If you follow this blog or found it recently, you’ve probably noticed that it hasn’t been updated for a while. 5 months is the longest stretch between posts so far, but I haven’t given up this project! Where have I been these past months? Well, a lot of places actually. I’ve learned a new job, swam in some rivers, caught a bunch of pokemon (“- -), sweated my body weight off ( twice!) and actually finished a few new paintings! I’m looking forward to recommiting to this blog, which represents a lot of my deepest loves in life. So if you haven’t moved on yet, please continue to stay tuned for new posts (and if you haven’t subscribed to my email list or Facebook it’s highly recommended!)
“Pony Kiss” is the second painting in The Pony Set. After painting “Three Musketeers” I felt like going for a simpler color scheme and to feature some horse colors that didn’t make it into the first picture. The result is a dapper (can shaggy ponies be dapper? I think so) black pony and his snowy-white girlfriend. Fun aside: the white pony’s expression is based on Libby, the queenliest mare at our barn.
I probably should have posted about this piece of art ages ago, considering it’s the profile pic for my Facebook page and all, but… here we go. Way back when in 2014, Continue reading
One aspect of equine behavior that we don’t see much in domestic life is the sparring fights that occur between mature stallions. Occasionally one bears witness to more casual, playful sparring, often from young geldings. Whilst it’s probably for the best that our domestic horses don’t fight seriously, it is worth appreciating the place of these fights in the heart of the equine psyche.
True fights for dominance occur between mature stallions over the possession of mares. In the wild, young colts live in bachelor bands where they hone their horse-etiquette with other youngsters and are kept in line by the oldest stallions. Although these older stallions are past their prime at defending a band of mares, they are no slouches when it comes to educating the whippersnappers, and their lifetime of surviving the hazards of the wild makes them wise teachers.
After a young stallion has spent some years learning the subtle intricacies of equine body language and the toothy and hoof-y consequences of challenging these boundaries, he may attempt at gathering a few mares of his own. All horses, even domestic ones, communicate dominance through body posturing. The young stallion will usually get his first mares by stealing them from a larger band. It is a testament to the dominance of a stallion if he is able to command a large group of mares because inevitably, some will range a bit farther from the group and possibly be snaked (google it 🙂 ) and stolen by a young go-getter. The herd stallion can repel these advances by using his body posture to show his presence; head and tail raised high, neck arched, and nostrils flared, moving in a direct line towards the on-comer. The younger horse has learned by now that these postures signal serious intent and can decide now whether or not to retreat or stand his ground. If he chooses the latter, the fight will ensue.
Horses never fight to kill one another, only to intimidate the other into retreating. Rearing, to make themselves larger than their opponent, or pinning the opponent to the ground on his knees in a position of vulnerability. The fight is over when one party has had enough and gives up. These fights don’t last long and the combatants don’t usually sustain serious injury, but in the moment, we as observers can see all the power and athleticism of the horse in it’s natural state, and that’s the inspiration behind “Fighting Stallions.”
Only 5 by 7 inches, “Medicine Hat” is one of the smaller works in my collection. A Medicine Hat Paint is a horse that is mostly or completely white with dark hair covering only the ears and the top of the head, called a War Bonnet. The horse need not be completely white, horses with colored markings over their chest or flanks (shields) also fall into the medicine hat category if they retain the War Bonnet, and of course, blue eyes are preferred. Native American legend has it that a warrior who rides a Medicine Hat horse into battle cannot be hit by arrows, which made these horses highly prized by the Plains Nations. In my painting, I chose to represent the purer form of the Medicine Hat horse with only a black War Bonnet and blue eyes. He stands in the prairie lands of the Plains Indians, as clouds of those famous Great Plains storms build up in the background.
“Raven Pegasus” is one of my rare ventures into the realm of fantasy artwork. This painting was inspired by the raw strength and power of the horse, which I tried to emphasize with the heavily arched neck and flaring nostrils. The pose is of Mr. Pegasus collecting himself before launching into flight, chosen to show the best angles of his feathers, and the motion of his heavy, windswept mane.
Prints and products featuring “Raven Pegasus” can be purchased at Society6.com