(Photo Courtesy: Renee Chambers) A picture of Cholla, the horse that loves to paint, with his easel and canvas.
Horse Is Not An Athlete He's an Artist
FEBRUARY 28, 2007By Press Release, Renee ChambersMany people make money with the talent of their horses, some on the race track, others in the show arena, or the jumping fields, even the rodeo grounds, but this horse is different. This horse, Cholla, is an artist. A gorgeous copper colored Buckskin, Mustang/Quarter Horse with black mane and tail, standing 15.2 hands and weighing in at 1300 lbs. He has a dorsal stripe down his back complete with zebra like markings on his legs. He creates his art standing at his easel while holding a true artist’ brush with his teeth, he mindfully directs his brush with fine and deliberate strokes creating the artistic essence that only a horse named Cholla can reveal. Only Cholla applies the paints to his art and no one moves the easel, or rotates the paper. I, Renee, do help Cholla dip the brush into the watercolors as he tends to knock things over, but he is the creator of his own masterpieces. He knows what he is doing and he takes it quite seriously. Cholla’s art speaks for itself and his style is present in each piece that he brings into existence. His natural expression and intelligence come through in his creations and his Mustang wildness is also evident.Cholla was born in 1986, in Minden, Nevada, his sire a Mustang and his dam a Quarter Horse. I got Cholla just before his fifth birthday. He is the only horse I have ever owned. He was quite the handful then and he is still very much the wild thing. His instincts are keen and he has a mind of his own. I was told by the rancher I bought him from that Cholla was named after the infamous desert cactus, and was broke the old fashioned way using ropes and force. In the beginning he was quite the time bomb, but over the years I have gained his trust. He loves me and I love him.I must say, it was my husband, Robert’s, idea, in the Spring of 2004, I was painting the corral fences, with Cholla following along every step of the way, and Robert yelled over “Why don’t you get that horse to help you paint that fence!” Well, I got to thinking, Cholla likes to hold things in his mouth. For Cholla’s safety, I chose water colors, top of the line archival water colors, I might add, and I tacked a piece of water color paper to the fence and with a true artist brush I showed him one uneducated stroke. I held the brush out to him, he took it in his teeth and viola he stroked the paper with the brush. He got the concept right away. I rewarded him with a piece of carrot to let him know I was pleased. Then I got him a big sturdy ornate iron easel and Cholla made the transition to the easel without hesitation. He positively loves to paint. He is not your typical horse to say the least. We all are well aware of the incredible achievements that special horses are capable of attaining. Their willfulness and goal setting qualities are quite impressive. I imagine that most of us have been amazed by the intelligence of horses. Art is an expression of intelligence, so why not a horse? Cholla can be in the back pasture in the long grass, but if he sees me carrying his easel he comes a trotting. It is so wonderful having a horse who is an artist!
For more information about Cholla visit www.ArtistisaHorse.com. There you can view over 20 pieces of art displayed and a video stream of Cholla painting at his easel.