Why I Create Horse Paintings

A friend once told me, “you don’t just paint horses—you paint your enthusiasm for life in the form of horses”. I create horse paintings to celebrate the beauty of horses and their sensitivity, their power, and their wisdom. I paint horses as metaphors for the way we long to be.

Rather than merely creating beautiful paintings of horses, my compositions are usually intended to convey meaning to the viewer—whether it is of a horse’s state of mind which we might wish to emulate, or to symbolically represent concepts or feelings which horses embody by their very nature. I believe art has to be personal and that it should have a depth of meaning.

If I am creating a horse portrait I interweave elements of what I intuitively perceive is that horse’s own unique being and often that includes a symbolic message to their owner.

Kim in her Studio on Bainbridge Island 1988

Kim in her Studio on Bainbridge Island 1988

My artistic horses seem to occupy a universe all their own. Most of my horse subjects are painted without humans present, yet they are messengers and guides for the owners and also for those of us who experience our own synchronicities in viewing the art. I only rarely paint horses in sports, and if I do so it is as an attempt to honor their willingness, pride, and selflessness in service to humans.

The Process of Creating my Horse Paintings

When I am painting, in the best moments are when I become every element of what I am painting, it is like a shamanic journey into the elements of nature, the life and emotions of the being I am creating, the story, the moment, the light, the essence, and the message the horse is conveying. I never say I “capture the spirit of the horse” for the spirit can never be captured, rather it consents to show itself

Sharing my Artwork with the World

Over the years of showing my horse paintings at events around the world I have had the rare opportunity to directly experience the impact my art has on the viewer. When I am sharing my work with others, I love the way people’s eyes light up, their intake of breath, their slight disbelief that something two-dimensional can be so alive, and then their acceptance that this is possible. It is this admiration, this confirmation that fuels me almost as much as the subject itself. Like a rider who wins a blue ribbon and knows the credit is due solely to their mount, I receive the accolades for my work knowing that it is the result of a complex process far beyond my learned abilities.

One of my special collectors shared her feelings about my work when she said, “Your paintings are windows that look out into our true home, and doors through which we can fly into realms we so nostalgically seek.” These connections with special people the world over fill me with such joy—the joy overflows from my heart, to my hands, to the paper on which I create my art.