First Update of 2013

by Ann Ruttan

Hello Friends.  I write Blog Post #1 for 2013 and I am amazed.  Can it be 2013 already?  Can this be the official beginning of my year of the horse?

I have an update to share.   A change has occurred that will make my year of painting the wild black stallion much more feasible.  As you know from my last post, he is now my horse.  Yes, really.  He is my horse.  He was  living in Bend with Kate, his trainer and a true horse whisperer.  She has recently moved her whole operation to Skyhawk Ranch in Redmond. (It is here on the internet and you can see pictures of this beautiful facility.) It has a covered indoor arena as well as outdoor arenas and miles of trails.    My husband and I have agreed to go over to that area once a month for 5 – 7 days at a stretch so I can paint and draw Reuben. In this facility, it will be so much more comfortable.  It is an exciting opportunity for me.  I have loved working on the pieces of Reuben that I have started, but I need more time to study him and get a personal sense of how horses move, hold themselves, etc.

As some of you may know, I spent three years doing field work on Lewis and Clark in 2001 – 2003 and it was a huge artistic learning curve.  I am hoping that that kind of intense field work, followed by studio work, will be an opportunity for artistic growth.  I am so excited about doing this work.  Additionally, I will get to work with MY HORSE.  Kate will teach me how to help with the gentling process and form a bond with him.  I have seen him once a month since he was captured and I can tell you he is making great progress.  I have spent some time in his corral petting him and although he isn’t sure about people yet, he certainly tolerates it well.

I am including a picture of Duncan, the Ochoco mustang who I was riding when I met Reuben.  He is a special friend to Reuben and he stands near him often.  I was trying to get close to Reuben to take a close up photo, the wind was howling, there was ice on the ground and Duncan was sure that I had treats.  He wanted to stay close-hence the photo.  He is a lovely animal, smart, kind, strong and patient while waiting for a snack.  It was fun to spend time with these two mustangs and watch them interact.

Duncan up close and Personal

Thanks to all of you who commented on the first draft of my first Reuben painting.  I felt encouraged by the positive remarks.  I will keep blogging along and keep you posted on this huge personal adventure.  Again, thank you for your interest and support.

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Jeannie St. JOhn Taylor

Ann, I smiled all the way through that post. Your life sounds wonderful and I can just visualize you enjoying the horse, painting and your husband.


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