spirit

A Style All Its Own

In 1986, during the spring break of my second year of art college, my mother and I drove down to Arroyo Grande, Calif. to visit our friend, Geska, and her daughter, Debbie. They lived with their three Arabian horses on a bluff overlooking the distant Pacific Ocean. As a child, I always loved to visit Geska and Debbie as they were the only people in my parent’s circle of friends who had horses. You ...[Read More]

Darma 6 ~ Home at Last ~ 2000

Read Part 5 of Darma’s story here When I met Darma at Churchill Downs and she became a part of my life in 1997, I had no way of knowing how profoundly she would affect me. By seeking the most natural life possible for her and for me, I was led to make choices that have changed my life forever. I knew that having a horse was a big responsibility. I learned that having a horse in my life becam ...[Read More]

Echoes – The Creation of Brother Earth, Sister Sea

“At some point, the individual’s actions must become synchronized with universal forces, a synchronization that eases life’s basic loneliness. You are enmeshed in a larger purpose. You are meant to be in a certain place and fill a particular role. You are being yourself, truly and entirely for the first time.” – Jonathan Young, PhD, The Quest Magazine In creating some ...[Read More]

Darma 5 ~ Freedom’s Gift ~ 1999

Read Part 4 of Darma’s Story here   I had made the decision to occasionally allow my mare Darma out of her paddock to wander freely in the back yard of our rental property, instead of hand walking her on a halter, as she was often tense and easily spooked. Looking back I realize that it was unrealistic to imagine this high spirited thoroughbred mare could be a “back yard” horse, but at ...[Read More]

Shadow of a Dream

shadow-1 I have always paid special attention to shadows, reflections, and hidden images… and I believe these elements of an image can reveal a subtle truth that reveals itself when the viewer is ready to receive their own unique message. A friend began calling us “Clan Longshadow” after I sent her some photos of us in our field in the morning sun. I love looking back at this photo and glimpsing a mo ...[Read More]

The Immortal Horse

Amoretto As I prepared to add the finishing touches to the portrait of the horse I was painting, I paused a moment to reflect on the photograph his owner had sent me. She admitted that the photo didn’t really capture him and only gave me a fleeting description of his personality. She was very specific about wanting me to paint the portrait exactly like the photo, except that he had been tranquilized ...[Read More]

The Quest

"Natural Gift" pastel painting by Kim McElroy If someone asked us why we spend our lives with horses, we would say, “Because I must”. To love horses is to pursue a quest for an elusive form of love. The challenges and rewards are difficult to define to another person unless they share the same quest. Our experiences with horses can be equal parts elation, frustration, confusion, and redemption. Yet the pursuit is fulfilling, and gives us a se ...[Read More]

Artistic Inspirations – Heaven and Earth

Heaven and Earth, pastel by Kim McElroy Due to the demand for my commissioned art portraits of horses, some people have had to patiently wait years for their turn on my waiting list. Yet it is always amazing to me how the timing of each portrait seems destined to be optimum for each person. A few years ago I met a lovely woman, Terri at the Equine Affaire in Ohio. Terri wrote me later that year with the sad news that her horse Manchy ha ...[Read More]

True Colors

Long Shadows “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery   Have you ever noticed, that when you sign your name, there is a rhythm to the way your hand moves across the paper? Perhaps you even say your name to yourself silently as you sign it. Your signature is a part of your identity. It is essentially you, no one el ...[Read More]