This painting is called “Horse Dreams.”  

I’ve discovered that people sometimes believe that the process of creating art must be mysterious and fanciful.  This seems especially true if your painting style is a little bit unusual, like mine. (I don’t paint the traditional animal scene.) As a result, I’ve had several folks ask me how I come up with the idea for a painting like this one. I thought this post could be a way to give you a peek into the process. It’s not so much “mysterious” as it is meandering and happenstance. 🙂

I was going through Facebook one day (as I am want to do) and I came across a post one of my friends had made about riding her horse, Carly. My friend, Linda, is a horsewoman and since riding Carly is one of her favorite things to do, she had gone for a ride first thing on the morning of her birthday. She posted a photo from her birthday ride, sitting atop her horse. (For horsepeople, this view from on top of their horses is one of the best ways to view the world).   

It’s not the typical representation of a horse, so it interested me and it got me thinking about painting a horse from this angle. But I also realized that if you’re not a horseperson it might not be as interesting to you (most people like to see an animal’s face). So, the question for me as an artist was how to create a composition that was interesting to look at using this different view of a horse.  

As is usually the case, I was thinking about this while also thinking about 4 or 5 other paintings, so it got placed on the back burner of my brain for a day or two. Then one evening I fell asleep and had a dream about Carly. My dreams are WEIRD. *laugh* They usually don’t make sense, and they almost always have that ethereal quality to them. I woke up thinking about tooling leather and the patterns that are carved into belts and boots, etc. And then I started thinking about the calico patterns that woman used to make dresses in the American West. The two ideas came together and… there you have it. I came up with a pattern that has a vague reference to the West, and that also compliments the horse and her coloring.  

Ultimately, the concept is equally important to the design and composition of the painting. It all has to come together to create something that is pleasing to look at.

I’m proud to announce that this painting was accepted into a juried show during Western Art Week this March:  The Montana Miniatures show in the Lewis and Clark Room in Great Falls, Montana on March 20-23rd. This is a wonderful opportunity for me, as Western Art Week is attended by art buyers from all over the world. I’m really excited!

The original of “Horse Dreams” is tied up in the show, but if you’re interested in buying a high quality giclée print of this painting they are available on my website (  

Thanks for all of the love and support!