In a Life without Horses

As I contemplate the crisp and windy weather, and the joys of staying inside (which I’m not), I start thinking about the projects I’d like to undertake were I to avoid the winter like any normal human being. Of course what I should (and might) do is paint the damn hallway, but what I would love to do is get back to one (almost) non-horsey passion- art.

I was the quintessential artsy kid growing up, trading animal-shaped erasers for drawings in kindergarten, then becoming the sketchbook toting nerd in high school. Of course, horses made up the majority of my doodles.

Pen and Ink Drawing from High School

Pen and Ink Drawing from High School

Then in college, after making the switch from Animal Science to Art & Design, I took a mandatory Painting studio as part of my degree, and found that I really loved the process. I could get completely in the zone for hours, and it was so peaceful and satisfying.

Part of a triptych

Part of a triptych

Mixed Media Painting

Mixed Media Painting

But sadly, the only thing I’ve painted since school is this rooster painting, which was meant to hang in my kitchen but now resides in one of the piles of artwork that dons every closet. Or to rephrase, the only things I’ve painted since school are one rooster painting and a shit ton of walls.

Rooster painting that I would love to truly finish one day!

Rooster painting that I would love to truly finish one day!

That is not to say that I don’t satisfy the creative calling in other ways- photography is certainly an outlet for that (see Britt Gillis Design tab), as well as the occasional t-shirt design (or logo contest 😉 ) that comes around. But there is something about a fresh canvas, or a blank sheet of paper, that tangibly physical evidence of the artist’s hand, that those outlets simply lack.

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt design

Alice in Wonderland t-shirt design

My best friend N knows how much I miss doodling/painting/being an artiste, and got me this wonderful Disney book full of original animation sketches. I love to look through it, and have been wanting to try Disneyfying Foster for a long time. But other than this random proposed project, the tools that dominate my schedule remain my saddle and reins, and not my paint brush. Maybe when I’ve had so many falls that I’m too broken to ride, I’ll pick up my palette and give it a go again.

18 thoughts on “In a Life without Horses

  1. I’m in love with that pen and ink drawing you did in high school! The quote, the map, the way it’s drawn, everything. Do you have an Etsy account or some way of selling digital prints? I’d blow that up to poster size and hang it up in my apartment in a heartbeat!

  2. I have a similar vibe going on, but at this point I’m so out of practice that painting frustrates me. Do you have a good studio area? I feel like that’s the only way I feel tempted to go be creative is when I know I have somewhere I can hang out and sketch or what not.

    • I don’t, and that could very well be a problem. Not to mention when I sit anywhere (even my paint stool that I saved from college), there is always going to be some furry creature that wants to sit in it- not convenient for painting!

  3. Your post resonates with me. I have so many other interests I’d like to pursue – most of them creative – but being an accomplished rider takes 90% of free time, as you know!

    Have you ever noticed how the majority of people either have zero interests or a million interests? Not that either is better, of course, but…it seems to me that they are two separate types of people.

    • I would definitely agree with that, that there are types of people that are definitely all or nothing. I like to think that being of the million interest type is what makes me a good eventer- 3 disciplines in 1! 😀

  4. Soooo much talent! Please Disney-fy Foster!! I don’t have anywhere near your abilities but I have a couple of unfinished paintings collecting dust in what was my “studio” turned home gym, tack pile, storage room, etc… so I commiserate.

  5. I’m currently working on a research project tracing the baroque art influences in the development of dressage, and vis versa. It has me thinking about how artistic of a pursuit riding truly is, and makes me think of all of us who ride who also have an artistic leaning. It’s fun to explore that connection further. (It’s also super fun to get to read things like General Decarpentry’s Academic Equitation with an academic mind, instead of a rider’s mind. There is so much more in there, and the concepts change so much when taken as a whole!)

    *Note. I have an art and a theatre degree. I am currently working to get out of the art creation industry and into the art appraisal/academic industry. A blank sheet of paper is no longer fun for me, unless I can fill it with writing instead of drawing. You guys who have that inspiration and drive to draw are really an inspiration to me to keep loving the fact that I work in the industry right now. 🙂

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