I love the soft effect of watercolors, and the majority of my commissioned portrait work is done in this media. A 4" x 6" watercolor, matted, framed and ready to hang, is $200 ppd. This would be for a head study or full body portrait of one horse with a simple background. I can get up to three head studies into one painting; each additional horse in one painting is $50 extra. Other sizes are available- just send me an email for a quote. Other media, including graphite, acrylic, and pen and ink are also available.

My specialty is portraits of much-loved family horses. I strive to create a realistic depiction of the individual, rather than an idealized one. Each portrait should be as unique as the horse that inspired it! Please send as many pictures of the subject as possible; I will pick the most flattering pose. Of course, if you have a favorite picture, that's great too!

I've included a selection of my favorite pieces over a period of more than 40 years. The oldest work is towards the bottom of the page. Sadly, much of my earlier work was lost in a flood in the early 90's.

What makes a particular work a favorite is not necessarily how technically "good" I think it is, but more often because of the sentiment behind it. It is my belief that art should make you feel something when you look at it, and there are stories and emotions involved with many of the horses you will see depicted here.

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge

A summer 2014 watercolor of Jerri Bartlett's Morgans, Bar Non Dream Gold (buckskin) and her son, Before the Storm (palomino). This art was used as the basis for Jerri's logo, which can be seen on the logo page.
Patented
Watercolor, 6" x 4", painted April 2014. Collection of Cassidy Sutherland.
In Memory of
Reminiscing
1980-2009
Watercolor, 4" x 6", painted March 2014. Collection of the artist.
In Memory of
Willy Remember Me
1986-2014
Watercolor, 6" x 4", painted January 2014. Collection of the artist.
Avondale Sweet Rosie and foal
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted summer 2012, collection of the artist

Rosie is a black Morgan mare who is my dream horse. I searched for 6 years for the "perfect" black Foundation-bred Morgan mare. Rosie had been on my radar as she was owned by my friend and fellow artist Tom Bainbridge. I told Tom if he ever wanted to sell Rosie, I was very interested in adding her to my little herd. That time finally came in October 2009. My fondest wish is to get a healthy foal from Rosie, so this picture is rather more imagination than reality at this point. But- I am hopeful!

RWF Over the Rainbow
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted summer 2012

"Ruby" is a World Champion Morgan Mare owned by Ridgewood Farm in Colorado.
Sir Charles, HMSTD Well Done, and Dolly
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted summer 2012, collection of Bev Dunn

Charlie (Thoroughbred) and Tuff (Morgan) are Bev's current horses, and Dolly was her childhood friend. Bev had commissioned a portrait of Dolly some years ago with another artist. That artist never delivered the portrait- and even more tragic, kept Dolly's irreplaceable pictures. Bev's friend Janine Welsh heard the story and decided to do something about it. This is the happy result.


Lady's family
watercolor, 8" x 4", painted May 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

Shehana Reflection ("Lady") was the foundation mare of John and Janine Welsh's Homestead Morgans in Baldonnel B.C. She is pictured at the left side of the painting, with her three offspring for Homestead: HMSTD Augustus McCray, High Stepping Buttercup, and HMSTD Shuda Bin a Cowboy. Below the painting are the photos I worked from.

Janine commissioned me to paint all of their horses, as well as many they had bred and sold, so they could use the artwork as part of a complete redesign of their website. The next 9 paintings are all part of that commission.

Lineback Hija de Sue
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted May 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

This beautiful dun Morgan mare is owned by Homestead Morgans in Baldonnel, B. C.
HMSTD Cream of the Crop
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted May 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

"Niblet", a cremello stallion, is out of a mare I bred named Moonbow and by HMSTD Gonna Tie One On. He is owned by Maple 'n Mane Morgans in Clive B. C.
R-Two Little Zipper
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted May 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

Zipper was the grandsire of Niblet (above). He was the first stallion used at the Homestead. Also included is the picture I used for the painting.
HMSTD Louisiana Lullabye, HMSTD Sweet Mother of Purl, HMSTD Sweet Magnolia and HMSTD Lil Bit of Heaven
watercolor, 8" x 4", painted April 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

A collection of pretty, colorful Morgan mares bred on the Homestead. For some reason my camera picked up a bit too much of the paper texture on this shot.
  HMSTD Tiptoe Sunrise, HMSTD Boot Scootin' Boogie, HMSTD Carolina Dream, and HMSTD Ginger Breeze
watercolor, 8" x 4", painted April 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

Morgan mares bred at the Homestead


HMSTD Cranberry Kiss, HMSTD Robbin the Cradle, HMSTD Cinnamon Rose, and HMSTD Commander and Chief
watercolor, 7" x 4", painted April 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

Morgan fillies bred at the Homestead
HMSTD Captain's Crush
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted April 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

Perlino Morgan stallion, half sibling to HMSTD Cream of the Crop (above)
HMSTD Kentucky Cooler, HMSTD Son of a Gun, HMSTD Well Done, and HMSTD Jonesy
watercolor, 8" x 4", painted March 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

watercolor, 8" x 4", painted April 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh Morgan geldings bred at the Homestead
High Stepping Buttercup, Two J Cracklin' Rose, and Two J Miss Mariah
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted February 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

The core of the broodmare herd at Homestead Morgans
Homestead Morgans on the hillside
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted May 2012, collection of John and Janine Welsh

Created as a gift for my friend Janine Welsh, and used as a footer in their website re-design.
Morgans at the hitching post
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted March 2012, collection of Dana Crossland

HMSTD Pistol Pete and HMSTD Cream of the Crop
This was painted to be incorporated into the Maple N Mane logo, which can be seen on the logos page.
  Gab Creek Soldado
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted March 2012, collection of John Hutcheson

This painting was a gift to my friend John Hutcheson of Gab Creek Farm after he unexpectedly lost his beloved young Morgan gelding, Soldier, to a rare neurological condition. To read Soldier's story, go
here.
Historical Colorful Morgans, 2012-13 Rainbow Morgan Horse Assoc. Directory Cover Art
Watercolor series, painted December 2011

I did the design and layout of the Rainbow Morgan Horse Association's newsletter and Directory from 1995-2016. For the 2012-13 Directory I wanted to paint portraits of some very influential historical colorful Morgans, from each of the dilution genes present in the breed. Often, really good pictures of historical horses don't exist, so I picked the best ones that I could find (right). Pegasus Persuader (f. 1974) is the source of most of today's silver dapple Morgans; Pendleton Buck Missy (f. 1964) is the sole source for dun in Morgans; Chingadero (f. 1953) is a prolific line of cream dilution in Morgans; Sunup Neptune (f. 1976) is another popular cream dilute line; HyCrest Satina (f. 1969), the main source of gray in the Morgan breed, and Californio (f. 1967), another popular cream dilute line. (Sunup Neptune is from the collection of Barbara Friesenhahn; Callifornio is collection of Christina Friedkin; Hy Crest Satina is collection of Jeanne Masters.)
Taproot Crown Point
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted December 2011, collection of Catherine Labarre

This painting was a gift to my friend Catherine LaBarre after she lost her grand old Morgan gelding, "Crownie" at age 30. Catherine and Crownie had been together for 26 years. This painting is one of my all-time favorites.
MEMC On Target
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted September 2011, collection of Jennifer Monroe

"Tiger" is one of just a handful of rare splash white pinto Morgans. We used this artwork as the basis for a really interesting ad featuring Tiger and his first offspring that can be seen on my ad design page. You can see more of Tiger on the MEMC website.
MtnTop Whippoorwill Tanek
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted in December 2009, collection of Kristal Homoki

Kristal's beloved black Morgan stallion, Tanek. You can find out more about him on the MtnTop Morgans website. This was a Christmas gift from me to Kristal.
2010-2011 Rainbow Morgan Horse Assoc. Directory Cover Art
watercolors, painted December 2009 except for Kennebec Opal which was a 2005 creation (see below), each horse is an individual piece and digitally united for the cover use, collection of the artist except for HCTF Catch the Storm, which is collection of Char Cook

I had always wanted to put a bunch of Morgan heads into a seamless layout that looked like some of the horsey gift wrap you see. This proved to be more challenging than it might seem! For the Rainbow Directory cover, I wanted to have a representative of each of the major colors in our breed. Clockwise from top left: Winter Moon Phenomenon (gray), Gone Gold (palomino), Kennebec Opal (buckskin), HCTF Catch the Storm (grulla), Positively Charmed (smoky black silver), and Nashboro Gallant Lad (cremello). This is one of my favorite works, and you can find it on several items in my online store. (Gray o/b Jeanne Masters; cremello by Jody Thorpe, grulla by Char Cook and silver by Cindy Lundgren)
Dana's mares
watercolor, 8" x 4", 2009, collection of Dana Flaherty

Dana Flaherty's Morgan mares: Indigo Sierra, Small Acres WildSumr Night, and Amberfields Indigo Skye (now owned by Muneca Morgans).
HMSTD Rum Runner
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted in December 2009, collection of Janine Welsh

Perlino stallion at Homestead Morgans, a Christmas gift from me to Janine.

Sonny and Scarlet
watercolor, 6" x 4", painted September 2009, collection of Char Cook

Morgan mare After Dark Scarlet Lace and Morgan stallion, Edgefield Sun Gold. The border was just something different I wanted to try- I love the colors!
Gab Creek Carmen
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted February 2008, collection of Susan Visi

Susan's favorite Morgan mare. This painting was a gift from her husband Bill. You can see photos of "Nancy" on the Flyhawk Farm website.
Seven C Copper Penny
watercolor, 3" x 5", painted September 2007, collection of Barbara Hewitt

The beautiful, feminine Seven C Copper Penny was Barbara Hewitt's foundation Morgan mare at Radiance Morgans. When she lost her in September 2007, I sent her this portrait as a memorial. Penny was the dam of a Morgan mare I owned, Radiance Eliza Babe, who was bred by Barbara.
My ideal black Morgan mare
watercolor, painted in April 2007, collection of the artist

My dream of the "perfect" black Morgan mare was bound to come out in my artwork eventually! When this was painted, I had been searching for "the one" for 4 years already; it would be two more years before Avondale Sweet Rosie came into my herd. What is amazing to me is how much this painting looks like her! This has happened to me a few times- for example, I've painted a foal of a certain color, only to have one just like it be born here shortly thereafter. I'm not particularly superstitious, but it is interesting! This is one of the last pieces I did on cold pressed watercolor paper, which has more texture than hot pressed watercolor paper.
Unconventional
watercolor, 12" x 16", painted in June 2006, collection of the artist

"Connor" was the first silver dapple foal from my tiny breeding program. He was just about four months old when I took the picture that this painting was based on. Another picture of him, taken the same day, illustrates the Wikipedia entry on the Morgan breed, as well as the official research study on the silver gene in equines. He now stands in Canada at Coulee Bend Morgans and has offspring and grand-offspring in several countries, including Australia. You can see many more pictures of Connor on my website.
Morgan filly
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted in 2006, collection of Sandra Nichols

This was a piece I donated to a Morgan club benefit auction in the Pacific Northwest.
Above Command, Morgan stallion
watercolor, 4" x 6", painted in 2005, collection of Deborah Boies

"AC" was Debi's heart horse. When he passed, I painted this portrait and gifted it to her as a memorial of him.
Western Pleasure Morgan
watercolor, 6" x 6", 2005, collection of the artist

Created to go on gift items in my online store.
Kennebec Topaz and bay silver foal
watercolor, 5" x 7", painted in 2005, collection of the artist

The mare in this painting is supposed to be Kennebec Opal- it was painted from a picture of her. However she looks exactly like her daughter, our mare Kennebec Topaz, so I have come to think of this as "Topaz with a bay silver foal". A few months after this was painted, Unconventional, a bay silver colt, was born here in February 2006. "Connor" was a paternal grandson of Topaz and great grandson of Opal. One of those interesting occurrences I mentioned earlier!
Western Working Morgans
watercolor, 6" x 6", painted in 2004, collection of the artist

The "models" for this painting were a gelding son of ML Meadowlark Jazzspur and the mare Apple Pi Dolly Rose, both owned by Shery Jesperson of WY. Painting from the collection of Beth Gustas.
Classic type Morgan Stallion
watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic; created in 2004, collection of the artist

This painting was inspired by the palomino Morgan stallion Adiel's Casino Gold, who I was fortunate to have on lease in 2001-02 and whose blood runs strongly in most of the Morgans I have produced since.
Morgan and Scottie
pencil, 8.5" x 5.5", collection of the artist

Our Christmas cards in 1983 featured this drawing. The Morgan was loosely based on HLM Brandon, the stallion who sold me on the breed.

Lord Appleton (2 versions) and Morgan stallion
pen and ink, 1982-83, 5" x 5", collection of the artist

From 1984-1997 Jim and I ran a large public boarding, training and lesson barn and were actively showing our Morgans. During that time I did not have as much time for my artwork, and what I did create was mostly customized models and sculptures for the model horse hobby. A flood of our storage area in the early 90's damaged or wiped out much of my portfolio of earlier work. I have these pen and ink drawings in relatively pristine shape only because they were stored in a photo album in the living room instead of with the rest of my work.
Trio
pencil, 11" x 8", 1978, collection of the artist

The original of this picture is in tatters and water stained from the flooding. I cleaned it up in PhotoShop because it is a good example of where my head was at during high school and college! I wanted a horse so badly, so I drew and painted lots of skinny girls riding my dream horses. Foals seemed to play a big part in my artwork too. I guess I always knew what I wanted to do, although it was greatly discouraged by the parental unit, who were certain that "no one ever makes money in horses". Well, they were right, but you have to do what you love.

(Unless you were jumping, no one rode in helmets in those days!
)
Children's Hunter
pen and ink, 5" x 5", 1978

The original of this drawing, a well as half a dozen or so others of various breeds, was sold to The Mane Thing, an equine mail order gift store, and ended up on stationery and t shirts (like this one- I can't believe I still have it!) in their very popular gift catalog. I made $15 to $25 for each drawing- a small fortune to a college kid in the 70's!
Breed series in black and white: Pinto and Appaloosa
watercolor, 1976, 11" x 8.5", collection of the artist

My senior year in high school I did a whole breed series in black and white watercolor with the goal of making them look like photographs. When I got to college in the fall of 1976 as an art education major, such realism was actively frowned upon, which I found discouraging. The 70's were more about pop art and abstract art than realism.
Hunter Pony
pastel, 18" x 24", 1968-69, collection of the artist

My parents sent me for weekly private art lessons when I was in the 5th grade, when this pastel was created. The instructor thought I was quite talented, which was an incredible boost to my childhood self esteem. That instructor's name is lost to the sands of time, but I owe much to him and my junior high school art teacher, Mrs. Bartlett, for their encouragement. This piece has an incredible sentimental value to me, tattered though it may be. It was created just about a year after I had to give up my pony, Prince (who was flaxen and not dark bay) due to a move.

 

      Laura Behning * 75 Glass Spring Rd. * Covington, GA 30014 * 770-385-1240
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