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Kim McElroy
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The 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.
Dawn L. Van Zant
Founder
Wild Heart Ranch


The Legend


Sometimes the best things happen through the dreams of children.

In 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 more.

Two 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.

Dawn 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.

When I 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.

Every aspect 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.

According 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.

The toy 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.

Kim McElroy
Artist

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Wild Heart Ranch - Collectible Children's Plush Horse Toys, Collectible Children's Plush Seahorse Toys, Collectible Children's Plush Camel Toy, Non Violent Award Winning Collectible Childrens Plush Toys, Horse News, Wild Horse Conservation News, Seahorse Conservation News, Wild Camel Conservation News, Armadillo Conservation News, Children's Books, fun and games, free games, Armadillo Cowboy Club, No More Night Mares - A Dream of Freedom, I Sea Horses - From Sky to Sea, Bradford and the Journey to the Desert of Lop, Lucky Stars Collection, Horse Facts, Horse Links
 
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