Artwork and fuel

Many of you know that I am an artist. I am an award winning illustrator, animator (in addition to) being a photographer and journalist. (I also have done equine rehabilitation).

Right now this economy is a tough one. In the past I have been able to sell my work (either pre-press freelance or fine art). As things would have it the pressing issues of Litigation and documentation (constant “updates” for current dialogue in the Court system and the public) and the mountains of paperwork associated with these tasks has created a large workload. I have not had time to paint and there has been no pre-press work (or temp) available (NV has a large unemployment rate).

So two days ago I bought some inexpensive paper (first time in over a year) and went through the roller-coaster of feeling overwhelmed and unsure that almost every artist I know experiences. I found my way through it and tried to choose my subject matter.

I looked through all that I have witnessed. How do you translate the thousands of faces and the emotion involved? I started three pieces…

Yet the first I finished was one that actually gave me a sense of fragile peace.

I finished a water color sketch of a horse I saw just once.

An older mare with a tangled mane nearly four feet long. I have one fast picture of her in my log. It was taken during the June “public tour” of Broken Arrow.

One the range she would have represented the wisdom of her family. She was beautiful, graceful and steady.

In holding she was hidden from public viewing but for just this one crafted tour. She had no hope to find a home outside the “machine.” Her knowledge of wild behavior now rendered useless in man’s system of warehousing. Yet she was beautiful, graceful and steady.

She guided me through my fear of putting brush to paper again. When I wanted to stop she urged me forward toward the destination. She was my “lead mare” back to my hand.

A good friend gave me a call. (We are researching a few projects and she called to remind me to get some things to her). I told her of the piece…. she asked to see it… so I took a pic with my cell phone and sent it.

Her response was unexpected and most appreciated. It involved her understanding of the wild horses and their plight… it involved someone close to her heart that had been a watercolor artist. Her response touched me deeply and has helped me regain some confidence. I “gifted” the piece.

But her belief in what I am doing and the knowledge that I am in “dry dock” until I get the funding to get back out (truck is “mostly” fixed) has brought her to a decision to sell the piece and donate the funds to at least get my ignition turned and me on the road toward a destination.

This is from her facebook page where she is selling the piece:

Wild Horses are captured by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at an alarming rate of 10,000 to 13,000 per year, currently there are some 42,000 wild horses in government holding. All are unique individuals worthy of admiration and respect. 

“Sage” was photographed by journalist, artist and founder of, Laura Leigh, at the tour of Indian Lakes BLM contracted facility in Fallon, Nevada on June 3rd, 2011. Closed to the public eye, to prevent people from exposing inhumane treatment, BLM gave two short tours in 2011.

As the tour wagon sped by the thousands of once wild, free and noble horses, this older horse, this face stood out. A beautiful mare with about 4 feet of wind knotted mane. It was the face of wisdom of the range, of purity and innocence, of a life forgotten and dishonored. A patient, but questioning face, where am I, what happened to my home and family?

Sage had no chance for anyone to ever see her, give her a home or even photograph her again. this is it, the last we will ever see of her. We don’t know where she is or even if she is alive today.

 Please honor “Sage” by supporting Laura’s documentation and litigation against our governments inequitable, unjust and inhumane wild horse management. With your help and Laura can honor “Sage” by continuing her documentation of the roundups and law suits that will hold the government accountable for humane treatment.

Bids start at 100. It’s open bidding, just say right here on this note on my face book page what you will offer for the painting. the first comment says “bid here :)”

Gooooooo! If you love this painting and miss it, more to come 🙂

Many thanks for your support of the Wild Ones, Leslie

"Sage" watercolor sketch, 18x24 by me

"Sage" watercolor sketch, 18x24 by me

I hope to find the time to finish the other two. But there are more roundups now… and that is my priority. Thank you, Sage for all you carry in your eyes…