This is the first time I’ve heard there was a horse painting movement, and frankly I’m a little wary about the whole thing—but hey, the Russians DID send a dog to space, why not let a horse work with negative space? Buggs, a 13-year-old quarter-horse cross certainly does. In fact he paints with a brush in his mouth and is completely in control.
“He's a pioneer in a painting horse movement that's emerged in recent years, fueled by YouTube videos and the Internet, and part of a worldly contingent of "animal artists" that includes everything from elephants and dogs to chimpanzees . . . .
Jensen, 56, discovered Buggs' aptitude for painting while looking for ways to keep the restless horse occupied during the winter months, when poor weather keeps him cooped up in his stall. She had heard about people teaching horses to paint and figured that Buggs, whose personality equates to that of a smart child who acts up when bored, seemed like a good prospect. In October 2008 she started training the chestnut gelding to hold a stick in his mouth and target the tip on a designated area.
When he performed the action, she rewarded him by pressing a clicker and giving him a treat. Then she gave Buggs a paintbrush, moved his head up and down, and praised him when he repeated the action on his own . . . .
By November 2008, Buggs' first painting sold in a charity auction. Since then, he's created about 30 more paintings with Jensen's help . . . .
Horse-produced art has attracted a fair amount of media attention in the last couple of years. Cholla the painting horse, with his own Wikipedia entry, has had watercolors displayed around the world.”
So when a painting gets sold, who gets the bucks— the artist horse or his merely human helper?