Horses of the Four Seasons ~ Limited Edition of 200

Horses of the Four Seasons ~ Limited Edition of 200

My Radiant Dream,
a vision in gold,
awakens my heart to Spring

The black mare Antares
shines brighter than
the Summer sun

Crucero is a traveler
at a crossroads

A wild white horse
in winter is Shahzareign

All of them have
come to teach us
The meaning of life’s seasons

~ Kim McElroy

Horses of the Four Seasons was commissioned by my client Joseph from Portugal. Joseph told me of his love for nature and horses and his interest in commissioning three paintings, what evolved into “Magnetism”, “Horses of the Four Seasons” and “Horses of the Four Elements” (tba). Joseph has horses of his own but rather than their likenesses, he offered me the freedom to depict my own choice of horse models. My inspirations led to revisiting photos of horses I had known and painted previously, some of the horses I had met over 20 years ago and one only a few years ago. I happened to have photographs of these horses in poses that suited themselves to the composition and the rest began to evolve from there.

Joseph had mentioned his love for an olive tree in his yard, and I realized that there was a central theme in the seasons as trees as the most tangible expression of the change of seasons, so I composed the images with one tree of mixed origins, sharing growth in all seasons.

I asked Joseph if he wanted any elements to be personal totems or symbols and he requested his totem animal the owl be present, and a symbol called Awen which he only knew by sight but not by definition.
The Awen, or ‘rays,’ is a glyph with three vertical lines or rays of light converging at the top. The Awen is a not a genuine symbol of ancient Druidry, but associated with several modern groups. The word Awen in the Gaelic language means “inspiration,” or “essence,” and refers to poetic inspiration (traditional) or spiritual illumination (modern). The three parts of the Awen symbol represent the harmony of opposites- the left and right rays symbolizing female and male energy; the center bar their harmonious balance (somewhat akin to the Taoist yin-yang symbol).

Awen was a fitting symbol for Joseph as he is a published poet and photographer.
To top the list of synchronicities in this creation, an owl landed in our old trees one night the week I was completing the art – providing the most perfect and stunning imagery for the painting.

Numbered and signed by Kim McElroy