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The Ideal Series pays homage to the stunning artwork of renowned equine artist Orren Mixer (1920-2008) and his most popular subjects – horses! Each hand-painted piece in this series was inspired by one of Mixer’s famed “ideal” horse breed paintings.
Born in 1920 in Oklahoma, Orren Mixer is best known for his gorgeous artwork featuring Western scenes, livestock, and horses. After years working as a graphic artist and serving in the Navy, he returned home to Oklahoma and built his art studio. He rose to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s, and his artwork graced the covers of many well-known magazines, including Western Horseman. Over the course of his career, seven horse breed associations commissioned him to paint their breed’s ideal. These images are still used today, and have forever cemented Mixer’s place as one of history’s preeminent equine artists.
The Palomino Horse Breeders of America (PHBA) was officially formed in 1941, with the goal of encouraging Palomino ownership and show participation, as well as preserving and improving bloodlines. The ideal coat color of the palomino horse is that of “approximately the color of a United States gold coin.” Providing the horse meets the body type, coat color, and size guidelines, the PHBA accepts bloodlines from many breeds, including Quarter Horse, Paint, Pinto, Thoroughbred, Arabian, Andalusian, and Morgan.
In 1991, the PHBA commissioned Mixer to create a painting commemorating the organization’s 50th anniversary. The result? A gorgeous painting of a palomino stallion, complemented by a pastoral background. Mixer also famously depicted palominos in several other paintings, including the popular “Mare and Foal,” and portraits of famous palominos Cutter Bill, Diamonds Sparkle, Shining Spark, Question Mark, and Reprise Bar. In 1998, Mixer was given the PHBA’s President’s Special Service Award in recognition of his work.