2nd Series - 2003 SUMMER - The Stories behind the Painted Ponies

Happy Trails
- resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Nevena Christi

Inspired by the Gene Autry and Roy Roger's Hollywood westerns in the '30s and '40s this deisign is cowboy retro. Nevena is an artist and former fashion designer. She also wanted to give the horse a look of tooled leather, with a vintage saddle cinched on its back. The final touch on the original life size scupture was to add an electric lariat. "I want everything I do artwise to light up."


Go van Gogh. - ceramic
Artist: Star Liana York

This tribute to the Dutch master, which combines two of his most recognizable paintings with a humorous rendition of his facial appearance, complete with a missing ear, was created by the sculptor who designed the actual horse forms used in The Trail of Painted Ponies art project. This pony has a hand-painted look and features Starry Night on one side and a wheat field with a road and flying birds on the other. Made of solid resin. Measures 6" high. As talented at painting as she is at sculpting, Star, who also breeds horses on her New Mexico ranch, knows her horses, and playfully named this piece after the famous racehorse, Go Man Go.


Vi's Violet Vision
- resin. Measures 7.25" high.
Artist: Mister E (Jason Kimble)

There are personal reasons why this artist prefers to be known by the moniker Mister E. They are suggested in the poem he provided in place of a biography: "Adopted here, adopted there. So many names, not one my own. A father a day, not one there to stay." Though his identity remains a "mystery," his talent is evident and extraordinary. From award-winning oil portraits to comic book illustrations, with this tribute to Carousel Horses, this emerging artist is making a new name for himself. Vi's Violet Vision is the only Carousel Horse in the 2002 herd of Painted Ponies.


Patrol Horse
- resin. Measures 6" high.
Artists: Dwayne and Ginger Ulibarri

Although there is a historical relationship between horses and law enforcement -- think Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Texas Rangers -- the partnership today is limited primarily to search and rescue missions and crowd control. Nevertheless, out of respect for tradition, the creative team of Dwayne and Ginger Ulibarri has created a "poster mount," smartly tacking up their Pony in an officer's uniform with badge and belt, black boots, campaign hat, handcuffs (in his mouth), shades, and the classic imperturbable expression that makes you wonder if he has eyes in the back of his head. Nothing is going to rock this Pony's world!


Sequintial: A Sequine
- resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Nancy Fleming

Nancy, who has a Fine Arts Degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, is known as a collage artist who artfully incorporates found object into her artwork, usually in some sort of repeating pattern. "I can't throw out junk mail without first removing the cancelled stamps," she says, by way of explaining how she came to cover her original full-sized horse and base with 77,000 iridescent and multi-colored sequins, giving it a subtle or striking aspect, depending on the angle of light. Seen either way, it is a striking "s-equine."


Quarter Horse
- resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Kathy Morawski

Honoring "America's Horse", Kathy Marawshil from New Jersey, design was inspired by our currency. Using the actual quarter, and the conformation of the horse breed that goes by the same name. Kathy is a former Art Director for a national magazine found the coin's detail adaptable to the horse's form. "I particularly like how the eagle's wings flower into the horse's mane and tail," Kathy said. "By focusing on the eagle and selected words of a quarter, it also offers an opportunity to reflect an additional theme of national allegiance." An aged silver finish gives the appearance and feeling of the horse having been crafted from metal.  


Rosie the Apparoosa - ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Marianne Hornbuckle

This work was created by a New Mexico artist nationally known for using the floral form as a means for exploring the relationships of color and value in painting. "Apparoosa began life as a computer design: a small rose-covered pony on a sheet of paper. When the life-size pony was delivered to my studio on a cold February day, it was exciting to imagine that blank 3-D surface growing from a sketch to a riotous display of multi-hued roses in bud and bloom, sprouting from earthen hooves and thorny branch-covered legs..."

"At first, I painted under directional light from overhead, but as the air warmed with spring, I opened the doors wide each day so each bud and blossom sprang to life in full sun. Not a single rose was repeated, and the dimensionality created by fully lit blossoms and buds on her graded neutral background gave her a depth I could not have imagined or achieved in a computer design. I dubbed her Rosie, and as she departed her first stable on a warm May day, the three real rose bushes by the studio door bloomed more profusely than any past spring, as if to compliment her radiant and unusual beauty."


Mosaic Appaloosa
- ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Bob Coonts

Although his work reflects traditional subject matters -- the West, early Americana and nature -- with a contemporary sensibility and a stylized palette, in Mosaic Appaloosa, Ft. Collins painter Bob Coonts created a wholly original interpretation of the Appaloosa.

After distinguishing himself in the field of graphic design in Colorado, Bob established a national name for himself in the fine art field with a signature style that borders on the abstract, yet reflects a true image. "I look at animals and I try to strategically place color and design elements that help define their anatomy in a different way." His paintings are part of permanent museum collections in Poland, Finland, Germany and Japan, and were displayed in special shows at the White House and Smithsonian Institution.


On Common Ground
- ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Patricia Wyatt

The unity and harmony of the feminine spirit resound in the vibrant art of California-raised Patricia Wyatt, who now lives in Santa Fe. As with her paintings, her Pony tells a story that speaks to the timeless themes of companionship and the collective power, wisdom and beauty of women around the world. Animals and lush flowering plants surround the figures on the artist's Pony, emblems of the natural world that pay tribute to the Earth, whose mysterious power awakens us all to life and connects all things.


Renewal of Life
- ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Natasha Isenhour

Natasha's travels abroad and around the Southwest have fueled her love for interpreting the "magical landscapes" she has witnessed. A dawn seen through mists hovering over the Rio Grande River that flows through a bird sanctuary in southern New Mexico inspired this work of art. Natasha used color, contrast, and countless glazes to create a sensational work of equine art. Whether she is painting on a canvas or a Pony, this artist has a unique ability to create a spiritual luminescence that invites the viewer to enter a meditative space that seems to live inside her art.


Give Me Wings
- ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Kathy Morrow
American Flag theme

Many of the Painted Ponies carry messages or themes, and this is one for our time. It was inspired by a poem Las Cruces artist Kathy Morrow wrote after the events of September 11, 2001: "I will not forget those who sacrificed on the altar of freedom. Precious freedom, give me wings to soar beyond my dreams and touch the stars." As a child of the Southwest, the artist was raised on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation, where her father trained Indian police forces. In this celebration of the horse as an American icon, Kathy captures a mood somewhere between reality and myth.


- ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Georges Monfils

When this artist conceptualized a design that depicted the "unity" of cultures and nature that thrive in the Land of Enchantment, he had no idea for the saga he was about to embark on.

From the center of the horse's back, the artist wanted rays from the sun to encircle animal drawings inspired by pre-Columbian drawings and carvings. On one side he selected a tableaux that presented the Europeans who settled in this land: Spanish conquistadors, who brought the horse to America five centuries ago, the missionaries, Mexican farmers and Western ranchers. On the other, he chose to represent the predominant native tribes in New Mexico, whose culture was radically changed by the horse: the Navajo, Pueblo and Jicarilla Apache. On the horse's forehead, he placed a green hand, a gesture of friendship and symbol of the eventual union of cultures that took place.

To give the full-sized original the representation of monumental "unity" impact he felt it deserved, the artist, former fashion photoragrapher turned pop artist Georges Monfils, decided not to paint this pony, but to onlay it with tiny Indian seed beads, applied one at a time. This stunning work is covered with over one million five hundred thousand beads -- a feat that took the artist 1,400 hours -- over 100 days to complete. So impressive was the outcome that it was nominated for the Guinness Book of World Records and received the award for the most ambitions Pony.


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