Painting animals has always been my passion. Since early childhood I’ve felt a very deep emotional, almost spiritual empathy for nature that I have always tried to convey in my artwork.
Majestic big cats, or, small rodents and reptiles, deer and antelope, and of course, the horse! I can almost feel what it might be like to be them sometimes, in my imagination…like a cougar, perhaps;
Weaving silently through dark trees and the cover of rock and shrub, she moves gracefully towards a spring, cautious and methodically searching. Then, upon a first glimpse of possible prey, a visceral reaction of flowing saliva and dilating pupils and she freezes motionless and breathless so not to warn of her presence. With unrelenting focus, every movement calculated, and, every advantage of cover taken, she begins the stalk.
Or, it might be the wild horses;
They gallop for sheer joy with nostrils flaring red and eyes wild in mock fear, playing at dominance with a ferocious countenance and pounding hooves. Finding comfort in strength and speed, and, the closeness of their kind, the young stallions, with a fierceness of longing pounding in their hearts, and, surrounded with forage from horizon to horizon, still hunger at the scent of wild grass just over the next hill.
I can feel them as if I am one, living as they do. I use that fantasizing to come up with ideas for new paintings. Horses were always my favorite and are still my most beloved muse. I paint many, many horses, some portraits of someone’s beloved pet, but, most are just figments of my imagination that paused long enough in their wanderings through my grey matter for me to capture them in oils, or, graphite. I’m influenced by all I see about me, things I see, hear, or, read about, and, my inspirations may come from totally unrelated sources to the subject of my painting, but, they somehow spark an image that I may prod and work around in my mind until I have to put it to paper, and, maybe if it is strong enough, to paint.
Many of my paintings tell stories with little dramas in paint, and some express an emotion, a motion, or, a purity and beauty of form. Some paintings are exercises in painting whereby the subject is actually the process, and, the animals depicted are just vehicles for the study of color and values, composition, texture, and, line. Regardless of my painting intentions, however, animals, and especially horses, are nearly always a big part of the picture. I’ve tried painting other subject matter, and, even other styles including pure non-objective abstraction, but, I always found these uninspiring and cold. I always come back, without apology, to my true passion in art, the horse! – Kerry Lynn Nelson