Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Corona, Wild Horse Icon

During my June 2013 visit to Sand Wash Basin, there was a beautiful full moon. In my imagination, I saw wild horses on a ridge as the moon came up in the distance. The concept for this painting was inspired by that visit. The peaceful, and magical sight of Corona, one of the SWB icons watching the full moon was a vision I had to paint.

"Corona and the Moon"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wild Horses, the Sound of Freedom

The inspiration for this painting happened at McCullough Peaks during my painting trip. I had been out painting the herd as the sun came up while they napped and peacefully grazed. About mid-morning, they began to stir and slowly move off. I knew where they were headed. I jumped in the truck and drove to the waterhole and watched as they thundered in for a drink.

The sound of their hooves, the dust the excitement was an amazing experience! I have done several paintings of that event and wanted to work one up that was larger.  I invite you to watch as this 24x48 painting comes to life.

The composition sketched in.

I begin working in the background dust and horses.

Jasmine was "helping" me.

"Sound of Freedom"
This piece will be in the Traveling the West Exhibit in Dallas, TX
October 22-24, 2015

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wild Horses, Beauty and Inspiration

Wild horses serve as a continual inspiration for my work. The freedom, beauty and bonds they have is part of what I want to communicate in each painting.

The feel of nature and the atmosphere also helps set the mood and feeling in the painting. As the sun began to set, I stood and watched as a band of horses slowly made their way over the ridge. This was at the end of a very full day of painting, photographing and observing them. At one level I wasn't tired in the least, but rather filled with joy and inspiration for the blessing they bring to my life.

"Sunset Ridge"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Art Biz Workshop in Golden, CO

Recently I attended and Art Business and marketing workshop hosted by Alyson B. Stanfield of The workshop was held in downtown Golden,CO and was attended by almost 60 artists of different disciplines.

On Thursday, the Gold Mastermind group met. This is a small group that I have been a part of for the past six months. The mentor-ship, coaching and accountability have been so helpful to me. Then on Friday and Saturday, the Art Biz workshop was held.

Alyson talked about the "why" behind what we do. This was a very inspiring and motivational introduction to the two day workshop.

Alyson, talking about the motivation behind our art.

"My motivation is to express the beauty, power and bonds that I see manifest in wild horses.  The freedom, risk and challenge that is inherent in living wild in nature is reflected in my process of painting from life. The work is not solely a painting of a horse, but a reflected communication of their experience and our journey."  ~Karen McLain

If you are stuck in your art business, or are ready to move ahead, please visit 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Painting a Wild Horse Nocturne

The peaceful quiet of the the night, with a full moon and shimmering stars. That was what I saw during my trip last summer at Sand Wash Basin. That feeling is something that I have wanted to express for a long time. Nocturne painting is a challenge and something new for me. I have worked on several nocturnes, and this is the only one that fully shows the moon. The low key beauty is something that is expressed in this painting. Movement and peace.

"Full Moon Mustangs"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wild Horses, like a Force of Nature

If you have ever been out camping-or watching wild horses, and the weather changes quickly, it is amazing to witness. That rapid building of clouds, thunder and the incoming rain is powerful to experience.  That force of nature was what watching this herd of horses run  felt like.

"Approaching Storm"


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Plein air Horses and Water

It seems like a bonus when I get to paint two of my favorite things together. Such was the case  on this morning. I arrived to find one of my favorite bands of wild horses eating and resting in the river.  This is a common sight, they cool off and eat the grass that grows on the bottom of the river. I shot a couple of quick photos and began to paint.

"Peace at the River"

Enjoy the video I made of the horses and painting from that morning.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wild Horses, Power and Beauty

While working on this series of paintings, I am immersed in the beauty and power that is on display. During my trip, I felt the uninterrupted flow of being with the horses on their daily schedule. The rhythm of being on "Wild Horse Time",   and of living in the present was such a connecting influence.
This series has reminded me of how much power and beauty I got to experience. This painting is based on that feeling and visual experience. That feeling and beauty, is what I want to share.

"Wild Power, Lasting Beauty"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wild Horses Running, Beauty and Power

The power and beauty of wild horses running is magnificent. Thundering hooves cresting a hill and running strait toward you as the dust begins to build behind them almost vibrates the ground.  The sound represents freedom, the sight one of unbridled beauty. Even in the midst of a full gallop the horses interact with each other in a version of high speed game of "tag". The element of fun is expressed here with a simple gesture. I hope you feel the thunder of hoves in this series of paintings based on the McCullough Peaks wild horses.

"Thunder on the Range"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Creating Action in a Painting

Each time I am with wild horses, I spend time clearing my mind and focusing on the horses interaction. This summer I got to see some action as the horses at McCullough Peaks raced into the waterhole. I am working on a series of paintings based on this experience. Part of what I want to express, is not simply the horses running, but the atmosphere from the dust, and the subtle interaction they have with each other while they are running.

I decided to post a few photos taken while I was working on, "Thundering into our Hearts"

The sketch,  very loose and quick, as if I were there watching them.

I just jump right in working from dark to light on each horse, being mindful of the values.

I worked out from each horse to adjust the effect the dust would have on the horses in the rear.

I added the foreground and background values last.

Click to view full screen.
"Thundering into our Hearts"


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wild Horses, Thunder of Freedom

During my summer painting trip, I camped out at McCullough Peaks to spend time with the wild horses there. These are stocky, handsome horses whose rugged appearance portray  an iconic image of wild horses. I was fascinated by this herd as they covered a large amount of ground when they ran into their favorite waterhole. I found them before dawn one morning and gotten a small painting done. Then as they slowly began to move, I could tell where they were headed. I jumped in my truck to get to the waterhole before they did.  The experience of watching and feeling them thunder in touched my spirit. This painting is based on that experience.

Below is a short video with clips of them running and photos of this painting in progress.

"Thunder of Freedom"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cloud and Encore of the Pryor Mountains

I spent many hours sitting and watching Cloud and his band while at the Pryor Mountains. It was wonderful to watch them in the free and peaceful life they have. Cloud's filly, Encore seems very stout and fit for one so young. This painting was inspired by the wonderful way that Could watches over her.

"Looking After Encore" study
Oil on vellum

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cloud's Encore of the Pryor Mountains

While visiting the Pryor Mountains I was blessed to see Cloud's band every day that I was there. Cloud has an amazing presence, combined with the beautiful setting, it made for an extremely moving experience. Watching Encore, Cloud's filly was so much fun. This painting was inspired by her desire to play with a colt one afternoon.

"Let's Play!"
Oil on linen
Please enjoy a tour of the four areas I visited and see some of the amazing horses. Cloud and Encore make an appearance!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

McCullough Peaks Wild Horses

There  is something that is so inspiring about being able to watch and learn  from wild horses. This summer was my first time to do that with the McCullough Peaks herd. These horses tended to mass together in the day as they grazed and napped. Since I was there for several days, I watched them thunder into the waterhole and amble in as well. There was time for a dip in the water after a drink and a good session of play after that.

But one of the more peaceful and beautiful things was watching the band Stallions take up the last position as they headed out for the the evening. Watching for predators and keeping  everyone together his strength and watchfulness are what defined him. This painting was inspired by that.

"McCullough Peaks Stallion. As the sun set, he followed his band over the ridge."
Oil on Linen

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wild Horse Plein air Paintings

My month long trip into wild horse country afforded me wonderful viewing and painting opportunities. It was bug season, so I learned that Bounce dryer sheets really do keep the mosquitoes and no-see-ums away. Despite the elements of nature and hazards of  painting something on the move from life, I managed to get  some good field work done.

"Little Book Cliffs Stallion"    oil   8x10   $125.00

"Mare and Colt"    oil   6x6  

"McCullough Peaks Foal"   oil   6x6   $90.00

"Mineral Lick"   oil   6x6    $90.00

"Picasso Portrait"   oil   6x6   $90.00

"Picasso's Mare"   oil   6x6   $90.00

"Pryor Mountain Mares"   oil   8x10   $125.00

"Raven"   oil   8x10    Sold

Several of the paintings from the trip have already sold. But in addition to these posted here I have several available in albums on my Facebook page. Please check there. I will also be posting more on the blog, including the Yellowstone buffalo video and paintings. 

If you have any questions, please email me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Painting at Sand Wash Basin Wild Horse Area

During my trip, I camped for 8 days at Sand Wash Basin. Since this was my third year to visit, there were horses that I had painted and photographed before that I really wanted to see again. "Benson" was one of those horses. Benson, is full of personality and distinctive good looks. His band had changed considerably since last year and he was intent on keeping them together.

Here is a short video I made of my morning while painting "Benson".

Painted on location at the Sand Wash Basin.
 "Benson" Painted from life.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wild Horses of McCullough Peaks

This visit to McCullough Peaks was my first. The range was easy to locate, (being very close to Cody, WY), and easy to travel on. This band is full of classic wild horses, resting together and sparing near the waterholes and stud piles. They are sturdy and gorgeous horses!

A little action as stallions spar.

Mud-caked after rolling in the waterhole. This extra layer helps ward off fly's.

Two bachelors get some practice in for the time they will defend their band.

Pronghorn share the range.

Nothing like an early morning roll!
View from the GoPro.

I got several paintings done while I was here and will be posting those soon.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wild Horses at the Pryor Mountains

The wild horses of the Pryor Mountains are well known from the wonderful films featuring Cloud, the Palomino stallion that filmmaker Ginger Kathrens has documented during the past 18 years. It was such a thrill to see Cloud and his band on the mountain top. Encore, the newest filly in Clouds band is full of life and a joy to watch.

Cloud and Encore.

During the few days I had to spend up there, I saw several other bands and enjoyed watching the dynamics that played out.

Photo by Kim Michels
I had the chance to get a couple of paintings done while I was out there too. At was fun to meet Kim Michels and have her as my guide during this trip.

I am looking forward to sharing photos, stories and paintings  from this trip.