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Bob Crane – Artist


By Nancy Brannon, Ph.D.

Mother Earth harbors deep within the female energy that begets creativity. Horses, a form of power, derive their power from the earth as they traverse the physical plane. The energy vibrates through their hooves into their legs, which travels through their bodies. If you are lucky enough to experience this exchange of power then you know the feeling of a hoof beat on the surface of the earth. It is life altering and consuming. Go deeply into the form of God. Become one with the horse.

These are the opening words at the Equestrian Art gallery on Bob Crane’s website:
Bob Crane knows this energy and power of the horse both as an artist and as a rider. “Because I’m an equestrian, I have a propensity to paint horses. I understand their energy and try to represent their energy in my paintings through the use of lots of different colors,” he explained. Crane has no formal training in painting and is self-taught. “If I don’t know something, I will find it out or learn from someone,” he added. He has been painting since 1973, starting with water colors, then switching to oils about five years ago. Now he paints in both media.

Bob is primarily a portrait artist, painting people, cats, dogs, horses – even buildings. “My paintings are the portrayal of something meaningful to the person who has commissioned my work. I also find meaning in the painting while doing the work – mainly from the colors, but also from the way the subject is photographed to the setting.”

Bob got started painting all because of a missed Mother’s Day present. “I forgot to buy my mother a Mother’s Day gift,” he said. So he did an ink rendering of a peach blossom, found it boring, and decided to add some color to it. He had a simple set of water color paints, which he used to “throw some color on it,” wrapped it and gave it to his mother for Mother’s Day. She was delighted to receive the gift and framed it and hung it in her house. “She died about ten years ago,” Bob said, “but I still have the painting in its original frame from 1972.”

Bob’s equestrian discipline is dressage, and he teaches and trains with Ally Rogers at Massar Stables near Arlington, TN. He’s riding two customer’s horses and two of his own at present. He has been through the USDF pre-certification process and has a lot of “sweat equity” invested in dressage learning, he quipped. He has learned from numerous other talented dressage riders and instructors, including James Koford (“one of the very few riders in the world to compete at both Four Star eventing and Grand Prix dressage”), Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, and Sarah Martin and her husband Clay.

Bob rides Renoir, a Friesian/Oldenburg cross who is training at Third Level and will be showing Second Level this season. He is also working a Hanoverian mare, Larisa, training in First Level and, hopefully, will be showing Third Level in a couple of years.

He first got into dressage when he was “advised to watch Amanda Bailey ride,” he said. Amanda is an FEI Level rider, a USDF Silver and Bronze Medalist, based at her training facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas – Oakfield Dressage. “I was eventing at the time and was seeking to improve my dressage scores. I saw her ride and thought ‘OMG! If I could look like that and ride that beautifully, that’s the sport I want to ride in!’ A year later I switched to dressage exclusively and worked with Amanda. Fifteen years later I’m still a student of dressage and probably will be for a lifetime.”

About the paintings: Bella, a water color. Crane says, “Bella is a whimsical Thoroughbred owned by Linda Porter of Little Rock, Arkansas. Her husband commissioned the portrait of Bella as a Christmas gift last year. Linda was ecstatic upon receiving the painting, which is prominently displayed in their West Little Rock ranch style home.”
Series of three Friesians and Spring Infusion

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