Unique Art - Straight from the Horse's Mouth!
Candace Shrope bought a horse named Master Design and decided to call him Murphy. She soon realized that Murphy was exceptional at one thing - putting things in his mouth. Murphy's mouthiness was seen as a negative trait in the past, but Candace decided to channel his energy in a positive way. She taught Murphy to fetch, pick up a bowl and hold it out for treats, to put a hula hoop over her head, and to put his toys in a bin. After watching Murphy repeatedly pick up his toys and scrape them back and forth on the ground, Candace thought perhaps he'd do well with a paint brush.
For months Candace worked to teach Murphy to paint. First he had to learn to hold the brush, then more importantly, drop the brush when asked! He then learned to touch the canvas with his nose, then he progressed to touching the canvas while he was holding the brush. Murphy showed promise, but he wasn't really getting the point. They worked for months until one day Candace added paint - and once Murphy saw the color - he got it! Now he stands in his stall flapping his lips - begging to paint! Murphy paints with fervor, sometimes pressing so hard he rips the canvas. But the repairs tell a story, as does the texture in every painting. Murphy leaves a bit of himself on every canvas.
Murphy is 11 years old.
Murphy's favorite treat: peppermints!
Murphy's favorite color to paint with is blue. Second, green and purple.
Murphy and Candace paint 1 to 3 times a week, no more than an hour at a time.
Murphy is registered with the American Paint Horse Association and Pinto Horse Association of America.
Murphy's coloring comes from the RabicanoÂ color gene. That's how he gets his stripes!
Originally, Candace wanted to find a way to put a hidden picture in Murphy's
paintings by masking a shape between layers of color. She soon realized she could use masking in ways that create graphical images. By using painter's tape cut to mask layers of color, Candace works with Murphy's brush strokes to create unique paintings. Their creations are a collaboration between horse and human; something born of true partnership.
Watch videos of Murphy painting on his Youtube channel!!
Follow Murphy's adventures on Facebook!
Find and buy original paintings on Murphy's shop at etsy.com!
Find fun pictures of Murphy and all the barn animals on Instagram and Twitter: @paintedbyahorse