A Few New Prints

The studio inbox has recently received requests for some new prints to be offered…
and it gave me the opportunity to clean that page up a bit and add a few new ones.

You will find this logo at the top of the page after you click on Prints from the menu bar on my website…heatherneill.com

NEW to the site are…

So there ya go,
a little bit of whimsy for this season.

Back tot he easel for me…
you lot stay frosty out there !


Flying Horses

Flying Horses

Everyone has a story.

If you mention the carousel,
to anyone on the island,
you will first get a smile,
and then a story.

I remember when I took my first ride…

The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America.
For 140 years children have ridden,
round and round
on these gorgeous steeds,
in the little red barn,
in the town of Oak Bluffs,
on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

With music from a 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ,
the smell of popcorn from the refreshment stand,
the brightly colored hand-painted signs, (thank Skip for those),
the original painted placards that revolve with scenes of far away places,
and the laughter of children enjoying the ride,
there is a circus-like atmosphere
when you walk inside,
out of the blazing summer beach scene,
and into the cool throwback in time,
and the world turns at a slower,
happier pace.

On the cool crisp October day,
when we met Wendy and John outside the red building,
the horses were gearing up
for the last race of the season.

Walking in, before the doors were open to the patrons,
it was eerily dark as we waited for John to throw on the lights.
I wandered around to the back of the barn,
following a shaft of bright morning light,
that was streaming in from the topmost windows.

The strong raking light
caught the tip of an ear,
and the edge of a saddle,
the ginger flank of one horse,
and the flowing blond mane of another.

It cast the long thin shadow
of a stirrup,
on the circular green floor,
and then popped up
to reveal the brilliant red arm,
and slid silkily down to the very end,
which was, ever so gently,
holding one shiny brass ring.

Just as the sunlight
winked on the edge of that brass ring,
while their caretaker John was still fumbling for the switch,
I felt a breeze,
and heard a distant whinny…
and off they went.

It was a breathtaking sight…
riderless and free,
they took to the wind,
and, for one more time…
those beautiful horses…flew.

You can read more about the Carousel here
from the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust website.

And I can thank Wendy and John for the inspiration, and the ride.