Horse Artist Interview – Catherin McMillan

Catherin McMillan

Websites & places you can find my work online
Follow Catherin on twitter: @catmcmillan

Where I am
Numbaa NSW Australia about 2 ½ hours south Sydney

Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I’ve lived in the Shoalhaven area all my life, with weekends spent at my grandfathers farm riding one of his horses, which was a brumby.

My pop was classed as a master horse trainer and it fascinated me the way he had with horses.

Because I lived in town I couldn’t have a horse of my own till I became a teenager and could walk to where my horse was kept.


So my spare time waiting for my own horse was spent drawing horses, watching cowboy and Indian movies (just for the horses) and badgering my mum to take me to my pops farm.

When did you first start drawing horses?
I don’t remember not ever drawing horses, from the time I was little horses where what I loved more than anything else.

So at school for projects it was horses at home when I drew it was horses. Guess you could say I was obsessed.

What is your favorite breed?
I love appaloosas and paints, horses with colour and lots of markings. I’m biased towards appys as before children I used to breed and show them. That’s where the inspiration for Who Me came from.

Who are your main influences?
That’s a hard one, whilst I don’t have any particular favorite artists I do love realism.

So when looking at other artists work I always gravitate towards those artists who’s work is very realistic in style.

Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
I would have to say that my muse is my old dog Banjo, he comes to the studio. He knows when things are going well and has a way of knowing when I need a hug when things aren’t going so well.

In Your Face

Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
I have a beautiful wall sculpture that one of my friends gave me a few years ago for my birthday, it’s of the green man a wood spirit, I usually greet him of a morning as he’s just out side my studio door.

It’s like wakening up the creative spirit and asking it to come and play.

Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
Inspiration comes from so many places. Living in the country just watching the sea eagles fly over or the new calves following their mums to be milked are inspiration in itself.


What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
I guess I could say that it has good and bad points. The good thing is that is offers a lot more opportunities for your artwork to be seen by a larger audience which opens up a lot of doors that might not have been there.

Cutting out the middle man and having to pay commission to a gallery is another one. Clients can purchase directly off your website or blog.

I’d say that traditional galleries are finding it harder to make sales unless they are a well known gallery as the internet opens up so many avenues for people to purchase art from the comfort of their own homes.

With so many artists out there on the net it has made it a lot more competitive.

Has it had an effect on yours?
Yes it has offered a lot of exposure and brought in commissioned work not only in Australia but around the world as well. Without a website this would not have happened.

Who Me???

Which one is your personal favorite piece?
Mmm that a hard one. I do love Who me??? That’s the first larger acrylic I’ve done and really really enjoyed painting him or her as the case maybe.

Would you ever sell it?
Yes if I was offered the right price I would.

What else are you passionate about?
My family would be my number one passion. After that art is definitely my next passion bar none.

If I can’t create I get withdrawal symptoms, I need to be creating to be truly at peace.

Working on anything new?
At the moment I’m working on 2 new groups of painting the first is a series of paintings depicting the stockman (as we call cowboys over here in Australia) these are in watercolour the second is a series of breeds in acrylic on canvas.


Do you support any groups?
Recently I made contact with TREW horse rescue here in Australia who rescue, re-house and rehabilitate neglected horses.

I’ve been working with the members to create portraits of the horses in their care.

These works are offered for sale with a % of the sale price going directly to the rescue group. I’m finding it very rewarding to be able to give something back to the animals that have given me so much pleasure since I was a child.

More to Come

Thanks to Catherin for answering the interview and sharing her art. Be sure to check her website perioically 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.

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