Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why Aritst LindaLMartin Decided to Get involved with Mustang A Day Challenge

Velma Johnson
AKA Wild Horse Annie
Used by permission
The Back story: Where the concept of the Mustang A Day Challenge came from and why  Artist Linda Martin decided to get involved.
"True, growing up in the 1960s, I was a Breyer collecting, horse loving, little girl in Virginia. I had my fantasies about The Black Stallion,  Man o War and my very own Flicka. Those fantasies were closer to reality than some far fetched dream, when it came to the possibility of horses. There was always a pony to ride some place, either a friend or a friend of a friend.
 Misty, to the children where I grew up, wasn’t just a book; She lived on the Islands of Virginia.  We embraced the drama of her life in 1962, as if she was one of our own families. Many years later when, I moved to this county,  I discovered that Wesley Dennis who illustrated the books about Misty of Chincoteague,  lived  here for a while during the summers. I never met him, but I heard the stories of this larger than life artist who drank hard,  was a family man and on occasion was called  by the Sheriff  to come and get his emu when they got out.
In my teen years, I lived near the Town of Front Royal Virginia, where the rail head brought horses from the west to the Army Remount station.  There were always retired Remount men who had boxes of photos and a story for each one. I loved listening to the tales of those  retired horse contractors, about  how they just put the new  recruits on the back of a horse and handed them 10 lead lines. Each lead had horse at the end of it that had never been handled. Those new recruits had to lead  those horses from the rail head in the center of town, through town  and a mountain pass and to the intake  at  the remount training center. 
I tend to believe the storeys  were not exaggerated. I saw the photos of men leading horses like that. However, I couldn’t figure out how these young raw recruits, with no horse experience, could pony 10 half wild horses from  the range, when I could barely pony one tame one myself.
Still, what I knew about  wild Mustangs could fill a thimble.
Yet as a child, and later as a teen, I did know about Wild Horse Annie. I read her book and discovered it was about more than Mustangs. It was about how a young woman could do anything, even if she was a disabled woman from a poor family and  unprivileged background. All she needed to do was to educate herself  and preserver. 
I will never forget the picture in my head of  Velma Johnson(Wild Horse Annie) standing in front of the mirror,  having someone fix her hair so that  her hair line looked normal before she went to speak to congress.
It wasn’t until 1974, that I began to understand fully what all her sacrifices meant. It was eveident to my friends and I,  that Annie's work wasn’t finished. I know that some people disagree with me on the issue of America’s wild horses. The issue is a complex one. However, one thing I do know is that in this day and age, with so many people so far removed from their horse heritage and history, that any animal, especially the horse, that is not made memorable by a name, then becomes invisible to them. When an animal becomes invisible it is  easily forgotten, and when forgotten, it is often lost for ever."
Read more of the back story about Ms Martin’s involvement in the Mustang A Day Challenge  The Back Story:
Credit for the  Wild Horse Annie photo goes to

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What is the Mustang A Day Challenge?

What is the Mustang A Day Challenge??

MADC preliminary painting
Jimmy was named by Artist Linda L Martin.
Jimmy, also known as Jimmy Blacksand,
is the key reason that she became involved
with painting the Sand Wash Bain Wild Horses.
"The naming of a horse suddenly makes
 it personal. One follows the horse and
takes an intersted."

The mustang a day Challenge Project is a personal challenge of Artist and writer Linda L Martin. Linda was a daily painter from 2004 through 2007 although she hadn’t painted horses seriously since 2001. Using her talent to bless people and help preserve the American Wild horse known as the mustang  is the way she has chosen to give back.
The Challenge: To paint one real living Wild American Spanish Mustang a day, 5 days a week for a year( excluding holidays). In this way  Ms. Martin chooses to bpt a face with a name of as many wild horses as possible that are our uniqe American heritage.
To read more about the Mustang a Day project  Visit the  project page on her website:

Spirit of the Mustang Wins Recognition on the Best of Zazzle.

Spirit of the Mustang Wins Recognition on the Best of Zazzle.
Posted for less than 24 hours, the printed canvas offering of the original Mustang A Day Challenge  Painting "Spirit of the Mustang" was recognized along with  25 other designers  as the Best designs of Zazzle.
Spirit of the Mustang is an abstract expressionist interpretation of the  wild band stallion, horse watchers have named, Corona. He is from the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area in Northern Colorado.
Prior to beginning the Mustang A Day Challenge,   Artist Linda Martin began warming up  with small format expressionist paintings  inspired by some of the horses she hoped to paint in the coming year. The Spirit of the Mustang is one such painting.  Spirit of the Mustang is used in much of the promotional material for the start of the challenge.
Spirit of the Mustang is also the base design for some of the Mustang A Day Challenge Gear Ms. Martin is designing to help raise money for the project. Spirit of the Mustang variations can also be seen in blank cards, ornaments , t-shirts and mugs.
Go to* to support the Mustang a Day Challenge.
This story was originially posted in November 2010

Mustang A Day Challenge Begins December 1st 2010

First published on Line November 2010
Mustang A Day Challenge Begins December 1st.
The Mustang A Day Personal challenge of Artist Linda  L. Martin begins with a vengeance on December 1st 2010. The yearlong event is to produce 260 pieces of original art featuring America’s treasured mustangs. Painting A Mustang a Day 5 days a week to help preserver  Americas Mustangs one face at a time.
It is the hope of the artist that in addition to the sales of paintings and other items to raise money for the project, that corporate and individual sponsors will be found to fund a traveling exhibit and program to take the paintings and the stories of the horses on tour.
This project will benefit the cause of America’s wild horses in two ways.
The first is to not only make people thousands of miles away from the Mustang rangelands aware of our wild American horses and their daily lives, but it will give people a personal connection to the horses, even perhaps give non –horse people the opportunity to be involved with wild horse and burrow preservation in ways they never thought they could.
Once the cultural and artistic aspects of the project have been funded, the very horses who have been the subjects of the paintings will benefit from the fund raising effort. Especially those horses that are in crisis after they have been released from BLM management through adoption.
To make this work we need individual horse watchers, herd watch groups, photographers, non-profits and agencies interested in the care and protection of wild mustangs. If you can provide stories and reference photography please go to the  Get Involved page for directions on how to participate.
If you or your business would like to be involved please connect through out Sponsor’s page.
~Thank you all for caring enough to become involved in the preservation and protection or four beautiful wild horses.