Second Chances (Dancing Horses)

Dug this out of the attic the other day. It wasn’t finished. I’d shoved it into a portfolio one day several years back after filling in just the background, the horses’ eyes and nostrils, and the mane and tail on one of the animals (can you guess which?)

Three or four moves later, there it was in my hand again. Blank white horses, flat as paper. Waiting patiently for brush and pigment to quicken them to life…

3 White Horses watercolor painting

It wasn’t until a day or so after finally completing the piece that I realized how significant it was that I’d picked this piece, out of the couple dozen unfinished paintings I’d started and abandoned over the past fifteen years,  to finish first.

Fifteen years of unsettled living, punctuated with excruciating creative blocks. Stressful times, and fearful times. Fear of not stacking up. Fear of losing control if I let myself follow my dreams.

Is this time different? Am I deluding myself to think that now, after starting up and drying up countless many times, I’m finally ready to let that creative river that’s been dammed up inside me for so long run free?

I’m not going to think about that. Instead, I’m posting this painting.

Orange. The color of the sacral chakra. The creative center of body and mind.

Violet, for the crown chakra: spirit and soul.

Horses. My personal totem animal. Horses to carry me over obstacles. Wild horses, running free.

Here is the message I hope this painting brings to the world:

It’s not too late. Dig out your buried dreams. Dust them off, and mount them again. Don’t think about where they’re taking you. Just enjoy the ride. So what if you fall? You will have tasted the wind.  

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

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Asian Wild Horses: link to the past, hope for the future

"The Return," watercolor sketch, 11x14" 2010

A couple of weekends ago we had some business in Minneapolis and decided to stay an extra day and make it an outing.  So we headed to one of my favorite places – the Minnesota Zoo!

Of course I’ve always been a horse nut.  Since I didn’t bring my paints on the trip, I was thankful to be able to snap a few photos of the Asian Wild Horses before my camera battery died.   (I’m also thankful that nobody seems to want to call them Przewalski’s horses anymore.  What a mouthful!)

I was intrigued to learn that Asian wild horses have a different number of chromosomes than domestic horses – 66 instead of 64.  I wonder if that has any connection to the fact that, unlike American mustangs, they have never been domesticated and are truly wild creatures?

Their primitive appearance provides a living link to  the prehistoric animals featured in the famous Lascaux cave paintings.  Painting them, I hoped to capture the spirit of the animal and its timeless connection to the natural world.

Asian wild horses are one of those wildlife success stories that lend hope for the future.  When I was a kid there were none left in the wild.  Today there’s a thriving herd of over 300 Asian wild horses roaming free on the steppes of Eurasia.

The title I chose for this sketch, “The Return,” pays tribute to this creature’s indomitable spirit, as well as the dedication and hard work provided by zoos around the world, without which the Asian Wild Horse would have disappeared forever.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne