"Elegance"

Copyright Kimry Jelen

I have a short list of things I’m going to do when I win the lottery. At the top of that list is commissioning a life-size painting of my Jacky-boy by equine artist Kimry Jelen of Sisters, Ore., to hang on my living room wall.

And while Kimry’s art is worth every penny, for my budget right now a calendar ($28) of her best work will have to do. Fortunately, that calendar purchase just might help get this talented artist’s work to the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France, via her current Kickstarter fund-raising campaign. And you can help too!

Here’s the story:

Kimry, an avid horsewoman and dressage rider, is an amazing painter. As a horseperson, I’m pretty picky about equine art, but Kimry’s is really special. Each of her images captures the characters of her subjects and offers them the same softness, respect, and love I’ve seen her share with her personal horses when our paths have crossed at local clinics and shows. And, every horse Kimry paints is a real horse she's met in person.

Artist Kimry Jelen works on "Zorro."

Copyright Kimry Jelen

But, instead of trying to describe the depth of color that swirl together and the horses that look that as though they’re going to gallop or dance off Kimry’s canvases, I’ll let her images (at left) speak for themselves.

Earlier this year, Kimry jumped at the opportunity to show her work at a WEG Vendor Village when she received the invitation from a French gallery owner. Showing her work at the world’s largest equestrian event is not only an opportunity but, to Kimry, also an honor she couldn’t pass up. Then she found out how much shipping her work overseas would cost due to freight charges, insurance, taxes, and tariffs. If you want the exact number (sit down for this): $23,756!

And that's only to get her paintings to France and back and does not include any of Kimry’s personal travel expenses.

To raise funds to ship her art, Kimry set up her Kickstarter campaign, which runs now through the end of November. Kickstarter, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a way for entrepreneurs and artists to crowdsource funds for projects.

"Lazy Z Ranch"

Copyright Kimry Jelen

For this particular Kickstarter campaign, you can select from different gifts in exchange for your contribution. These gifts range from Kimry’s 2014 calendars to small prints to museum-quality giclees to an actual original from her collection created specifically for WEG. She guarantees that all gifts (other than the custom WEG art piece) will ship by Christmas.

The artist's hope is to complete fund-raising this winter and spend spring creating a painting for WEG that captures both the spirit of the horse and the American West to share with the world.

"It Takes Two" is one of my personal favorites.

Copyright Kimry Jelen

So, if you’d like some wonderful, horsey holiday gifts and the opportunity to support great equine art, please consider contributing to Kimry’s Kickstarter campaign.

Have you ever commissioned a painting of one of your horses?