The earliest known horse artists worked in the Chauvet cave 30,000 years ago and it has been said that no animal contributed more to the spread of civilization. Today, horses are no longer needed for farming, transportation or war. Many have never seen a live horse, and paintings are often traditional depictions of racing or the American West. However, the horse continues to be a universal symbol of beauty, freedom and power. I am interested in the feelings that still exist in our collective unconscious after 30,000 years.
As a former musician I’m fascinated to watch horses in fields on the outskirts of Baltimore. The contrast of sensitive, quiet companionship, graceful movement, and the force of a 1,200-pound horse thundering down a hill has the energy and rhythm of music.
In this continuing series I paint in plein air and from memory, happily crossing the border between realism and abstraction to express the feeling of a particular moment. Connecting with the grace, spirit and dynamic movement of horses still has the power to unleash emotion and free us from subconscious restraints.
Kathryn Shagas studied music for 16 years before receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Kathryn’s work has been exhibited at Sascha’s 527 and at Jordan Faye Contemporary/Thrive in Baltimore. Exhibits in 2015 include the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in Belfast, ME and Broadmead in Hunt Valley, MD. Her work appears in private collections and was featured in The Palette magazine and an article on Bozzuto-Greene Art in Baltimore Magazine.
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