story of the Night Mares has been waiting in the sky, patiently calling
out names and whispering to open hearts for many moons - until now.
It took the blending of the right hearts, kindred spirits, and united
hopes and dreams for it to come to life through story, art and love.
Kim McElroy has captured the essence of the legend in her work of
art, The Legend. In this piece we can feel the stallion Eclipse's
defiance and love as he calls out to the forces of nature to save
his mares from capture.
L. Van Zant
Wild Heart Ranch
the best things happen through the dreams of children.
November 1997, I was contacted by the owner of a new company called
Wild Heart Ranch. The company owner, Dawn Van Zant, wanted to
find out if I was interested in doing a project illustrating artwork
for a new plush horse toy. Intrigued, I said I'd like to hear
years before, Dawn had written a bedtime story her eight year-old
daughter, Callan. The story was about an ancient herd of wild
horses. Three of the characters, the mares Moonbeam, Comet and
Lucky Stars, narrowly escape capture by thundering off into the
night sky to become one with the stars in the Pegasus constellation.
Their spirits remained shining there as symbols of freedom and
protection for all horses, both wild and domestic, and the humans
who love them.
and her daughter came up with the idea of creating plush horses
based on the three mares. They named the toys "No More Night
Mares" and designed a unique night-light for the blaze of
each mare, as a symbol of their celestial heritage.
read The No More Night Mares Legend, the images of the future artwork
started to appear in my imagination as if the pieces were already completed.
I was inspired by the mystical and symbolic significance of Dawn's story.
I felt a kinship with Dawn because I had wanted to do a work of art
depicting the Pegasus constellation for years and had never found the
right concept...until now.
of the project seemed to be blessed from the start. Not only did I have
the pleasure of working with people who appreciated my style, but the
models for the horses miraculously appeared when I needed, say, a Paint
with a comet shaped blaze, a black stallion, or a palomino.
to Dawn, Callan was always there to encourage her when the reality of
achieving their dream seemed distant. It was also Callan who had insisted
that I was the person to illustrate the artwork. She had been collecting
my Leanin' Tree greeting cards and when asked to do a book report for
school about a famous artist, she picked me.
was released in July 1998 and has been a wonderful success! This is
just the beginning. Needless to say, we owe a lot to Callan, for this
project has been a dream come true for all of us.
to read more about Kim McElroy