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This is my Quarter Horse gelding Shevy Chruck (a.k.a. Water Monkey...and sometimes Idiot) and apparently he likes to go camping! He also likes root beer, cantaloupe, frosted mini wheats, playing with tires and traffic cones, turning on the water facet (and of course baths), and chewing on my shoes while I'm sitting on him.




-Horse Lips


Pencil on Bristol Paper





  How to Raise an Artist

by Dena Haynes


1. First of all, have them in September, so they get lots of school, (and therefore art) supplies for their birthdays. This alone will always get them excited about holding a fresh Crayola crayon. Even today I steal my sons' crayons at restaurants so I can draw with them first. It's pitiful. I know.


2. Name them Art, Clay, Drew, Paige, or Pollaiuolo (Poe-Eye-ooh-olo). They're bound to be 'drawn' toward Art. Me? I'm secretly named Denatello. There's a Ninja Turtle named after me, they just misspelled it. Or maybe they're working on a girl Turtle named Dena. Heck, all the boys are named after artists. We need a girl to represent!


3. Trust a twelve year old girl with a glue gun. Just give her the "I'll have to sell your horse if this house burns down" lecture.


4. Give them a pen during church to color on the program. Draw a complex, random line and challenge them to make something from it, commonly referred to as a "squiggle". (My mom and I did this all the time during church.)


5. Let your weeds grow in your yard. You can’t make grass huts if the grass isn’t tall enough. (I tied cheese weed at the top and cut out the inside to make a Swiss Family Robinson hut!)


6. Deny them of any big, structure-like toys. Instead, supply an endless amount of cardboard boxes, packaging tape, and markers. Help them cut doorways etc with a knife if they’re too young to handle one.


7. Paint rocks with your kids. Or by yourself. My neighbor used to paint river rocks like ladybugs. I took it a step farther and made my dad a frilly green turtle with lace and buttons and everything. Oddly, he loved it! -used it as a doorstop in my parents' room for YEARS until I finally threw the ugly ol' thing away!


8. Can't afford more toy figure's? Glue Popsicle sticks together. Paint yer critters. They may not look the best but they work. I made horses. (Duh.) When I played, they were the... um... ones that barely escaped the forest fire that consumed the rest of their mustang herd and they came to join my other toys. Tragic. I know.


9. Mud-paint on your pets, and yourself. Irrigation means mud wars. And mud pies. And mud painting. Our poor ol' paint horse Junior has been the victim of unicorn horns stuck to his forehead and Pegasus wings plastered to his withers (for all you non-horse people out there it means 'shoulder'.)


10. Make up Halloween costumes. Come up with something from home. (I was a cowgirl for seven years in a row. –Not very creative, but I was a die-hard. Yee ha.)


11. Always let them play with toys that don’t even go together. (Barbie owned the Breyer horses and had Ninja turtles for jockeys and grooms, and they all lived in cardboard boxes with Lego furniture and had Chinese jump rope corrals and a skateboard for a horse trailer. My brother often raided my room to steal his Lego's, Ninja Turtles, and skateboard back.)


12. Pipe cleaners, felt, and a glue gun. 'Nuff said.


13. Have them come to work with you with no toys. Give them nothing but highlighters and old receipts to color. Let them run their own prints on the copy machine. I still have some of them. I'll have to post them on here.


14. Read to them. Imaginations grow so much more when they have to create their own images, not accept what movies lay out before them. This is why movies never do the book justice. Ever. Because in your imagination it is TOTALLY different!


15. Don't be anal about a messy room. There's a difference between a 'dirty' room and a 'messy' room. A dirty room is neglected while a messy room is a complex, intricately planned wonderland. Mom, thanks for not being a nasty, mean ol' giant.


16. Let them have pets. LOTS of pets. I guarantee I wouldn't know as much about... um... anatomy if I didn't have animals all around me all of the time. Oh, and Mom, I am so, so sorry my duck ate your wedding ring when I used it as a crown. So sorry.


Okay, so I won't guarantee your kid will turn out an artist like me, (heck, why would you want that in the first place???) but either you'll get a creative little bugger or a very deprived child. Muah ha ha! Good luck!