There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
At least one of us here at the gallery (me) never recovered from the common strain of equine crush, most commonly experienced between the years of 7 and 12. Although years have passed (and I did discover boys…), I’ve never lost my passion, love and curiosity for these beautiful and graceful animals. I’ve been thrown, bitten, stepped on (that one really hurt) kicked and bucked off, but something about a horse’s meltingly brown eyes and the velvety texture of their noses brings me back again and again.
Although I always love to, I can't always find the time to head over to Atlanta’s Chastain Horse Park to get my fix. Luckily, my yearnings are quietened with the wonderful procession of equine paintings and watercolors that canter into the gallery and gallop right back out again, usually in the hands of another horse lover.
One of our favorite equine painters is the gorgeous, tall and exquisitely talented Bonnie Beauchamp Cooke, who jokingly calls herself a real cowgirl (although when she comes to the gallery in cool jeans and heels, she seems like a bonafide city girl to us!). She owns a farm in Middle Georgia and delights us with paintings of her own horses, with decidedly family-picked names: Lucy, Zipper Doodle, Leonard the IV (who was actually the son of Shelley) and Cappie. We love these paintings because they are full of texture, lots of different media (including sand and dirt that Bonnie likes to apply with her fingers) and soft, natural colors. I am especially taken with the way Bonnie captures a horse’s eye: it’s the window to their sweet souls and Bonnie paints them big, full of life and light and deep, dark brown. (By the way, Bonnie was recently the subject of a lively and gorgeously photographed blog by journalist/designer/tastemaker, Bryan Flynn, so click here to feast your eyes on it.)
One of our French artists, Georges Nasri, paints a pretty fabulous horse, too. His are elongated and elegant equines – the way you’d want to look if you were a French horse. He uses a subtle inky brown watercolor and uses long, uninterrupted brush strokes. Sometimes, he adds a rider – and sometimes I dream that I’m a French girl riding a French horse and we’re both chic and elegant in that 1930s way. Georges’ horses look marvelous when they’re grouped together in a grid or a collection.
And, speaking of that, we just sold a number of these watercolors to a client who was adding an “elegant horse theme” to a study. We haven’t snagged the photos yet, but we’re pretty sure the collection packs a stylish punch.
We have a third artist whose work really sends me to the moon. His name is Jeffrey Terreson and he creates large (really large) horses in the most unhorsey hues. I’m particularly taken with his Quiet Series – these are noble steeds, who look like they come from prestigious bloodlines, but they gleam and glow in the palest celery green, azure blue and even crimson. Jeffrey incorporates all sorts of nameless objects into his media (like tiny plastic beads that get covered in his oil paint and add impossible texture). The newest one that recently arrived at our stable/gallery, was Quiet Mist. I was already in love before the crate arrived and sad for me, Quiet Mist quickly found a new home on someone’s lucky wall. Sigh.
Although we’re all patiently waiting for another horsey creation from Mr. Terreson, I’m always looking for the next four-legged steed who will capture my heart…
That’s it, from the horse’s mouth….