Parley's Pride, 2014

18x24 Acrylic on panel
Collection of Spence and Sandy Lloyd

There are always firsts. This was a first for horses.  Well almost a first. I sat by Antonio, a Native American, in third grade. He was great at drawing horses, and I always envied his ability.  Later I entered a "contest" on the "Sheriff Dan Show" and won a sewing machine for my grandmother. But I'll not count those as horses that would compare with this endeavor.  After watching horse pulls for hours, researching horse anatomy, and harnesses, I made the attempt.  Dress harnesses are not the run of the mill harness, as they are much fancier and for show.

I have always admired horses, even before the third grade.  Draft horses are powerful athletes and responsive to the occasion and the teamster. These horses have "performed" and are now pulling the owner, Parley, around the arena which has the purpose of settling them down after the Adrenalin rush of the pull. You can see the power in the arms of the man and can hear the loud speaker host announce the next event.  What a great day for a pull.

The challenge of the painting was to have the sense of place not take away from the horses and man. That must remain a supporting character in the display. Seeing into shadows and feeling the power and desire of the horse and master, so that the spirit of the event is present.

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