Posts Tagged ‘equine’

Team of blondes–Day 17

February 17, 2015
5"x7" oil on canvas

5″x7″ oil on canvas

Day 17 of the painting a day challenge.

This is a team of Haflingers that I observed at one of the historic farming events I attend.  A beautiful little team with thick, fluffy, blonde manes.  They always reminded me of mini-Belgians, probably part of the reason I’ve been drawn to them.
A bit trivia about the Halflinger breed (info taken from Wikipedia)

The Haflinger, also known as the Avelignese, is a breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy during the late 19th century. Haflinger horses are relatively small, are always chestnut in color.  The name “Haflinger” comes from the village of  Hafling, which today is in northern Italy.  The breed is also called the Avelignese, from the Italian word for Hafling, which is Avelengo or previously Aveligna.

Haflingers have many uses including light draft, harness work and various under saddle disciplines such as endurance riding, dressage, equestrian vaulting, and therapeutic riding.  They are also still used by the Austrian and German armies for work in rough terrain. The World Haflinger Federation (WHF), the international governing body that controls breed standards for the Haflinger, is made up of a confederation of 22 national registries, and helps set breeding objectives, guidelines and rules for its member organizations.

Interestingly enough, I read that a Haflinger was the first horse to be cloned.  In 2003, the cloning resulted in a filly named Prometea.

Here’s the link to this painting in the Daily Paintworks Gallery:


Valentine–Day 14

February 14, 2015
Day 14

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel


“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.    Love never ends.”  1 Corinthians 13:4


Happy Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the link to this painting in the Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking:


February 13, 2015
Day 12

7″x5″ oil on canvas

Any time I see this breed of horse, I instantly think of my grandpa “ship” and it makes me smile.  I used to be so fascinated by these beautiful blonde, “gentle giants” and how grandpa handled them and worked them.  He used to keep a pair during the summer and of course, I would invite myself along when he would go out to feed, water, or work them.  One of the benefits of growing up next door.  Well, benefit to me….he may not have always seen it that way.  I’m sure there were times when I was more in the way than “help” but, he never turned me away.

I thought I was really big stuff when I got to lead one of them all by myself or help put the harness on.  I loved to watch him throw the lines over his shoulder, after they were all harnessed up and take off driving them and then back them up to the wagon or buggy that he was going to hitch to.  I can remember watching him drive them in the parades, at farming demonstrations, and in a horse show.  He seemed do it all with such ease, it was obvious he grew up doing this.  I’m sure these horses were associated with a lot of hard work back in his early years but I’d also like to think they were associated with some fond memories for him as well.

Here is the link for this painting in the Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking!

Ace–Day 4

February 4, 2015
7"x5" oil on canvas panel

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel


Ace-value study

Day 4—Painting a day challenge for February

Here is the link to the painting in Daily Paintworks Gallery:–value-study/330498

Continuing with the value studies theme, I decided to get back into my equine subjects. Meet Ace—this guy is quite a personality. A bit ball of muscle and energy wrapped in horse hide. This guy LOVES to run and LOVES to play. He can be just wired one minute and then nonchalantly grazing without a care in the world. He is one of the nosiest, or should I say, most curious horses in our little herd. The problem is, he also seems to be the most accident prone….not always a good combo. There isn’t a whole lot that seems to rattle this guy; gunshots, farm equipment, ATVs, you name it. Ace takes it all in stride, unless he wants it to rattle him. By that, I mean, he took a page from Murdock’s playbook and sometimes uses something odd as an excuse to spook, just because he wants to take a moment to get loose and get squirrely. Did I mention, he also likes to strut his stuff once in a while and show off a bit?

Along with a bit about Ace, I thought it would be fun to post an “in the process” photo. With these value studies, I’m taking a bit of a different approach. Most of my paintings start out with a line drawing, however, with these little studies, I’m starting out with a wet, burnt sienna washed canvas and then proceeding to “carve out” my subject. This process is proving to be A LOT of fun and really refreshing my creativity. I’ve done this process a few times before when doing Plein air studies but, I tended to favor the “line drawing” approach more. That may not be the case any longer after this month!


7"x5" value study in process

7″x5″ value study in process

“Comfort Food”

March 15, 2012
oil painting

Comfort Food

“Comfort Food”

16”x20” oil on canvas

Comfort food by definition is food prepared in a traditional style usually having a nostalgic or sentimental appeal, or can be simply an easy-to-eat, easy-to-digest meal rich in calories, nutrients.

Food is synonymous with so many things in our lives besides just sustenance; it can mean a celebration, worship, sympathy, compassion, and comfort.  Here in the states it seems we have a cake to celebrate about everything…..weddings, birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement, holidays, you name it, we have cake for it.  Would you feel like something was missing if you celebrated any one of those things without the cake?  How different would a wedding reception be if you didn’t have the cake or the traditional cake in the face wedding pictures??  What about not having food present at all, would the celebration still be the same?  I mean, think about Thanksgiving without the feast!!??!!  How would that work??  The true meaning of the holiday is to give thanks for all of our blessings but we prepare a meal as our way of giving thanks and celebrating it.

It is custom here to also present food to a family when they’re dealing with the loss of a loved one or if they’re faced with a hardship such as an illness.  I think it is meant to console as well as to be a convenience.  I think it is to make sure they not only have food but do not have to worry about getting it and preparing it or making sure they have enough to feed extra family members and friends that are there.  Sometimes it’s also a way of remembering the person lost.  It might be in memory of the person, maybe that person’s favorite food or a dish that that person was “famous” for.  I remember my uncle Ervin every time I have a dessert that has been dubbed “blueberry or cherry delight”.  It is somewhat like cheesecake (only better) and is something we’ve had in his memory several times.  It was something he always made and brought to family get-togethers and was known for.

After I married and my extended family grew, I acquired new “food memories”.  I remember my father in law and his fondness of rhubarb pie.  I remember the meals my husband’s grandma fixed—always amazing!  They owned a dairy farm so things were always fresh!  I remember his grandpa making peanut brittle during the holidays.  That was probably one of the few times grandma Millie actually allowed him to take over her kitchen!

I have fond memories of several members of our family who are still here but that have a special dish or something they prepared at special occasions.  My grandma Eva always baked us homemade angel food cakes with icing glaze for our birthdays.  One year, she gave me the cake on a platter that belonged to my great grandma.  What a memory—I plan to pass that down to my children one day.  I also remember the meals my grandma made for all of us after long days of putting up hay in the summer.  I remember them pulling up a hay wagon and spreading the food out on it.  My mom is also sort of known for her cooking abilities in our family.  I’m not sure there’s anything that she can’t cook.  It has become somewhat of a tradition now that we’re grown, for her to fix a family dinner with one of our favorite dishes for each of our birthdays.  Something that is better than any store bought gift or card!  I must admit, her cooking abilities are not something that all of her children have completely mastered.  We have our moments that we pull off a pot of chicken and dumplings, or a batch of dinner rolls that rival hers, however, more than once one of the grandkids have made the comment about some other dish; “that’s not how grandma makes it or it’s not as good as grandma’s”.  Only to be met with a glare and/or the words, “maybe you should go to grandma’s house then”….ha ha…..  My dad’s side of the family are of German decent and when we get together, food is always present and is a way of socializing.  You eat and visit.  You do not leave grandma’s house without eating something and you will never leave her home hungry.  I learned that at a very early age.

Food can also be a comfort.  Probably why I should be exercising more….some issues in life just require more comfort than others!  Some foods just make you feel better.  Whether they really have healing powers or just a hidden mind trick, who knows, but, they are a comfort.  There are times when you just NEED that piece of chocolate and get bent out of shape when you find someone has eaten it all.  How many times have you gotten hurt as a child or were upset over the latest “world crushing” event in your life, or had a cold or a sore throat and mom gave you some sort of treat to make it all better?  Popsicles cure sore throats, ice cream heals hurt feelings, chocolate heals broken hearts, and soup cures a cold…..right??


Feb. 22, 2012 “Lost in Thought”

February 25, 2012
Day 22

Lost in Thought

Day 22


“Lost in Thought”


“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”   ~Winnie the Pooh


Lost in thought–how many times a day do you find yourself doing that?  I’ve had times when I’m so lost in thought that it seems like nothing else is going on around me.  I find that those times happen more often when I’m working through some new, creative idea or process, or working through a particular problem.  Other times, I’m so lost in thought….about nothing at all….I was conscious(at least I think I was) but couldn’t tell you what it was that I was thinking about.  Maybe those are the times Winnie the Pooh is referring to….my brain has forgotten to start again.  Then there are days when I can’t seem to lose myself in thought—even for just a few minutes.  It is on those days, I feel like my mind is operated by a TV remote that happens to be in my hub’s hand while every channel he tunes to, has a commercial on it.  I can’t seem to focus on any one particular thought.  Is that a result of the times we live in?  A mental deficiency (and no, my hub is not allowed to answer that question)?  Or is it that my brain is short circuiting or misfiring?  I wonder if Winnie the Pooh has ever had that problem???

Feb. 12, 2012 Ace

February 13, 2012
Day 12

Painting a day project-day 12

Day 12

Painting A Day Project


Oh, this little guy has character….and I guess he’s really not “little” any more.  This guy is our “rescue” colt that came to us when he was around 5 months old.  He soon became my mom’s “other man”.  Who knew she secretly had a thing for red heads…..ha ha…  He doesn’t seem to be jumpy about loud noises or new things, he’s very curious, and boy is he full of energy.  He is a typical youngster who likes to run, jump, and play and aggravates the other horse trying to get them to do the same.  He also seems to like to perform tricks.   One evening after dark, my fam sat down to watch a movie together and sorta unwind from the day when my hub heard some banging out by the shed. He went outside to investigate. He figured the horses were stomping or pawing on the shed for whatever reason since they like to stand around the back of it. He walked to the gate and shined a flashlight and didn’t see them but caught a glimpse of them by the shed he stores his implements in….and, Ace seemed awfully tall. So, the hub went walking out to the shed and as he got closer, he saw Ace had loaded himself into the little trailer that he hauls wood in and was teeter-tottering while Doc just stood there and stared. We suspect Doc put him up to it…..kinda like the older brother triple-dog daring the younger brother just to see what would happen but not suffer getting into trouble when they got caught. As my hub got closer, he saw Ace jump out of the side of the trailer and then they both took off. Busted!! Upon further investigation, he saw where they’d busted one of the boards on the tailgate of the trailer, apparently trying to get it off. The tailgate was laying on the ground (it was on the trailer before). He also noticed where one of the boards was busted in the floor of the trailer, apparently one of Ace’s front hooves when through the floor. Luckily, no one was hurt but we’re still scratching our heads as to why and how?? ……never a dull moment at our house and makes us wonder what the “kids” will be up to next!!