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I am a Montana girl who grew up in the country with a passion for the outdoors, adventure & animals...especially horses. I began drawing them with crayons as a toddler. When I wasn’t dreaming and drawing them I was pretending “I was one” At 4yrs of age, my brother had a beautiful 2 yr old shiny copper sorrel with flaxen mane and tail. I would beg my mom to let me ride! She would always say “ Sure honey, If you can catch him and get on him” Oh the hours i spent taking on that challenge! I learned a lot from that one reply of my mom’s. That is when my folks knew I had the dreaded “Horse Fever,” and that there is NO CURE for that illness. I spent summers on my Aunt & Uncles ranch in Ekalaka MT where I spent hours horseback. Sometimes it was moving cattle, sometimes over at the roping arena and others just pleasure riding in the forest. The passion to draw horses was inevitable, the ability is a gift from God that not only runs in my family, but is celebrated and encouraged. My Uncle, John Brown was an amazing Western Artist and Saddle Maker. When he would sit down for coffee he would sketch horses, i would try to copy his. By age 6, I could see mine weren’t looking like his. I would say “My horses legs are too short” he’d reply “ Some horses have short legs.” I’d say “ My horses head is too big.” His smiling response was “ Well, some horses have big heads.” He did wonders for my confidence as a sketcher!

Education: As a self taught artist I give credit to family and quality teachers. Grade School was full of creative time and was encouraged. In Jr. High we were learning wide variety of mediums and how to use them in our individual creative style. Our High School Art program was extensive with Teachers who took the Arts seriously, taught college level courses and expected excellence.

Style: A lot of Artists are recognized by their “Style” I think i am recognized by my subject..the horse. I am a creator driven by my mood. I love realism. When painting from reference photos it’s easy to make every stroke calculated and precise to mimic the photo..and there is a feeling of accomplishment when those kind of paintings are complete. On the opposite end of the creative spectrum I also love painting with emotional abstract freedom. It is abstract realism as the viewer will know the subject. Both are rewarding in different ways.

Medium: Like the above, some Artists are known for medium they use, oil, watercolor, pastel etc. I love them all and don't ever want to be corralled into using just one. I like the challenge of learning how each brings life to a creation. The one that is in my hand i sketch almost every day.

Inspirations: Life is inspirational to me. Nature, the sun coming up every morning and setting every night. The smell of a field of sweet clover as a storm brews overhead. The sound of thunder cracking after a lightning strike that sends wild horses on the mountain into a collective run that harmonizes with the thunder. I am inspired by smiles of children and the wise words of the elderly. Inspiration is everywhere, and i try not to take any of it for granted. I cant express every inspiration in a drawing or painting but always leaves its mark on my heart and my mind.


photos from the pryors taken by Dawn Ness. Go to DawnNess FB all images copywrite

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