George Stubbs

The reference photo of this horse stopped me in my tracks. Days went by, even weeks and images of that roman nosed, earless bridle horse kept surfacing in my mind. My senses told me to pay attention to that and follow up with photographer, Mary Williams Hyde . Mary’s generosity allowed me the use of her reference photo of ‘Croppy’ and her words to me were, “I am so glad someone recognized the unique value of this horse.”

Time was spent deciding the background for this painting as it required a softness of paradoxical measure, and airbrushing the pastel colours achieved that purpose. Countless days were then spent in my studio with this richly uncommon looking fellow who unfolded into none other than ‘George Stubbs’.

The more I learned about this horse as the painting came closer to its end, the more enthralled I became and immortalizing such a horse remained paramount to me. Also, for me, garnering this painting a title worthy of it’s subject also had to hold the relevance of it’s content. I had one day of painting left on this piece, and that morning I woke with the answer. A paradoxical title required to render complete, Croppy simply had to be delivered to the world as none other than, GEORGE STUBBS.

I learned through Stephanie Eayrs that ‘Croppy’ was born April 30, 2005, on a miserable day in Campbell County, Wyoming, hence the loss of his ears. Raised by Gary Tarver, the Hancock bred gelding became known as the neighborhood outlaw, changing hands before Stephanie’s son, Logan Eayrs bought him. Logan’s sincere words about Croppy; “He stood 15.2, weighed 1450 lbs, wore 3’s in the front and 2’s in the back. Croppy was a smart horse, and if he liked you, you were mounted. He had a big heart, liked to travel and could hold anything you could rope. He worked with me on several ranches in WY & Montana and was tough, he had no back down and was very cowy for a roman nosed, crop eared, buck kneed, pigeon toed horse.” Logans parting words of his Croppy, “I miss him.”

And that is the story of how Croppy became paradoxically immortalized as GEORGE STUBBS. For the pure and simple pleasure of it and for my deep regard for a great bridle horse who was the real deal, no matter his packaging.

*Click here for your own GEORGE STUBBS print on canvas.

**George Stubbs ARA (25 August 1724 – 10 July 1806) was an English painter, best known for his paintings of horses. Self-trained, George Stubbs was classified in his lifetime as a sporting painter, and as such was excluded from full membership of the Royal Academy. He is best remembered for his paintings of horses and his conversation pieces. Whistlejacket is perhaps the most famous horse painting in art history. Measuring an incredible 115 by 97 inches, the painting is a portrait of real-life racehorse on permanent display in the National Gallery in London England.