Monday, December 28, 2015

Gift of Inspiration -- Equine artists Jo Taylor, Lucy Kemp-Welch, Rosa Bonheur, Terryl Whitlatch and more UPDATED 10.15.23

why the horse? Is it the challenge of the anatomy? The power of its soul? The poetry of the horse in motion? Artists keep coming back to the horse as model, muse, motivation and inspiration...

I'm no artist.. but I love equine art. This year, I discovered two equine artists. One is contemporary. The other isn't. But they are both classics.

Jo Taylor (1969 - present)
I discovered her when Stuart shared a small catalog of her work with me. I was hooked. Fortunately, she is active on social media with a Facebook page (where she often shares works in progress)
She also has an extensive website
I love the scale of her work... and the sense of anatomy...

especially the really big pieces...
and the sense of motion..
 that the horses are flying past you..

The way she captures their momentum with line...
plus her horses can look like Thestrals and Patronuses at the same time!

Seven Fables is a bookstore in the UK. They sell blank greeting cards w/ Jo Taylor art. I ordered one of each image. They shipped fast and well protected. Worth the rate! Here's a link for the store:

and pics of the cards and packing..

UPDATE 11.28.20
Some stunning rough sketches from Jo's Facebook page, with this comment:
"Study Sheet for an exciting new commission to capture the power, expression and beauty of the Portuguese Lusitano horse."

UPDATE 2.2020 -- Link for brief interview with Jo Taylor

From her website:

As explained by Jane Wheatley of The Times
“Jo does a lot of watching horses; in racing stables and on windy gallops, in the Camargue marshes and at Portuguese Horse Fairs, out in Montana cattle country and on the South African plains. Watching looking, making sketches, remembering the lift of a hoof, the curve of a neck, the line of a muscle.”
“Jo works in a variety of media on a large unrestricted scale and her style is deliberately abstract with a bold use of colour. Her organic palette is scoured from the immediate landscape and the elements, reminiscent of the work of Prunella Clough and Graham Sutherland. Through her materials she describes muscle tensions and structures, which she was able to study during her residency at the Department of Veterinary Science at Liverpool University. This left Jo with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of animal physiology, leading The Times Art Critic Rachel Campbell Johnson to liken her use of anatomy to Stubbs.”
“These insights give Jo Taylor an understanding that is translated into paintings which contain a sculptural dynamism where the essence of the horse is exposed.
# # # 

Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958)
 Not sure when her art popped up on my radar, but it took a few pieces for me to realize.. hey, all this work I like is all the same artist.. and it's a gal! Turns out she is well known.
One of her best known works, Colt-Hunting in the New Forest,  is in the collection of the Tate Gallery in London....
 Also at the Tate.. her work titled "Forward the Guns"
She also did the art for this war poster
a personal favorite is painting below...
Mixed Company at a Race Meeting, 1904
and appreciate the horsewoman featured in...
 The Riders, 1911
 She's also known for her illustrations for the 1915 edition of the Anna Sewell landmark work "Black Beauty." Popular modern reprints of the book have featured this Kemp-Welch art on the cover:

Monograph below.. "Lucy Kemp-Welch, The Spirit of the Horse" by Laura Wortley is from 1997.

You can view an excellent slide show of 42 of her paintings via this BBC site ....

UPDATE 2/16/16
ROSA BONHEUR (1822-1899)
This showed up on my radar.. and adding here to include with equine art...
Link here for anaylsis by Wayne Thiebaud of painting "The Horse Fair" by Rosa Bonheur

UPDATE 7/30/17
Link with more about Rosa Bonheur

Portrait of Rosa Bonheur, 1857, by Edouard Louis Dubufe
 Rosa Bonheur in her Studio by George Achille-Fould
Highland Raid 1860, by Rosa Bonheur
 Two Recumbent Tigers 1887, by Rosa Bonheur

UPDATE 3.21.19
National Gallery in London post on Rosa Bonheur for Intl Womens Day 2019.

Restoration of "the Horse Fair"

TERRYL WHITLATCH (1961-present)
Horses are the favorite subject of creature designer and scientific illustrator Terryl Whitlatch

UPDATE 10.15.23

I discovered this Oregon-based artist years ago. Here are some samples of her unique style from a gallery show she had in June 2021

And some favorites over the years...
"Dazzle Zebra"

"Pick Me"

"Fab Five"

"Into the Sun"

I order a calendar from her online store every year. They are printed on heavy stock paper -- so  you end up with 12 images suitable for framing. I also highly recommend tote bags from her store -- super sturdy! I have this one with her 'Fab Five' art.

Horses are just one favorite subject for this impressionist artist. Her many paintings of Secretariat were part of various celebrations in 2023 for the 50th anniversary of his Triple Crown win. I love that she sells blank greeting cards.. with bio info about her and the work on the back of each card! 

Other equine artists highlighted here on the blog on these previous posts:
Sam Savitt:
Norman Thelwell
George Ford Morris
CW Anderson
more horse reference, Breyer Models and Sam Savitt poster

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Your art on display by another artist --- What would you do?

Another unauthorized use of images case study.... I learned about this online and got artist Angela's permission to share:

At a recent convention, artist Angela Li noticed her original artwork was being exhibited by another artist (we'll call them Artist X). That's right... at the same show.. at a nearby table.. Artist X was selling plagiarized prints. Angela brought this fact to Artist X's attention...

Here's how Angela described the situation (this quote from a social media site)...

 "....a fellow exhibitor decided it was a great idea to sell plagiarized work. My artwork was taken, painted on top of, displayed, and posed as theirs. Not only did this person steal, but took no care or concern at all to realize that the artist she stole from and whose artwork she is selling is sitting right in front of her.
When confronted, this artist shamelessly told me she had no idea what I was talking about, denied any wrongdoing, noted no resemblance and told me she painted this years ago (it was posted in June this year). While it was eventually taken down, it is insulting not only to have my own artwork being profited from right in front of me, but also to be lied to my face even when shown a blatant side by side comparison. As professionals, we should maintain artistic integrity and grow as our own artist. Be inspired by the art around you but don't steal and claim as your own."

Here are the photos Angela used to illustrate her objections:

Angela's situation is not rare. And Artist X's reaction is frighteningly common. This entire scenario is typical of the frustration artists have when trying to protect their intellectual property... AND the lack of education and/or etiquette when in comes to posted plagiarized work.. in portfolios.. on websites.. and at convention  tables.

On the social media site where Angela posted about this incident... many peers and fans commented with their reactions ... and suggestions of ways to take action.

We need to bring this problem.. and the solutions.. into a wider audience. Artists, convention organizers and fans need to have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to plagiarized works.
For now, there are some good tips on this link (a 2010 online article "What to do if someone steals your design" written by Joshua Johnson) that was suggested to Angela via comment on her social media post:

Also helpful... this Copyright Guidelines for Artists and Crafters chart, by Ginger Davis Allman (

I'll be continuing to update this post on the blog.. and looking for ways to expand the conversation.

Amy commentary:

Companies that own licences to images/likenesses will shut down booths at shows if vendor is selling items with unauthorized use of licensed images. Companies that own and license images have vast resources to back up their claims.... but all their power still comes down to honoring copyright protections.

How can indie artists and patrons have impact? Respect for copyright needs to be enforced via education, outreach, conversation, and peer pressure.

Don't accept its "just gonna happen" with unauthorized use of images by indie artists ....  change will come with awareness and action...  and that includes on the exhibit hall floor.