Website & Places you can find my work online
Etsy: Brander Art – I have my original art and hand sculpted jewelry pieces there as well.
Cafepress: The Exotic Arab – This is where you can find my art and graphic designs on clothing and home accessories.
Imagekind: Equine Art Treasures
Saatchi Gallery: Aslinn Brander
Finer Art America: Aslinn Brander
Facebook: Aslinn Brander
Where I am
I live in Reno, NV
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born in Reno, NV and raised in Modesto, CA before returning to live in Reno in my teens. My parents were divorced, so I also spent many summers and even lived for a time in Redding, CA.
When did you first start drawing & painting horses?
Gosh, I can remember drawing horses since my Mom showed me how to draw stick figures, I started “filling them in” almost immediately. As I progressed I mainly drew, then as around 10 or so, I watched Bob Ross paint and decided I had to try painting. I bought a bunch of acrylics and some brushed and a couple of canvases. Canvases were expensive so I often painted on the same one over and over.
When I was younger however, my main medium was pen and ink, needless to say it was far more affordable than paints and canvas. It also taught me the value of not having the luxury of making mistakes and being able to “erase” or paint over it. This has served me very well with other mediums that can be difficult to manipulate and control such as water color.
Because of of doing pen and ink for so long, it gave me the ability to plan out a drawing in my mind, then transferring it to paper, so I very seldom do a pre painting sketch, I usually just go at it with my brush. With ink laying it over graphite can be difficult, as I found that the ink wanted to bead up on the graphite, causing smudges and a messy finish. So just going straight to drawing with the ink made for a cleaner sketch.
I am completely self taught, I have taken about 3 art lessons my entire life. I wished I could afford to take more, but I kind of enjoy the process of self discovery. I also have the theory that sometimes the creativity can be educated right out of you!
People telling you what is right and how to do something, and this is the only way, may stunt an artist’s growth. I don’t need a degree in art to know I can paint. To me, art is a life journey and you have the whole world as a teacher.
What is your favorite breed & why?
Arabians are without question my favorite breed. As a youngster, I didn’t have a favorite breed, and my sisters all owned quarter horses and western breeds, so I could’ve easily gone that way. However, my oldest sister, who was into horses when I was very young had Arabians and when I began to draw more seriously, gave me stacks and stacks of Arabian Horse World magazine. Not only did I draw from these books, but I read them all, and before I was 13, I had a pretty good knowledge of the pedigrees of the horses I was drawing.
When my Mother and I moved back to Reno in my teens, she finally fulfilled a life long promise to buy me a horse. My first horse was an Arabian mare, she was a *Bask grand daughter and the most wonderful mare a girl could have asked for. That was it, I was hooked for ever.
I do have another favorite breed though, I am almost as passionate about American Saddlebreds. In all my experience with horses of all breeds, the American Saddlebred comes very close to having many of the same personality and desirable traits as the Arabian.
They are wonderful movers, with long necks, smooth bodied, clean legged, high tail carriage, sensitive and gentle… I could’ve been describing an Arabian.
Who are your main influences?
My main influence when I was younger and really helped me to develop as an artist were the very old classical equine paintings from antiquity, paints of Eclipse, The Godolphin Arabian, paintings of Arabian horses, etc. I believe that is where I first became enthralled with the artistic exaggeration of a small head, large eyes, big body and slender legs.
One of my most favored artists is Marcia Baldwin, or M Baldwin. You can easily find her works on Ebay and she has such bright and vibrant paintings. I’ve really been inspired by her. Other artists that I love are: Mary Haggard, Judy Nordquist, Judith and perhaps one of my all time favorites: Sharlene Lindskog-Osorio.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
Well, I wouldn’t say that I have a muse.
I do share my studio room in my home with my Moluccan Cockatoo, who would like to chew up the canvases or papers if given the opportunity. He is fun to have a around and good company while I paint.
Muses are everywhere when you are open to them, my muse is every horse that makes my heart beat a little slower, that time stands still around.
Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
*laugh* I get out the paper and the canvas, fill up the water bowl or fill the jar with mineral spirits and I just start. Sometimes I’ll look at horse photos on the internet to see which one inspires me.
Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
Not really, I have found myself inspired while being at work, while driving or even at the grocery store.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
I think the Internet makes art and artists more accessible. It also offers the buyer an unlimited resource to purchasing original works of art very affordably, as there is much online competition. I also think it is tearing down the old ideas that Original artworks were only afforded by the super rich and famous, now with the Internet, it is conceivable for the average person to amass a very sophisticated and hopefully very valuable art collection.
The other thing the Internet does is give control of marketing and sales to the artist. Artists are no longer needing to rely upon agents and galleries to wait for a sale, a few clicks of a mouse and their painting could be on Ebay and sold in a matter of days.
Has it had an effect on yours?
Well, I for one am very thankful that we have the Internet. I think the Internet opens the doors for artists and gives them a platform they wouldn’t otherwise have. Submitting your art to galleries can be discouraging and disheartening if your work isn’t what is hot on the gallery scene. Many galleries want artists who are already well known, so it can be hard to break into the art scene that way.
The internet and places like Ebay and Etsy, help an artist to have a place to market their art, for prices they determine and cuts out the middleman entirely. Thanks to Ebay, I’ve sold my art to people all around the world. Something I am not sure I would’ve accomplished otherwise.
Networking sites like Facebook and Myspace have garnered me sales that again, I probably wouldn’t have made. I can say with honesty that without the Internet, I am not sure I would’ve had the confidence that people will actually pay money for my work and approach those galleries.
Without the Internet, I’d most likely be giving away art to friends and family and maybe occasionally setting up a booth at a horse show.
The other benefit to the Internet to me, is the never ending reference materials, photos & art tutorials, eliminating the need to keep bins filled with clippings and books. It helps to reduce clutter your studio space.
All in all, without the internet, I don’t think I would have an art business that is doing well.
Which one is your personal favorite piece?
My all time personal piece that I still have is a water color painting called “Cup of Coffee and a Cigarette”. I don’t smoke, but I saw an image of an old ranch hand with a thumb that was crooked from many years of hard labor, and he was holding a coffee cup, the old aluminum type and a cigarette. And I just had to paint it. I loved the way it turned out, and everyone that sees it is just kind of taken to a place when times were simple, to a time when hard work was common and the ranch life was more prevalent.
Would you ever sell it?
Of course! For the right price. It’s just not one I am going to sell…as affordably.
What else are you passionate about?
I am passionate about learning, I am always reading books to help me learn something else or to grow as a person. I am passionate about History, Theology and something called the “Law of Attraction”…
Working on anything new?
I have been doing more fantasy work. Fairies are extremely popular with people today and they are very fun to paint. So far, I’ve had good reception to my fantasy art.
I am always working on something new. I try to paint every day. There are days when I take a break, but the next day, I get right back to work. You can’t be a full time artist if you aren’t painting full time! That is my theory anyway…
The other “new” thing is my hand sculpted pendants and ornaments. I have been enjoying sculpting small horse sculptures in polymer clay, which when baked is hard, durable and ultra light weight. They are beautiful and fun little pendants that are a small wearable sculpture.
More to Come
Thanks to Aslinn for answering the interview and sharing her work. Be sure to check out her art website periodically for updates about her latest works.
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.