Orren Mixer, Famed Equine Artist Dies

mixer.jpgAn artist of great renown, Orren Mixer was internationally recognized for his ability to paint the Western stock horse. The Arcadia, Oklahoma, artist has painted Appaloosa icons Chief of Four Mile, King Plaudit, and Straw Bug, as well as, Mexican actor Vincente Fernandez on a black blanketed Appaloosa stallion. After enlisting in the Navy, Orren was sent to Chicago to illustrate training manuals. It was there that he discovered the value of his paintings when his wife, Evelyn, took a few paintings to a local department store where two sold the very first night. In addition to painting, Orren bred Appaloosas, including Tom Mixer, a 1982 gelding who won $65,605.51 during his race career, including victories in the summer and Worldwide Futurities in 1984 and the Cricket Bars Maturity in 1985.

From the American Quarter Horse Journal, April 30, 2008
Mixer was born in Oklahoma City in 1920 to Florence Motter and Orren Marion Mixer Sr. After attending public schools, he graduated from Central High School and through the efforts of his high school art teacher, Grace Chadwick, he obtained a scholarship to attend the Kansas City Art Institute from 1938-40.

Mixer worked in graphic arts in New York, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to San Diego to work in an aircraft manufacturing plant. He returned to Fort Worth in 1943 and joined the US Navy. Stationed in Chicago, he was a visual aids graphic artist.

In his personal time, Mixer painted Western scenes, and his first sales came through a Chicago sporting goods store. Discharged from the service in 1946, he brought his wife, Evelyn Leonard, whom he’d married in 1941, back to Oklahoma, where he built a house and studio near Arcadia/Edmond.

Mixer became a well-known local Western artist during the 1950s and 1960s. Livestock, particularly horses, became his specialty, and his work graced the covers of Western Horseman, Quarter Horse Journal, Cattleman, and Oklahoma Today. In 1968, the American Quarter Horse Association commissioned Mixer to paint “the ideal American Quarter Horse,” and six other breed associations followed suit. He depicted the ideal Pinto, Paint, Palomino, Appaloosa, Buckskin, and Pony of the Americas.

Briefly retired during the 1980s, Mixer resumed his artistic productions in the mid-1990s, still working from a studio near Arcadia.

Mixer was inducted in the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1993 (and the Appaloosa Hall of Fame in 1998).

Matthews Funeral Home
601 S Kelly
Edmond, OK 73003
(405) 341-2787

Services Monday May 5 at 2:00 pm
Edmond’s First Baptist Church
1300 Southeast 33rd Street
Edmond, OK 73013
(405) 341-0253

In Lieu of Flowers please send donations to
Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children
Boys Ranch Town
5100 SE 33rd
Edmond, OK 73013
Phone: (405) 341-3606
Fax: (405) 348-3740

Cards may be sent to
Evelyn Mixer
PO Box 145
Arcadia, OK. 73007-0145

Categories: Announcements /People


  1. Gene Wheatley Said,

    May 6, 2008 @ 9:31 am

    I used to have a TV show in Oklahoma City and my ranch was just a few miles away from Orren. I got to know him through Appaloosa meetings when they were trying to bring the headquarters to Oklahoma City, and just stopping by to chat with him. I still remember his”killer” dog, and you couldn’t even hand your arm out of the pickup of he’d bite you. Love Orren’s country sense of humor, and he was easily the finest equine painter in the business. I still raise Appaloosas. I covered their World Championship show every year I had my show. I even did a feature on the trainer of Mel Tillot’s trainer from Florida. Great memories. I will miss him. Aho…Gene Wheatley

  2. Gene Wheatley Said,

    May 6, 2008 @ 9:42 am

    I am Gene Wheatley and had my own TV show for years in Oklahoma City. I first met Orren when they were trying to move the Headquarters of the Appaloosa Horse Club to Oklahoma City. Come to find out, he was a neighbor of mine with his place being just down the road from my place at Fallis, OK. I stopped by to visit several times, but never got out of my truck. He had a “killer” dog that I didn’t trust, and he didn’t either. Orren had a great sense of Counry Humor, and I watched him “landscape” his ranch. He brought in huge rocks, which you can see as backdrops of many of his paintings. I covered the Appaloosa World Show every year that I had my TV show. Even did a feature on Mel Tilots trainer from Florida. I still raise Appaloosas. My 4 year old is the Great Grandson of Prince Plaudette, Mighty Bright, and Bright Eyes Brother…and King. Quite a horse. I am saddened by Orren Mixer’s death, though I haven’t seen him in years. He’s a wonderful memory in my life ! Aho…Gene Wheatley

  3. Tina Mixer-Halcomb Said,

    May 6, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    The Mixer family would like to thank everyone for their kindness, prayers and support during our time of loss.
    Thank you

  4. Ida Jo Price Said,

    May 23, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

    I had the priviledge of meeting Mr. Mixer a few years ago at the Palomino World Show in Tulsa OK. The youth association was selling the traditional print of the palomino and foal. Jokingly, I told them that I would buy one, only if i could meet the artist. Two seconds later, he walked out. I have always been inpressed by his work and was delighted that he took the time to talk with me. He had a wonderful gift with his art work and a wonderful gift for gab.
    He signed the print for me, I have it matted and framed and hung in my den. It is one of “my treasures”. We have truly lost one of our most talented.
    Ida Jo Price
    Birmingham AL

  5. Sharlee Smith Said,

    July 1, 2008 @ 8:10 am

    I am priviledged to have a poster I purchased (and had professionally framed) in the 1990’s Orren Mixer did for the “Legands I” quarterhorses (King, Leo and Wimpy). It is one of my favorite horse pieces and was offered through Western Horsemen. Also enjoyed seeing the work he did of Carol Rose’s stallions. Great loss to the equine art world but we will enjoy his beautiful work for years to come.

    Sharlee Smith, Olympia, Washington

  6. Todd Mason Said,

    June 8, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    I am looking for a print of a painting that used to be in a resturant in OKC of an appaloosa horse and a Charro sitting on a hill over looking mares and colts. I have never seen this pciture anywhere else. I was told by the restruant that it was painted for a man in Mexico.
    Any help would be appriciated.
    Todd Mason

  7. Steve Said,

    June 28, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    I think we have the same print hanging in the ApHC office. I’ll do some checking on a source.

  8. David Wilkerson Said,

    October 13, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    We met once at his home. He allowed me to video Shy Boy, a long horned steer, for television. I will never forget the warmth and kindness I felt being in the presence of a great man and generous family. So sorry for your loss. 10/13/2013.

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