I had the opportunity to hang out with the horses at a friend’s farm the other day. The foals were being weaned the day after so I wanted to get pictures of them with their dams before they were separated.
They are all thoroughbreds and they are one of the most intelligent and curious breeds you will come across. The foals were following me everywhere and we even chased each other around the tree a few times. They were a pleasure to spend time with and I’m glad I got a few cute pictures of them, that is, when they weren’t shoving their muzzle into my camera lens! You just got to love a child’s spirit!
Have you been horsin’ around with an equine friend? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by this week!
Until next time,
“You can say anything you want about me but I’m going to have to ask you not to talk about my horse that way.”
I’ve been trying to figure out what my niche is. I love drawing so many different things but throughout the years I’ve realized my image is kind of muddy. Each piece is great on its own but when I would put together a portfolio, there was no consistency. I had a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I need some kind of structure.
I have finally decided what I am going to focus on. The eyes have it! I did a piece a few years ago that was going to be part of a series called “The Eyes Have It”.
I never really did much more with it but I have decided that this will be my baseline as an artist, eyes. Eyes say more than words ever could. Your eyes cannot lie. Some say they are the window to the soul. It can’t be denied that to look into the eyes of another living creature is like seeing a whole new universe. A galaxy all it’s own. This inspired my latest piece and it’s title “Universe”.
I feel like all conversations can be made through eye contact, no words, no sound. “Almost nothing need be said when you have eyes.”(Tarjei Vesaas) This is more easily experienced with animals in my opinion. People rely heavily on their voice to express what they mean to say or feel. Many times this gets us into trouble. But when we close our lips and open our eyes the true feelings can be expressed. I have learned many lessons through the eyes of animals. It’s amazing what you can hear in the silence, if your willing to listen.
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” (Martin Buber)
I have always been drawn to eyes, no pun intended. I think we all can relate. In Egyptian cultures, the eye of Ra is a symbol of life. It’s fitting. Often times, it is the eyes that pull us towards each other. We understand so much with just a glance. Some even believe in love at first sight. Perhaps there is truth to this. In eye contact, we make a connection. A tug on that invisible string connecting one soul to another. It is difficult for one to lie to another while making eye contact. Maybe the eyes really are a window, allowing others to peek into your being, your universe.
Do you see the world in someone’s eyes? Share your story in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed seeing the latest piece. I am inspired and motivated to do so many more. Stay tuned!
I came across a “note” that I wrote on my Facebook page last year in September. It was still meaningful to me so I figured I should add it to my blog! It is about a dear old friend named Albion.
“I have been suffering lately from artist’s block or perhaps more of a mental block….For some reason whenever I start to feel a little off (okay, a lot off) I always pick up a picture of Albion and for some reason I am compelled to draw him. He was a black Tennessee Walker that my parents owned years ago. At the time, I saw him as a pretty typical horse. He wasn’t the tallest I had seen, he wasn’t the blackest I had seen and conformation wise he was just your average horse. Smooth gate as far as Walkers go but I had no special interest in the breed.
He was always the head of the herd and peacefully lived his life into his twenties. But looking back I remember Albion would always stand his ground. He didn’t take “you know what” from anyone! He wasn’t mean though. He was always so calm, going about his business. He was a pleasure to ride and he always seemed like he knew something. Like he was an old soul and he had so much experience in life. When you looked into his eyes, he looked back at you with a gentle wisdom. He gave you reassurance or a feeling of guidance just from starring into those big endless eyes. Even though so much time has passed since he’s been gone, I can still look at his picture and see those eyes. He’s still looking back at me and reminding me that beauty is all around us and when I draw his image it’s like he is still living through me. His essence or perhaps his guidance is still around me. He reminds me that art isn’t about making money or creating a masterpiece every time or even to show off a talent. It’s about allowing the universe to show me the beauty that is there every day and sharing it with everyone! Sometimes before you can see it you have to feel it, and when you do, it’s as if the blindfold has been ripped off your eyes. You see the world in a whole new light. And though he be but a horse, Albion will always remind me of that.”
After reading that again, it made me smile. It reminded me of Albion. He passed away in February, six years ago. Albion was such a beautiful soul. He reminded me of a Chief. Calm, wise, compassionate, and always a lesson to teach. I took a photo of his hoof a while back and entitled it “Grounding”. That’s just how I saw him, grounded. He seemed connected to everything and therefore he had more of an understanding of everything. He was patient and kind. He was versatile, smart, a leader and a friend.
I have a lot of respect for that horse. I believe everyone has a totem animal or a spirit guide, whatever you want to call it…guardian angel? I know Albion is. He’s very powerful. Most horses are. I haven’t met one yet that hasn’t left a lasting impression on me. I’m starting to think that horses are more connected to things than we could ever understand or even begin to explain. It’s like I said in my note, you have to feel it. Quiet your mind and talk with a horse sometime. It’s like jumping into a canyon of intellect.
I think it is time that I follow in Albion’s hoof prints. My mind has been scattered and unfocused. I am so easily distracted that the slightest breeze can blow me off course. This is when I can think of Albion and how calm and connected he was. He reminds me to stay grounded, plant my hooves in the dirt and become rooted once again. In doing so, I can stand firm like a tree and less like a balloon caught in the wind.
Albion had many lessons to teach. I keep trying to write about him like he’s still alive. Like he is still teaching me. Maybe he is. Maybe he’s my spirit guide? All I know for sure is he was a beautiful and wise ol’ horse.
Albion 18″ x 24″ pencil portrait
What’s your story? Has an animal ever shared their wisdom with you? Animal lover to animal lover I would love to hear about it! Share a comment below!
There is a new Pegasus in the spirit realm. His name is Pagan Holidae. He is a short and stout palomino with spunk and spirit. His best friend in fact was called Spirit. This Pegasus named Holidae galloped across the physical world, as a horse, alongside my mother. This is their story.
My mother, being a bookworm and knowledge junkie, had many subscriptions to equine magazines. One of which was entitled “trailBlazer”. She was reading an article about proper saddle fitting and how to avoid discomfort for your horse. The images used for the article had a unique saddle in them, atop a horse, demonstrating proper saddle placement. My mother awed at the saddle. She had been searching many years for the perfect saddle and there it was being used as a reference in an article. She wanted one for herself, provided it fit her horse properly. She looked everywhere for it. She couldn’t even find information on the kind of saddle it was, let alone the saddle itself. She searched online; she searched every tack shop; she even tried contacting trailBlazer magazine to see if anyone knew anything about it. Still, nothing.
A year or so had passed and my mother had forgotten about the elusive saddle. The time had come to add another equine familiar to the barn. She started searching online for horses for sale. She came across a beautiful little palomino called Special Edition. Unfortunately he was in Colorado; my mother was in Ohio. She took a chance. He was portrayed as an amazing trail horse with a great temperament and my mother knew he was “special”. She contacted the owner, Susan Gibson, struck a deal, and the palomino was on his way to Ohio! My mother changed his name to Pagan Holidae. (Can’t blame her, a horse named Special Ed? Funny but no thank you.)
Oh, before you think this origin story is over, did I mention that Susan Gibson was the editor for trailBlazer magazine. Light-bulb! My mother took a long shot and asked if Susan knew anything about the saddle published in that article from a while back. Come to find out, the saddle was Susan’s and Holidae was the horse in the article! Susan had it custom made in Chile specifically for Holidae! So Susan sold her the saddle. What are the odds! My mother asked the universe for the saddle in the magazine and a year later she gets THAT exact saddle and the editor’s horse to go with it! Talk about the law of attraction!
Holidae carried my mother all across the country. One of the most relaxing things to experience is a good ole’ fashion trail ride. That’s what Holidae was built for. That was Holidae’s demeanor. Relaxation. Calm. Quiet. Chill. On the trails at least. Don’t let him fool you though. He could be quite a stinker at times too, when his “grumpy old men” attitude kicked in. He played the tough guy card but underneath that yellow fluff was a kind soul. He would always have my mother in mind when they were trail riding; carefully bending around tight spots to ensure he wouldn’t bash her knee into a tree. When he was in the pasture grazing, he would perk up when he saw her coming. She would give a little whistle and he would come running up to her. There isn’t much on this planet that is stronger than the bond between horse and rider.
After many happy trails, my mother eventually retired him. He developed Cushing’s Disease which is a dysfunction of the pituitary gland. She gave him a calm, quiet and chill environment to relax in, as he did for her. Sadly, Holidae closed his eyes for eternity last week. Though his eyes have closed, his heart remains open. That’s the power of a horse, my friend. Even in death, the companionship of a horse lasts forever. Each horse has a lesson to teach. Holidae’s lesson was to sit back and enjoy the ride! Relax and don’t fret because you never know when the world will drop off your dream saddle and a palomino to carry you away! R.I.P. Pagan Holidae. You will be missed.
I also would like to pay my respects to Susan Gibson who also passed away this year. Perhaps her and Holidae are together again, soaring through the clouds.
“For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins.” ~ Melissa James