Welcome to my World!
I was born on the run and horse crazy. I ran everywhere. I even rode my rocking horse all over the house, even though it was the stationary kind! I lived in Seattle and couldn't have a horse, so I guess I drew them because that was the only way I was going to have any. When I was a kid there wasn't much available about horses except westerns on TV. I kept scrapbooks and bought any horse books I could find, but they were few and far between, so I drew. The only TV coverage was racing, which I loved, and the society section of the newspapers had Saddlebreds. That was about it. So I drew. I drew at home, in school, all day. Here's a horse I did when I was 5. Trigger! Notice how cannily I put that rock there for his foot to rest upon.
And I ran a lot.
This my father as a sleaze biker. Look at those boots! Actually, he paid for Engineering school at the University of Washington as a bill collector. Lots of loose dogs then, so he had to have that bike fine-tuned for fast getaways from sharp teeth! Here he is on his wedding day, too
He'd turned into a Lieutenant JG, then. He turned into an engineer after the war and went to work for Boeing.
My father had a whole acre in Seattle and he brought in a team to have it plowed for gardening in the spring. I was 3 when I saw the first team. That's when we first lived at this location. It was a black horse and a white horse and I got to sit on one of them. My father couldn't believe it, years later, when I told him that. Maybe he understood better about my love of horses then?
My father wouldn't buy me art materials. Cheapskate. But he did bring home drawings from Boeing that were no longer of any use. So my horse drawings have Boeing on the backside. My mother bought drafting pencils and pretended to use them as eyebrow pencils, but passed them on to me. Soon I was making my own money and could buy my own art supplies.
I had 5 brothers and sisters. And I ran a lot with them and from them. Three brothers! No peace, no rest. Better just keep on running and drawing.
Here we are at young ages. Ranging from 3 to 10, I think. I'm the bimbo on the middle left. My sister and I were mistaken for twins, but we don't look at all alike! And also me at 7, my poor little shy self hiding behind the bushes. Actually, I think my sister Ann shoved me there. She once shoved me down when we thought there was a bear in the woods because I could outrun her and leave her for bearbait, which is just what I did!
I started painting for pay when I was 12. A neighbor my sister cleaned house for was a biologist who sold sets of slides to schools all over the world. He was the largest single buyer of Kodak film in the US. He photographed animals and photos of animals or had creatures painted if they couldn't be photographed. That's where I came in. Painted a lot of dinosaurs, then birds and some mammals for him. He bought me my first watercolor paints and brushes. The best! Windsor&Newton. I actually have some of the brushes over 40 years later! They aren't much, but I have them.
There also began to be customers who wanted their horses painted! I was tickled to death. My favorite things combined. I sometimes got to ride when I went to visit horses to be painted. I took to it like the proverbial duck! When I visited horses, I would pet them and not wash my hands because I wanted to keep that nice horsey smell. People told my mother I would grow out of my horse "craze". Just a passing thing. Yeah, sure.
I ran and ran, but there was nothing for girls to compete in. There was tennis in high school, but that was it. I turned out with the men's track team, but couldn't compete, and when the 2nd girls' gym teacher found out, she had a fit and I wasn't allowed to even "practice" track. The only gym sport for girls was half-court basketball. Yuk. You had 3 dribbles and had to pass the ball. This is a Jr High school basketball team. I believe it's called Middle School now? That's me on the lower right. My sister is behind me with the glasses. I think those 2 girls to my right hadn't figured out the game yet, since they seem to be wrestling for the ball. Twits.
I finally got a horse when I was 17. And kept her in Seattle for a while! You can imagine how excited I was. We were finally moving to the country. It was March, and my birthday and we wouldn't be able to move into the house we were building til August. So I got to keep her for a while there in a stall in the gym we had built to house a trampoline. She was a TB/QH hunter/jumper type. Never been out of a barn til I got her, but she had been to Alaska! Unfortunately, she was a "nuisance attraction" and drew kids from all over the neighborhood, some of whom threw rocks threw the windows of the gym. And here I had a horse to ride on those paths where I galloped my imaginary horse, and I had nothing to ride her with! We took her out of Seattle to Issaquah and boarded her til we could get the fences up at the new place.
Here I am riding her in a local show. So dreams can come true.
And here I am with her first foal. Not my fault! I taught her sex education but she just had to have a dalliance with a Saddlebred stallion.
I was 17 here. This is a composite picture of me and mother at the same age.
Shortly after high school, when I was in college, my parents divorced and my mother remarried. With 10 kids between them, my mother and stepfather didn't have room for us, of course. Some of us were on our own. I was lucky enough to be asked to live with friends who had Arabians and I got to ride and show them.
My stepfather, C.W. 'Wink" Mays would probably shoot me for this photo, but it's all I have of him. And he doesn't have a computer either, neener neener!
This is a picture of the head of the household where I went to live. I can't imagine what we were doing! I won't make any comments about the horse's a** either!
These are a couple photos of me and their Arabian and Half-Arabians.
And the same 2 horses in the mountains with my friend and me on my own Appaloosa.
I was painting all of this time. A lot. And still running. I'd hiked with my family for years and was still hiking, but not much camping w/o horses. The easy way to go in the mountains! I had my first Half-Arabian from my mare, Lady Ann: