These, of course, all have a story for me. They also have meaning all their own for everyone. I believe they are very symbolic of LIFE. We are so new to the world really and that is reflected in these long legged young looking horses. It takes a horse 7 years to grow into their long legs, much of the time they don’t even have a clue where they’ve placed their feet. We are much the same way. Learning to grow into ourselves and figure out where our feet go.
Read below for more about what I believe their individual messages may be.
The sculpture “Look!” says that each of us individually are unique and we have to look for the ways we are to share the unique quality or qualities we have been gifted with the world in positive ways.
Watch! is waiting for what we all need. Others to share our lives with. No one is an island and relationships are hard sometimes. We need to watch out for everyone in our lives we care so much about.
“Relax!” is a sculpture whose message is very important in our world today. We take very little time to relax and have fun and enjoy our lives. We measure our success by how many boxes we have checked and how much we get done each day.
and “Leap!” …what can I say? If you know horses well, then you know what a horse does the first time they take a leap over something. They jump way Way WAY high over that something – even if it is a very very small something. This horse is leaping from the edge of it’s base into – nothing. Whenever we make a leap, it is very often the same. We go high and out into the unknown. “Leap!” says “Go For It!!”.
“Itchy!” is very deeply meaningful, playful as he is. We want to know, experience, and live much of our lives in the future where one day when that itch gets scratched everything will be as we think we know it should be. If we scratch each itch as it happens in the present and pay attention to how good THAT feels we may find happiness today!
and “Step High!” – always in motion and full of great advice – If you look at her back legs, she has just made a last minute directional change. But she doesn’t hesitate and she’s proud of her new direction. The message here is the acceptance of change. It’s going to happen anyway, might as well proudly move towards it!
Today, this series of equine sculpture is collected by art connoisseurs who can’t have only one. They have been with me at shows and when viewed bring smiles to so many. I hope they inspire as many positive messages to others as they have brought my way since that first day I imagined them.
“Owl Ate the Blue Moon” – or affectionately known as Owley, is a half life-size sculpture of a Northern Spotted Owl. I love these little bird’s faces and they are an endangered species of bird too – since they prefer to live and nest in old growth forests and there is not very much old growth forest left these days.
Little Owl Ate has tasted something that he holds in one feathery foot. What is that? It’s a little blue moon of course.
I have many ideas and sketches in the planning stages for sculpting more endangered species animals for the Blue Moon Series. A Sumatran Elephant will be finished at the end of 2016, an Oaxaca Humming Bird, and Arctic Wolf, a Pygmy Hippo an Amur Leopard, a Polar Bear, Sea Otter and Rothschild Giraffe are all in my imagination.
I lived out on the prairie where Lakota Sioux tribes lived once upon a time. Wind was a frequent companion there. I had a hard time finding peace inside when the wind was howling outside and so I put that restless howling energy into a series of horse sculptures and named each one after the Lakota Sioux’s legend of the founding of the four (wind) directions.
I think it’s important to maintain a dialogue about the culture of the indigenous people who live wherever we find ourselves. We can talk about the history from a one-dimensional historical perspective, of course. But that doesn’t help much to keep all the unique cultures there are and have been integrated into all of humankind. In a sense dry historical facts just keep us separated from one another. We call where I live, the United States, a melting pot. But truly long before we were here there was already a great diversity of peoples here with a myriad of cultures, languages and legends.
Like many peoples throughout history and still today, the Lakota Sioux thought of the world in metaphysical ways. The Legend of the Four directions (Tate Topa) is a way of learning certain aspects of the world which can be inwardly understood and applied to our own walk here on earth.
Yata, the North Wind (tate waziyata kiya) is the first of the series, he is beautiful horse-wind god leaning into the wind.
Also, he is a bit melancholy as the spirit of summer has fallen in love with his brother, Okaga, the South Wind, (tate itokagata kiya) instead of him.
Eya, the West Wind (tate wiyohpeyata kiya) was always either tongue-tied around the fine maiden or was too boisterous for her liking. This sculpture is Eya in his shyness around her.
Yanpa, the East Wind (tate wiyohinyanpata kiya) – still in progress in my studio – will be finished in bronze toward the end of this year.
I started this series because I want my art to be available to anyone…and that means going small sometimes. Not everyone has the living space for larger sculptures and the Mini-Mustangs fit the “fit anywhere” bill! I am happy to say there will be a whole herd of them (10 in all) and the first three are in bronze at select galleries – so if you are lucky enough to be where you can see them you will be blown away! Their patinas are always changing but are the same beautiful signature patinas that are on the larger sculpture. And, no detail is sacrificed by going small. You will be blown away by these small but mighty sculptures, I promise!
The Party Animal Series could be considered my very FIRST series because way back I had an idea for a sculpture that was never cast into bronze and that was sculpture is called “Horse-In-A-Round”. You can read my discussion of this sculpture on my Blogger Web blog here.
The series was continued in Jackson Hole the second week of September 2014 when a gallery there hosted an artist visit for me. I started sculpting the second horse for that series in that gallery to demo how I create my sculpture.
The name of this BIG – almost SIX FOOT high sculpture is “Magical” depicting a horse who has just arrived at a party wearing her special party hat; A Unicorn Horn! I talk about this piece more on my Web Blog and discuss pre-cast pricing for this sculpture.
I have decided not to sell this beautiful original. For one thing, I like how it looks in the living room. Also. Since it is made from paper clay it really is quite fragile. Maybe one day she will live in a museum…after prying her out of my cold dead hands…mwaah ha ha … 🙂
I have released the FIRST sculpture in this series this year! It is a powerful and stunning sculpture of a mountain lion.
The sculpture is called “Rocky Mountain Meow”.
The sculpture Meow represents balance. This big cat has a big ecological significance. Meow is an advocate to “Get Back the Cat”. How important this apex predator is! And not just for the western states where this elusive animal still lives in the wild. As deer populations continue to increase across the U.S., getting back the cat – often called the best hunter in the world – would be a very good thing. You can visit Meow exclusively (for now) at Raitman Art Gallery. Did I mention only 12 in this edition?
This is an important series, just as the Blue Moon series is important. I Love Love Love horses and they are my muse, BUT. The innocence of the animals of this world. They make no pretenses as they share the earth with us – and, even though we are so separate from their existence most of our lives – their depiction in art is so important. Like the wilderness areas they themselves live in, they remind us (to paraphrase Dave Foreman) that “we are not gods”.
Art is not simply a commodity when it calls on us to reflect upon the diversity of the remaining inhabitants of our world. Their intrinsic beauty, their variation of form, their personalities and mysteries…these creations of mine and the art of so many others – are a tribute to those real creations of God’s. The wilderness and it’s inhabitants reconnect us to the separation our modern lives often create. It’s re-creation in art provides us a way to re-connect to the grandeur of the wild!