Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Galloping Horses: An interview with Fine Artist Barbara Meikle by Gina McKnight

Momentum by Fine Artist Barbara Meikle
Galloping Horses:
An interview with Fine Artist Barbara Meikle
Archived Interview from the January 2017 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete 

Leafing through an international equine magazine, I was mesmerized with the work of fine artist Barbara Meikle. Her artwork is dynamic, with colorful strokes that swirl around the canvas to create a memorable painting. A graduate of the University of Denver, Barbara studied watercolor at Cambridge University, England. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States. Painting landscapes, nature, birds, and more, Barbara reveals beauty that we often miss.  

“Barbara's art may project peace and harmony exemplified as a colorful burro, or explode in the riot of energy of galloping horses. Enveloping skies of yellow, pink and white may hover over a majestic dark blue mountain that smolders with mystery, or stalks of prayerful flowers may reach for distant stars in an attitude of happy reverence. The views out her door may be of New Mexico, but her work speaks of a larger vision.”   

GM:  Welcome, Barbara! Your artwork is vibrant, depicting horses in a rainbow of colors. Gorgeous. To be able to paint so eloquently and capture the essence of each horse, you must have horse history! When was your first encounter with a horse?
BM: I think I was about 4 or 5 years old, one of my father’s friends had a horse and they led me around on it bareback.

GM: Besides being a world-class artist, you are passionate about horses and an advocate for equine rescue. Tell us about your role in the process…
BM: I use my artwork to raise funds for rescues that I admire and support. I’ll have a donkey or horse or birds from the wildlife center come to the gallery and I do a live painting session with them as a model… whatever we sell that day, the rescue gets a part of, and we always take donations on their behalf as well. I also currently have 5 limited edition prints that I sell, framed or unframed, to support a therapeutic riding center/horse rescue, Equine Spirit Sanctuary, in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. For the first time I have rescued a horse, a 1.5 yr filly, Felina, from a kill pen in LA, with the help of Spirit Run Equine Rescue in Gilmer, Texas. I am documenting my journey, “The Road from Rescue”, with paintings of Felina which will be put together in a book, to raise awareness and raise funds for these groups.

GM: Congratulations on your new filly and your new book in progress! We are excited to know about Felina, your new horse...
BM: Felina Esperanza Guadalupe (we call her Lina!) may be a Foxtrotter, but we aren’t sure so I will be doing a dna test to find out… she is a gorgeous tri-color paint, very smart and full of life.

GM: I love your art. Your creativity is amazing and each piece has a life of its own. Do you have a favorite piece from your collection?
BM: My favorite piece is always the one I am working on. I paint and sculpt a lot, so I am always thinking about the next image and how I can make it my own.

GM: Describe your studio…
BM: My studio is cluttered, with 3 easels and currently a 5 foot clay image of a horse I am working on, to make a bronze sculpture. There is just enough room to think and create, but not much more!

GM: Do you have a muse or other inspiration to get you going in the morning and to your studio?
BM: My muse lately has been my new horse, Felina. I love looking at her and watching her move. Also, I know I need to plan my studio time so we have our regular training/hanging out time together, very important for her and for me. This lights a fire under me when I’d rather just hang out on the porch.

GM: Besides the bronze sculpture, what are you currently creating?
BM: I am thinking about a new bronze (can’t tell you what it is, that’s part of the secret to getting things done—don’t talk about them until they are underway) and painting fun burro pieces, as well as fall landscapes.

GM: Where are you currently exhibiting?
BM: I always have the newest work in my gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but I also show work and will have a show in February at Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery in Tubac, Arizona.

GM: Is there an artist who has inspired your creativity?
BM: Great horse painters always inspire me, like George Stubbs, Edward Degas, Toulouse LaTrec (who drew horses wonderfully), John Singer Sargent and Sorolla, to name a few.

GM: As an artist with great success, do you have advice for novice artists?
BM: Don’t talk about it, just do it! Paint lots of bad paintings and then the good ones will start to emerge. Find your own voice.

Connect with Barbara…

Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from Ohio USA.

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