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Jun 16, 2020
Romantic and young, I used a $10,000 inheritance as a downpayment on a 20 acre ranch in Central Oregon in the 1980s. The nearby town of Bend, Oregon, was a failing mill town, half boarded-up. I was only 23 and clueless about most things, especially ranching. I grew up at the beach in Southern California and spent summers with my family in our mountain cabin. Swimming, skiing and a few years of horseback riding wasn't much preparation. Six years later I moved to town and bought a mountain bike, swearing that I would never again buy groups of large animals that ate. I was a changed young woman.
I painted this piece to celebrate my memories of the horses running to the back 5 acre field. They kept me company when I moved irrigation pipe.
Throughout the years of my practice as an artist, I revisit my ranching days in my thoughts and different groups of paintings emerge, depending upon the mood and recollection. Here's a link to the horse paintings I've posted to my site.
Yes, the birds really did stand on the back of my ginger horse as he munched the pasture grass. He was the only horse I had who tolerated the feathered hitchhikers. It always made me smile.
Riding in the BLM near my ranch, life and death were ever-present.
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