Monday, July 30, 2012

Wild Horses of Nevada

I realize that Nevada is not the only state to have wild horses.  According to Wild Horse Facts at  "Wild horses in North America live on islands off the Atlantic coast, as well as on the mainland. Small populations of horses live on Sable Island (Canada), Assateague Island (coast of Maryland and Virginia), Shackleford Island (off the coast of North Carolina) and Cumberland Islands (off the coast of Georgia). As well as the following western states including Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, California, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota and New Mexico."

Nevada is however the state with the largest population of wild horses and burros and so it isn't uncommon to be treated to a sighting of these magnificent creatures when driving anywhere in the state.  Several months ago, Brad and I took the opportunity to take a drive to Goldfield and while out exploring the area just North we came upon a small herd of wild horses.  We took some great pictures of them and I knew that I would be painting wild horses very soon.  

Today was the day and so I pulled out a 24 x 36 inch canvas and started working on my composition.  As you can see by my painting in progress shot, the work has only just begun.  This particular mare in the photograph that I am working from appeared to be an Appaloosa I believe at the time of our visit she had a young colt following her.  I love the angle of the photo and the two lone Joshua Trees in the background.

I have only roughed in the background and sketched my mare in with pencil.  I am struggling with the vast openness of this canvas and just how to make the composition interesting.  I believe that I am going to make the mare larger and add that colt so that the idea of how that generations of wild horses have been roaming the desert of Nevada for over 100 year.

Here are a few more pictures that we took of this herd.


  1. I like this. Looking at your picture, I think you have the right idea about bigger. I thought maybe also more in the foreground, but comparing to the photo, it's in the perfect spot. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I love hearing your feedback. As with many of my paintings, I struggle at the beginning as I start working out the details. I even lose sleep on occasion as I get frustrated with my progress, but often I pull out a finished product that I am pleased with in this stage of my painting experience. I'm sure I will be blogging about wild horses often as I progress.