Old-Style Morgan Gelding circa 1890
Traditional Scale "Johann" sculpture, sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn
Painted by Karen Beeson
Multi-Champion, Multi-NAN Qualified in Breed and Workmanship
I have a clarification to make today, to hopefully "squash" what it starting to sound like a scandal brewing in my mail box. I have received a rash of messages about a piece currently posted for sale on the MH$P. No, that is not "Sebastian," the Johann sculpture (sculpted by the talented Morgen Kilbourn) that I painted. This is what the first burning question was. The piece is advertised by a known artist, and while it is not stated there, I expect the piece was painted by the artist who placed the ad. What one will notice if you compare the two pieces is that the advertised piece appears to be painted in acrylics (perhaps by airbrush) while Sebastian was painted in oils by hand.
The second burning question was if the piece up for sale is a "copy" of Sebastian. With much gratitude to those who know my work and wrote out of concern for me, and the originality (within the laws and colors of nature!) of my work, I must explain that I have no reason to believe that the piece currently up for sale is a "copy." First of all, the artist's address shown in the ad is in the East, and Sebastian has never shown outside of the Chicago area. I attend nearly every shows around here (Chicago), so I would have probably met (or been aware of) the artist had she been here. Also, to my best knowledge, Sebastian's photos have not made it out on the web much, or perhaps at all; I lost my ability to add a watermark to my photos and suffered a computer crash shortly after taking his final photos, so the only three of his studio photos that exist are those that I was able to retrieve from my e-mail. I would have liked to add a watermark and post and share these photos, but that just never happened. There is a chance that Sebastian may be posted in someone's online show photos, but his showing has been limited so this is unlikely too.
Even more significant is the fact that while we all now know about "colorful" Morgans (duns, buckskins, etc.), the breed is still predominated by a few select colors. Bay with limited white may very well be the #1 most common color represented by live animals of the breed. Think of all of the Friesian sculptures that will be painted black by so many different hobby artists. The concept is the same. While preparing to paint Sebastian, I looked around online and chose a very red shade of bay to specifically avoid coming close to the many other shades of bay that I did find on painted Johann sculptures. The red shade is plentiful within the breed, however, as I found many wonderful references showing real Morgans sporting coats much like the color of both Sebastian and also the advertised piece.
So for the sake of comparison, here is Sebastian himself.