As a child and adolescent, there were three major influences in my life and eventually art. I have written posts on two of them: my Portuguese father and the beautiful place where I grew up in northern California. It now seems time for me to write about the third, which was my horse.
The Irish Influence
From the time that I can remember, I was in love with the horse. I have no idea why. I was rarely around horses, but every time that I saw one, I became excited and mesmerized by whatever lovely creature I was seeing. It could have been a 25 year-old antiquarian, or a swayback mare, I didn’t care. Loving horses seemed to be a part of my psyche. Irish folklore says that that if you are Irish, loving the horse is in your blood. I am half Irish, so maybe some of the mystery lies there.
Freedom to Roam
I would not be the person I am today had I not had a dream fulfilled by my father. After almost eleven years of begging for a horse, the Christmas when I was eleven, my father told me to go look out the window at the back pasture. There a dark bay horse was standing. I was overwhelmed. I cried. That was one of the few times in my life when a dream came true. My life totally changed from that point on. First, I had to teach myself to ride. After that small task was accomplished, with only a run-away incident and one encounter with a barbed wire fence, I could then enjoy complete freedom. I rode off into the hills in the morning with my horse and faithful dog and came home for dinner. I learned independence, self-confidence and a sense of adventure.
You may be asking how my horse (whose name was chosen by my father) Duke affected my pursuit of being an artist. Most artists are independent, they frequently spend time alone, they need to be self-confident if they are going to believe in their art and it helps to feel like art is an adventure.
The Painted Horse
The next question that comes to mind may be why I don’t paint horses. Needless to say, I am very sentimental about them. The thought of painting a horse touches something deep inside that I am not ready to explore. Someday, I will do a series. In addition to that, I am awe-struck by the many magnificent paintings of horses over the centuries. Here are two more that I love.
Have you ever had a childhood dream come true?