Triumphant Paint Your Own Pony Contest
A Very Special Thank You to everyone who submitted designs!
FIRST PLACE Eagle Spirit by Lorna Matsuda
$250 Cash Prize
Born deep in the Hidden Forest, little "Eagle Spirit" was given his name and special blessings from the wise and mighty Eagle who had witnessed his arrival. With his magical powers the Eagle added some golden colors from his feathers to the colts black coat, forever marking them bonded in spirit. Time passed and "Eagle Spirit" grew into a magnificent stallion earning many eagle feathers for bravery, courage, devotion and wisdom. He wore his gifts from the eagle with pride and honour and they adorned his flowing mane and tail. Together they would reach the highest peaks to the sky and as the eagle would soar above him, "Eagle Spirit" would look to the heavens and dream that one day he too would soar like the Eagles.
"Being a realist artist I strive to capture the true spirit and character of each subject I paint. The eyes are a very important factor when I do a painting.
I work in many different mediums such as feathers, rock, leather, bone, as well as traditional canvas and acrylic based mediums, along with my beloved Painted Ponies. I also do commissioned work for clients. My art has been a life long journey and will be with me as long as I am able to paint, it inspires me and takes me to a place of peace and tranquility in the many hours I spend painting." - Lorna Matsuda
SECOND PLACE Blue One - The First Mustang by Kelly Kurtz
$100 Cash Prize
Legend tells us of Blue One, who taught us the horse language. Sharing a piece of his spirit so we could read each other’s thoughts and feel each other’s hearts. This is his story… the origin story of the first American Mustang.
With a coat of blue corn, the native people had never seen such a creature. The last remaining remnants of his foreign land clung to him, tattered blue silks, catching the wind as he ran free across the prairie. He moved like a raging shadow, his hooves leaving a windstorm in his wake. In awe of his grace and power, many feared the lightning in his eyes and thunder in his hooves.
Only one young brave did not shy away when he bared his teeth, stomped, and snorted. Blue One saw the boy had the same fire in his heart and called out with “the mysterious voice,” allowing the magic to join their two spirits. Yet the brave never dared remove the silken strands, for he mistakenly thought if he did so the magic between them would be broken. From that day forward they understood and cared for each other, riding as one for many years.
When his brave finally died, the tribe once again let Blue One free; still clad in the sky blue silks to honor the bond between them. For years to come they would catch glimpses of a lonely blue shadow. His calls breaching the silence of the prairie, seeking out others of his kind. Eventually, others would come… turned loose or escaping from their captors. Blue One became king of them all, siring a nation of finely colored horses to run free across the American West. A lineage continuing to whisper “the mysterious voice” in our ears, magically bonding horse and rider together forever.
"Art is the combination of inspiration and imagination. Once you find that thing that inspires you, it’s time for the imagination to take over, and run with it – my favorite part about being an artist! A feeling, a picture, a song lyric, inspiration is as limitless as the imagination. To create something out of sheer passion and imagination is a truly spiritual experience that can only be transcended by the moment you see someone moved by your art as much as you are.
Artistic passion was in my blood from the very beginning. Horses were my first inspiration, and a general theme in most of my works. Over the years I explored many avenues of the arts, competing in various Pennsylvania art competitions and studying Interior Design, the Fine Arts, and Art history at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa and The Academy of Art University (on-line) in San Francisco, CA. Although I have always been particularly inspired by European myth and legend, and respect the works of French Romantic artists Eugene Delacroix and Auguste Rodin, I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into one field of study, diversity feeds the soul.
When not working my full time job or riding my Welsh Quarter-pony, Orlando, I do commissioned artistic works, slowly building my art & design business “Kelleigh Kreations.” Working on multiple types of art pieces such as horseshoe dreamcatchers, pet portraits & horse portrait models, jewelry, etc. I will soon be launching products like personalized snow globes, equine & pet memorials, and custom beaded bridles & halters. My hope is to one day be able to produce my art full-time in the near future." Kelly Kurtz
THIRD PLACE Skyline by Caitlin Dahl
$50 Cash Prize
Below the starry plane of the horse's body lies a city skyline, man-made lights burning bright, made small and insignificant by our infinite universe.
"I am an amateur digital artist, photographer and designer. All elements of my work are either hand drawn or hand rendered using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet." - Caitlin Dahl