SHE LEADS: A TRIBUTE TO THE 'MARES WHO MARCHED' IN THE JAN. 2017 WOMEN'S MARCH
Pam McKissick and Cheryl Gregory have been writing partners for 29 years, first as writer/producers in L.A., then published novelists in lesbian mystery and romance and now in non-fiction with this timely and relevant book on women's equality--how we women have allowed ourselves to become secondary when it comes to equality, money, power and even our own sexual satisfaction, and how we can "Grab it Back!"
"The toughest place for women to plant the flag of equality is in our own home, starting with the way we raise our children, interact with our mate, talk about ourselves in the mirror, or allow friends, family and institutions to blame or shame us. After decades of putting ourselves in second place at home and work, we often find "being secondary" has become a habit that's hard to break, because so many people expect it of us."
Inspired by the Terracotta Army horses of China's First Emperor, 210 B.C.
Best-selling mystery writer, Taylor James has struggled to complete a novel ever since divorcing her husband. When her publicist insists she take time away at a remote cabin to “finish the damn book” Taylor reluctantly agrees. Amid the crystal-clear lakes and towering pines of the north woods, Taylor encounters a mysterious woman. Small and beautiful, Levade keeps to herself, but at night she rides a white horse bareback into the lake, as if looking for something. Taylor is captivated, but Levade pushes her away. There’s a secret she can’t share involving a murderer who walks among them, and who promised to kill anyone or anything Levade loves. But White Horse Point is haunted by another pair of lovers, long deceased, who have a personal connection to the two women, and are determined to bring them together.
At the end of WW II American soldiers captured a German man carrying a briefcase filled with nothing but pictures of beautiful white horses. Hitler had stock piled these horses behind enemy lines to breed a new kind of horse that was to be an equine master race--a military machine. But the Russian army needed food and the horses were in danger of being slaughtered. (The Nazis used about 2.7 million horses during World War II and roughly 1.8 million of the horses were killed or wounded.)
American Colonel Hank Reed with General George Patton's blessing made the decision to save these phenomenal equine athletes; however, secretly moving hundreds of snow white horses, that practically glowed in the dark, across enemy lines for endless weeks endangered everyone. Nonetheless, they persisted. And at the end of the war, these tired but talented Lipizzaners performed dramatic airs above the ground demonstrating classical dressage at Madison Square Garden for 20,000 guests and Mrs. Patton in honor of her husband who gave the command to save the horses.
(Read The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Lett.)
When I look into the eyes of a Lipizzaner, I see centuries of grace under pressure. They've experienced war first hand, along with the cruelty and the kindness of men. They have more than intellect; they have a knowing. Their kind eye and regal arch of the neck bespeak eons of good breeding. In the best training facilities, a rider is permanently matched to his or her Lipizzaner horse and the two become one, teaching one another.
The stallions have the physical strength to leap into the air and perform dazzling feats. They are in complete harmony alongside one another, too intelligent to do anything but focus on their work.
The mares are the wise and patient makers of these brilliant young horses who all begin life brown or dark in color and only later turn white. If a dark horse fails to turn white, the horse is kept at the farm as a good omen; and in fact, most farms want to have one in the herd at all times. Luck is luck.
Ingenue is the warmblood I always wanted. Strikingly beautiful in the sunlight picking up an array of colors on her sleek body. She's not too large, gentle and thoughtful and will listen to her rider. She's the perfect lady for the perfect lady. 14" X 18" Archival Canvas Giclee of the original acrylic and charcoal.
Inspired by Tosca Suto Photography, Majick is a splashy, forward Lipizanner mare who doesn't need to be asked twice to move out. In fact, you'd better be sure you've found your seat, because she's going to "show them in the show ring" and she expects you to keep up!
12" X 16" Archival Canvas Giclee of the original acrylic and charcoal.
People may dispute her breeding or where she came from, but no one questions that she's in charge. Older, wiser, battle scarred, Boss Mare is savvy and kind, and aware of everything that goes on around her. And if you're a young stud creating havoc in her herd, or messing with her mares and foals, this old lady may kick your butt. 14" X 18" Archival Canvas Giclee of the original acrylic and charcoal.
A tribute to the "mares who marched" into the inner cities. 24"X30" Archival Canvas Giclee depicts a brave young mare running through the city demanding justice. A Limited Edition Archival Giclee reproduction of the original acrylic and charcoal artwork.
Occasionally, I see a horse that is so elegant and composed that she doesn't even appear to be a horse, but perhaps a being from a higher realm. This elegant and shy young mare is my impression of the circa 1815 painting by Gericault. If there's a more evolved planet covered in green grass, clear streams and thousands of beautiful horses, I would expect to see her there.
20" X 24" Archival Canvas Giclee of the original acrylic.
A tribute to the "mares who marched" in the 2017 Women's March. 24"X30" Archival Canvas Giclee depicts a determined young mare leading a throng of protestors. A Limited Edition Archival Giclee reproduction of the original acrylic and charcoal artwork.
Intel is one of the smartest and most elegant Lipizzaners I've painted. So calm and knowing, he's alert as you can see from his ears, but never startled, curious but not wary, trusting in himself as much as his owner.
Intel was inspired by the phenomenal photography of John Borys, lead photographer at Tempel Farms, the legendary home of the Tempel Lipizzaner stallions and mares.
12” X 16” Archival Giclee Reproduction of the original acryllic and charcoal artwork.
Power epitomizes his name. He's the embodiment of athleticism, grace, and horse power. He's the horse whose name you know when you buy tickets for the show. The stallion who can hurl his body into the air, performing impossible airs above ground, taking dressage to new heights. He's the horse most could never own, or perhaps could own but never ride, for it takes a master to work with Power.
Power was inspired by the "stunning" photography of Stunning Steeds
Karizma is gorgeous and she knows it. She's all confidence and speed and slides in to give you a kiss to make up for anything that might have annoyed you. It's completely impossible to get mad at this melodramatic, young Lipizzaner because she more than makes up for any transgression with her kind heart and those velvety eyes. She's the horse in the pasture that guests admire and exclaim, "Who's that?" And the owner proudly replies, "That's Karizma!"
We think we save horses but in fact they save us.
THE HERD TRUSTS HER TO TAKE THE LEAD WHEN THEY TRAVEL. SHE SELECTS THE SAFEST ROUTE AND THE BEST PLACES TO GRAZE. AND SHE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DRINK FIRST.
AND SHE ALONE DETERMINES WHEN THEIR BEHAVIOR HAS CHANGED SUFFICIENTLY TO LET THEM REJOIN.
BRAVERY BEYOND THEIR STRENGTH AND COURAGE WHEN OTHERS RETREAT.
"When someone 'gives' you a right you should have by birth, the very act of 'giving' re-enforces that you're not equal and are now, perhaps, even beholden. Equality is innate and we take it, own it, and live it. No one 'gives' it to us, because inevitably the giver wants to take it back."
“Grab It Back!"
(Equality, Money, Power & Sex)
"Women consoled one another in those days with, "Oh, just ignore him," and I did. Ignoring is the same as accepting and it chips away at our self esteem, which then turns into identity loss---forgetting who we are and what we stand for."
Horses are a mirror into our soul. The horse will be as difficult as we are, or as kind as we are, or as angry as we are. We hug her neck to ground us when nothing else can. The horse teaches us about ourselves. We teach the horse nothing she doesn't already know, for she is wisdom on hooves.
We're two women of a certain age who love our country, its women and its horses; and too often don't like the way any of the three are being treated: our country defiled, women marginalized and horses slaughtered. Through our equine art, feminist books and our Boss Mare's blog, we celebrate women and protest injustice.
We live on a ranch with a herd of horses who occasionally end up on canvas, making their contribution to feminist art. We're also published writers, first in L.A. developing and writing screenplays and later as authors of women's mysteries and romances. So while we've spent decades in the corporate world, we're now committed full time to creating art and literature...a bold announcement but if not now, when?
Catch our blog Mondays & Thursdays. We talk about what horse women talk about...politics, people, animals and life in general, and whether we should get another horse...
Where Women's Equality Meets Equine Art