The caption under the photo reads, "Multiple Winner - Popular artist Nadine Meade shows off one of five ribbons she won with the six entries she had in the 2008 Spring Art Show. Nadine is one of many artist whose work area fans look forward to viewing in the annual Spring and Fall Art Shows. Equally thrilling is discovering the work of new artist who have entered for the first time, which helps keep this event fresh and invigorating. All entries will remain on display through Tuesday, May 13 and the public is encouraged to enjoy this free exhibit."
Paintings which won awards in this show are:
Excerpt from article titled, "2005 Futurity Winners Share $44,000 Purse."
The Futurity trophies are the only solid bronze trophies currently awarded in our breed.
Designed by Oklahoma artist Nadine L. Meade, the trophies were literally molded at the Sooner State Show in Oklahoma. Nadine made changes at the show as a group of breeders watched making suggestions, "a little more lift," said Barbara Windom. "More width in the chest," added Cheryl Aldrich.
Nadine made fine adjustments as the potential winners watched. The result was a beautiful piece of art that many have tried to purchase.
"Peruvian Digest owns the sculpture rights," grins Nadine, "the only way to get on is to win it in the Futurity."
Writing about Nadine, Oklahoma Magazine says, "...her work seems to have a brightness, a life of it's own..."
The award-winning artist grew up in rural Oklahoma, so it is not surprising that she developed a passion for horses. What is surprising was how that passion stirred her latent artistic abilities. In 1997, inspired by the two wild mustangs she and husband, "Spider", adopted Nadine put fabric paint to paper and created her first painting. Pleased with the results, she purchased some acrylics and set to work. Almost immediately her talent began to draw attention.
Must of Meade's art is taken from nature and the rural west; themes that now find expression in a variety of media including acrylic, watercolor, oil, and sculpture. Known for her attention to detail, Meade's animal portraits are so realistic that children have been known to "pet" the horses. Sculpture pieces such as "Upset" and "Peruvian Paso Dream Catcher" reveal the artist's unique ability to create gravity-defying poses while maintaining that same exquisite detail.
Meade's paintings, sculptures, and prints now belong to private collectors in several states and have been featured in publications such as Oklahoma Horse Magazine. She's presented one-person shows, won state and local awards and has been invited to exhibit in a number of juried showings. In addition, Meade's paintings have helped raise money for worthy causes such as Ronald McDonald House and the Jim Thorpe Hippotherapy Program.
She was commissioned to create the annual trophy for the International Peruvian Futurity.
"It is exciting to know that these exclusive, original bronze sculptures will be awarded to the yearly futurity winner," Meade, "The Futurity recognizes the best of the best and I feel my sculpture reflects that."
Though her art career did not begin until she was an adult, the self-taught Meade has always been creative. Citing art as her favorite subject, Nadine showed promise in grade school after reading a simple book on drawing cartoons. Her mother says, "Her trees went from looking like lolly pops to looking like real trees almost immediately."
There are many people who are able to combine their work and their favorite interests, and others who are able to work from their home. Few, however, have been able to combine all three as completely as artist Nadine L. Meade and her husband, Irl "Spider" Meade.
Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Nadine developed a passion for horses, while her favorite subject in grade school was art. Her mother recalls that Nadine once purchased a simple book on cartoon drawing, and the results after she read it were noticeable. Her trees went from looking like lollipops to looking like real trees almost immediately.
It wasnít until many years later, however, that Nadine became aware of just how special her natural artistic talent was. In February of 1997, after she and Spider had adopted two wild mustangs, Nadine was inspired to create a portrait of the horses using fabric paint on paper. Pleased with the results, she decided to purchase acrylic paints and canvas and get serious. In October of that same year, the self taught artist won First Place at the Oklahoma State Fair in the All Media category for her portrait titled "Mandy," a highly detailed, head on view of their palomino mustang mare.
This early success marked the start of a long series of awards and recognitions that Nadine continues to earn with her artwork. She has also exhibited her work at several one-person showings and donated a number of her paintings to help raise money for a variety of worthy causes, including the Ronald McDonald House, the Jim Thorpe Hippotherapy Program, and others.
The artist has also branched out into other mediums as well, including sculpture. These pieces are notable for their detailed, often gravity defying poses. One example is a bronze, titled "Upset," where a horse has all four feet off the ground as the thrown rider is caught in midair, his hat flying above. A close examination reveals that the horse is actually suspended by the riderís arm making first contact with the ground and his one foot that is still in the stirrup. (Nadine notes that she reworked the original design so viewers can see that the boot wonít hang and drag the rider after his fall). Other extreme details that hold the viewers attention include the stitching, button and buttonholes in the riderís jacket and even the billfold bulging in his hip pocket.
A clay sculpture, "Peruvian Paso Dream Catcher" features a horse that appears to be flying through the thin web of an Indian dream catcher. A pair of feathers on either side support the round frame of the dream catcher, and the web itself suspends the horse in mid-air.
Another direction the artist has taken her talent is in publishing a children's coloring book titled "Coloring Book of Horses". Nadine proudly points out some of the details she included to show that she is from Oklahoma. Not only are there irises and dandelions scattered throughout the pages, if one looks close enough there is even a tick in the grass on one page. And, of course, plenty of horses.
Nadine's husband Spider, who is retired from the Navy, has matched her creativity in designing and building their dream home, which is located in a two story section across one end of a huge, 70 by 90 foot metal barn. The outside stairs lead to a large wooden deck that wraps around one corner of the barn overlooking their acreage. This spectacular view of the rolling hills and huge pond makes one reluctant to go inside, but once you do itís shocking to find that the large, reflective windows of the two outside walls in the living room area makes it feel as though youíre still outside on the deck. A tour of the home reveals a pair of glass doors between the living room and kitchen which looks out over the horse-training round pen inside the barn. These doors open to a catwalk that will eventually lead to an elevator and a hayloft after the construction is completed.
The couple first decided to build their home in the country so they could be closer to their horses. After they had erected the barn, they parked an old bus inside to live in while they continued to build the living area. They still laugh when they recall one evening during this time as they were reflecting on just how great their life was. Spider looked around and observed that realistically, they were actually living in a cramped bus with no running water.
Today the Meade's can enjoy their life more comfortably. Mornings are spent counting their cattle through binoculars as they sip their coffee sitting in a pair of swivel chairs parked in front of the living room windows. Nadine has "horse-traded" some of her paintings for six Peruvian Pasos, her favorite breed, noted for their smooth gait and gentle manner. Whether they are romping in the field or waiting in the barn that is literally just out the back door, her beloved horses are never far from her sight.
Her reputation as an artist recently received a boost when she was commissioned to design the bronze trophy for the International Peruvian Paso Futurity, presented annually to the horses that have accumulated the most points in their categories. The trophy features a detailed sculpture of the special breed and is an exclusive bronze that can only be acquired by winning one. She has also designed her own website, nadinelmeade.com, where the world can enjoy her artwork. The art is divided into categories such as paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc., and even features a free download from her coloring book. Many of the pictures can be enlarged for a closer look.
So whether she is riding, training, painting or sculpting, Nadine has managed to center her life and her home around her passion for horses and her more recently discovered artistic skills.
If you were to ask Nadine Meade five years ago if she had any artistic abilities, she probably would have laughed. Her experience with paint consisted of hand prints on T-shirts. "In high school I would draw one eye, but not the other because I couldn't make them match," she explains. It is certainly hard to believe she ever had to struggle with art after seeing her recent work.
To her credit, Nadine has learned predominately by trial and error. With a few books she had checked out the local library and an inspiration born of her passion for horses, she put brush to canvas and has been painting ever since. "My first painting was one of a wild horse which I did using fabric paints. It turned out so well that I bought acrylic paints and here we are..." chuckles Nadine.
And what a place to be! Nadine won two firsts and one second place ribbon at the Pottawatomie County Fair after painting for just 7 months. She went on to enter the Oklahoma State Fair and won first in the class of "Painting-All Media" with a portrait of their palomino mustang, "Mandy". "Having only 7 months of painting experience and being self taught, I thought that was pretty good," Nadine remarks. This portrait hung in the office of veterinarian Mike Steward of the Shawnee Animal Hospital for several months. If you visit this facility, you are sure to see more of Nadine's work. As Nadine explains it, "Dr. Steward has been helpful when ever I have a problem getting a horse's conformation correct in a painting. I really do appreciate his help and support!"
"My #1 fan, though, I have to admit, is my husband, "Spider". He provides moral support, has an excellent eye for detail and is often called on for his opinion, as well as handling the framing of the paintings and never, never complaining when dinner is late because I've been painting," Nadine adds.
Mrs. Meade's talents were further tested early in her career when she was called upon by a friends who wanted her to paint a surprise 18th birthday present for their son. They wanted her to paint their son with the pony he has owned for many years. "It was one of my first attempts to paint a person, and even though I still feel that the pony turned out better than the person, they were quite happy with it." she adds. Nadine was determined to improve what she considered a weakness; portraits of people. She began adding more people to her paintings. She is currently working on a portrait of her husband and it really demonstrates how much she has improved since that first human subject.
In July of 1997, Nadine had the honor of presenting John Lyons, world renowned horse trainer, with a paintings of his horse, Zip, at his Oklahoma City symposium. "Mr. Lyons, and his son Josh, said it looked just like Zip." adds Nadine. She has since done paintings which are now in private collections in Washington, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma. She has been asked to display her work at the Santa Fe Depot Museum in Shawnee on two occasions. One of these presentations was in conjunction with the visit of the Artrain which is commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution. Certainly an honor for this late bloomer!
The following year, Nadine won first and third at the Oklahoma State Fair along with three firsts and Best of Show at the Pottawatomie County Fair. Winning best of show was a painting of an old barn located in the Shawnee area. What a surprise when the family who owned the barn happened by and recognized it! They insisted on purchasing the painting.
Mrs. Meade has also been honored recently by the Oklahoma Art Guild which has accepted some of her work into their juried show. The Show will be held at the Kirkpatrick Galleries at the Omniplex in Oklahoma City.
When Nadine picked up that first paint brush in February of 1997, she had no way of knowing how it was to change her life. Her work seems to have a brightness, a life of it's that is seldom seen in similar paintings. Maybe that's because Nadine really paints from her heart....
Nadine Meade can be contacted by calling: (405)275-4645 (current contact in 2008 is 405-303-2085)
Imagine her astonishment when Nadine L. Meade learned one winter day last February that she possessed a talent to paint.
Until then, Meade believed her ability consisted of slapping paint-covered hands on T-shirts. But in less than 6 months, Meade's paintings won both a blue and a red ribbon at the Pottawatomie County Fair. The following month she took home a blue ribbon from the State Fair of Oklahoma.
Currently, and nearly twelve months to the day since she started painting, Meade's art work has earned an exhibition in the Santa Fe Depot Museum. Her show will be held in conjunction with the schedule of the Artrain which arrives Thursday, Jan. 29, and leaves late Sunday night, Feb. 1.
Most amazing is that Meade has never had formal artistic training. Her only previous experience was an attempt to pencil disjointed facial features in a high school art class. Meade graduated from Tecumseh High School but now lives in Shawnee with her husband, "Spider."
Still, if she were to give credit for her latent talent, it would go to the wild horses the Meades adopted about 2 years ago.
"We rode Harleys all the time but Nadine had a wreck that broke her knee and totalled the bike," Spider explained. "We decided to do something safer so we started riding horses."
"I've always loved horses," Meade continued. "I enjoyed having horses and working with them again. Being around them inspired me to try to paint them."
Meade inherited her passion for horses from her father, Lloyd Farrow of Shawnee, who began raising Appaloosas when Meade was much younger.
"The first piece I did was a wild horse we had adopted through the federal government," Meade said. "We couldn't ride the wild horses for their babies so I spent a lot of time watching them. That inspired me to try to paint them."
Meade continued to paint horses but quickly expanded her work to include wild cats, a ram (one of her favorites), her dog and other creatures of nature. She then added landscapes and began including Spider in her paintings.
"I've experimented with several different techniques," Meade said. "I've also bought books and visited the Shawnee Public Library many times. Most of my paintings are acrylic washes-a lot of water and a very small amount of paint."
Meade's sister Joyce, a hobby painter, encouraged Nadine to experiment with texture in her paintings.
"I really wanted to try the technique so I used Spider's wood putty," Meade said. "I'm real happy with it-it turned out real good. Everyone likes the technique."
Texturing added life to Meade's painting of a carved bear. In another, texturing serves to showcase a dolphin at sea.
Most of Meade's paintings are copied from photographs for accuracy but she often changes backgrounds to suit her own taste, and even combines pictures into one painting. She said she knew she was on the right track when Spider's Grandchildren tried to "pet" the paintings.
Meade calls Spider her "#1 supporter." He frames her artwork and is building a gallery in their home. Spider quips that they "used to be known as Spider and Nadine, but now they'll be known as Nadine and her husband."
Meade has completed 37 paintings since she began. She calls herself "a kitchen painter" because she paints in the kitchen where she has good lighting, a comfortable chair and a counter on which to lay her supplies.
About 25 of Meade's paintings will be on display this weekend at the Santa Fe Depot Museum. Her favorites-"Mandy," "Cougar," and "Big Horn"-will be included but for the right price, Meade she would sell any of them.
I'm getting to much volume," she said. "The price would be negotiable depending on the difficulty of the painting."
So far, Meade's paintings have found a home in Colorado with John Lyons, a renowned horse trainer, with Eric Ring in Seattle and with collector Bill Hahn in Nashville.
Meade's work has also cropped up in Dallas; Harbor Springs, Mich., and Sacramento.