Years ago, I lived in a community where there were many horses, quarter horses, thoroughbreds, and Arabian horses. We had a racetrack at the nearby fairgrounds, which attracted many horse shows. I was able to see many beautiful horses, and meet their owners. I decided that I would paint a few horse portraits, beginning with the most famous race horses, Secretariat, and John Henry. I followed that with a few quarter horses, but was finally inspired to paint several Arabian horses.
I found some interesting qualities about the horse owners. The people who owned quarter horses were nice people, who treated their horses well, had practical working horses, and also showed their horses, which were gorgeous. But, being practical people, were not interested in having portraits done of their horses. But the people who owned the thoroughbreds did enjoy paintings of race horses, especially famous ones. They were the people who purchased my horse paintings.
After that I thought, since Arabians are also beautiful, so maybe I could do well by painting some famous Arabian horses. I planned to start by creating a few paintings of these well-known (in the Arabian horse world) horses. I got permission to paint “Gdansk”a polish Arabian horse, and followed up by doing portraits of “Bey el Bey”, a horse from the Santa Barbra area. During that time, I attended many Arabian horse shows, took photos, met the horse owners, etc.
Finally, I thought I’d do a painting of three well-known horses, all related, and owned by a well-known Arabian horse breeder. I figured that if I put her in the painting, it would be a sure fire seller, to the owner hopefully. I went to meet her in Santa Barbra, at a horse show, and was able to show her the painting, which she looked at briefly, with no comment. That ended my interest in doing Arabian horse commissions paintings on speculation. I ended up painting the owner out of the three horse painting, and finally sold the painting to someone else. I’ll post the painting on Facebook, soon since it is a very nice painting.
After that, I approached a few Arabian horse owners, and actually got a couple of commissions. As I did the photography for the portraits, and spoke with the Arabian horse owners, I began to get strange requests for the portraits. The owners were asking me to change the size of the horses eyes, to make them appear larger, slim down the horses neck to make it look thinner, and basically alter the actual look of the horse to a more fantasy version of their horse. After visiting the horse barns, I noticed the Arabian horse owners did things to their horses to alter the horses necks; bandaging them at the throat, to make the neck slimmer, putting drops in the eyes to make them look more luminous. Breeders of Kentucky Walker horses, actually broke the horse’s tail, and then taped it in an upright position, so the tail would flow more.
As I met more Arabian horse owners, I realized that I would never be comfortable working with these horse owners. These owners did not seem to be animal lovers at all. So, I decided to stick with painting wildlife. But I would love to paint more horses someday.
If you’d like to see some of my wildlife Paintings, Click Here