BLONDE BEAUTY

The first year I came to the U.S. for a show I had with a dealer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, everything seemed very foreign to me. I felt as if I had landed in the old, wild west with the wooden sidewalks and cowboy saloons. The people there were very friendly, and I had an instant rapport with the gallery owner.

On their 100-year-old ranch, they kept ten horses. A three-day pack horse trip to the Bridger Wilderness (part of the greater Yellowstone area) was organized especially for me. We camped in tents, just like in the old days, and made coffee on the campfire in an old, burned — and black — coffee pot. I wore chaps like a cowboy to protect what my dealer referred to as my “weak Belgian legs.”

Among the six horses on the trip, one was a lovely Palomino named “Tequila.” I had an opportunity to ride this horse, and I have never ridden a nicer horse since. I decided to do a portrait of this horse and tried to put all my good feelings for this animal in this painting.

— Carl Brenders

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