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Local Artist – Virginia “Ginny” Furness

Originally from Argentina, Virginia Peralta de Furness came to the United States with her family as a child.  With a medically inclined family, Ginny followed into the healthcare field in 1988 when she graduated with a BS in Occupational Therapy.  Throughout her long and successful career in healthcare, she continued to be drawn to art and sought out creative immersion in different forms. 

She started with photography, which allowed her to express her personal response to real and imagined experiences.  When digital photography ended the era of photographic film, she pursued digital media and earned a Diploma in Web Design which turned into work as a freelance web designer. 

All of these artistic endeavors continued to bring her back to traditional forms of artistic expression.   With a significant life change in 2014, Ginny made a career reset and decided to fully pursue her passion for art which lead to studies in drawing and painting at the Art Students League of Denver and then her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2019.  For her MFA thesis, Ginny’s subject was wild horses. Ginny explains, “My definition of what it meant to have a partnership with a horse changed especially when I chose to study, photograph and paint wild horses for my MFA thesis in western Colorado, Utah and Arizona.” 

A lifelong lover of horses, Ginny was not able to fully realize her connection with horses until her four sons were raised and she then had the time to pursue riding at 38 years old.  Ginny reflects on that time, “Early on I became involved in classical dressage through a local Spanish trainer. In those years I really packed it in and emersed myself into trying to understand and master this art form. While my horses were in classical training, I took all the lessons and clinics that were offered. Although I learned all the high-level dressage skills, I wasn’t sure that I was becoming a better equestrian. (Studying wild horses) was my segue way towards being an intuitive rider. One that connects with the horse by being closely attuned to their behaviors and movement. My horses and I are happier now that we are in better harmony.”

Ginny’s study of the wild horses and burros changed her “permanently” and changed the way she sees and interacts with them.  She stays closer to home now and her equine subjects are local, whether that be her own, friends or clients. 

Ginny paints exclusively in oils on linen, canvas or boards.  The pigments of oil paints are suspended in linseed oil which results in a mixture that maintains a vibrant color and dries slowly. The slow drying time, during which their colors do not change, allowing her the ability to rework, correct and even scrape off areas of paint. 

Early influencers of her work were James Reynolds (cowboy artist), T. Allen Lawson, Clyde Aspevig and Michael Workman. Currently, Ginny relates she is “focusing on my own style which is loose and painterly. Representationally but flowing in and out of abstraction.  Loose means not getting bogged down with unnecessary details. It also means operating by intuition more than intellect while paying attention to the gesture, mood and flow. In the end I want the loose passages, color combinations, value patterns and composition to come together in a dynamic and pleasing manner.  I prefer depicting horses in the most natural states as possible whether alone, within a herd or interacting with their owners.” 

Ginny does commissioned work in oils or charcoal drawings of horses, horses with their people as well as people portraits.  It is up to the client if they are painted in Ginny’s “loose” style or she can render the subject realistically. 

The Stone Heart Gallery in Evergreen features Ginny’s work or for more of her work and contact her, go to: www.virginiafurness.com or https://www.instagram.com/virginiafurness/

Heather McWilliams © 2021

Summer Schedule 2019

CAMPS FOR KIDS

Double Header Performance Horses, Evergreen. dhphorses.com

June 17-20 and July 8-11, Monday – Thursday, 9am-2pm, $400

C & C Equine (find on Facebook) 5930 Bluebell Lane, Evergreen. Crysten 720-891-5914.  Drop-ins and lessons on non-camp weeks welcome. Complete horse emersion camps for ages 5+.

June 24-27, July 8-11, July 22-25, August 5-8.

CLINICS – ALL DISCIPLINES

Abbe Ranch Jumping Clinic – May 9-12 (sign up ASAP!!!, 2 and 4 day options) 9998 S. Perry Park Road, Larkspur.  abberanchevents.com/2019-clinic.  One of the best cross country jumping clinics in our nation.  Beautiful facility, horses love it here, top notch instructors, safety is main concern, 2 lessons daily with lunch lecture.  Grouped by skill level.  Many people camp out with their horses.  NO DOGS.

Working Equitation Clinic/lessons with Allison Mazurkiewicz. Hosted in North Evergreen. Scheduling special days for garrocha games, drill team work and additional challenge obstacles. Christina christuris@hotmail.com.  April 20, garrocha play dayClinics/Lessons – May 7th rain date May 21st, June 18th rain date June 25th, July 9th rain date July 23rd, August 6th rain date August 13th, September 3rd rain date September 24th.

Working Equitation/Dressage Clinics with Steve Kutie at Mount Falcon Equestrian.  Contact Nicole at n.kralova@gmail.com.  Great opportunity to ride consistently with this sought after clinician.  Internationally competitive WE rider and trainer as well as reining and working cow horse.  kutieperformancehorses.com April 27 & 28, May 25 & 26, July 8 – 15, August 10 & 11

Fundamental Horsemanship (all discipline) with Kip Fladland.  July 26, 27, 28.  2, 3 day classes, $450/class.  Jeffco Event Center, Golden.  Morning class, Fundamental Horsemanship, 9am-12pm.  Afternoon class Horsemanship I, 130-430pm.  Kip is a well known clinician and disciple of Buck Brannaman (traveled with Buck for 5 years), Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance.  I have done this clinic twice and highly recommend it to any discipline.  True emersion and you will come out a better horse and rider team.  Foundational horsemanship that will find any holes in your training and solidify your relationship and communication with your horse.  Kip is fun, encouraging and the real deal.  Kips wife is an international Dressage trainer and he understands and appreciates all disciplines.  Two participant dinners during the clinic weekend.  Heather for more information and sign up 303-638-0994, heather@mtnhomes4horses.com.

GREAT PLACES TO GO RIDE

Spring Gulch Equestrian Park – Open Year-Round.  7am-830pm. 9490, US-85, Highlands Ranch 80129. $5 day fee or $25 annual pass, $5 donation if you use the jumps.  This is a hidden gem right near Murdochs on Santa Fe (you cannot see from road due to a dam), so close to the foothills – if you haven’t been there, you will be amazed it was there all along. 105 acres of trails, including cross country jumps of all sizes, banks and ditches.  Lovingly cared for by the Mountain States Eventing Association.  Occasionally closed on horse event days. 

Equestrian Skills Park – Open Year-Round.  1045 Lower Gold Camp Rd, Colorado Springs 80905.  Enter at Norris-Penrose Event Center and follow signs to Skills Park Parking, equestrianskillscourse.org.  Incredible new trail skills course park.  RV camping and stalls overnight at Norris-Penrose Event Center. 

GYMKHANAS / OPEN SHOWS


Buffalo Bill Saddle Club
Indiana Equestrian Center 76th and Indiana St. Arvada. June 29  and September 15  Gymkhana & Fun Events OPEN TO THE PUBLIC to ride or watch!    Registration begins at 8 am Events start at 9am. Riders 18 and under are required to wear a helmet. See the website for more details www.BBSCGolden.org or info@BBSCGolden.org Due to insurance restrictions most events are members only.

Double Header Summer Gymkhanas, Evergreen – schedule at:  dhphorses.com

Conifer Area Gymkhana Series, Conifer, McKeever Arena.  June 2nd, July 14th, Aug 4th.

Open Horse Show July 13th, Conifer, McKeever Arena. On Facebook at ConiferGymkhana.

Colorado Stock Horse Association Open Shows, Indian Equestrian Center, Arvada. Coloradostockhorse.com.  May 5, June 2, July 14, August 11, September 8.

More areas on Facebook at Colorado Open Horse Shows

PAIR PACES

April 27 (sign up ASAP!!!)  Pine Ridge Pony Club and Arapahoe Hunt Combined Test and Pair Pace at Spring Gulch Equestrian Park in Highlands Ranch.  ashleigh.mckown@gmail.com or find on Facebook under Pine Ridge Pony Club.

RANCH SORTING

Evergreen Ranch Sorting Association, Pine Junction.  Find on Facebook.  Mostly Saturdays May-October.  Fun, educational, supportive and close-knit group. Contact Jerry Toman 303-674-5096 jerryrtoman@msn.com.

SOCIAL/EDUCATIONAL GROUPS

Intermountain Horse Association meets September-May.  third Tuesdays of the month, 6:30pm at Beau Jo’s in Evergreen, for pizza and social time, meeting and program to follow. intermountainhorse.org

TRAIL RIDING

Overnight Horse Camping Trips – mtnhomes4horses.com/overnight-colorado-horse-trips/

Trail Riding – mtnhomes4horses.com/time-trail-riding/.  See also Margi Evans’ Riding Colorado Book Series.

Poker Ride:  April 27, Bear Creek Regional Park (Equestrian Skills Course), Colorado Springs. equestrianskillscourse.org

Trail Riding Clinic:  May 19, 7:30am -12pm North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) Clinic.   Learn about competitive trail riding at Greenland Open Space, Larkspur.  Competitive ride will follow clinic.

Diane Wingle, diane.wingle@gmail.com, 303-847-7006

Poker Ride:  September 7, Alderfer 3 Sisters OS Park, Evergreen.  intermountainhorse.org. $35, adult IHA member; $45, adult non-member; $20, accompanied minor rider; $80, 2 adult family. Fee includes lunch.  Proceeds will benefit a local horse organization. For information or to volunteer, contact Carolyn Knapp-Nelson, equinehands@comcast.net or 303-674-8853. 

Heather McWilliams © 2019 Questions?  303-638-0994