“Heritage” for LIPIZZAN LEGACY

From Xenophon to Podhajsky, the cavalry has innovated and refined equestrian arts.

Heritage, copyright Cheri Isgreen 2014
Heritage, copyright Cheri Isgreen 2014

Is this a troop of soldiers riding forth into battle——-

——-or a troupe of artists riding into the spotlights?

Brushstrokes: a type of caress

Beginning my newest painting, I blocked in my whites preparing for the first pour. As I masked the delicate bones in the horse’s head, each brushstroke felt like I was caressing his face.

newAs you can see, I’m trying some new strategies for the poured watercolor technique.  After the first mask, I painted the eye and added a blue wash behind the horse.  After the wash dried, I added mask to that area also in anticipation for the first pour.  In the background you can see my pencil study and palette.  Once I start to pour, I will put away my palette.  For pouring, I use a large tub, several small plastic cups, a syringe, a sponge, and my masking tools.

High-Point Featured in the Montrose Mirror

High-Point’s opening in Montrose, CO was recently featured in the Montrose Mirror, a news-blast based out of the Western Slope. You can view the original story here.


Successful Equine-Themed Art Opening Shows Through End of June 

By Marissa Isgreen

MONTROSE“High-Point,” a 12-month traveling art show featuring equine art, is showing at the A+Y Design Gallery in Montrose for the entire month of June. The show aims to celebrate the Year of the Horse, engage the community in a discussion about art and benefit Colorado’s wild horses. Local artist Cheri Isgreen and Fort Collins-based artist Barb Haynie created the show because of their shared passion for horses and fine art.

“I want these shows to celebrate the horse and raise awareness for equine art by engaging the community in a dialog about it,” Isgreen said. “The way these shows are designed there is a lot of community participation from the causes they benefit, to the workshops and the art itself.”

An Event-filled opening

“High-Point” debuted the first weekend in June with a variety of events that immersed the community in the art.

A little girl sits on Monarch's backDuring Main-in-Motion, Isgreen’s Lipizzaner horse Monarch, a frequent subject of her paintings, stood for people to paint handprints and designs on his white coat. Adults, kids and babies were all drawn to novelty of a painted white horse in the middle of main street. Even those with a fear of horses, overcame them to at least pet him.

“I wanted to create a horse event that would be really people friendly because not everyone rides horses, but most people are attracted to them,” Isgreen explained. “I personally think Monarch was a highlight for Main-in-Motion because he was not only surround by people for 2 hours straight, but he seemed to really engage them.”

The show officially opened June 6 and will run through June 30. It features 36 works of equine art in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media by both Isgreen and Haynie.

The opening allowed patrons to tap their creativity with interactive community art activities including Chinese brush painting, zen painting and Year of the Horse origami which will stay up with the art through the end of the month. As patrons viewed and discussed the art, they munched on barn-themed hors d’oeuvres and listened to live music from Karen Mercer, Margaret Freeman and Kurt Isgreen.

The following day, Isgreen held an origami workshop where participants learned how to fold a paper horse and animate it with special bends and pinches.

“Origami can be challenging with the correct paper folds, but it’s a really unique artwork,” said workshop participant Nancy Kelso. “I think we should engage in more art opportunities in our town. It’s important to have something new and different here.”

Final Workshop, Learn to sculpt

Isgreen will be hosting a second workshop, June 26 during Main-in-Motion, that arises from both Isgreen and Haynie’s love for creating horse sculptures from found objects. The $40 workshop will teach participants to create their own horse from found objects and includes materials, instruction, a tutorial on how to jump-start your own creativity and a free drink or gelato. Pre-register for the workshop by either stopping by the gallery or by calling (970) 240- 7914.

“I find that the found object workshop is very liberating for people who like art but are intimidated by drawing,” Isgreen said. “With found objects you’re only suggesting an idea or a form and don’t have to recreate an exact replica, so I recommend this workshop to artists and non-artists alike.”

A Benefit Art Show

"Don't Fence Me In" silent auction mixed media to benefit Colorado's Wild Horses
“Don’t Fence Me In” silent auction mixed media to benefit Colorado’s Wild Horses

As with previous openings, June’s show will also benefit a cause. This month, the show will benefit James Kleinert’s efforts to protect Colorado’s wild horses with a silent auction. Items include Haynie’s acrylic painting “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health,” Isgreen’s mixed media composition, “Don’t Fence Me In” and one of Montrose photographer Barb Young’s pictures.

Isgreen and A+Y Design Gallery screened Kleinert’s film, “Wild Horses and Renegades,” the weekend of the opening to raise awareness for the plight of America’s wild horses.

“Before seeing this film, I was unaware of the BLM’s inhumane practices and deceit to the public, so I wasn’t really that concerned about the mustangs. But they’re facing extinction, and we as Americans are faced with losing an American treasure,” Isgreen said.

Isgreen encourages anyone who was unable to attend to watch the movie and educate themselves about the treatment of America’s and Colorado’s wild horses.

"Head, Heart, Hands, and Health"  Copyright Barb Haynie
“Head, Heart, Hands, and Health” Copyright Barb Haynie

“The horses in the Little Bookcliffs Range, Colorado are protected, safe and thriving, but unfortunately, the horses in Disappointment Valley, Colorado are endangered by the BLM’s policies of gathering and removing them from their range,” Isgreen explained. “Many horses have been euthanized, but that euthanization is really just sending them to slaughter in Mexico.”

The silent auction officially opened June 5 and runs through June 30. To bid remotely, call Yesenia at the A+Y Design Gallery  (970) 240-7914.

About the Artists

Isgreen was an elementary and art education teacher for 30 years. She curated, “Art at the Apex” an exhibition showcasing Colorado artists in grades kindergarten through 12th grade that premiered in May 2010 in Washington DC. She also coauthored Colorado art education standards, now part of the Common Core. Concurrent with her teaching career, Isgreen pursued her interests in weaving and textile design for 40 years. Her work has been showcased in museums, galleries, and publications both in the United States and Europe. Retiring from public education in 2010, Isgreen changed focus to develop her personal vision in watercolor. Stir Gallery in Colorado Springs gave Isgreen her first one woman show in 2012, pointing her on the path she follows today.

Haynie earned her fine art degree at Colorado State University with a concentration in drawing at age 50. Previous to earning her BA, she travelled extensively throughout Europe, South America, Central America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Egypt. She has also authored two published novels. She owns a nursery in Fort Collins where she has lived since 1954.