Friday, December 26, 2014

Wild Paint Stallion, Running Free

The beauty of a this stallion completely captivated me. As he ran, I could smell the fragrant sage and dust. I watched him for about an hour as he went to water and then back out to graze.
"Paint Stallion"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mustang Descent

The thunder of hooves still echos in my  heart as I remember the descent of a band of horses from the hilltop. The excitement and freedom was palatable as they ran through the thick sage and dust.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mustangs, Bonds and Atmosphere

While watching wild horses, I am intrigued by their relationships and the feeling of mystery. No matter how much time I spend in contemplation, I am always inspired and learning. This piece shows a mare and two foals emerging from the atmosphere. Surprise and delight are what I feel each time I see them, a chance to discover something new.
"They Appeared out of the Dust"

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Painting Morning Light

After leaving my campsite at dawn, I came upon a small band of three horses just after the sun light came over the hill. The light caught the mane, tail  and the edges of the horses coat. Communicating the beauty of the morning light and the relationship between the mare and new foal was the goal of this piece.
"Love and Light"

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunrises and Wild Horses

Getting up early to look for wild horses is one of my favorite things to do. The promise of a new day always fills me with hope, and when I see the sunlight hitting the horses it is inspiring. That beauty finds it's way into every part of my life.

"Sunrise on the Basin"
Oil on Birch

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Picasso, Wild Horse Icon

 Picasso, is one of the most easily recognizable  Sand Wash Basin stallions. His bold markings and high ranking with other stallions has added to his alluring  presence. This past summer, I only saw him on two of the 14 days that I was at Sand Wash. This painting was inspired when I watched him pushing his band across the range. Little did I know, that he would later loose his band to another stallion.

"Picasso's Strength"
"Picasso's Strength"-Detail

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses and Wildlife

During the two weeks that I stayed at Sand Wash Basin, most of  the wildlife I saw were horses that I came to paint. I got to see some old friends that I had painted and watched over the years. "Apache" was one of those horses. He is a spunky small stallion full of life and drive.


In addition to the horses I also saw some elk and smaller residence that call the basin their home.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer 2014 Wild Horse Painting Trip

This summer had two special events during my  five week trip. In addition to my visits to Little Book Cliffs, Sand Wash Basin, McCullough Peaks and Pryor Mountain, I had a two week Artist-in-Residency at Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area. The focus of my study was the Dry Head horses that are part of the Pryor Mountain herd. Also, the Celebration of Wild Horses Through Art and Music to benefit The Cloud Foundation had it's inaugural exhibit.

Stallion at Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area

Painted from life. Sand Wash Stallion.

Talking about my painting process during my Artist in residence.

Painting done at Bighorn Canyon.
Celebration of Wild Horses reception was attended by an enthusiastic crowd.
Opus Moon performing.

Ginger Kathrens presenting to a standing room only crowd.
 I will be posting more about the summer events, but to see an album of the paintings I created on location, click here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Cloud Foundation Annual Art Exhibit and Fundraiser

Join me on August 2nd from 5:30-9:30 at the reception for the Celebration of Wild Horses through Art and Music- an annual fundraiser for The Cloud Foundation.  Come meet the Artists, filmmaker Ginger Kathrens will give a presentation and Opus Moon will perform.

The Cottonwood Center for the Arts located at 427 E. Colorado Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 8090

 As a pre-show offer, Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography, (one of the participating artists),  is offering a limited edition of prints and note cards with the proceeds going to The Cloud Foundation.

Are you unable to attend but still want to support The Cloud Foundation? I encourage you to support their ongoing efforts to preserve wild horses on public lands. You can donate today. Make sure to sign-up for the newsletter to keep up with the latest news about Cloud!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wild Horse Painting Adventure 2014

During the last four years, I spend time each summer painting different mustang herds. Every year, I strive to learn more as I observe and paint.  This summer, as I have done in the past, I am pre-selling paintings that are based on this adventure.

Pre order a 9x12 painting and receive 30% off my standard price.
I will travel to the Little Book Cliffs, Sand Wash Basin, McCullough Peaks, and Pryor Mountain ranges. I also will have a two week Artist-in-Residency at Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area, painting the Pryor Mountain horses.

 I am leaving in June for the range to paint  as many field studies of the horses and landscape as I can. When you pre-order a 9x12 painting based this trip, I will take 30% off my standard pricing.

How it works:

Original 9x12 oil painting $225.00 Quantities limited
Pre Order Price: $157.50 plus shipping. Two payments of $78.75 plus shipping.

 Payment on the first installment needs to be made before I leave, and the second payment is made when I return and you choose your painting. Choice is awarded in the order that you take advantage of the offer. (So make the first payment now!) You will be able to choose your painting in mid-August. If you want to make other arrangements for payment, please email me.

Offer ends June 25th.

Join my e-newsletter and hear about my adventures, sign-up here.

"The Paint Box" 1972 Shasta 

 To see more photos from my Adventures visit my "Go There, Paint That" page.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Karen McLain, Painting and Process

Painting wild horses from life is the foundation for the work I do in the studio. I want to express the power, beauty 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 working from life. They are not solely paintings of horses, but reflected communication of their experience and our journey.

The search for horses and my outdoor studio  are different  each time I go out.

To see more of my work please visit: http://www.karenmclainstudi... If you enjoyed these videos, please share this post with your friends and subscribe to my channel. To commission a painting or purchase a completed painting please email me: Thank you for your support of the wild horses and art that features them.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wildhorse Notecards

A set of four blank folded cards, and one flat Thank You card, 5 envelopes included.

 $12.00, shipping included.

Images in this collection include:
"Thunder of Freedom"

"Sunset Ridge"

"Cheyenne at Sunset'

"Wild Paints"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bighorn Canyon Artist-In-Residence

I am thrilled to announce my acceptance for an Artist-in-Residence position at the Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area in Wyoming. During this two week residency, I will camp at Trail Creek Campground and spend my days painting the wild horses that live there and the landscape they call home. This area is the base range of the Pryor Mountain horses and is home to Big Horn sheep, deer, elk and Black Bear.

It is an  honor to receive this opportunity within the National Park system and to focus on my passion. I will update as I get closer to July, and post updates here.

"Mountain Top at Dusk"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wild Hoses, before the Storm

While I was visiting the Pryor Mountains last summer, it rained almost every afternoon. Late one afternoon, I was sitting out  in a large meadow and the sky began to darken. But before the clouds moved in front of the sun, there was a lovely warmth hitting the earth with the darkening sky behind.

"Sun Light before the Storm"



Monday, March 3, 2014

Workshop with Kim English

Last week I took a workshop with Kim English through the Scottsdale Artists School. The focus was on quick oil sketches with the figure. Each day of class we had two models that were casually posed. Each setting lasted from 5-20 minutes.  We spent a lot of time on 5, 7, 10 and 12 minute poses. (Kim estimated that we did 100 quick sketches during the week.)  This allowed us to really focus on the gesture and what is most important in the pose.  Then when we ended up with a 20 minute pose, it felt like a long time.

Even though the subject matter is not my primary focus, the principles apply to painting the horse from life.  I believe that everything we learn, helps us grow as an artist. Learning to see the essence of what is in front of us and simplify it down is the heart seeing.

Outdoors, 15 minutes.

Outdoors, 15 minute pose.

12 minutes full color exercise.

Indoors with the light source coming from the floor.

By the time we had a 20 minute pose, it felt like a long time!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pryor Mountain Summer Range

During my visit to the Pryor Mountain wild horse range last summer, I wanted to be there to see the lupine blooming in the green grass. The colors were beautiful! As I watched the horses come up over the mountain top and spill into the Tea Cup, I knew that I would want to communicate the beauty and feeling of that day.

I did a small study to to get the feel for the movement.

"Across the Range" study

Then I designed a larger painting to show Cloud and his summer 2013 band.

"Summer Range"

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cloud, Wild Stallion

Last summer was my first visit to the Pryor Mountain. It was a thrill to see Cloud and his family. He is an amazing wild horse and it has been a wonderful experience for the millions who have followed him through his life through the films and work of Emmy award-winning producer Ginger Kathrens. If you need to catch up with Cloud and other wild horse concerns, visit The Could Foundation. 

This painting features Cloud as I watched him late one afternoon. He was racing between his band and a small group of bachelors that were up the hill.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014, Year of the Horse

In the Chinese New Year, this is the Year of the Horse. It is my hope that is will be a year of freedom  for wild horses, companionship for our domestic friends and health and happiness for each other.

One of my favorite wild horses is Picasso from the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. I first met him in 2011, and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time and paint him from life. I have since been able to visit and paint him from life and in the studio many times. This painting is based on his wonderful band and the feeling that I have when I am with him.

"Family Time"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wild Horses, the Sunset and a River Crossing

Following the theme of beautiful light of the setting sun, I wanted to express that beauty I see at the river.  One of my favorite wild horses was the model for this painting.  "Robin" is a stallion that I have enjoyed following for years and I have learned so much from him about the world of wild horse relationships.

"Sunset in Shallow Water"

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wild Horses at Sunset

The sun  is setting, the breeze is dieing down, the birds are singing their evening song as wild horses move from the top of the ridge  to their resting place. That is what I experienced last summer. The beauty of the light and horses was peaceful and exciting at the same time.  A couple of months ago, I worked up a study for this painting, (Sold), and really enjoyed working on this larger version, it would bring warmth to any room!

 "Wild Horse Sunset"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

McCullough Peaks Wild Stallions

The wild horses at McCullough Peaks are absolutely stunning! Their large bones and rugged handsome build are very classical in appearance. While I was there, I watched a small group of bachelor stallions playing. I am always slightly amused by how unconcerned the other horses are that are not involved in the play. They continue as if nothing is happening. Then I realize how exciting it is for me to be there watching. This became the inspiration for  "Above the Earth". I also made a short video of these horses for you to enjoy and see a bit of the paintings progress.

"Above the Earth"