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Horse Paintings Blog - November 2010

Hylke - Friesian painting

Hylke van'e Sanharst
Posted November 26, 2010

Hylke is one of the most beautiful Friesians I've ever seen. Stunningly statuesque, this seven year old gelding towered over us as he waited to put on a show for his audience of three... his owner Michele, my sister Sharon and me. We were all loving every minute we got to spend watching Hylke transform his fenced arena into a glorious show ring. What a star!

Michele imported Hylke from the Netherlands. Since then he as won nine world and national titles. Michele wrote, "The sight of him in the extended trot in the carriage driving class brought me to tears. I was later approached by a USEF judge and several others who also said that his performance and beauty brought them to tears."

I can add my testimonial, Hylke is amazing!

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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Titan - Percheron Painting

Posted November 23, 2010

The largest horse gets the biggest canvas! (Well, piece of masonite, actually) Titan is 18 hands tall and weighs over 2000 pounds. And he fills up this 30 x 24" painting!

Jessica, his petite owner, rides and drives Titan in shows. She is a college student who plans to make horses her life work.

Jessica & Titan

Jessica writes, "Horses are my passion. . . . No matter how hot, cold, muddy or labor intensive the situation, when it comes to horses, I take advantage of any opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge, broaden my perspective, and revel in new experiences. . . . I've learned to listen to my horses to help solve their problems, becoming a mix of teacher, dietician, doctor, builder, psychologist, farmer, maintenance worker, laborer, and - most important - partner."

Jessica's mother, Charlotte, sent a little background information about Titian:

"Titan is very curious. That curiosity and his size were constantly getting him into trouble. His previous owner had him in a 10 x 10 feet stall the majority of his life. The stall was too small and the floor had worn into a bowl shape. Titan didn't have a level surface to stand on and was constantly lame. His previous owner didn't understand the cause of the lameness or the misbehavior and simply confined him more and more to his stall. Titan was lame, bored and resentful when I brought him home. We gave him a bigger stall, regular farrier care, plenty of pasture time, horse friends and work. .. . He loves all the attention and the work ... He is still very mischievous but in a happy, friendly way."

Titan was such a joy to photograph. Even with his enormous size and his powerful movement, I never felt scared as he cantered delightfully toward me during his photo session. What a beautiful horse!

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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Miss Kit Cat
Posted November 20, 2010

Caylin and her Appendix mare, Miss Kit Cat are regular participants in the 4-H hunter/jumper classes at Indiana's annual Allen County Fair. I'm sure they are tough competitors! The two seemed like a great team when I visited to photograph Miss Kit Cat.

Caylin's insightful description of Miss Kit Cat was uncannily detailed. Here are some excerpts: "Miss Kit Cat is an 8 year old gray thoroughbred/quarter horse cross who exhibits grace and elegance whether she is jumping in a lesson or simply running in the pasture with her horse friends. Miss Kit Cat is a strong-minded mare who readily demonstrates a natural intelligence. Her intelligence can both intrigue as well as puzzle a person, but always leaves the person with a greater knowledge of horse behavior as well as the sensed of what an honor it is to have such a majestic and independent creature acquiesce to requests of her human friends. She does not always respond too readily or easily to requests particularly under new circumstances, yet what Cat does is always with the full depth of her heart."

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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Abbeyleix Imagination
Posted November 18, 2010

Valerie wrote that her Irish Draught mare, Abbey, had a "'such a look at me' quality." I think this painting captures that darling personality. Abbey liked to pose as I snapped her picture. Then she would gallop beautifully through her pasture. Then she would come up and pose for me again. Over and over she repeated her cycle of running and posing, almost as if she wanted to be sure I got plenty of action AND still shots.

She looked so gorgeous bounding through the field -- and many of those photos would have been perfect reference shots for Abbey's painting for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project. But I could not resist the soulful expression on her face in this pose; I had to use this shot for her painting.

Here's more of what Valerie wrote on Abbey's nomination form:

"I have had a lifelong dream of having my own little horse breeding farm. Abbey is the 1st step toward realizing this dream. She is a Registered Irish Draught. This breed is on the U.N. Rare Breeds conservancy. (To learn more about the breed go to www.irishdraught.com.) Everywhere Abbey goes, she draws attention. With her big personality and solid, stocky build, people always seem to think she is larger than she actually is -- 15.3 hh. She is also surprising agile and a graceful mover. To me, watching her canter across our pasture summons images of galloping across the Irish countryside, over ditches and stone walls. One day I hoe to take her foxhunting, something which she should have a natural ability. For now she leads a pampered life as the alpha of our little herd."

When we were there, Valerie was excited to tell us Abbey was in foal. Hopefully there will be good new soon about a new Irish Draught baby!

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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Nik & Mares
Posted November 16, 2010

Gray dun Norwegian Fjord gelding, Nik (Rokada Nicholas), has to keep three mares in line in his pasture in Auburn, Indiana. In this painting, he has herded two of the mares up to the gate -- that's Nik in the back. I love the breed's unique black striped manes which are clipped to stand straight up! With the three horses lined up, the manes create neat waves curving through this painting.

Nik's owners, Susan and Mike, have seven Fjords. Susan writes, that "they are the golden retrievers of the horse world. . . . They have a gentle eye and a wonderful nature."

Susan adds, "They are a small stocky draft horse size from 13 to 15 hands but can work right along with the big draft. . . . they also are great trail horses and used for pack horses. Susan and Mike had just returned from an extensive out-of-state trail ride, where their horses excelled in all types of terrain.

It is always fun to paint Fjords! I wonder what a Fjord crossed with a zebra would look like? Can you tell I like stripes?

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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Horse Fans, You'll be amazed by what you learn in
When Ghosts Speak

Posted November 12, 2010

Last weekend we went to the annual Buckeye Book Fair - where Ohio writers and illustrators display, sell and autograph their books. Our local newspaper had run an article about one of the authors, Mary Ann Winkowski. My husband had had her two daughters in his class and we wanted to get her book, When Ghosts Speak, that had been highlighted in the newspaper's story.

I'm almost done reading the book -- and it is FASCINATING!

We know Mary Ann is a regular person. A devote Catholic and super nice. We never knew she talked to ghosts 'til now. Her book describes her special gift of being able to talk to spirits of people who have passed away but have not passed into the light. Many are ones she meets at funerals. HEADS UP: she says almost everyone attends their own funeral to check out the flowers and listen in on conversations. Others she meets are spirits who missed out on going toward the light and are now stuck on earth. (She has a simple solution for finding the light... but you'll have to read the book to discover what it is.)

One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapter on animals. Everyone who has loved an animal that has passed away wonders if animals move on to the next world. Yes, is Mary Ann's answer. Animals have a light to walk into just like people! Of course some animals decide to not follow the light, just like some people. Horse lovers -- Mary Ann's experiences with race horses, grooms, jockeys and gamblers is mind boggling!

You've got to read When Ghosts Speak.

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Arabian Horse Painting

CHF Persephone Bey
Posted November 10, 2010

"Beyli" is an equine artist's dream model! She loved showing off -- running, turning, galloping, trotting, twisting -- moving nonstop! Add to that the fact that she's such a beautiful Arabian mare, and you'll know why I could have watched her entertain us all day long! And she probably would have been happy to do so, because she and her owner Lynn are training for endurance rides and Beyli had energy to spare!

Lynn's nomination of Beyli for Beautiful Horses of Indiana stated, "Beyli has always been a beauty queen, competing at halter on the national level. I had been looking for an endurance partner and was introduced to her. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous (a dark bay with four white socks and blaze) but she has an absolutely wonderful personality. She is a happy horse that loves people and doing new things."

I wanted to paint her boldly with bright colors to match her brilliant personality -- and leave the background in a blur -- just like she does!

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 - The painting of Beyli is gorgeous. You definately captured her beauty and personality!! Thank you. Lynn


Horse Paintings 2000-2010 Retrospective book

75 Paintings from the past 10 years

Posted November 8, 2010

My new book, Retrospective 2000-2010, celebrates 10 years of horse paintings! I had fun looking at all the photos of the 500 or so oil paintings that I've completed over the past decade, remembering each of the wonderful horses.

This compact little book (just 7x7") contains color photos 75 of my favorites. Of course I have many more favorites -- and I'm painting more favorites every week!

Curious about what paintings are included in the book? Click on the photo above and you will be able to see! The book preview is provided by Blurb, a print-on-demand, techno-rific website that allows anyone to create books!

Is your favorite included? WAIT . . . .

Even MORE of my favorites are jam-packed into this snappy Retrospective Video! It'll only take 2 1/2 minutes to see 175 favorites! Click on the photo below to watch the video:

Retrospective Video

posted by Karen Brenner

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Moonlight Kisses and Cloverhill's King Orange
Posted November 2, 2010

Cloverhill's King Orange, "Elwood," the 18-year-old chestnut American Saddlebred gelding in this painting, was nominated for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project by his owner Nancy.

Nancy writes, "Elwood, has been an overall family favorite ever since our son Mike chose him as a 2 year old.  He is fiery and yet kind and gentle."

Statuesque and regal, Elwood put on a show for us, gliding through the meadow at Nancy's Legacy Farm then pausing to survey his kingdom from the crest of a small hill.

Then, Nancy's son, Brian, brought out his Saddlebred, Moonlight Kisses, to race alongside Elwood. The black mare is by their stallion Harlem's Black Diamond and out of Great Lady in Red. Great Lady in Red, once owned by actor William Shatner, is also owned by Brian. 

After meeting Elwood and Moonlight Kisses, who could not wish to have a Saddlebred of their own?

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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About Karen

Karen Brenner is passionate
about horses and art!
She enjoys traveling to horse farms
and equine events to
photograph horses
for reference material
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Horse Paintings book

Beautiful Moments
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Paintings and Photographs
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Coffee Table Book
Click here to preview book.

Horse Paintings 2000-2010 Retrospective book


Ten Years of Horse Paintings
by Karen Brenner

A compact volume
with 75 painting

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etrospective 2000-2010
175 Paintings in 2 1/2 Minutes

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Andalusian horse profile
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