Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Scenes

Sorraia stallion, Altamiro


"This air thick with light is an enveloping spell, a trance into which the whole place has now fallen, a viscous state of mind shared by you and the spruces and the bee in this honeyed moment." 
--David Abram (from his book, Becoming Animal / An Earthly Cosmology)


Bachelors in the morning light

It is summer now at the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve on Manitoulin Island, Lake Huron, Northern Ontario.  How transformed the landscape is!  Let's keep our words to a minimum and wander around a bit via the medium of digital photos...


Biting insects, send the horses to spaces that are breezy or shady, depending:

The open expanse of the Ravenseyrie beach on Lake Huron's North Channel

Standing as a group maximizes swishing tails and tossing manes to keep flies at bay

It is worth noting that unlike humans, horses do not wage war against biting insects...they move in defensive ways, they roll in mud, they catch a breeze, etc., these activities provide relief without destroying ecosystems...unlike the pesticides humans have created.  Horses live cooperatively with all that is.  We at Ravenseryie strive to do likewise.


Grulla Sorrais and a gorgeous sky

Ravenseyrie mares down on the Twinravens range in Tehkummah


Belina has regained her good flesh!

Bella and Belina's filly Rija, also in fine form


Some images your author is fortunate to see on her morning walks at Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve:

This coyote watches from the edge of the forest



Lady's Slipper

Shepherd's Purse

Ravens!

Young stallions at play:



Legado and Destimedo (who lost his left eye in 2012)

Having just one eye doesn't keep Destemido from going for the jugular in this game with Legado!

Ousado in the foreground while Destimedo and Legado continue to spar





Silvestre!



"We need the vision of an animated connected world, where people matter and where nature matters, and where we develop a new interconnected ethic."
--Jules Pretty (from his book, The Earth Only Endures)



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Influenced by Love and Familiar Forms

The profiles of Pinoteia and her dam, Bella




It occurs to me that the things I paint and write about are immeasurably influenced by feelings of love and familiar forms.  If my creative flow is unimpeded, it is for sure I am working with motifs that are near and dear to me.  

It will come as no surprise to long-time followers of the Journal of Ravenseyrie that a primary form I am especially moved by is that of Sorraia/Iberian Tarpan horse.

Interessado (Altamiro x Ciente)
  

Altamiro (Ultrajardo x Pompeia)


Pinoteia, Bella, Belina and Rija on the Twinravens range



Bachelors on the Ravenseyrie range


Akina and Bella on the Twinravens range

Bella (Silver Shadow x Miracle)

Such forms lead one to higher thoughts, poetic dreaming and just feeling good all over.  The form of the horse, especially these types of horses reflect something very classical, if not iconic.


"The qualities that define classicism--dignity, strength, grace, ease, confidence, and clarity--are also the principal qualities of the cave paintings.  Above all, the essence of classical art is that it aspires to imitate nature by creating images of nature's ideal forms.  In the Paleolithic era the ideal forms were not the Discus Thrower or the David.  They were horses, bison, mammoths, and the other species that obsessed the early artists, all created as ideals."  
--Gregory Curtis from THE CAVE PAINTERS


Paleolithic style rock painting by Lynne Gerard


Zorita (Sovina x Tia)

Bella

It amazes me how even standing idly, catching a breeze, these horses have such an aristocratic presence.  Sigh!  I never tire of being with them, of recording their forms and colours and dynamics with photos, paintings, and words.



I have a few ditties I wrote some time ago that reflect something I learned from the horses.  The first is:  

"Take a break, make a pause, Let the rest of the world go by."
--L. Gerard

This is maybe best illustrated by a long, luxurious nap session the bachelors had the other day:

Altamiro (a.k.a. "Big Daddy") sleeps standing among his many sons

Fidalgo and Sedutor

Capaz

"...Let the rest of the world go by."

The second phrase the horses inspired I recently put with an ink wash painting I did of Stevie, the crow who visits me at the studio:


Phrase, calligraphy and ink wash painting by Lynne Gerard



Stevie the Crow

This painter rewards her sitters!


Being in the now and savouring the moment are part of the delightful activity of mutual grooming horses engage in.  Many "sport" and "exhibition" horses never have the opportunity to give or receive this type of essential contact with members of their own species, but are kept in a type of solitary confinement that seems to me now to be an ignorant form of cruelty...what a pity.

Kris McCormack's blog had three thoughtful articles devoted to the importance of touch for horses, between each other and between us and them.  Check out Scratching an Itch and Touch and the Spirit of Scratching an Itch and Imke Spilker on Scratching an Itch.


Esperanda and Rija

Capaz and Ousado

Fidalgo and Interessado

Another form I am recently finding myself in love with is that of fish!  I don't eat fish or keep one in a bowl for visual enjoyment, but sometimes, especially in the rock paintings, their image is what desires to be expressed through my brush.  Living on an island, I suppose it was only a matter of time when these aquatic creatures captured my admiration.

Paleolithic style rock painting by Lynne Gerard



I forgot wealth and glory
I love calligraphy
I think of neither life nor death
I honor painting
--Sou Tsen-tsan

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

High Spirits

Pinoteia (Altamiro x Bella)


Our preservation effort for the Sorraia and Sorraia Mustangs may no longer involve monitoring the fascinating seasonal habits of a family band, even so there remains still enough excitement in the spring to keep the mare group and the bachelor group in high spirits and feeling that their days and nights are filled with interesting elements.

Kevin and I miss having the mares right here at Ravenseyrie, but are so thankful to have them living at the alternate range, Twinravens, which is the property belonging to the Ojibway artist, Mark Seabrook and his multi-skilled wife, Michelle Hrynyk.  They are a wonderful "host" to our mares and I treasure my Mare Mondays, when I have the Ravenseyrie gallery closed and can make the hour drive down to see all the "ladies" as Michelle calls our treasure trove of "wild" females.

While it is true that Kevin and I miss the rare opportunity to see a family band of wild horses living out their lives up on the East Bluff, we definitely do not miss all the violent activities that had become so prevalent once the offspring of Altamiro and his mares came of age - too much testosterone on too little acreage made for unnatural territorial pressures with no relief.  I've written enough in other journal entries about why we shifted our focus in this preservation effort to safeguarding what we already have rather than continuing to allow reproduction to exceed our capacity to oversee things, so for now let's put away all those serious matters and look at some recent photos instead.



Legado and Gosto playing boy games with Capaz looking on


Gosto (Altamiro x Bella) and Legado (Altamiro x Zorita)

Legado!

Altamiro, Legado and Fidalgo

So much for the boy games taking place at Ravenseyrie.  Young mares can be as lively as young stallions!  Let's go now to Twinravens and see!


Altavida and Pinoteia


Altavida and Pinoteia full sisters, (Altamiro x Bella)...what homogeniety!

Altavida

Bella

Esperanda (Altamiro x Ciente) full sibling to Interessado and Silvestre

Fada (Altamiro x Belina)


Ravenseyrie mares on the Twinravens range, where tracts of bedrock are exposed

So happy to see all that grass!


Belina begins to regain her flesh, and will soon shed out and be as sleek as the others

Rija (Altamiro x Belina) begins now to shed her baby yak fur, too!

Zorita and Esperanda, feeling frisky!

"In play we find ourselves, for a certain time, in another world, beyond our everyday cares and conflicts; in a space where normal power relationships no longer apply, and even battles are fun, simply because we are playing.  We are only pretending when we fight.  What happens here does not become disastrous as in 'real life'." 
--Imke Spilker from EMPOWERED HORSES