13th Series Design Meanings and Style

Golden Feather
Artist: Lynn Bean

Experimenting with gold leaf and porcelain paints, and working with abstract designs and a carved saddle made of feathers, Lynn Bean has given “Golden Feather Pony” a textured depth and radiant beauty.

Much of the appeal of Painted Ponies is the way they invite artists to let their imaginations run wild. With this Pony, Lynn Bean, an all-star Painted Pony artist, decided to take an artistic detour. She began by gold-leafing her entire Pony. Then, using rich and colorful porcelain paints, she added splashy abstract designs. Finally, where a saddle usually sits, she outfitted her Pony with large, jeweled feathers. In the end, she invented a magical creature that is out of this world. 

Lynn also created Golden Feathers, Fetish, Copper Enchantment and Gingerbread Ponies.


Zorse, Hiding in Plain Sight
Artist: Patrisha Renk Mayer

As difficult as it has been to breed a Zebra to a Horse in reality, the Santa Fe mixed-media artist Patrisha Renk Mayer has combined visual elements of the two breeds into a clever and boldly colorful design that is rich with hidden meanings.

Zoologists tell us that the black-and-white stripes on a zebra were designed by evolution to confuse lions in the wild, making them all but invisible because they are indistinguishable from grass and brush – until they move. Bringing a lighthearted sense of play to this concept, this mixed-media artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico has created a hybrid creature – a zebra/horse cross whose DNA creates a coat that retains the stripes of a zebra, while at the same time exhibiting the complete color spectrum visible to humans, the most fearsome predator on the planet.


Wovoka's Vision
Artist: Devon Archer

“Wovoka’s Vision” takes its inspiration from the historic and tragic Ghost Dance, as the artist who gave us “Trail of Honor” has incorporated into her Painted Pony design colors and symbols from the apparel associated with this hopeful but heartbreaking tradition.

It began with a solar eclipse on January 1, 1889: A Paiute medicine man named Wovoka had a vision that turned into a movement known as the Ghost Dance. Wovoka’s dream centered on a ceremony he believed would reunite the living with the loved ones in the ghost world, replenish the buffalo, and ultimately restore the world to its original beauty. In his memory, and as a tribute to this important chapter in American Indian history, Devon Archer, a Virginia artist, has created a Painted Pony inspired by the colors and symbols that can be found on the traditional Ghost Dance shirts and dresses.


Carved in History
Artist: Chad Brady

One of America’s most fascinating forms of artistic expression is decoratively carved leather saddles, belts, chaps, and buckles. Chad Brady has created a stunning tribute with “Carved in History,” which was a finalist in the national competition, “America the Beautiful.”

It’s a Western tradition for American cowboys to ride saddles that are decorated with elegant, delicately carved floral and geometric patterns, and in some cases embroidered with gold and silver ornaments. With this in mind, Virginia artist and craftsman Chad Brady, whose uncle has been a cobbler for over 30 years making fancy chaps for rodeo cowboys, keeps the spirit alive with a Painted Pony he has beautifully tooled with floral, oak leaf and acorn patterns.


Tribal Paint
Artist: Vickie Knepper

Vickie Knepper broke people’s hearts with her powerful “Wounded Knee,” and she is back again with a first-rate rendering of a little-known American Indian tradition on a Pony named “Tribal Paint.”

Warriors from tribes across the Plains often wore feathers that were marked and painted in ways that told of their accomplishments in battle. In this fashion they would sometimes intimidate opponents who would be scared off after “reading” the stories related on the feathers. But sometimes they would also become the target of warriors who sought encounters with powerful opponents as a way of gaining personal power. With “Tribal Paint”, Iowa artist Vickie Knepper, creator of the heartbreaking collectible ”Wounded Knee,” continues to use Painted Ponies to relate interesting and little-known stories about Plains Indian life.


Earth Angels
Artist: Maria Ryan

The brilliant Maria Ryan has created an absolutely gorgeous tribute to transformational possibilities in life and new beginnings with “Earth Angels,” which seems almost to be carried aloft by delicate, sparkling butterflies.

Butterflies are like little angels with colorful wings, symbolizing change and growth… the transformation from one life form to another more beautiful. With this Painted Pony, Maria Ryan, a wildlife colorist, has created a gift to everyone who feels life has been a journey for them that has brought them to a place of emergence to be shared with others. “My hope is that ‘Earth Angels’ encourages people to make conscious changes to their lives for the better, to create new conditions in which they can flourish, and make their dreams come true.”


Night Flower
Artist: Marrianne Hornbuckle

In this release you will find the lovely “Night Flower,” the second Pony by the Santa Fe flower-painter Marianne Hornbuckle whose “Apparoosa” was retired several years ago. A special casting process was used with this Pony so that even though it is made of ceramic, the flowers have dimensionality.

Peonies bloom profusely in early June when the soft summer sky is dark and alive with stars and a new moon. Their huge pale flowers, nestled in deep-green leaves, glow with spectacular beauty at that time. With “Night Flower,” Marianne Hornbuckle, whose love of gardening led her to paint large and luminous flowers, has created a Painted Pony that becomes one with the peonies as she wanders through the magic of a summer garden at night.


Petroglyph Pony
Artist: Lynn Bean

The second ceramic Pony, “Petroglyph Pony,” by the ever-ingenious Lynn Bean, is also the result of a challenging casting process as great lengths were gone to to get the complex details of her original Painted Pony perfect.

Lynn Bean is an artist nationally acclaimed for the way she experiments with different materials in her paintings. And so it was that, after a trek to a remote canyon in the Southwest where she was impressed by the thoughtful use prehistoric “cave painters” made of rough rock walls, turning them into textured and sculptural canvases on which they carved images of horses, she decided to create a Painted Pony that captured not only the spirit, but the look of these ancient equine petroglyphs.

Lynn also created Golden Feathers, Fetish, Copper Enchantment and Gingerbread Ponies.

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