Winston, as he is lovingly called, participated in the 78th Annual Bridlespur Society Horse Show in St. Louis, MO ridden by his trainer Dena Tanner Lopez of Double D Ranch, Versailles, KY. He showed in ASB (American Saddlebred) Western Pleasure Prospect and came away with Reserve Champion in the Championship class. He is a young and beautiful horse who will go far with David Bruce as his owner and rider in the future. This was his fist exhibition and because of the covid virus most shows have been cancelled or pending. This horse show was sold out with hundreds of entries, so we are very pleased with his first attempt and his wonderful training.
Winston’s Sire is Seraph and his dam is The Night Airs owned by Paradise Farms, Scott Gonyaw.
March 6, 1996 to November 24, 2019
Marijke, sometimes called “Mickey,” was a big, beautiful Friesian mare. She was born in the Netherlands and imported to the United States. She even had a passport. She had been trained by various trainers through out her lifetime, but did not connect well with owners, trainers, and especially other horses. She had one foal, but we do know know much about her.
Marijke was an alfa mare and over 17 hands big. People were often afraid of her size because it was difficult to handle such a large horse. Then, she met David Bruce and he fell in love with her magnificent size and beauty and fantastic hand gallop. They connected in the ring and on the ground. He never had any fear of her, and she followed him around the arena without a lead. In the show ring, they won many championships together in Western Pleasure and Huntseat. She won the hearts of many at the National Western Stock Show in 2015 (Denver, CO) when she took the Classic Open Championship. The classes were huge, but she took the prize which was unusual at that show for a Friesian. David and Marijke won a jacket to commemorate the event.
Marijke was a great driving horse, as well.
The loss of this wonderful animal can never be overstated. She touched the lives of many with her beauty, white eyebrows, and curious soul. She will be forever, forever missed and mourned as one in a million. We are grateful and blessed to have been her family. She died in Kentucky where she finally got to be out with other horses in a paddock part of the day, something no one ever thought possible. She finally got a taste of freedom not tied to a stall. Thank you, God, for letting us have her!!
All of my life I have had the privilege of being an artist. Creating has brought me much joy and amusement, allowing me to deal with life as a positive experience. My love has been to create whimsical figures, baskets, weavings, and faces by using mixed media to achieve a sense of joy and laughter. I have been lucky to have been able to teach my craft and to have been featured in many articles and on the front covers of many fiber magazines during my career. I have loved hearing people’s comments at exhibitions because my work made them smile.
This is the beginning of another journey called “Wallflower Series.” These faces are done in relief and placed in shadow boxes for display. I am not sure how many faces will be in this series, but I am currently working on the fourth as I write. I have created note cards and pillows from these designs, so far. ENJOY!
One day I was looking through family photos, and I ran across a photo of my grandmother, Minnie Swanson. I was very close to my grandmother and when I was in college I would drive to San Francisco on weekends and she and I would have fun going all over the place, laughing, going to Macy’s bargain basement, eating at fun places like the Fisherman’s Warf, or riding the trolly car. She was one of the first women to own an apartment building in San Francisco. I always wondered why I used pearls and flowers in my drawings and mixed media artwork to create certain effects. When I looked at her photo, I realized that I was patterning my designs after the love I had for her. She was a very classy women!
Harley left us today, but we still have his brother Odin with us. Harley was almost 13 years old and very much an alfa male. Having to watch him go this morning made me think a little more about my own life and the fact that it may end at some point too. It seems to be the natural state of affairs, but hard to make sense of it. We all have to face this human condition at some point, and writing about it tends to take the sting out of it.
Harley was David’s running dog, and he was fast. Together through the years, even up until his last few months, Harley loved going with David and Odin. Harley was extremely bonded to David, like nothing else I had ever seen. That is how he got his name….Harley Davidson! David and Harley used to play frisbee in the back yard, and he would jump 6 feet to catch when thrown. After it was over, Harley would run and jump into David’s arms. He really loved David, and the feeling was mutual.
Contemplating the concept of age made me wonder if I would ever see my beloved animals again. The following is a soliloquy of reflections on the topic of growing old. My conclusions about aging and life…….
The Contemplation of Growing Old
By Sharon Greenleaf La Pierre
2018 Copyright © All Rights Reserved
As we grow older, our lives change in many ways that we do not anticipate. Time goes by much quicker. Our friends pass on. Our friends struggle with illnesses that we cannot help alleviate, but only watch and encourage them to fight. Our self esteem changes because we cannot do the things we used to do with quickness and vigor because our bodies wither with time. All of these changes are frustrating and very fast acting. One begins to realize that the majority of your life is behind you instead of in front of you. One is much more cautious about taking risks and doing things, like traveling alone, which you used to do for fun.
I have had to re-evaluate my existence on a different level to enhance joy and a purpose for living. Disappointments become disheartening and harder to overcome. It seems to take longer, but I treat faith as real.
Younger people have no idea what older people are going through and dismiss them as being “old.” Actually, this is the cycle of human existence and it is frightening to say the least. Younger people have little patience and dismiss the life-long accomplishments and knowledge of older people. It all hurts and older people find themselves discussing these issues with friends who are still alive. What is the remedy for all of this? I do not live through children or grandchildren. My life has to have meaning here and now as me. I have had to dig deep into my soul to avoid crying everyday about what I have lost. Instead, I have had to explore what I have gained. What have I gained in growing old?
Well, I am less afraid to speak my mind, not that I did not in the past…..It is different. I am more apt to step in and give someone encouragement without caring if I get thanked. I am more apt to appreciate my wrinkled skin as a sign of how hard I worked to exist and live effectively. The beauty of age is ageless because I have become more concerned with authenticity than with looks, more concerned with health than weight…never thought I would say that!… It is a kind of unappreciated beauty that society does not relish. White hair means you have had experiences. Wrinkled skin means you have weathered life and won another day. Being outspoken means you have thought about the meaning of life and what you value for yourself and humankind. I never fear the consequences when I feel I can make a difference in helping an animal or person. Politics between people becomes less important, or it should at any rate. Not all of us age in the same way or at the same rate. Not all of us come to the same conclusions about the meaning of our lives. That is what makes the wrinkles so unique….the patterns are representative of one’s own life experiences. It is a canvas filled up, not emptied.
One thing is for sure……I find that when I meet my friends, I laugh a lot more at myself and at them and ignore the pain of age. Daily fears are no longer real or immediate as they once were. I know my time will come when I go away. Where do I go? Will I still be old? Will I meet my loved animals again? The mystery is consuming at times because it is hard to believe my thoughts will cease and my energy will stop. I hope I just drop doing what I love most with no regrets about what I should have done. That means I am alive right now to express and do!!! Yeah!!! Maybe I have won the battle after all.
A friend is always saying, “It is what it is.” Maybe I will change that a bit….It is what I make it now!! That makes my energetic identity eternal.
“Diamond’s Crown Royal” was euthanized today in Kentucky. Crown, as he was lovingly called, was a very special American Saddlebred Horse. He was almost 28 years old and was stubborn and lovable. He pulled at your heart. Crown was David’s very first horse, and they used to trail ride together. He was not an easy horse, but a very brave horse. He loved playing polo soccer with other horses using a huge ball. He was a terror at the game when younger.
Crown had a very unique characteristic called “Birdcatcher spots,” or white coat markings. These are small random spots that come and go spontaneously and may reappear in other parts of the body. The spots are named after an Irish, red thoroughbred stallion named Birdcatcher in 1833. They appear to run in families and may be genetic.
Crown added great joy to our lives, and it is hard to let go. We are grateful he was part of our family for so many years.
Red Raven Farms is named after the line of Crown’s mother. The dam of Crown’s mother was “The Red Raven.” That may be where he inherited his beautiful rich, dark red chestnut color. Never seen another horse like him. His Sire’s line was “Worthy Son” and “Supreme Sultan.”
My talent as a visual artist allowed me to be successful. I started in interior design and music and later got a masters degree in fiber design, creating whimsical basketry and weavings that were exhibited all over the US. But, my heart was in exploring how to determine the patterns of thought and measurement in regard to artistic spatial thinking or intelligence. This took me to the University of Denver with special classes from Stanford University to study research methods and methodologies in art education curriculum. As a poor, little girl in the days of picking fruit I had fulfilled my dream of attending Stanford University and received my Ph.D. in 1987 thanks to an anonymous donor from high school who saw my potential. This led me to receive a Kellogg Post Doctoral Fellowship in Adult Learning Research at Montana State University.
I settled in Colorado from California in 1969, where I taught at the community college and university levels, giving workshops and lectures, and later running a graduate program at the University of Northern Arizona in Art Education. I published extensively on the topics of artistic spatial reasoning and artistic research methods and methodologies, serving as president of several national professional organizations and editor of peer-reviewed publications.
LEA Esplendor, my Peruvian Horse gelding, and I were attacked by a Quarter Horse stallion while trail riding several years ago in a field. It was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever had. I wrote an article about the event, and it was published in Horsetalk, a digital publication.
From there the BBC contacted me and did a radio interview from England. Alice Gioria was the Producer for this Outlook story published by BBC World Service. It was exceptionally well done.
The newest article by Penny Magazine, a Holco Publication, was published June 2018 for The Netherlands and Belgium, a lovely children’s horse magazine for readers ages 7 to 14 years of age. The article is supported by whimsical drawings to tell the story. A small picture of Esplendor appears on the cover. It is written in Dutch for the European market. They paid for a photographer to photograph Esplendor in Colorado (Allison Mae Photography). Gera Laurens-Hoving was the Editor at the time.
Below are the links to all three publications.
The University of Denver Library Archives took possession on November 20, 2017 of my 40 years of professional materials such as articles, books, publications, notes, doctoral research papers and notes, research raw data, correspondence, teaching manuals and syllabi, slides, exhibition records, workshops and lectures, and special projects. It was hard to turn over a new leaf and say goodbye to a wonderfully fulfilling career in regard to researching the nature of artist intelligence, which led to a Kellogg Post Doctoral Fellowship in Adult Learning Research.
What drove me to this work was years of thinking differently from others, starting as a child (much more spatial and wholistic in nature) and not having this ability to reason displayed on tests.…something I would have to learn. I could find the answer in my head without going through the linear thinking process. Yet, most testing dealt with the process and not necessarily the outcome or product. It was like a puzzle for me. A good example is when I had to take beginning and advanced statistics in my doctoral program. I was scared to death that I could not do it. Well, luckily I had one of the best teachers around, and he gave open book tests. However, these were what was called “power tests’ where the answer to the first question plugged into the second question and so on. So, if you missed the correct answer to the first question, you were toast. One had no time to look up anything because there were so many questions/problems on the test. You either knew it or did not. Everyone laughed at me when I came to the first test with three huge color-coded butcher papers showing how to jump from one concept to another and what the possibilities were for interaction, much like how my thinking process works. I spread the papers out on the floor in front of my desk, going way off alone. Needless to say, I got top grades in all of these statistic classes and loved math for the first time in my life. I began to see that I needed to use what I knew as my thinking style and convert my pictures into objective responses. My way was not an inferior manner of thinking, as I had been led to believe throughout my life. On the contrary, I thought with my hands as representative of the mental spatial process. This was an artist’s way of processing information.
I got my doctorate in 1987 from the University of Denver. The instruction in research methodology was superb. One of the most wonderful aspects about this program was that I was allowed to take classes at Stanford University in California to study with Dr. Elliot W. Eisner. He was the leading person in my field at the time. While at Stanford, I had the opportunity to explore its wonderful library of primary resources. I copied everything important to my research and spent hours reading the fantastic collection materials. Many of these out-of-print materials were referenced in my own work. This is what inspired me to leave my collection of primary materials to an archival collection for others to develop and grow from my experiences. To me this is what education is about, not just giving back what is being taught by a specific professor, but utilizing aspects of the learning process for one’s own unique approach.
Throughout the years I had the privilege of co-authoring, co-editing, and serving on committees and national organizations with some of the brightest and most prolific people in my field. They made me work harder to know my craft better in order to contribute. For that, I am grateful to have been their colleague. I loved teaching and knowing my students, as well. They challenged me to reach a higher level of knowledge and self awareness. I really loved what I did throughout the time I remained in my field of endeavor. One cannot ask for more than that in life.
MAKING A PERSONAL DIFFERENCE FOR WOMEN
Remembering the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s
By Dr. Sharon Greenleaf La Pierre
All of the below legal changes for women may seem silly in 2017, but in the late 60s and early 70s they were problems to overcome. It took concerted energy and making a fool out of one’s self to accomplish such minor changes. What is the importance of using one’s own name? It was my identity and a beautiful name. Why should I be forced to give it up because I was a woman and happen to marry?
All of these changes may seem irrelevant to some, but to me it was important that I not be forced as an adult American citizen to be treated as a child. I love being a woman and have done all I can through the years to encourage girls to be self-sufficient and educated, following their dreams. My father only had a third or fourth grade education and my mother had some nursing school. She emphasized the importance of being educated and being a strong human being, which would benefit all others. Hence, I acquired a strong sense of identity and self-worth.
1 – When I got married in 1967, I assumed that I could use my own name (maiden name) without a problem. It never occurred to me that the government would automatically make the changes for me. My name on my social security number was changed without my permission to my husband’s last name. In order to use my own name, I had to go to court in the State of Colorado and apply for a name change in front of a judge with the agreement of my husband. This I did on December 27, 1974, setting a precedent for other women to use their own names (County of Arapahoe, State of Colorado, Civil Action No. 24956). A notice was placed in the Littleton Independent stating that as “the petitioner I shall henceforth be known to all men as Sharon Dale La Pierre.” I retained my name through court order which allowed others to do the same. Nowadays, women can use their own name and nothing is changed automatically, but this minor act allowed women in general to retain their maiden names as legal.
I laugh now when I see that women use their maiden names hyphenated with their married names. It makes me proud and to know that I was right. It did have meaning!
2 – The legal action above allowed me to change my Social Security name back to my own name as legal with a copy of the court order.
3 – I went to purchase a federal U.S. Savings Bond, which was the thing in the 70s. In order to buy a bond, I had to list on the bond “Miss” or “Mrs” or I could not buy it. I enlisted the help of the ACLU and lawyer, Perter Nay. I was allowed to buy an U.S. Bond without these designations using my own legal name. This allowed other woman to do the same.
4 – The tax forms in Colorado required a signature from the woman for joint filing which read “Taxpayer’s Wife’s Signature,” placing her in second position on the forms. This was offensive to me since I worked and put my husband through graduate school. So, I was influential in changing this designation to “Taxpayer’s Spouse’s Signature.”
5 – Getting credit for women in the 70s was difficult because it was tied to their husband’s name and credit rating. Buying property or obtaining credit cards in one’s own name was not a usual practice. When I graduated from college, I was sent credit cards from various gas companies as a standard practice. When I married, my credit became that of my husband with his name on the card and a different starting date reflecting my name change. I wrote constant letters and finally won the fight to retain my own individual credit cards, which resulted in my own credit rating (probably as a result of my court case as stated above).
6 – The National Organization for Women (NOW) was just being formed in the 1970s. During graduate school, I was the “Convener” in San Diego, CA. We met in a private home in La Jolla. Most of the women at that meeting were upper middle class from various backgrounds.
7 – The first group for Luthern Medical Center in CO was formed as a volunteer rape counseling unit in the early 80s. We became the chain of evidence for the victim while being examined instead of a male police officer being present in the room. It was a new concept at the time to train women volunteers to help in this manner. We were on call at various times to help a victim.