Horse As Metaphor

The subject of horse is problematic because it could easily be quintessentially kitschy.  The passions and fantasies of a pre-teen or teen age girl come to mind, and truthfully it is the remnants of those passions and fantasies that moved me to paint a horse.  I know the shape of a horse from drawing it as a young girl and from having my legs wrapped around it, riding through the mountains, as a woman.

Riding a horse through a mountain wilderness feels like tracing steps back into the American past.   This nostalgic reference to American history seems timeless and full of a sense of connectedness.  For some of us, I think girls/women more than boys/men, the horse so poignantly embodies power (horse power) and freedom, among other Romantic notions.  A horse is so inherently and irresistibly beautiful, even in its most awkward moments, such as lying down.  I did not want to paint an idealized horse.  I decided to paint the lying down horse, kneeling or dreaming.

Judy Graham
Silverton, Colorado 2015