Author Archives: dawndi

About dawndi

I've been a very happy film producer (commercial and long format) for over 20 years. But, the horses have always been foremost in my heart... Currently I live on a small ranch in California with my wonderful husband, 13 horses, 4 dogs, 3 cats and various woodland creatures. Life is good!

A Beautiful Thing in a Field! The minds-eye of Douglas Van Howd.


I’m going to tell you a story of what happened to me on the way to my Hubby’s new office today…

Hubby’s new office is in a really nice environment, out in a quiet and somewhat rural section of the industrial part of town.  You know the area… it is the place where they put the light aircraft field and the fabricators.  Anyway, Hubby wanted me to help him with his wall hanging and whatnot setting.

So, I drove out there.  La de dah.  Ho Hum.  Just driving along…and as we approached the driveway to his building…

OMG.  What is THAT?!!!

“What is what?”



That HUGE UNBELIEVABLE HORSE SCULPTURE next door in that field???

“Ooooooh, that.  Ummm, I don’t know.”

You don’t know?!  There is a huge, unmarked bronze sculpture within spitting distance of your office and you don’t know?  It is bigger than my horse trailer, made of BRONZE and you haven’t really paid any atention?

“Well, I think it belongs to that building over there.  And besides, I do pay attention.  We have a Peacock here and some hens.”

You know, it is bigger than some airplanes I’ve seen… and it is gorgeous!

So, I get out my camera phone and walk over there to take these shots.  As you can see, the huge bronze is  unmarked and just sitting there.  I expected it to come alive and rush off into the nearby woods.  It was incredible and I was in awe.  I mean, the piece actually feels like is is breathing!  It is so lifelike!

I needed to research this.  So I did.  And, it was pretty easy, actually.  All I had to do was turn around and there was this huge Gallery and Foundry (you need a foundry of your own with pieces this size…).  “Douglas Van Howd” was the name on the building.   Whoda thunk something like this would be in my little town.  Wow!

I drove home and clicked on his website.  Van Howd has been sculpting for years and much of his work is very famous.  In fact, he was the official White House sculptor during the Reagan administration.  You’ll probably recognize some of his work when you peruse his site.

OK, now back to the huge sculpture.  Well, I learned that Douglas grew up in Nevada and has a love for the Wild Mustang.  This sculpture is called, Spirit of Nevada.  He created the seven horses running free (five mares, a foal and a stallion) “to honor this last remaining symbol of the Old West frontier.”

Ahhh, a man after my own heart…  Van Howd created this huge sculpture and many smaller versions in limited editions — which are held at his gallery.  The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm (though we often close for lunch between noon and 1pm) for lucky local readers…!  But, the big’un is just sitting in the field across from his Gallery.  I’m guessing he owns that field?  Dunno.

I’m wondering if the statue will move one day?

The artist and his lovely creation...

Oh, I would hate to see it go.  I sure hope it is still standing when the wild horses are gone.  It is a lovely statement.  Lovely.  The wild horses of Nevada need a Champion.  Thank you, Douglas Van Howd.  Thank you for putting something glorious and powerful in a field near the place where I live.

And, purely speaking from the heart, if my dream of creating a truly wild place for the last Mustang herds to live and flourish comes to fruition, THIS sculpture is what I would want out front…   But wherever its final destination, one cannot help but marvel at the splendor of the wild horse.  Remarkable.
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If you want an update on THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY July Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Artist: Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey


Yum!  The work looks like you could eat it!

Have you seen it in magazines or in galleries?

Well, it has been calling to me for a while.  I have three of her gallery ads ripped and stored in my binder.  Finally, I decided to quench my curiosity and I ventured to  Nancy’s website.

I learned a few fun facts and tidbits… She has lived in Montana for 30 years now.  Her father was in the military.  And, she feels Montana is a very inspirational place for her.


One of the aspects I really liked about her work is that she donated a piece that was auctioned to benefit of Glacier National Park.

"Open Range", my favorite, I think...

It is really nice when artists give back…  How do they do that?  Well, several pieces from various artists went on tour which generated income and then there was an auction of all the original pieces in May.  I cannot find the results but the exhibit was called, The Official Centennial Art of Glacier National Park Exhibit.  Nice!


Nancy says that the Montana wilderness has greatly inspired her over the years.  Well, you can see that in her work, for sure!  The bison is one of her favorite subjects… along with wildflowers and landscapes.


For me, I think it is awe inspiring when an artist can paint or think up images to draw.  I’m totally unable to use my hands to create anything flat.  I simply cannot make a flat thing have dimension.  It doesn’t compute… So, when someone can do this AND do it using several types of medium, I’m always impressed.  Nancy works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, silk, pastel, and mixed media.  I can barely use a pencil…


I wondered what it was like to paint on silk (not that I would have any frame of reference…).  Silk seems so slippery.  I wondered how she held it still and how she could manage the fabric and the paint.

To me,  the silk pieces seemed the most yummy and edible.  In the article, she says that silk is very organic and adds an element of surprise when she uses it.  Nancy cannot actually control it, just guide it.  Hmmmmm.  Personally, I love the juxtaposition of the vibrant silk colors with the heft of a bison or the flutter of a dragonfly.


On the website, there was a short You-Tube movie In the movie, Nancy is in process on a silk painting of a moose.  She speaks of layering the color and how that works to effect depth and light.  It is fun to watch the piece progress.  She also explains that she starts with the piece on the floor, then moves it to a table then and easel.  At one point, she spreads rock salt on the piece to give “texture”.  Interesting…


So, of course again, here is an artist whose original work I cannot afford.  But, luckily for me and other in my boat, she has work that we can afford.  Scarves, cards, Christmas cards, posters, prints…


My favorite was the book It looked so yummy and colorful.  She has a limited edition of signed versions but you can also get a hard cover or soft cover.


While I was on the website, I scoured it for the piece that I ripped out of a magazine a few times.  I couldn’t find the original on her site.  So, I ended up scanning the magazine page so I could show it to you.  I really loved it the first time I saw it.  The name is “Open Range” and I never did find it in any form on the site.  What a mystery!  I wonder if it was commissioned and sold, never to be repeated.  Dunno.  But, I loved it!


You can see by what I took off of the site, I really like the animals and nature pieces.  Flowers, bison, horses … but I also loved this one of the Baker.  Too Cute!  I would totally go into a shop that had that image as its sign.  Wouldn’t you?


So, next time you are in Bigfork Montana, go to Fox Creek Studios and sit a spell with Nancy.  The gallery is open 9-5, Monday through Friday!


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
If you want an update on THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY July Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!