Friday, March 1, 2013

Amanda Barnes Smith

Amanda Barnes Smith Takes Back Her Horse- by Greg Newbold
Amanda Barnes Smith lost her husband, and second son at the hands of violent mobsters during the Haun's Mill Massacre, one of the most violent acts of persecution in Mormon church history. During the raid, the hip of one of her six year old twin son's was also blown away by a gunshot. In the midst of this crisis, having lost everything and being forced from the state of Missouri by the mob, Smith found the mob leader's home. You see, he had stolen Amanda Smith's horse and she wanted it back. Banging on the door, she resolutely demanded back her property. The mobster told her she must pay for his having fed the animal. She declined, since he had already stolen all she had. "It's my horse. I need it. I'll take it now."  she said and calmly retrieved it from the stable. Smith reportedly used her apron as a lead rope as she took the horse. I imagined the strength and determination of this woman as she faced down the man who had participated in the deaths of her son and husband and tried to portray this feeling in her gesture and in the lighting and color of the piece. Even though night is falling, she is still illuminated from a heavenly source. This is another piece from the BYU Magazine article I am finishing up. This one is graphite and digital, painted in Photoshop.


Amy said...

I didn't know this story about this amazing woman. Love the artwork! Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

Thanks for your wonderful illustration of this story. I am a direct descendant of Amanda Barnes Smith and my cousins and I often draw strength from the experiences of our amazing and inspirational ancestor. When we have to do hard things we think of Amanda's courage and say resolutely that we're also going to "claim our horses." It is a great metaphor for facing life's challenges!

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks Liz. I am glad it resonates with you. And I agree. Go claim your horse!