"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Fragility of Life

A short time ago I had occassion to visit the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Wild Mustang facility outside of Reno. It was horrifying, heartbreaking and completely senseless. I left with a great saddness in my heart. The magnicient mustangs were robbed of all magnificence, dignity, heart and spirit. They were crowded into large holding areas or tiny, filthy pens. I have no idea why this is done or what really happens to these incredible horses. I am afraid to know. I wanted to paint something that shows how fragile life is and how this kind of behavior might lead to the complete eradication of wild mustangs in the United States. The animals in my painting are loosely based on extinct horses - probably more imaginary than anatomically correct. Nonetheless, they no longer exist and I find that so very sad.


  1. OMG, Susan, what a horrible experience for you to see that atrocity. I couldn't have done it. Yet, you did create a superb painting which reflects the strong emotional impact.

  2. Mon dieu! Je suis scandalisée de ce que je lis... Je comprends votre désarroi.
    A une époque de ma vie, je voulais adhérer à la fondation de Brigitte Bardot en m'occupant de visiter les foyers où se trouvaient des animaux. Ces foyers étaient dénoncés comme étant des lieux où ces animaux étaient en état de souffrance.
    En apprenant les horreurs qu'on pouvait rencontrer, mon coeur, mes yeux ne seraient pas parvenus à regarder cet insoutenable spectacle. J'y avais donc renoncé.
    Une sorte de lâcheté visuelle, allez-vous me dire... Mais je regrette, je ne pouvais pas.
    Dans votre peinture, je peux voir cette souffrance infligé à ces animaux, notamment dans celui de gauche... malgré toute leur fragilité, ils tiennent tant bien que mal encore sur leurs pattes. Leurs corps amaigris font mal à voir...
    Une belle peinture, qui peut-être fera réagir la méchanceté gratuite de l'être humain le plus détestable de la planète.
    Excusez-moi ma chère Suzanne de ma réaction. J'ai souvent honte d'être un humain.

    Gros bisous à vous

  3. What a sad story, but such a wonderful painting.

  4. Hi, Kathryn, yes, it was way beyond disturbing. Thanks so much for looking and commenting on the painting - it means a lot to me.

  5. Hi, Martine-Alison. Your reaction is very similar to mine. I will never forget that day and the plight of the horses. I am left saddened and diminished. The painting cannot do justice to my feelings.
    Thank you so much, Maike - I appreciate your words.

  6. Wow - you gave me chills with this one. I owned a mustang once - bought her wild from the BLM 30 years ago. There is no happy ending for them, I fear. Starvation in the wild or "owned" by ignorant people. Mine was one of the lucky ones, but her story is rare.
    On a lighter note, I absolutely LOVE the large ballarinas!

  7. Hi, Debbie - you have confirmed what I thought - very few happy endings with these mustangs. Its so sad.


Your comments are welcome and brighten my day!