Thursday, April 4, 2013

"The Red Clyde Mare" 11" by 14" oil on canvas. On a farm in Trempealeau County I found this lovely red chestnut Clydesdale mare. At the time I had never seen a chestnut Clyde before. She glowed in the sun. I noticed the tips of her ears were rough and torn looking. Maybe frostbite? I have never seen that in a horse before.
"Fly By" 18" by 24" oil on board. When my cousin and I were in our teens we rode horses from sunrise to sunset over gravel country roads and through hay and corn fields. This painting didn't start out with this memory in mind. But yesterday as I was scanning it I remembered those hot summer days. We had a horse named Beauty, a big bay mare with a heart of gold. We road her double and bareback, usually me in front and her behind with her hands around my waist. When the corn was about knee high, we would take Beauty into the corn field and gallop up and down the rows. We were pretty good about not knocking down the corn and stayed between the rows. The field was hilly and there were a few times I didn't warn my cousin that I was about to give Beauty my heels and urge her into a gallop. She never fell off, we were both glued to the back of the big bay mare, having the time of our lives. The corn rows and the long leaves of the corn in this painting brought that back to me. Pretty close to flying.
A better scan of "Whitehorse II, Ghost". I rescued a small white part Arabian mare a number of years ago. I had been told she was found in a kill pen in Iowa. Blood running down her face and all over her white chest. She was taken to a wonderful farm and very well taken care of, except the other horses shunned her or picked on her. The gal felt sorry for her, she had a loneliness about her. "Pearl" the mare was given to me as a giveaway gift at a spiritual workshop. We brought her home and it took months to gain her trust. She easily befriended our sheep and a few goats. She became a nanny to the young ones. So gentle, she would lift her hoof on its tip, before she would move it close to the lambs or kids. As if she knew she could break their fragile legs if she wasn't careful. She was a beautiful soul with white forelock and mane glistening in the light. She foundered repeatedly and after a long struggle of keeping her going, she died. The next morning I went out to feed the sheep and there she stood, like always, a pure white statue standing in front of her barn in the paddock, waiting for me to take care of her. But I had to shake my head, because I remembered she really wasn't with us anymore. What a gift that mare gave me. The mare in the painting comes from my Pearl.