to live. When Randy finally got home it was Gator that helped him get back his joy of riding and in life. It was Gator's patience and loyalty to Randy that got Randy back in the saddle. Gator got sick and the vet said to be humane and put him down. Randy refused and has nursed and loved him back to health. They are a team and helped each other survive. Randy has had other beautiful horses and a great mule, but Gator is his boy, his friend for life."

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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Paintings Round Up
Posted December 9, 2010


What's your favorite horse breed?

Yesterday I rounded up some of my favorite paintings from the "Beautiful Horses. . . " series and corralled them into some new breed online "galleries." So if your favorite breed is, say, Haflingers, there's a page for that!

Here are the new pages:

Gaited Horses
Gaited Horses Gallery

Gypsy Vanners Gallery

Haflingers Gallery

Morgan Horses Gallery

Pintos & Paints
Pintos & Paints Gallery

Plus, one of my favorite categories was looking pretty slim - and that's not appropriate for -- Drafts! So I moved some more favorites onto that page as well.

You'll still find my original breed categories listed on the Paintings page, including Adalusians, Appaloosas, Arabians, Quarter Horses, and Friesians.

And if you're searching for a painting of another breed, you just might be able to find it using the Search box on my Home page.

I hope this revision to the Horse Paintings website makes it easier for everyone to use!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Manly - Retired Circus Star

Posted December 8, 2010

How many horses do you know whose resumes include jobs like pulling chariots filled with tigers or Roman Gladiators? Or serving as a vaulting horse for professional acrobats? Manly, a retired circus horse, whose stage name was Vegas, was a star! And still is a star to his new owner Beth, who rescued him from a circus retirement home. Manly was not having a happy retirement there. Beth wrote, "Apparently, the retired camels, llamas, lions, tigers, bears and monkeys were not what he had in mind for his senior years."

Manly made an impression on Beth at their first meeting. After spending some time in his pasture (trying to catch him), Beth rode and lunged him and treated him to a carrot. She adds, "He was given a pat, thanked for his time and I presumed he would head off to graze. He chose not to go, but followed me back to where my spouse and the owner watched, several hundred yards away. This scene repeated itself three times, and included circles and serpentines, back and forth. At one point, pausing to talk to him, he lowered his head to my face and focused one big brown eye into mine. He had to say no more. The next day he came to live with us. He has continued to delight all those who see him."

Manly was an angel when we visited. Beth let him wander around the farm, in pastures and fields, so we could take photos. He was a perfect model, and so beautiful. It was easy to imagine gymnasts jumping onto his wide, broad back. And his unruffleable demeanor would have been unfazed by anything that he was asked to pull in the circus chariot. His home with Beth and 11 horses is perfect for his well deserved retirement.

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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Skylar and Lady Ardola

Skylar and Lady Ardola
Posted December 3, 2010

Kelly lured me to her farm with promises of "9 black Clydesdales with 3 babies due this spring." Those words hooked me immediately! First of all, I didn't even know Clydesdales came in black -- and, secondly, I love babies!

Of course once I arrived, Skylar (Renaissance Prince Skylar) won my heart! He was already the apple of Kelly's eye -- with his two blue eyes, bold white face, long white stockings and feisty personality. Just a newbie, he stuck close to his mom, Renaissance Lady Ardola, as they frolicked through the pasture -- herded on by Kelly's husband on a 4-wheeler.

Kelly's collection of black Clydesdales included two fantastic stallions and seven mares. While they ranged in age from 19 - 1 year olds, they didn't vary much in size. All were size Large!

I really loved Kelly's enthusiasm for her special black Clydesdales!

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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PMU Foals -- All grown up & beautiful!

PMU Foals - All Grown Up & Beautiful!
Posted December 1, 2010

Can you believe the horses in this painting started their lives at a PMU farm? The story of how Vicki obtained four PMU foals is amazing.... She tells it best:

"There was a herd of 89 mares from a Canadian PMU rancher going to market. They were 15 minutes from loading in the truck [I'll add -- to an unhappy ending] when my girlfriend bought all 89. There were 56 babies to be born shortly after... Bolero being one. I was fortunate to bring four of the yearlings to Indiana the following year."

A source for information about obtaining PMU foals is PMU Foal Acquisition Network, Inc. (FANI). Here's what they have to say about PMU:

"PMU stands for PREgnant MARe UrINe, which has been harvested from pregnant mares for use in hormone replacement therapy drugs for women since the 1940's.

"For approximately six months from fall through spring, the pregnant mares live in the "pee barns," forced to stand in stalls with urine collection devices strapped to them. The stalls are deliberately narrow to prevent pregnant mares from turning around and detaching the collection cups. In the last month of their eleven-month pregnancy, the mares are put out to pasture to have their foals. The mares are put in a herd with a stallion, so they quickly become pregnant again. In September, their foals are taken away from them to be sold, whether or not they are fully weaned. The next month, they're back in the barns and the cycle starts again. Foals not purchased directly from farmers often to auction.  Among the bidders are kill buyers, who will take the foals to feedlots to be fattened for slaughter."

As you see, the end of the road for PMU foals (and mares who are no longer needed) is often not pleasant. But the four foals who arrived at Vicki's found paradise! Living in a large, airy barn with their own pasture and lake, and loving caretaker, they are four VERY lucky horses!

And Vicki would certainly claim she's the one who is lucky! All four of her foals are beautiful! That's why I had to include them all in the painting, although Bolero is the star. He's the one that is second in line, but totally in charge -- exhibiting some alpha behavior as he keeps the horses in line for the photo shoot!

Danielle, a fan of Bolero's, also nominated him for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project. She who wrote, "[Bolero's] eyes hold a softness to them that immediately shows how sweet and understanding this horse is. His forelock is absolutely to die for as it reaches his nose! The rest of his mane is also long and thick. Not only is he simply stunning to look at, his personality is exceedingly charming."

You may be wondering what happened to all the other mares and babies that were about to board that truck in Canada. Well, Vicki's friend, who originally rescued the horses, founded The Duchess Sanctuary—owned and operated by The Fund for Animals in partnership with The Human Society of the United States. It is a 1,120-acre facility south of Eugene, Ore., established in 2008 as an oasis for about 200 formerly abused, abandoned, neglected and homeless horses. They got a good home too!

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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Karen Brenner is a professional equine artist who is passionate
about horses and art!
She enjoys traveling to horse farms and equine events to
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