March 21, 2018
Susan’s Saddle Stands
Along with decorating saddle stands, Susan paints horse and pet portraits, along with western landscapes and Texas bluebonnets. Hailing from Paris, Texas, the western terrain and cowboy traditions are prominent in her art. Her media are graphite, watercolor, and acrylic. Her paintings have won several awards.
Susan grew up as one of those horse-loving children who never got to have a horse as a child. But she filled that void by drawing horses on just about everything. Susan began drawing horses at age 4 on the back of her father’s blueprints. School work often carried horsy scribbles in the margins. At age 12 she went door to door to sell pencil drawings for 25 cents each.
Her parents advised her that if she wanted a horse, she would have to go to college, earn a degree, and find a job to make some money. So she got her degree in teaching and eventually landed a position as an art teacher in Texas. How fitting was that? She was also able to have her own horses. She now has two older mares, which she shows.
After 27 years, Susan retired from teaching in 2012. This allowed her more time to do paintings of horses, pets, and other subjects – and find a second career: creating unique saddle stands. In her first attempt, she bought a saddle stand and decorated it for her horse club. Club members were impressed, asking if she could do more, and thus a business was born.
The stand blanks are supplied by a wood worker in East Texas and Susan does the rest. After staining, Susan adds western décor, which can consist of old leather horse tack, hair on hide, conchos, fringe, tooled leather, old horse shoes, and other items that fit the design. Each stand is a unique creation and gets its own production number.
She has several types of stands: Rustic, Western Heritage, Royal Heritage, and Trophy stands, which are made for specific events and can include the event’s logo, lettering, and can be custom designed for the organization. Rodeo, Paint, Palomino and reining horse associations have had trophy stands designed for their events.
She has produced stands that follow a theme, such as barrel racing, or an exotic Arabian with tassels, bangles and beads. Stands can be a memorial for a family member, and horse portraits can be part of the design.
Find photos and more information about her saddle stands and custom portraits at: susanssaddlestands.vpweb.com.
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