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

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