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Confluence horse-Pikes Peak-moon night stars-gold leaf-gold gilding-childhood anger grief house by Steve Veatch
Water soluble oils, oils, acrylic, 23kt gold leaf, glitter on coarse linen.
48" x 72"

As a teenage boy for several years I rode, mostly bareback, my Buckskin mare Skeeter. She was a real cutting horse, and branded, too. Whenever herding, she was instinctive and knew better than me what to do, it seemed. She wasn't a large horse. About medium size, just right. I can't remember how many hands high. A pale orange-tan with the brown stripe down the back that characterizes Buckskins. Deep red-orange-brown mane and tail. We sometimes trammeled the mountains of the Front Range behind Palmer Lake for most of a day, both of us coming home quite tired.

Beautiful animal that she was, composed of the most sensuous collection of parabolas outside a drafting supply store, I discovered hiking. Much simpler & I could go many places a horse couldn't go and with far less trouble. Probably Skeeter was secretly glad: I also tired of her barn sour nature, which though moderate, was tiresome to resist. A barn sour horse is one (can you blame them?) that has one goal only, and that is to go back home. The worst will turn and immediately gallop. Skeeter's brilliant insinuation was to first trot and resist turning back, even trotting at a diagonal, then canter and then gallop. Sometimes just to be irritating I'd let her get up to a gallop then turn her around. That was the struggle every time we rode, even on the property, even after a long ride, though she was worn down. Yet by hiking, my feet went where I wanted them to when I wanted. I simply had to accept sometimes monstrous and bloody blisters and a horse's fatigue. All of this for being more carefree.

This painting concerns anger, grief and retrospection. Piss and tears are gold, the kind of gold you are obliged to mine if you want to stay sane. The mountain is quintessential to my youth: Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak reigns over Colorado Springs like a colossus in an arm chair.

More important than my intent is my hope that my painting goes beyond my desires to become a prism you can look through to see something your own.