Every time I paint Murphy, he looks like a different horse. That's because I'm not that precise in my painting. Ha. Murphy is a funny horse, he has this big soft pink nose, with nostrils that are almost to large, slanted, exotic looking eyes, a crooked blaze that makes him look positively raffish. His bottom lip and his top lip never line up straight. It makes him fun to paint.
I rode Murphy one time, back behind Split Mountain. We came down the trail after our trip and the pack horse was behind all of us as we were not being careful or thinking straight. We were just having fun.
Barney, the pack horse, was not a pack horse, he was my uncle Bill's favorite saddle horse and Barney knew it. He was royally mad because he was packing fencing tools. We got into the middle of an aspen thicket and Barney came unglued, bucking down through the middle of all of us on a real narrow trail.
Murphy came unglued when Barney came unglued. We headed down through the aspens at a high crow hop. Every so often a tree branch would hit me on the head. I tried to get Murphy's head up to no avail. I tried to get him to stop and settle down. Nothing worked, he was on a bucking spree and having the time of his life.
I finally remembered who's horse Murphy was and how he was used to being talked to and I said, "Whoa! You dumb sob!" Murphy put his head up and walked off like nothing happened. I was wishing I'd used my brain for something other than banging into trees sooner!
So maybe when I paint Murphy, some of that story enters into the fun I have with these paintings. My uncle died of cancer soon after that ride. He wasn't able to make the ride with us, but it was his idea we were to go. He told my aunt he'd promised me he was going to take me up behind Split and he wanted to know I'd ridden up there before he died.
My Murphy paintings have a lot of story to them that you didn't know until I passed this on to you.