The horses in my life give me a very great gift. They give me inspiration. Whether it has been through the pain and awkwardness of training my filly Goldfingers Dixie, the fire of Chili for Pepper, the kindness in the eyes of Lady Sierpe, the untimely loss of Zip, Buddy and Lil, or by my soul being touched by Lady Azure Quick, I have become a better person and a better artist.
Equine art is a genre I have embraced fully for the past three years. During the previous 30 years I spent my creative time painting, drawing and exhibiting work that focused on the human form. Now with my creative attention turned toward the horse, I am finding infinite ways to know them and in the broader sense to understand humankind.
I approach my art like I approach my horses, with a gentle hand and an open mind. The equine art I create is expressive, quiet, and subtle. Working on a piece of art is like working with my horses. First I must be patient, then I must be open to change, and most important I must know when to stop. While I am capturing a moment in the horse’s life on paper or on canvas, I cannot deny that I am also capturing a part of myself.
Life is full of changes. That is what makes it hard and what makes it interesting. In October, 2005 my husband announced, “I am going to get a horse”. Little did I know at that time, what had been a great life was just about to get more complicated, more emotional, messier, more painful, and infinitely richer than it had been in some time. I realized that in life dreams do come true.
As a child I rode on a small brown horse named Friday at Mr. Alexander’s riding stables in Kingsville, Texas. I truly believed I could look deeply into Friday’s eyes and we could share thoughts and feelings. As a young girl every Saturday I watched Roy Rogers, My Friend Flika, and Fury on television. While I liked the stories, I was much more interested in watching Roy ride Trigger at break-neck speed with a relaxed hand. I wanted to have a horse who thought of me as its best friend.
I have had the great fortune to fall in love several times over the course of my life – spouse, children, grandchildren and some really great dogs have each carved a special place in my heart. On January 5, 2006 I fell in love again. This time it was with a gray mare Quarter Horse named Lady Azure Quick. At last at the age of 50-something my childhood dream had come true. I had a horse to call my own. What I didn’t realize was the complicated journey I would be required to take to become this horse’s best friend.
As in any journey one must understand that to experience the journey completely there must be a shared communication. Now that I had my horse I needed to learn how to communicate with her. To hope to have a relationship with these noble animals without knowing how they communicate with one another is to hope for the impossible. In learning to communicate with Lady I came to realize I was learning more about myself than about her.
It is this process of learning how to be with horses that I use to inspire my equine art. When I do my art, I want to tap into that shared communication I mentioned. I believe what makes my paintings and drawings of horses unique is that I am trying to connect with the common ground between human and horse. I am increasingly interested in the way horses relate to each other or have experiences that make me recognize I have had the same experiences or the same feelings. That is one part of this horse-human relationship thing that intrigues me. For example, last summer I watched Lady and her pasture mate Buddy groom each other for about forty-five minutes. It was such a privilege to see the affection these two horses had for each other as they continually went from side to side, and neck to back. I was watching something so personal. Sadly Buddy died a short time later. This is something we humans have gone through, too. This experience inspired me to create a triptych called SAYING GOOD-BYE. You will see this art on my website. -- Kit Hall