"You capture the horse beautifully" Jilly Cooper
"Zara wishes you well with your work" Zara Philips private secretary
It’s been a privilege for many years to meet some fabulous horses that I have had the privilege to paint
As an artist with a BA (Hons) I was educated in the old school of drawing discipline and quality draughtsman ship. The work of Leonardo da Vinci has always engaged me and the painters of the abstract expressionist movement further ignite my passion through their fabulous colour pallets.
Painting a portrait commission for a horse owner is about capturing a moment and conveying it on canvas or paper. I find it a very attractive thought to know that the provenance of my paintings will probably outlive most of us.
My paintings show something that is only a sense of closeness. To the people who have had a dalliance, acquaintance or relationship with the horse, they have a tendency to connect easily to the work. To my eye the equine form is a moving sculptural object. It has the balance, impulsion and the cadence of a Degas ballerina. This observation inspires me to paint, draw and create an ephemeral vision. When I look for inspiration in my work I tend to look at the eye of the subject first to gain an understanding of the personality behind the dark deep pools.
It is a risky process to use paint in this fluid way, which has been used by great artists like Jackson Pollock. Somehow that risk is equal to the encounter when faced with the strong and powerful equine creature. By allowing the paint to flow where it wants, I offer a guiding hand in the process. I do however, manipulate the colours and use the qualities of tone and saturation at different levels. What I am left with is a canvas that is ready to be excavated, by creating form by using light brush strokes rapidly. It is easy to overwork and I avoid this by leaving it loose and by keeping the image fresh and light therefore inviting the viewer to contribute by completing the picture by engaging in unique visual way.
The horse has been a long standing servant to mankind throughout the ages. I like to look upon my work as investigations into this appreciation as he holds a place in our history like no other animal.