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Petaluma’s Painting Horse

June 27 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


A horse is a horse, unless of course he is Johnnie Gray-Nelson, aka “Painting Horse Johnnie” from Petaluma.

Johnnie will host the first public showing of his paintings on Sunday, June 27 from 10-3pm at Dairydell Canine, 2575 Old Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA.  A second show is planned for July 18, 10-3.  Attendees will visit his ranch workshop, From the Horse’s Mouth Studio, view his works for sale, and watch Johnnie paint at 11am and 2pm.


Johnnie is an 8 year-old Gypsy Vanner horse, owned by Camilla Gray-Nelson and trained by Kathleen Sidjakov, Hollywood animal trainer and fine art painter who now owns Animal Stars Training in Rohnert Park.  Johnnie’s unique talent for painting was discovered 2 years ago, while Kathy was teaching him tricks.  “Johnnie was especially fond of holding things in his mouth,” says Kathy,  “Camilla and I joked that I should try it with a paintbrush and make a painter out of him.  Who knew it would really happen?”


Johnnie has developed his craft over the past 2 years and now paints with passion and style, all with custom-designed brushes held in his mouth.  So impressive is his body of work that when it was (anonymously) presented for consideration into a prestigious Sonoma County art show, Johnnie was accepted as a new, emerging artist!  Unfortunately, when it was revealed that “Johnnie Gray-Nelson”, the artist without hands, was in fact a horse, his acceptance was rescinded.

“That’s when we decided nobody puts Johnnie in a corner, and we would schedule his own, private showings for the public,” says owner, Camilla Gray-Nelson.  Camilla owns and operates the well-known dog training resort, Dairydell Canine on Adobe Road in Petaluma, but is an avid horsewoman as well.  “Johnnie’s art will be for sale at his show, with 50% going to local animal charities.  Buyers will be able to have their photograph taken with the artist and have not only with a piece of beautiful art for their wall, but a story to tell for years.


For more information about the show, email [email protected] or [email protected]


June 27
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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