This is an image that was brooding deep in the recesses of my creative conscience for years before it found its way to the canvas. It was originally named “Wild and Magic”, after a Saddlebred stallion I worked with some years ago. However, once it was completed, three different people looked at it and called it “Ghost Horse”. When I asked the first two why they called it that, they said they didn’t know, but the third person said it reminded him of the face paintings on the Native American Ghost Dancers. Although this had nothing to do with my choice of markings, the name stuck.
I chose a Saddlebred for the image because their form is so extreme, lending itself to the radical twisting and contorting of a spooking horse. Dust storms are common during the desert monsoons, and when they occur at sundown they reflect the colors of the sunset. The orange dust storm in the background came from a monsoon dust storm that impressed me when I was a child.
This picture, more than others, reflects the human psyche. A mighty horse will startle and flee at something small and harmless, deceptively unaware of its own strength and power. We, too, sometimes are frightened by things that are diminutive and insignificant. In the end, when the storm blows over, the sky is still blue, the heavenly bodies still in their places, and we find that tranquility never vanished, it was only momentarily veiled.