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Karen Brenner's Horse Paintings Blog - March 2009


A Will Rogers Quote & Three Quarter Horses
Posted March 27, 2009

This Will Rogers quote makes me chuckle! "There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

The painting accompanying the quote is one of my favorites of my three Quarter Horses, DJ, Echo and Ollie. Ironically, the three were recent escapees from my electric fence enclosed mini pasture. Yes, a neighbor rang my door bell the day before yesterday. "Your horses are out again," he said when I opened the door. "Darn," was my reply as I headed for the garage to throw on my muck boots and then to the barn to grab a bucket full of grain. Luckily they are were easy to lure back into the pasture with tasty treats.

But this was the second time this month they'd escaped.

I decided it was time to plug in the electric fence! I could say some people have to pee on the electric fence twice for a lesson to hit home.

Click here to download and print the newest quote/painting/to-do list.

posted by Karen Brenner

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The Arts. Ask for More.
Posted March 20, 2009









The Americans for the Arts offers 10 Different Ways Parents Can Get More Art in Their Kids' Lives. It is part of their "The Arts. Ask for More" campaign. And their banner ad posted above is one of many offered on their website.

If you have children or grandchildren, are you encouraging them to be involved with the arts? The Americans for the Arts website also has ideas for things you can do at home to encourage artistic development: Activities you can do with your children.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Michigan Horse Expo is Expo-sational!
Posted March 19, 2009

I had such a great time at the Michigan Horse Expo that I had to make up a new word to describe it - "expo-sational!" Yes, the explanation point in part of the official spelling.

Thank you - Michigan Horse Council - for coordinating such a wonderful event!!!

The Expo attracted crowds of horse lovers. And, I had a wonderful location for my "Horse Paintings by Karen Brenner" booth. Droves of people walked by and many stopped in their tracks as they passed to admire my paintings. Hey, that does wonders for my ego! I love sharing my artwork!

For those of you who couldn't make the Expo, I've patched together two photos of my booth to give you a virtual look inside.

The 37 "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" paintings were on display. People of all ages had fun voting for their favorite. The painting with the most votes at the Expo was Hot Streak. The contest continues through March 31. To read more about the contest and to vote online, click here.

The Beautiful Horses of Michigan paintings, along with stories about each horse, are in a special section of my website: Page 1 | Page 2

Directly across the aisle from my Expo booth was the SHAMWOW booth, which provided me with hours of entertainment.

Don and Don, the father-son team who ran the booth, are super guys. I loved hearing people who were strolling down the aisle say aloud, "Sham Wow. Sham WOW!" I almost have Don's sales pitch memorized. My favorite part is the "Cash in trash" line used as Don tosses a handful of wet paper towels over his right shoulder as he demonstrates that paper towels cannot begin to absorb even a fraction of the water that a ShamWow can easily suck up. You can email Don at don.jaco@live.com to order your own set!

ShamWows are really popular! People stopped to get their photos taken with the ShamWow guys! Imagine. Okay -- you don't have to use your imagination! Here's my photo with Don!

I was having so much fun talking to people in my booth that I didn't get to spend much time listening to the experts giving seminars or watching the stallion demonstrations at the Expo. I did sneak away to see Al Ragusin and his dancing horse seminar where I picked up some ideas to try with Sorpresa and The Giant Horse (Echo). I also got to see Confiado and Romerito, two wonderful Andalusian stallions that were part of my series. They were part of the Expo's Stallion Demonstrations. I also saw Cate and Bart (On Black Ice) shoot it out with Custer's Cowboys! Bart was the flashiest horse in the demo!

And I just happened to be outside when Baron from Friesian Spirit Horse Farm was in the arena, sparkling in the sunshine. I had to run for my camera so I could snap some photos of this beautiful stallion. I'm pretty sure he will be appearing in one of my upcoming paintings! Here's one of his pictures:

I hope to return to Michigan in July to photograph horses of commissions. I really love Michigan! (I told true blue- well, true Scarlet and Gray - Ohio State fan husband that from now on I'm cheering for Michigan! He's not happy.)

posted by Karen Brenner

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"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
Posted March 19, 2009

We all make a difference in the lives of others. William James' quote, "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." points out the fact that our actions can and do make a difference. A smile can brighten a stranger's day. A random act of kindness can bring encouragement to others. Sharing a moment with someone you care about can be the lift that they need.

If your actions make a difference, what actions will you consciously take today to make a positive difference?

Click here to download and print the newest quote/painting/to-do list.

posted by Karen Brenner

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"Life is too short to be taken seriously."
Posted March 12, 2009

This Oscar Wilde quote, "Life is too short to be taken seriously," helps me refocus. While news sources seem to focus on what's going wrong with the economy, shootings, floods, and every little bad thing they can discover and share, it can be a struggle not to spend an inappropriate amount of time dwelling on negativity. We need to make a conscious effort to say, "Hey, I'm going to think about all the good things around me." Remember that hymn "Count your many blessings."

Brian Williams on NBC's Nightly News has been ending each program this week with some good news. Kudos to the network for taking a risk and including good news in their broadcast. I would encourage them to devote even more time to reporting positive news. I wonder this change has effected their ratings. I certainly try to tune in to their station for the good news!

If serious = frown and lighthearted = smile, take time to sprinkle your day with smiles!

Click here to download and print the newest quote/painting/to-do list.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Australian Cattle Dogs - My New Favorite!
Posted March10, 2009

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you may remember a few months ago I started a painting of Roxy, the Australian Cattle Dog who belongs to my sons' friend Scurvy. Here's the finished painting. As you can see, Roxy is a very colorful dog. A real sweetheart!

I love this breed! I am happy to announce that my two sons have just gotten Australian Cattle Dog puppies!!! In the photo below you'll see Pearl (with the black mohawk - as my son describes her) and Smokey (with a full black mask), who just joined their household! Roxy, Scurvy's dog, is keeping a close watch over the new pups! Aren't they the cutest!

I've read a little about Australian Cattle Dogs, because I want to get one someday. Part wild Dingo, these dogs were breed in Australia (surprise!) to help herd cattle in the tough terrain. The first crosses were super at herding cattle, but also were enthusiastic about herding people and horses, so careful breeding (perhaps with dalmations) resulted in dogs that are great companions for both horses and people.

Here are two links so you can read about Australian Cattle Dogs - Puppies & History and More Information.

posted by Karen Brenner

2 Comments -- Click here to add your comment

I have to say I love ACDs too!! I am just waiting for the day we move so that I can have one to call my own!!! Have a blast with your new editions!! - Jennifer

This is a great article. I've had my Australian Cattle Dog for nearly 10 years now. Horus is a working dog, and I know what you mean about trying to 'herd' the horses, as well as everyone! He's so good natured. I really love this breed! Thank you! - Cher


Hey, is this a great quote for the week I'm traveling to Michigan?
Posted March 4, 2009

Thursday I hit the road with the Beautiful Horses of Michigan paintings! I'm so excited about having the opportunity to display the paintings at the Michigan Horse Expo in Lansing, MI. I love having the chance to have people see my paintings in person!

It will be extra exciting because some of the horses I met last summer, and painted as part of the series, will actually be at the Expo!

The Chinese Proverb says, "The journey is the reward." As an artist, sharing my artwork with others is a reward.

Click here to download and print the newest quote/painting/to-do list.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Vote for your Favorite Beautiful Horses of Michigan Painting!
Posted March 4, 2009

I love contests! Especially if there are prizes! You could win $25 worth of merchandise from my Cafe Press shops just by voting for your favorite Beautiful Horses of Michigan painting!

The contest runs throughout March. And you can vote TWICE! Once online - using the online ballot, and once in person at the Michigan Horse Expo, March 13-15 in Lansing, MI.

Click here to read more about the contest and to vote online.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Posted March 3, 2009

As I was mucking stalls this morning, I couldn't help thinking about a tweet I read on Twitter the other day, and it made me smile:

@pete_shield wrote: "Spent Sunday collecting horse manure from wild horses on Mont Tauch, oh the joys of organic gardening"

That makes count my MANY blessings!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Karen Brenner is passionate
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She enjoys traveling to horse farms
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