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Karen's Horse Paintings Blog - October 2008


Awe He's Cool
Posted October 30, 2008

Awe He's Cool is such wonderful name for this loud Appaloosa gelding! My eyes were riveted to his splashy coloring as I photographed the young gelding, nicknamed Jyedee, which is Thai for "good hearted." He was cool!

The pose I chose to paint will surely dismay a few members of my family (who will remain nameless - but include my mother and lovely daughter) who believe I have painted WAY too many horse butts already, "butt" this pose captures Jyedee's wonderful colors and lively spirit in a way a head shot would never accomplish.

I have to admit, I took dozens of photos of his rump! The patterns and form create wonderful compositions, which I may use in the future in for a series of abstract equine paintings.

Jyedee's owner, Connie, is also enamored by his beautiful spots. Here's an excerpt from the Beautiful Horses of Michigan nomination form she submitted:

"Awe, he's cool! That's the first think I said when I saw him, aged two weeks in two small pictures on the internet. I thought about him all night, obsessed. He became ours the next day. . . .He was leggy, loud colored; dark bay with a blanket and spots, and more spots, and more spots. . . . His registered name? The first words I said when I first saw him . . . Awe He's Cool."

Awe He's Cool's painting is part of my "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" series. Click here to see all the paintings completed in the series so far.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Posted October 28, 2008

This buckskin beauty is Adalia, a three year old Andalusian mare by Santiago. She and her owner, Jill, attended the Fiesta Midwest to participate in the PRE inscription and revision processes. Adalia, like most Pure Spanish Horses, most likely will eventually turn pure white. Only time will tell. For now, Jill is enjoying Adalia's rare buckskin color!

One of the reasons I did this painting of Adalia is that my daughter, who recently graduated from Ohio University down in Athens, Ohio, met a great friend there whose name is also Adalia. Never having heard that name before, I was amazed to find an Andalusian horse who is also named Adalia. I looked up "adalia" and it is a Spanish girl's name meaning "noble."

posted by Karen Brenner

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Posted October 24, 2008

Confiado is a power house of a horse. A rare copper bay Andalusian stallion, Confiado is big and strong, yet amazingly loving when handled by his petite owner Maureen! Exuding power and strength, Confiado galloped freely through his pasture. He was wonderful to photograph! Why then is his portrait a quiet moment in profile? Maureen told me that what she loves most about Confiado are his expressive eyes. Her adoration for this overwhelming horse, is demonstrated in the firm, consistent way she controlled him. Their mutual respect for one another seemed to be expressed in the way Confiado obediently yielded to her-- not out of fear, but out of well thought out kindness.

Confiado's painting is part of my "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" series. Click here to see all the paintings completed in the series so far.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Posted October 22, 2008

Amistad is a black Andalusian stallion with the a chiseled face that seems to impart yoda-like intelligence to this beautiful horse. He competes in dressage for his owners Ryan Prince and Ray Freson of Prince-Freson Equestrian Services. You can find several YouTube videos staring Amistad, but none come close to the wonderful experience of meeting him in person.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Posted October 17, 2008

The shadow Tempest, a Percheron Paint, cast in the early morning sunshine emphasized his strength and stature. Like a huge tree casting a cool shadow, Tempest seemed like he would be content if we all gathered our lawn chairs under his shade canopy. He'd simply calmly continue munching on the grass. Of course, we'd have to shift our seating arrangements as he moved along to different patches of grass....

And you wouldn't want to be lounging around if he started showing off his cantering and galloping skills. Thundering around the outdoor arena, Tempest demonstrated that bulk plus power can be very impressive!

Tempest is owned by Lauren and her two daughters Erin, who trail rides with Tempest, and Gail, who rides dressage with him. Lauren wrote, "Tempest has been a spectacular horse for us and has livened up our barn. He loves to play and he definitely knows how handsome he is."

Tempest is the seventh horse in the "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" series. Click here to see all the paintings completed in the series so far.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Armas Realejo
Posted October 16, 2008

This Andalusian, Armas Realejo, was amazing. His flowing mane, beautiful conformation and flowing movement are beyond description. You can find out more about him on his Joya de Andalucia web page. Be sure to click on the site's Home link to see a gorgeous photo of Armas Realejo by the famous equine photographer Bob Langrish.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Beautiful pic of a beautiful subject.. Just wanted to make one comment regarding your use of the word "confirmation" as I think you meant "conformation" : )   - Charlee
[Thanks Charlee - I fixed that typo! - Karen]



Snap E Traveller
Posted October 10, 2008

This is one of my favorite horses ever! Snap E Traveller loved the camera! He was hilarious as he raced around his large pasture with his head cocked ever so slightly, checking to be sure I was capturing his every move. He was having fun! And to top it off, he cantered right up behind me and snorted down my neck -- making my hair fly up in my face. I loved his fun-loving spirit and confidence!

Marilyn, his owner wrote, "There is something about this horse that captures the hearts of anyone, man, woman, or child who is in his presence. This horse exudes personality from every inch of his being." That's so true! I will never forget my brief adventure with him! Marilyn added, "He knows over a dozen commands from the ground and actually enjoys being involved in human conversations.... I wish I had a barn full of horses like Snappy. He is truly one in a million."

What a character! I have to smile every time I think of Snappy!

posted by Karen Brenner

2 Comments -- Click here to add your comment

Your artwork is stunning! I absolutely LOVE horse paintings and yours are the best so far! I am only 14, but I draw horses and I have always dreamed of being able to paint horses like this! Fabulous!!! - Savanna

Beautiful painting of a beautiful horse! - Tara


Andalusian mare and foal

Gaea and Ferendo
Posted October 8, 2008

Everyone loves a mare and foal! Gaea and Ferendo were crowd favorites at the Fiesta Midwest, and when it was their turn to gallop through the field for people to take photos we were all snapping away! The bay Andalusian duo created quite a stir!

Gaeia and Ferendo belong to Gabi, who breeds wonderful Andalusians at her farm, Yeguada Romerito. Fiesta Midwest 2008 was spearheaded by Gabi; she and her team of volunteers created a fantastic event! I hope there will be a Fiesta Midwest 2009.

Gabi's stallion, Romerito, is part of the Beautiful Horses of Michigan series, and I just started the drawing phase of his painting yesterday.

posted by Karen Brenner

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chiariscuro horse painting paint

Mood Lighting for Horses
Posted October 3, 2008

Everyone who's done morning or evening chores (which would include just about every horse owner) knows that sometimes the light coming through an open door or window can be breathtaking. A thin band of brilliant sunlight streaming into the darkness -- falling just right -- can create a a dramatic living work of art.

Historically artists use the term Chiaroscuro to describe the strong contrast of light and dark to depict volume in a painting. Artists throughout the centuries have featured this dramatic lighting in their work. Probably the most famous, thanks to a contemporary movie by the same name, is Vermeer's Girl with Pearl Earring. Many of Rembrandt's most dramatic paintings are lit by a strong source of light - candlelight or sunlight from a small window.

What's that got to do with me??? I've always love chiaroscuro, and happened to be at the right place at the right time to capture one of the horses in my "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" project as the light streamed into a dark indoor riding arena and fell on his beautiful, volumetric, muscular body. Lucky me! And it was of course the pose I chose for his painting.

Here's how it happened. . . We were driving from one barn to the next on course to visit barn number three on my list of five for the day, when we came upon a detour. This of course threw me off target - with my MapQuest directions no longer viable. Usually it's not a problem if the detour signs are clear. Of course, they were not clear, and soon we were lost somewhere in Michigan. Plus, did I mention the pouring rain? Pouring so hard that we could not see two feet in front of the windshield? We were very lost. Luckily I had a phone number for Denise, so I called and her husband gave me directions to the barn. And we found it! When we arrived it was still raining so hard I didn't even want to get out of the car to run five feet to the barn door. But Denise was there motioning me in, so, being on a tight timeline - and not wanting to look like a wimp - I made a quick dash for the door. I was immediately and thoroughly soaked. Oh well . . . when I saw Mr. Skips Geronamo, I knew it was worth it. Here was one beautiful horse!

I count that downpour as a blessing in disguise because it forced Skippy's photo shoot indoors, and the lighting near the large open barn door fell wonderfully on his beautiful white coat, accentuating his sleek, muscular body. It was a chiaroscuro moment!

Even though the rain let up so his owners, Denise and Nikki, could take Skippy outside for some pictures, his photos I took inside that dark arena are among my favorites from my whole Michigan trip.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Blowing in the Wind
Posted October 1, 2008

Purple and black ribbons frame Cruz's face as he ventured out for a walk on the windy grounds at Roberts Arena where he was competing, and winning, at the Fiesta Midwest 2008. I liked how his direct gaze was slightly masked by the ribbons and the way his long, flowing mane tucks under his chin, so I decided this would be a great pose for a painting!

Cruz lives at Centaur Farms in Hooksville, PA. Here is a link to his website. If you click on the Fiesta Midwest link on his page, you'll find a copy of my original photo that I based this painting on and a lovely photo I took of Cruz with his mane braided. I might need to paint that someday! Of course you'll see other great photos of this wonderful stallion as well!

posted by Karen Brenner

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About Karen

Karen Brenner is passionate
about horses and art!
She enjoys traveling to horse farms
and equine events to
photograph horses
for reference material
for her horse paintings.

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The last half of
September 2008

More Michigan Horses
Amish Photos
Horse Crafts!

August- mid-September 2008
First Beautiful Horses of MI
All Horse Parade Photos
New Andalusian Paintings
Steeplechase Paintings
Camargo Hunt Paintings

June & July 2008
Michigan Trip
Friesian Paintings
Sorpresa's on YouTube

May 2008
New Andalusian Paintings for Fiesta Midwest
YouTube Video - Karen's equine apprentice, DJ

April 2008
Rolex Cross Country
House of the Friesians
Amish Country Photo Safari

March 2008
A Book!
Aiken Spring Steeplechas


Behind the Bit


Equus Caballus

Experiments in
Training Equines


The Horsehoeing Housewife

Manes n Tails

Midwest Horse Blog

Nuzzling Muzzles

Stable Scoop Radio Show

Teachings of the Horse





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