Pastel Painting – “Nature’s Gold” Original

"Nature's Gold", 18" x 14" pastel on velour.

“Nature’s Gold”, 18″ x 14″ pastel on velour.

“Nature’s Gold” is a portrait of two wild Mustangs from the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. Known to those who follow these magnificent horses as Can Wakan & Bobby, these two are actually siblings in the wild. When I first saw the image that John Wagner posted on Facebook I had to ask permission to paint it. The tenderness of the two drew me in, and I spent my Christmas Day creating this painting. This original is for sale and I will soon have prints available. It is framed behind glass with the frame size at 22.5″ x 18.5″. Price is $495.00 plus $30 for shipping. A percentage of the sale of this painting will go towards the Sand Wash Basin Mustang advocates in hopes to help keep these wonderful horses free and wild.

A special thank you to Wild Horse Photographer John Wagner, for all the work he does to get wonderful images of the Mustangs of Sand Wash Basin. It is through his photos that I am able to stay connected with the wild Mustangs that I love so much and enjoy painting. I hope he is able to find a way to continue his work.

2014 Calendars Are Here!

2014 Calendars Have Arrived!

2014 Calendars Have Arrived!

The 2014 Calendars featuring dogs from WAG has arrived. This is my second annual calendar containing paintings that I have done throughout 2013 of dogs from Western Agility Group (WAG), which is where Jasmine, Sierra and I train and compete in the sport of dog agility. I am grateful to all the WAG folks who have commissioned me to paint their agility partners. Agility dogs are not just special family members, but become constant teammates in a wonderful, fun and very addictive sport.

Calendar size is 4.25″ x 5.5″. They come either with or without WAG trial dates included. Price is $10 each.

UPDATE: 2014 Calendars have sold out! I am in the process of ordering more. The only option available is without WAG dates. Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Thank you to everyone who purchased a calendar for all your support.

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Here’s Picasso!

Picasso, 11" x 14" pastel on velour.

Picasso, 11″ x 14″ pastel on velour.

I give you Picasso. This is one of the most magnificent Mustang Stallions… known as the Grand Duke of the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. It is said this stallion is in his late 20’s, still running wild, and still siring offspring. I was so happy when Patrick Brennan allowed me use of his photo of Picasso as reference for this painting, which is part of a series of Mustang paintings I have been creating. I plan to donate a percentage of the sale of this painting to the Sand Wash Basin Mustangs.

This original pastel painting is for sale. It measures 11″ x 14″ and is completely framed and behind glass. Priced at $425, plus $25 shipping. Please contact me at for any additional information.

Picasso is also available in print, as well as a very unique MagnaChrome print on metal. Contact me for details.


Kermit, 9x12 Pastel on Velour. Copyright Meb Harris.

In my continued attempt to update my blog with some of the paintings I have completed in the past few months… this is a commission from last February of Kermit, owned by Dorris Wiglesworth. Dorris asked me to paint Kermit as a surprise birthday gift for her husband. She told me that the surprise was a great success as her hubby loved the portrait. It’s always a great feeling to know that one of my paintings brings pleasure to someone’s special somebody.

Kermit is another of the WAG dogs that I’ve had the pleasure of painting. Sometimes I’m amazed at how quickly a painting comes together… this was one of them. There were several of different colors in Kermit’s face, but they blended perfectly for me and he just popped out of the painting.

I have been asked how I’m able to blend using the pastel medium. As I paint on velour paper, I’m able to layer different colors over each other in order to ‘mix’ my colors… as if I was using a liquid medium such as oils. Pastel uses the same pigments as oil paints, without the oil binders. And sometimes with pastels, that perfect color doesn’t exist as the colors are limited. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve that perfect color by layering the dusts with a very light touch. The challenge in the pastel world is finding those colors to layer to get the desired color that brings the reality of the animal to life.


SamWIP_LR-CROne of my favorite people in this world is Walt Nagle. When I was 12 years old, a little red dog came in to my life. I named her Shannon. She became my best friend for 18 years. Shortly after Shannon showed up as a stray, I discovered Mission City Dog Training at the neighborhood park. Walt Nagle was the trainer and there was a group of dogs and owners learning all about obedience. I was not part of the class, but sat with Shannon off to the side to watch. Walt came up to me and asked if I would like to join the group. I happily did! I stayed with Walt and his group for seven years and Shannon and I became obedience junkies… competing in any dog trial that would allow All Americans… as she was called. So what does this have to do with this portrait of Sam?

Sam is Walt Nagle’s current dog and I really enjoyed painting this beautiful little corgi for him. I have since moved away from that neighborhood, and many years have gone by. Walt is still training at Mission City Dog Training, helping people to train their dogs to be part of the family… as Shannon was. And I have never forgotten his kindness to me that day and all that he taught me. So it is with pleasure that I add Sam to my blog.

Portrait of a Pug… Cirby

Copyright Meb Harris

Copyright Meb Harris

I’m pretty delinquent on posting my paintings to my blog. In fact, this portrait was a commission for Beth Sanford and was a Christmas gift for her husband last year. Cirby was so much fun to pull out of the painting with those wonderful eyes and that cute pug nose. I never really paid attention to how different these flat faced breeds are until I spent time studying Cirby’s little face and trying to perfect the nose. And for some reason I kept thinking about “Men In Black” while painting and that famous line… “If you don’t like it you can… ” Love these dogs!

Pastel Painting “Nature’s Paints”

Nature's Paints

Pastel Painting of two Mustangs. 24″ x 18″. Nature’s Paints.

This is the largest pastel painting I have attempted. I was drawn to these to Mustang horses in the reference photo taken by Mustang Meg, who I friended on Facebook and have been following her wonderful Mustang images. She has allowed me to use her images as reference photos. My plan is to do a series of Mustang paintings and once they sell, I will donate a portion of the sales to various Save the Mustang groups in honor of my first horse, Shilo… who was also a Mustang.

This painting will be entered in a series of art shows, and will at that time be for sale. In the meantime, I will have prints available soon.

2013 Calendar featuring Dogs of WAG

2013 Calendar featuring Dogs of WAGI am happy to offer my first calendar featuring dogs from y favorite club, Western Agility Group… WAG… where Jasmine and I have run many fun agility courses, and Sierra is beginning her agility training. Located in Elk Grove, CA, WAG is host to agility trials of different venues throughout the year. It’s a wonderful place to spend a weekend playing with our dogs… watching their goffy antics as they run through the courses. And what a great place to find beautiful dogs to paint!

Each month features a different dog painted in pastel. Most of these were done as commissions throughout the year, with the owners allowing me to feature them in this collection. Calendars are 5.5″ x 4.25″ and $10 each, which includes tax and shipping. A certain amount also feature the dates of all the known trials being held at WAG throughout the year. Gets yours now before they run out!

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Pastel Painting… “Born Free” a Portrait of a Mustang Colt

"Born Free"

“Born Free” … Portrait of a Mustang Colt; reference photo by “Mustang Meg”, used with permission. 14″ x 11″ Pastel on Velor. Original framed and For Sale  $550. 12″ x 9″ print matted $35.

This is a pastel painting of a Mustang colt. The reference photo is from the collection of “Mustang Meg”, who I friended on Facebook. I have been enjoying all the beautiful photos she takes of wild Mustangs in their natural surroundings. Her goal is to help save the Mustang from BLM roundups, where many of these beauties go to slaughterhouses. I will be donating a portion of the proceeds on the sale of this painting to one of the Save the Mustang groups.

I really enjoyed painting this guy and tried a few new techniques that I’ve seen my mentor, Lesley Harrison, do with her paintings. I feel really good about the outcome.

This is one of my two entries for the 2012 Equine Art Show at the Draft Horse Classic in September.

Also… I am attending the High Hand Art Fest in Loomis, CA starting tomorrow (June 23 and June 24). This is my very first art show where I will be showcasing my paintings. I will have 15 originals on display, including “Born Free.”

UPDATE: 10/22/12: Born Free won first place in the pastel division at the Draft Horse Classic Equine Art Show. It was truly and exciting moment. This original pastel painting is for sale. Prints are also available.

Pastel Pet Portrait: Sadie Lynn

Sadie, 8 x 10 Pastel on Velour

Sadie, 8 x 10 Pastel on Velour

I completed another commission portrait. This is Sadie Lynn, the Border Collie. She is from the same family as Achilles the Doxie. I really wish the images that I post were of the same quality as the original. The colors are close, but the softness of the velour paper never really pops in the digital image. Sadie Lynn was a joy to paint and really just came alive on her own as I applied more layers of pastel. All that black in her coat has layers of dark blue and purple under it, which creates the rich black color. To just apply black causes a more flat looking coat on the dog. There are more than eight layers on this dog.