In the introductory premiere of the Artist’s Palette, local fine artist Charisse Rudolph reveals her vibrant renditions of her love for horses, mules and all things nature.

Each week, Tehachapi News will feature the fine artwork found so abundant in our small mountain community, starting with Rudolph.

As she invites you in her Bear Valley studio filled with her original pieces, the first thing that comes to mind is tranquility and color.

The walls are adorned with her favorite things, her muses, for lack of a better word.

She sits painting her newest piece, a spectacular image of a woman who shares the same magnificent mane as her stunning horse, a piece she finishes later that day.

Rudolph said she has been around horses since the age of 2. One of her first memories is her mother saddling up a horse.

"I was getting ready to ride, so they have always been in my life," Rudolph said.

Later in her life, Rudolph started a nonprofit organization called Healing Horses & Armed Forces, she said looking for the connection that was happening between people and horses.

"We were looking to see how people were handling the different challenges that presented to them, and then we could come back on the facilitation part of seeing what was going on with you," she said.

When the horses entered the picture in 2000, Rudolph said, she became partners with the horses based on their reactions and feelings with people.

"That same connection that I learned to look for in order to help other people, I am now painting, which I find kind of curious. I've always painted horses as a child, but I didn't realize that I would be working with people and horses to help them," Rudolph said.

Once she started doing her art full time, Rudolph said, she still looks for that connection.

Rudolph writes on her website (charissefineart.com): "When I am looking for what I want to paint, I look for a picture that moves me. In most cases, a photo that I can feel love or a heart connection. I translate that feeling into my paintings.

"Having horses in my life and sharing their energy to heal humans who have experienced trauma, my paintings project the silent communication that all animals share. Sometimes people send me photos and often I request photos from those who have horses and mules in their lives. Other times, I see a photo that moves me, and I make a request.

"I paint what I see, however, I use bright vibrant color to interpret feeling and to make people see the world in a different light."

Rudolph says she is constantly searching for the connection that any two beings have together, whether it is horses with horses or people with horses.

"It's that special moment when your cat is talking to you or your dog. ... It's that connection that I learn to see and I do in my paintings," Rudolph said.

Whatever subject moves her, she seeks permission to paint it, such as a recent piece she titled "A Mother's Love," which depicts a mare that lost her foal, but became instantly attached to a foal that lost its mother.

Said Rudolph, "When you feel the connection, you can feel it in your throat, you know that lump you feel."

Rudolph's pieces have been featured at Gallery 'N' Gifts, and can be found on her Facebook page as well. She welcomes commissioned pieces.

Next week, Tehachapi News will feature another equestrian artist well known for her work, Anita Jesse.