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Judy Larson - RED HORSE -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          RED HORSE
by Judy Larson

Original Retail Price $245.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 3250
Image Size: 24"w x 14 3/4"h.
Published: November 2000

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Click here to explore the hidden image keys in Judy Larson's fine art.

In 1876, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Custer’s troops were badly outnumbered, although just how many Indians fought that day has always been a matter of debate. But by any account it was a tremendous gathering of mostly Sioux (as the Lakota were called) and Cheyenne Indians that were sprawled for several miles along the western bank of the Little Bighorn River, poised to meet Long Hair’s army.

Custer had decided to have each of the companies in his 7th Cavalry ride a designated color of horse. Since his troop commanders were allowed, according to their rank to select the color they preferred, some officer favored the scheme more than others. E Troop, whose soldiers fell low on the totem pole, ended up with the least desirable but visually striking grays.

Red Horse, a Minneconjou Lakota and a chief, was with his band in the center of the encampment. He was not involved in the battle until Custer approached from the opposite direction wherein Red Horse and other warriors crossed the river to do battle. As the fighting intensified on the eastern side of the river, the 213 men of E Troop desperately tried to hold the ridge against the Indian advance. With the fierce battle reduced to hand-to-hand combat, the cavalrymen were unable to shoot and hold their horses at the same time. The last of the gray horses were released, some shot, some captured.

Red Horse was not only a participant but a verbal and visual witness. His forty-one color pictographs — called ledger drawings — depicting all phases of action are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

"Of course, I could not resist the intriguing coincidence of the gray horses of Troop E involved in battle with an Indian named Red Horse. This offered me the perfect opportunity to use camouflage to arouse the curiosity of the viewer and encourage him to step away from the painting. At first glance what one sees is a painting of a gray horse called Red Horse. I hoped that people would look more closely, wondering what the title meant to convey."

Judy Larson
Look Closer... The time-consuming art of scratchboard is unparalleled in its detail, allowing Judy Larson’s seamless concealment of imagery within her subject. To view the extraordinary hidden images within Larson’s work, Click here. Judy Larson always knew she was going to be an artist. She was surrounded by them as a child, and was particularly inspired by her father, a professional illustrator. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Art from Pacific Union College in Northern California, Judy Larson then spent the next 17 years as a commercial artist, illustrator and art director. In 1988, influenced by her love of nature and animals, Judy devoted her time to wildlife art. Her primary focus in each of her paintings is the animal, with the horse and wolf as a recurring subject. Larson uses a clay-coated, Masonite backed art board called Claybord®. To produce an original drawing, she paints the subject solidly with black India ink to create a silhouette. Larson then scratches away the dried ink using hundreds of X-Acto® blades and the result is a magnificent, lifelike image. Once the subject has been totally scratched, it is a finished black and white illustration, ready for Larson to add color. Larson prefers a combination of airbrush, gouache or acrylics for adding rich layers of color, with frequent rescratching for detail. For Judy Larson, whose underlying message is always passionately ecological, her medium of scratchboard, as well as her "art of concealment™," allows her "to take the viewer with me." Explains Larson, "My desire is to engage viewers on three levels: first, by revealing the beauty of animals through intricate detail; second, by concealing a hidden image that draws the viewer to examine the painting more closely and through which I can tell a story; and third, by promoting a deeper awareness of the environment on a level that will hopefully have an impact." Larson is extremely passionate about her love of wildlife and supports a number of environmental endeavors. Two books have been published featuring her work: Hidden Spirits, Search-And-Find Scenes from the American West, a Random House children’s’ book, and The Spirit Within, a coffee table book. Larson is a member of the Society of Animal Artists. She lives and works in California. For more information, visit


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