EQUINE ART AT CATSKILL HORSE
When we can’t be riding our horses or talking about them, many of us like to photograph, sculpt or paint them. The Equine Art at Catskill Horse column will canter about chatting with artists, sharing their stories, their works of art and inspiring all artists to learn, to share and sell their creations.
This guide primarily covers Upstate NY, New England, Northern PA, Western OH and Northern NJ.
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Name of Artist
Business Name of Artist
In 20 words or less please describe the type of artwork you produce and short bio.
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Say Hello to Daniele Jones.
Like many avid equine artists Daniele was drawn to horses at an early age. As a child growing up in a small town in North Eastern Colorado Daniele, grew up around horses and constantly filled sketchbooks with drawings of Appaloosas. Daniele lived for 20 plus years in Texas and now lives in a small beach town in Florida.
We sat down with Daniele to find out more about what inspired her to pick up the charcoal, and learn how her journey evolved.
CH: Do you have a background in horses?
Daniele: I grew up around horses and my brother has some now. I don't get to get up close and personal with them as much as I'd like. As a child taking care of and riding our horse were some of my favorite things. I can still recall the smells and feel of that old barn with the horses, cows, cats, leather, old chewed up wood and hay - the smell of hay always takes me back there. The Appaloosa in the photo, his name was Question, as the story goes when he was a colt he had a question mark on his head in white. Our whole family would mount up and ride around town, those are some of my favorite childhood memories. It all seems so old fashioned now, I love thinking about those times.
CH: Can you recount the first time you became inspired to paint/draw horses?
Daniele: I've been drawing horses since I was just a filly myself. I had a poster of the different horses that Native American's had used and was fascinated by the stories of the Ute's from my part of the country and (if I remember correctly) that they primarily had Appaloosas, which is what I grew up with. I would fill sketch books up with horse drawings, until I could draw them from memory. You can see the drawing example from when I was about 7. I'm pretty sure we took it to the county fair, but I doubt it won anything! I hadn't even remembered that old drawing until I came across it at my Dad's house and to see how similar it was to the newer one was really a funny experience.
CH: What is your method? i.e. do you draw then paint/straight to canvas/ work from photos etc.
DanieIe: I work from photos. But, I like to study the subject, or something similar in real life also. I like to think about the feel of their mane and their soft noses when I work on them, I like to think that comes through in the final artwork. Always studying animals in real life helps with getting realistic light and overall knowledge so that you can 'fill in the gaps' when necessary if you have poor photos. I take every opportunity to check out all horses that cross my path if it's appropriate. I usually like to draw a light general sketch and then either start drawing or painting over it. I work a lot of details out as the piece progresses. I love all the fiddly details: eye sparkle, eyelashes, halters and hair texture. I try to keep a loose hand but still make a super accurate rendition. I strive for a modern classic feel for my animal portraits. I never want them to look dated...not like something your grandfather would have, but something your grandkids will still love when they are old.
CH: What other artists inspire you?
Daniele: All of them! I look at and appreciate all kinds of art almost daily. If I don't like it, I try to figure out why. And if I do like I go through the same process. I recently came across a collection of high res photos of Rembrandt's paintings. What a revelation! I had never seen all the texture and detail that close. The way he conveyed he feel of skin, hair, fabric or any object - sometimes with super accurate detail and other times with just a few brushstrokes - amazing.
CH: Do you have any formal training in the art world or are you self taught?
Daniele: I got my BFA from a small college in Kansas. I loved every minute of my education, but there was no training in realism. It just wasn't what people taught or wanted to learn at the time. I took a lot of creativity and expression training with me that I learned there. But as for drawing a realistic representation of something, I still work on that every day. There is so much to learn and I find that I still make improvements all the time. Every new project is a challenge in some way.
CH: What types of medium do you work in?
Daniele: Acrylic paint, charcoal, graphite and colored pencil. I love each one in different ways. Usually when someone sends me a new project I know immediately what will be the best medium, I can almost see the finished piece in my head.
CH: Where can readers buy your art?
Most of my work is custom commissions through my web site at petable-portraits.com and I sell prints through http://daniele-jones.fineartamerica.com.
Daniele’s work was recently shown in a group exhibition at ArtCenter Mantaee in Bradenton, F.L. and you can find her work at local pet events and art festivals all through the area. She currently has another drawing for sale to raise funds for the Nokota Horse Conservancy on their website.
Note on photos:
The horse drawing in the comparison is call State Fair Horse, graphite, 11x14, $350
The colt is called Young, Wild, Free, charcoal, 20x30, $1100
The third one is called Windswept, charcoal, prints are available from http://daniele-jones.fineartamerica.com
The painting Raz is in a private collection.
Judy Widener ~ An Engaging Artist at Palm Beach, FL.
‘Catskill Horse Artist Spotlight Series’
A lifelong passion for both horses and art have led Judy Widener to the top of the sport of dressage producing students and horses and has driven her to create a huge body of art work in a variety of mediums.
“ I have been drawing horses since I could hold a crayon! When I was six or seven , one of my drawings won best drawing at a local artists exhibition. I always paint or draw more from how I feel a horse moves,, although I watch them for hours on end. I tried to capture their spirit,as well as the anatomy.Sometimes I use photos , sometimes an image is in my head from a dream, book or movie. If I experience a deep emotion, there usually is an image that will appear as a result of that emotion.
At times, I will be in conversation with people and an idea will come to mind...usually I have to leave the conversation and sketch the idea before it leaves,” Judy explained.
Like many artists her inspiration to paint has been influenced by hundreds of artists that have gone before her but she also finds inspiration from actors, architects, famous designers and chefs:
“Chanel represents clarity and classic lines through precise simplicity. Brancusi, Mondrian, and Calder inspire that as well. The Renaissance masters, Michelangelo , Caravaggio , and. Da Vinci , as well as the Flemish masters inspire the use of light and anatomy.
Of course the horse paintings and sculptures of DaVinci , El Greco ,Sir Alfred Munnings , Degas , Toulouse Latrec, and Franz Marc are always an inspiration to any equine artist.
And of course, there are the artists who inspire spirit and soul in an artist.They are for me Basquiat, Picasso, Magritte, Warhol, Frida Kahlo , Georgia O'keefe. There are so many more, but you don't need a book here.”
Judy explained her process in creating the wonderful works she produces:
“Although one of my majors was in Studio Art in college, I consider myself mostly self taught.
This is because I never let myself be comfortable with a style that works for that moment. I'm always pushing through it to find out what will be after it. It forces me to continue the learning process. I work in all types of paint medium. I have even gilded gold leaf into some of my paintings. I also love texture in most of my pieces and have actually torn paper, then glued it back in ,or shaved the canvas ,paper or wood.
I very rarely work with only one medium...usually I will use multi mediums.”
Horses became a part of Judy’s life at an early age:
“I have been with horses my entire life. I think I actually was put up on a young race horse in his stall by my father when I was not yet one. I was fortunate enough to further the passion when my parents sent me to Jane Marshall Dillon's Junior Equitation School, and then later to Sweet Briar College, where I took my horse with me to study. Paul Cronin was the Director of the riding program,and Lendon Grey, Assistant Director at the time.
After college, I bred Thoroughbreds for the track briefly, but fell hard for dressage around 1995, and never stopped. I have been fortunate to train with some of the best people's in the world of Dressage, both nationally and internationally. I found my heart to be more in training than the competition arena, , so now I train a few wonderful horses and give lessons and clinics. There are too many horses either owned or trained by me to list as inspiration. They all have taught me something.
I have three horses that stay close to my heart...a pony named Nero, who took me through my childhood, and two horses I trained to Grand Prix, Fabiano, and American Gigolo. I broke Gigolo as a 3 year old and took him to Grand Prix by age ten.
These horses stay closer to my heart, as well as a little bay Lipizzan mare called " Espirit" who I bought and broke at age nine. She had been a brood mare before then, and I got her at a dispersal sale at nine. She was wonderful to train, and taught many of my students. All horses teach you something, but these four gave the most , and we formed a real partnership based on trust, respect,and love. We took care of each other.”
When asked her future plans for her art Judy explained:
“Fo the past year, I have been concentrating on commissioned work...murals, portraits etc., and have not booked any exhibitions. But I am working on one, albeit slowly. I will post on my website and Facebook when and where exhibitions will take place.”
Judywidener94@Facebook.com where she posts new pieces, exhibitions and galleries on both of those sites.
I currently live mostly in Palm Beach, Florida
The past year, I have been concentrating on commissioned work...murals, portraits etc. , and have not booked any exhibitions.
But I am working on one, albeit slowly! I will post on my website and Facebook when and where exhibitions will take place.
Say Hello to Artist Sarrah Dibble-Camburn, of Factoryville, PA.
‘The First in the Catskill Horse Artist Spotlight Series‘
Like many equine artists Sarrah’s obsession with everything horse began when she was a little girl.
“I would bother my mother and father relentlessly for a horse. I would leave notes, write songs, and just plain beg and whine. They attempted several distractions from the horse addiction, including a goat, sheep, chickens and ducks. Needless to say it didn’t work, although I have great memories with all those animals. I got my first horse on my 12th birthday. He was a beautiful Leopard Appaloosa gelding named, Applejacks. It was the best day of my life,” Sarrah explained.
As fellow riders know, the love affaire with horses had only just begun.
“After Applejacks came into my life, I took riding lessons several times a week and trail rode all over the hills and dirt roads with a mutually horse crazy friend, Marcia White, who lived a couple hills over. Applejacks and I would start our journey and when we got to the highest point I would look across the valley to see Marcia and her white Arabian, Lightening, making their way to our meeting spot. These are some of my favorite memories riding from sun up to sun down with my friend.
I started showing in various western classes locally and was involved in our local 4-H program. Eventually, I discovered the discipline reining, and it was all over for me. I loved the challenge of it. I had Applejacks’ half- brother, Commanche, who was also an Appaloosa. He could be a hand full at times but I started working on reining with him anyway. We ended up winning the Reining class at the PA State 4-H horseshow in Harrisburg in 1995. It was like a fairy tale.”
As Sarrah gew up she began riding with professional reiners and it was during this educational process that Sarrah met a woman who was to become not just her trainer, but a mentor in her discovery of art.
‘I began riding with local reiners, Barb and Ted Stewinsky. They were very influential in getting me started on my reining career. I showed in my first National Reining Horse Association show with them as well as at the Joe Cody Classic at Willowbrook Farms in Catasaqua, PA in the early 90s. While in high school, I was lucky to be able to ride with other trainers that I learned from and I always enjoyed watching Dutch Chapman and Rocky Dare at the shows.
One of the most important people came into my life at a horse show in Virginia. I was having trouble with my stops and rollbacks with my red dun gelding, Ima Aledo Step. Reining trainer, Josette Conti saw I was having difficulty and started talking about it with me and gave me a few tips. I later began riding with Josette who owns her own business, Josette Conti Performance Horses in Kutztown, PA. She is also a fellow artist who enjoys creating bronze sculptures. I am blessed to be able to work alongside her for so many years and she continues to teach me how to train my horses. She has always respected that I wanted to do the training myself and gave me important tools to be able to do it. She has been my mentor on art, horses and other areas of my life. We are currently getting ready to get back in the show pen. This year I will be showing my 4 year old Quarter Horse, CNF Lenas Gold, aka “Digger”. He is the horse I have always been hoping for.
Like many artists, Sarrah’s keen interest in drawing came early.
“I cannot recount the first time I became inspired to draw horses, because I just always remember doing that. I could do that before I could write my own name.”
The start of the journey took Sarrah as a young adult to head off to college and pursue her artistic dreams. She graduated from Marywood University, Scranton, PA in 2003 with a BFA in Painting and later received her Pennsylvania Certificate in art education and Masters in Art Education also at Marywood.
Sarrah’s favorite to medium is oil on canvas and she also enjoys experimenting with mixed media, watercolor, clay, and charcoal. Occasionally, using acrylic paint.
Each artist has their own process for creating a work of art, and this process may evolve over time as artists creativity naturally explodes into experimentation. Sarrah was happy to share her process.
“When painting, I usually just jump right into it. If I sketch, I do it in paint and block out dark and light areas. I usually never start with a white canvas. I like to have a color on it first, even if it changes eight times before it is finished. I sometimes use reference photos for compositions and to get correct anatomy, but the paintings usually transform into something entirely different. Many times my paintings come from my imagination. I think drawing from life is the most challenging and usually yields the best results, although it is not always possible.”
In addition to her life with horses, Sarrah shares her passion for art in the classroom. Encouraging the young mind to discover their own potential and taking inspiration from other artists.
“All kinds of art inspire me. I have been an art teacher at Blue Ridge Elementary School for 7 years and this year I moved to the high school. Being an art teacher is an inspiration in itself because the energy and fresh ideas that come from the students can spark the imagination. I am also a big fan of work by Emily Carr, especially her landscapes. I love her compositions and the colors that she uses. I am also very lucky to have an encouraging people to help inspire me, like my mom and dad. They have supported my horse dreams as a kid and later, allowed me to pursue a career in art. I am sure that can be scary for a parent. My partner in crime, my husband, Bucky, is a special individual who has helped me chase my dreams and is a strong, positive, driving motivational force in my life.”
The challenge for all artists is to find a way to market their works. For Sarrah she created an Etsy shop called Epona’s Paintbrush which can be found at www.Etsy.com/shop/EponasPaintbrush. I chose the title Epona, because she is the Celtic Goddess of Horses, Ponies, and Donkeys.
“Prints of most of my paintings can be ordered there in most any size on either Premium Archival Mat Paper or Canvas. I have a few original pieces for sale there from time to time as well. You can also visit www.eponaspaintbrush.com and I also have a facebook page for Epona’s Paintbrush.
Plans for the future include being a vendor at a few specific NRHA shows to sell her art. You can also find her artwork for sale at Endless Mountains Gift and Gallery in Montrose, PA. Last October she was included in a juried show, An Equine Jubilee, at the Arts Castle, in Delaware, Ohio.
“I enjoy participating in juried events. I plan on doing more of that in the future.”
We hope you’ll enjoy sharing her works here on the magazine and go and check out her Etsy site to learn more of her works.
The Eternal Equine - Horses in Art
by Amy McLaughlin
Some 30,000 years ago, in the flickering torchlight of a cave, our distant ancestors painted animals, including horses. Using techniques very similar to those of a modern artist -- brushes, cloths, their fingertips, charcoal and pigment made from minerals and plants -- they covered the rough cavern walls with images of tremendous power and immediacy. The horses and other animals in the great bestiaries at Chauvet, discovered in 1994, were executed with a sophistication that overturns notions of linear progress in art. Set beside recent images such as the work of Susan Rothenberg, these prehistoric images leave one with the unanswerable enigma of eternal recurrences. In what ways has the impulse to paint a horse changed, or remained the same? These images look as if they could have been painted yesterday, coming from a sensibility that seems familiar and relatable. Read the full article...
TISHMAN ART STUDIO
Email : Dtehorses3@aol.com
Equine - Cowboy - Wildlife
Bronze - Wood & Photo
Andrew is a graduate of New York Institute Of Technology - BFA, MA and is both an artist and a sculptor.
Juliet R. Harrison
Juliet R Harrison Photography
Red Hook, New York
Juliet R. Harrison is a Fine Art Photographer using the horse as her main subject. Working primarily in B&W film with an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art.