My horses have taught me so much and what I have learned from them has impacted the way I teach. I model my training and teaching after the great horse trainer, Tom Dorrance. Dorrance would have said about horse training, that it is the result of a partnership between the horse and the human that is not only more humane, but also brings out the best in the horse – and I would include the human. This philosophy can easily be adapted to teaching. First I begin with respect and understanding of where my students are in regard to their education and life experiences. I respect that fact, and understand what it will take to advance both. Most important, having patience, gaining trust, and having confidence in them allows them to have the same in me. That is when real teaching can take place.
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.
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