It seems Jeanette and I were meant to meet, because Jeanette and her Arabian mare Betai live in my hometown here in Kingston, Washington. Jeanette and I had a wonderful time discussing stories of her life with Betai. I was touched by how close they are as horse and human. Jeanette shared that whenever she was troubled or stressed, Betai seemed to always make her feel peaceful and strong again. Jeanette shared her concerns for Betai’s aging, and she felt a portrait would be a wonderful way to always have Betai close in spirit.
I visited their property one sunny day - and photographed Betai. Together we chose this reference photo as the perfect pose. Later as I began the composition, I did a meditation with Betai. I asked if she had a message for her Jeanette, and she showed me the image of a dream catcher. I realized then that this symbol was the perfect accompaniment to Betai’s portrait, as it spoke of the healing energy she embodies, and the gift she offers of her healing presence whenever Jeanette needs her strength.
" I asked Kim to paint a picture of my beautiful horse Betai, whom I have had the privilege of having with me for over 19 years. Kim did a beautiful job on the painting and really captured Betai for me. She worked with me as I described how I loved Betai's mane and how it looked to me as we were riding. She also called me one day and said that she saw the image of a Native American Dream Catcher, as she thought of what Betai meant to me. It is true that whenever I had problems, a ride on Betai always took care of them --and she is my "Dream Catcher". Kim added a Dream Catcher in the painting, which really works. I love the painting of Betai, I love looking at her and her beautiful flowing mane, and I thank Kim for capturing Betai for me in such a lovely painting. “
~ Jeanette Leino