The Stories behind the Painted Ponies - 6th Series Figurines, 2005 SUMMER

Fallen Heroes Memorial Pony - resin. Measures 8" high.

The versatility of the horse as a symbol for expressing a range of human emotions — from heralding a great event, to acknowledging the passing of life — was poignantly explored in the Fallen Heroes Memorial Pony.

In response to the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001, a collaboration between artists, artisans and friends of The Trail of Painted Ponies resulted in the creation of the Fallen Heroes Memorial Pony. This emotionally stirring and uniquely American tribute to these Fallen Heroes, the brave souls who left personal safety behind while responding to a call for help, simultaneously recognizes the symbolic role the horse has played in ceremonial occasions and rituals of mourning. Inspired by the memory of John F. Kennedy's funeral, it recreates the riderless horse wearing a cavalry officer's saddle with a pair of empty high-top boots standing in the stirrups backwards. Mounted in the base are the hats worn by officers from the New York Fire Department, the New York Police Department and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.


HorseFeathers - resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Jeanne Selby

Nobody seems to know the derivation of the term "horsefeathers." The most likely explanation is it began as a sanitized variant of "horse hooey," used to express the view that something is unlikely, about as improbable as that pigs might fly... or that horses should have feathers. By adorning her Pony with large, multi-colored feathers, this former art teacher from Texas has given the term a totally new form of expression.


Tropical Reef Horse - resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Laurie Holman

Seahorses come in an amazing variety of sizes and shapes, and have the ability to instantly change color, camouflaging themselves as seaweed or coral. By brilliantly covering her Pony with tropical fish, rendered realistically, overlapping and swimming in all directions, Laurie Holman has created a seahorse-of-a-different-color. Laurie is a high school art teacher "in an isolated, dusty border town in far West Texas" who scuba dives as a hobby.


Running with the Ancestors. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Carole Adamec

"The inspiration for this Pony comes from prehistoric imagery found on European cave walls, where the grand drawings of horses were both magical and beautiful," says this painter, gallery director and teacher who founded the 5,000 Flowers Project, a national commemoration of 9/11 for healing and harmony through art. Just as contemporary horses echo the drawings of Stone Age artists, so does Carole feel she is linked to Paleolithic artists. "They are my ancestors of creativity and self-expression."


Painted Lady. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Barbara Quimby

Painted Ladies is a term often applied to resplendent Victorian houses, brightly painted and expertly restored. Armed with this knowledge, New Mexico artist Barbara Quimby cleverly conceived of a Painted Lady Pony, a dolled-up equine celebration of the Victorian spirit as it lives today.


American Dream Horse. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Bonny

Asked by a Christian ministry that places Russian orphans in the homes of loving families to paint a Pony that captures the dream-come-true that awaits these children in America, Bonny incorporated the warm red and deep gold colors associated with Russian matruska dolls, along with children’s paces peering out with hopeful expressions, doves of peace, and flowers and leaves, into a spectacular artwork that makes a powerful statement about the great freedom in life’s journey.


Reunion of the Family of Man. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Cal Peacock

Artist Cal Peacock’s painted tin "Medicine Horses" have been displayed in such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian Museum. But she considers "Reunion" the "king of the herd." Intricately covered with amazingly detailed imagery and symbols that express empathy and compassion towards our fellow man, and carrying a medicine bundle stocked with bird feathers, Cal’s gorgeous Pony is an expression of the importance of soulfully connecting with Nature.


Rodeo Dreams. Made of ceramic. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Jim Knauf

A cover artist whose Cowboy paintings massage, twist and tweak traditional concepts of Western art at the same time they embrace Western iconography, Jim lets his Painted Pony speak for himself: "I dream Rodeo Dreams. I don't want to plough or amble along a trail. I'm not built for dressage and I'm certainly nobody's pet. Give me center stage, and I'll give you a show. Every time someone climbs on my back, I'll make him think seriously about how he'll get back down. I'll go ballistic and, right in front of the crowd, I'll launch his sorry butt on a degrading orbit. Yep, I'm Rodeo Dreams."

Big Red. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.

A culturally diverse and worldly fellow, Santa has many interpretations and different names: Father Christmas in England, Kriss Kringle in Germany, Pere Noel in France, Saint Nicholas in the Netherlands. But almost universally he is a plump and jolly figure who dresses in red, carries a bulging sack on his back, and brings gifts to good children. Destined to become a classic, "Big Red" is a lavish and loving example of how the symbol of Christmas is no longer just a decorated Christmas tree, but is now all about artistic expression.
Deck the Halls. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.

Imagine a Painted Pony spruced up as a Christmas tree in fresh greenery, decorated with vintage Christmas ornaments and red bows, strung with tinsel garland and multi-colored lights, and posed on a Christmas skirt that sparkles like a magic carpet. This seasonal selection captures the Christmas magic expressed in the carol, "Deck the Halls."

Happy Holidays. Made of resin. Measures 6" high.
Artist: Mike Dowdall

Think Christmas on the ranch… tacking up your trusty horse with a seasonal saddle blanket, tying on stockings instead of saddlebags and buckling up a breast collar that tinkles like sleigh bells… then riding over to the neighbor’s cabin to share hearth and home. Could there be a better way to spread holiday cheer?


 Reindeer Roundup. Made of resin. Measures 8.5" high.
Artist: Joy Steuerwald

In hopes of drawing Santa’s sleigh through the Christmas sky like the red-nosed Rudolph, this reindeer wannabe tried to disguise the fact he was a Painted Pony by rounding up a set of antlers and throwing a gaudy saddle blanket on his back that lights up the night with stars. Even if he doesn’t get a chance to pull SantaÂ’s sleigh, he will bring cheer to the season, and make this a memorable Christmas for those who find him prancing under their tree.

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