Posts Tagged ‘teamster’

Painting a day 2016-Day 23-Blinded eye-draft horse study

April 2, 2016
Blinded eye-draft horse study 5"x7" oil on canvas panel

Blinded eye-draft horse study
                  5″x7″ oil on canvas panel

“To be an artist is to believe in life”
-Henry Moore

I have found, while plein air painting, that one of the biggest challenges is to focus on your subject and try to only include it and supporting detail.  As a beginner, you see it all so you want to put it all in your painting.  Squint your eyes…that is what most instructors will remind you.  That does help….if I remember to do it.  Maybe I need to remind myself to look at the subject with “blinders”.  Blinders are meant to keep a horse focused on the road ahead and looking forward….kinda like plein air painting before the light changes.

Here’s another in my series of draft horses.  This guy had one blue eye and one brown eye….those blue eyes in horses are eerily beautiful.  This painting is based on some photo reference I took at my uncle’s farm while he and my cousin were tetting (fluffing) hay so that it dries quicker, with a team of horses.  I believe this big guy’s name was “Bud” and he was part Clydesdale–beautiful horse.


Feb 13, 2012 — John

February 14, 2012


Day 13



Historic farming event

John grinding corn at the 2011 event

Day 13

Painting A Day Project


I “met” John several years ago at the Historic Horse, Mule, and Oxen Farming Days outside of Gerald, MO.  John and his teammate were owned by a very nice, elderly teamster.  Typically, John and his teammate were used at the corn grinding demonstration.  They walked in circles, hitched to the tongue which then turned the grinder.  You could tell John was well trained and worked well for his teamster.  John would work on voice command, allowing his teamster to talk with the event visitors, some who would’ve never had the opportunity to see how cornmeal or feed was ground “back in the day”.  Most just know that cornmeal comes in a bag from the store shelf…..and prior to that was probably ground in a large factory with automated machinery.

A couple of years ago, I noticed that John and his teammate were at the event but there was a younger man and woman working with him.  I asked around and found out that John’s teamster was the young woman’s grandfather and that he’d passed on.  Sad to hear and now I wished I would’ve talked with the gentleman a bit more a few years ago.  It did make me happy that his granddaughter and her boyfriend were continuing to work John and bring him to events like this….even though John is starting to get up in years as well.  I hope they continue to do so because the number of teamsters and well trained animals is shrinking year after year.  I think it is important for each younger generation to get to see these demonstrations and learn how things were done.  What would everyone do if there was a disaster and everyone had to go back to a lot of the “old ways” of doing things???