Smokin’ The Barrels

Smokin' The Barrels, 14" x 11" pastel on velour. SOLD.

Smokin’ The Barrels, 14″ x 11″ pastel on velour. SOLD.

A lot of excitement surrounding this painting. I was invited to have my art booth at a Barrel Racing Futurity at the McCourtney Road Equestrian Center in Lincoln last month. While there I took around 650 photos of horses. As a result I decided to paint this beautiful palomino from one of my reference photos. I spent some time deliberating about the rider. I really only wanted to feature the horse in the painting… but couldn’t really delete the rider. I spoke with my friend and mentor, Lesley Harrison, and she suggested I try this method of vignette where I fade the rider out… something a bit outside the box for me. I pushed myself a bit with this piece, but I’m very happy with the outcome. I was after the excitement I felt when I watched the horses speed around the barrels and run as fast as they could to the gate… and hopefully I accomplished that. As a matter of fact, I was so excited with the outcome of the painting that I simply couldn’t put it down until it was done!

I sent an image of the painting to the manager of the ranch, and was asked to paint the four winning horses in their summer series, which I agreed to do with pleasure… and she posted the painting to the ranch website. After discovering the horse’s name as Last Thing Smokin’, I decided to name the painting Smokin’ The Barrels. I’m really looking forward to more Barrel Racers in my near future… in fact, I believe there’s one on my easel at this moment! 🙂 Oh… and I’m happy to report the owner of this beautiful horse has purchased the painting.

 

First Kiss

"First Kiss" 16" x 20" pastel on velour

“First Kiss” 16″ x 20″ pastel on velour

One of my latest paintings and entries for the upcoming Draft Horse Classic “Art at the Classic” This is ‘First Kiss’. I was inspired to paint this beautiful moment when I first saw the reference photo by Sarah Mae Beatty on the Draft Horse Facebook page. I immediately contacted Sarah for permission to use the photo as reference, which she gave me. Unfortunately, the horse… a white Draft named Dolly… had recently passed away and Sarah thought it would be a spectacular way to remember her. That said… I wanted to create as grand a memorial piece of this tender moment for Dolly and Sarah’s daughter as I could.

I tried a few new techniques with this painting, using colors that I normally have not tried with a white horse. I started with some yellow and purple colors in the base layers and slowly added different shades of grey and finally a layer of soft white to bring out the highlights in Dolly’s coat. Since there were so many cool colors in the background and on the horse, I decided to try to warm things up a bit with the girls dress, adding a small amount of the orange to the horse. I was really excited to see it all come together in the end and I feel very good about the outcome of the entire painting. I’m entering it in a couple of upcoming art shows… so we’ll see what the jury and judge think about it.

Run Free – Original Pastel Painting

"Run Free" 14" x 18" pastel on velour

“Run Free” 14″ x 18″ pastel on velour

“Run Free” is another in my Mustang series. This is the same wild Mustang that I painted in “Born Free” as a young colt. This is Maestro all grown up as a spunky two-year-old. He’s a beautiful young stallion running free on the South Steens HMA in Central Oregon. I created this painting last August and was excited for it to be juried in last year’s Draft Horse Classic “Art at the Classic” which is one of my favorite art shows. Maestro is one of my favorite boys out in the wild and I’m hoping to be painting him again and again. In fact… I have another of his on my list for my Mustang series, which will be titled “Live Free”. Thank you to Terry W. Smith for permission to use his photo as reference.

This framed original is for sale. Frame size 18.5″ x 22.5″. $525.00 includes shipping. A portion of the sale price will be donated to the South Steen Mustangs to help keep Maestro and his family wild and free forever.




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.




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 mebharris@mebsart.com for any additional information.

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




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.

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 Horse Painting: Duncan

Duncan, 12" x 14" pastel on velour

Duncan, 12" x 14" pastel on velour

It’s been a long time since I last posted any art… so I thought it was high time I get another piece uploaded. This is Duncan. I painted him specifically to enter at the 2011 Draft Horse Classic Equine Art Show. The painting not only made it through the jury selection, but actually won a 3rd place ribbon… to my delight and surprise. I took the reference photo of this gentle giant at the 2010 Draft Horse Classic with my new digital SLR camera. I will soon be starting a few paintings from the reference photos I took at this years Classic… to enter in next years show.

And why have I not been painting for the last few weeks. Well… my excuse is that I’m taking a couple of classes at the local Jr College… and I just got a new puppy. So there should be a puppy portrait of Sierra coming soon. Stay tuned!!!

Jump 7 Work in Process

Jump 7 at Pebble Beach, WIP

Jump 7 at Pebble Beach, Work In Process

This is Shilo. He was my first horse from 1976 through 1991. Shilo was a small pinto mustang… and my partner in crime in the horse show circuit up and down the California coastline. We competed at the Pebble Beach 3-Day event a few times and always had a wonderful time. I remember the first time we competed there in 1978… we were working our way to the cross country course when we came over a hill and saw the ocean for the first time. Shilo tensed up when he saw it… like he was saying… “ahh, that’s a BIG WATER JUMP!!!” We came in 4th place that year, the same year that Bob Hope came by at the finish line and congratulated us on a beautiful run. At 14.3 hands, Shilo was always the underdog at all our competitions, but he always put on a great show and was a joy to ride. This pastel on velour painting is simply for me to remember him by.

This is a work in process, I have quite a bit to work on still. At first it was a major struggle, but it’s coming along and I’m feeling good with it so far. I have very little experience painting people… this is supposed to be me, but so far it doesn’t really look like me. I’m not too concerned about that as it’s more about Shilo than me! But hopefully, before I’m done it will look a little more like me!