Having grown up on a mixed farm operation: we had chickens, cows, barnyard cats, and horses. My father, Mike Hazuda, loved horses and refurbishing old wagons. He trained his horses to pull these wagons. My earliest photo’s include me on a painted Shetland pony.

Karen’s dad on a trail ride
Horse Painting #1
Horse Painting #2

My love of painting horses reminds me of my father.

Horse Painting #3 2014
Horse Painting #4
Horse Painting #5
Horse Painting #6

Dad, Jake, & Jack Whoop Up Parade #1, 2017
Image size:  21″ X 28″

Artist Statement:

The Artist’s father Mike Hazuda, “Big Mike”: collected: horse drawn buggies, sleighs, school vans, buck boards, chuck wagons, and lots and lots of spare parts and wooden wheels.  Dad re-furbished them all in his welding shop.  Working horse drawn carriages, created with love, emerged from shops.

His Standard Bred team consisted of: Jake, Jack, and John.  Dad trained them himself.  He also trained horses for the family outriders, to accompany the horse drawn rigs in community events.  Dad’s “office” walls held bridles, harnesses, saddles, and lots of other tack.  And, of course, a coffee pot could be found in his office! 

Big Mike shared his passion in public events; recording and preserving equestrian driving history.  He participated in many community / Southern Alberta events:

a. Lethbridge & Coaldale & Fort McLeod parades – often with regional dignitaries on board waving to the crowds (background of painting).

b. many fund-raising events for charitable groups including: the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association.  He gave sleigh rides on site; for a donation to the Riding Association, etc.

Dad would load up his RAM 3/4 ton truck with horses in the back and a hitch pulling a trailer with a sleigh / buckboard, etc.

c.  Historic Trail Rides including the Historic Whiskey Run from the Alberta / Montana border and north into Southern Alberta.

Mike Hazuda "Dad driving in parade"

Dad driving in parade

Karen Brownlee "Artist self portrait"

Artist self portrait

Self Portrait #1 circa 1958, 2018. 

This painting is fantasy, as the Artist could not ride horses for medical reasons.  The Artist depicted herself as an elementary school age girl riding a pony.  The painting is full of country and western themes: hearts, stars, and a rocking horse.  The corals in the background are Dad’s, with his horses looking on.

Karen Brownlee "Horses Grazing"
Horses Grazing – Karen Brownlee 2005