Updated: Apr 9
I am trying to capture the silence one feels when with a horse, especially grooming a horse. Grooming is a tactile act of compassion. It's a good time to reflect on one's thoughts, and the sweeping act across a horse's body is meditative and soothing for the horse and the person grooming it. Riding and owning a horse can be a solitary activity filled with love and a deep bond. Horses can open one's heart and sense if a person is happy or sad.
Although I am painting racehorses, I aim to listen and encourage the viewer to 'sit' with the paintings more than usual. To take the racehorse from its fancy, fast-paced image and place it in a tranquil, timeless setting. i want the viewer to take the time to reflect and perhaps see something different. I am interested in meditation, what arises from silence, and the light that occurs when our eyes are closed.
The horses are placed in a glowing transient atmosphere, slightly awkward and different from the traditional setting of perhaps a green field or the classic portrait colours of the masters such as Stubbs. What colours does the horse see, we all have auras, and animals have keen intuition when something is off, or someone is kind and loving. Does this knowledge come from a feeling, or can they see something we don't, or perhaps sense both? Many of our colours are steeped in history, from purple having spiritual connotations and resonating with royalty. Red is associated with danger, and many road signs are red. But animals do not have this awareness or pre-conceived idea of colours.
I want my horses to be there as an image but also to appear slightly not there. Not anywhere. I like the colours to reflect an experience of complementation, relaxation and more time spent in the present moment. I am looking for simply being to be enough—transcending and echoing purity and magnificence. Our lives are fast-paced, and time seems to be flying along. We have lost the time to wait for things to happen naturally. Instead of making things happen, we can relax, knowing that nothing happens unless the universe makes it happen.
I hope my horse paintings bring silence and deeper resonance with the present moment. I think all animals, especially the horse, bring human beings closer to compassionate thoughts and thoughts to be kind.
I paint racehorses as they are a paradox in how they hold themselves and have no idea of the future or past but only know the present moment. They are bred to run as fast as they can, yet afterwards, they don't celebrate, praise, or get excited at the results. They go on to the next moment. They are magnificent animals without expectations of themselves or what is around them. They move with the seasons and listen quietly to what is around them.