An Equinely Quintetto

Horses, beautiful horses! I have to get going on a quintetto (neigh, they don’t sing) of Arabians, long overdue. I have met them, even ridden one, and the paint must now be splattered! I will surround myself with facsimiles of their equine grace, all the time wishing myself to also be in warmer clime.

In keeping with all things horse: I recently saw War Horse, brought to stage under the direction of Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr. A most splendid production, with amazing puppetry. The play is based on the novel by Michael Morpugo, adapted by Nick Stafford and the puppet wizardy brought forth by Handspring Puppet Company. It is a National Theatre of Great Britain production, but I saw it in Toronto.

The story was inspired by the fate of horses used in World War One, where about eight million of them perished. Toronto supplied 18, of which only one, by the name of Bunny, survived the first poison gas attack of the war.

WarHorse is about sixteen year old Albert’s hunter, originally trained to plough on the farm, and sold by his father to the army for a hundred pounds. It is a powerfully sad anthem for peace. (Do read the related articles below.)

The horses I will be painting are Arabs though. They are all, or have been, used for endurance riding, something Arabians excel at. Here are some initial inspirations:

ShahAhira Rabdan Nahim Nahim2 Ahisha

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