Where I am
I live in the UK, in a small town on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon, one of the last remaining wildernesses in the UK. A truly beautiful place to live!
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I come from an artistic family, and originally trained in textiles and ceramics, but I am a countrywoman through and through, and found living in a city unbearable.
I finally escaped to Ireland, where I worked at Coolmore Stud (thoroughbreds) for a couple of years, but I missed being able to paint and draw.
Most of my life I have struggled to juggle my two passions – art and horses – always feeling unhappy and incomplete when one has been missing from my life.
Now I am finally lucky enough to be able to do both – though the juggling act, with 3 children added to it, gets ever more tricky!
When did you first start drawing horses?
I have drawn horses ever since I could pick up a pencil, doodling them in school books and on my walls!
What is your favorite breed?
I am a pony person really, and passionate about Britain’s native breeds. My favourite of all is the Dartmoor Pony, hardy, kind, strong and with a braver heart than any other breed I have come across!
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
Phoenix, my Dartmoor mare, was, and is, my muse and inspiration. I first bought her at pony sales, when she was a wild weanling, and I was just 15. She cost me 45 guineas, all the savings from my Saturday job.
She grew to be 12.3hh, and was the best pony I could have had, carrying my kids quietly and safely, and charging across the moors with me. Sadly, she died of colic a couple of years ago.
I now have a wonderful loan horse, a 15hh appaloosa, Red, who I paint all the time – he is very handsome!
Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
Not really, though I always have to tidy up before I begin!
Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
The place I live is a constant source of inspiration. It is the most beautiful landscape imaginable.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
I think the internet is generally good – it makes art accessible to everyone, on so many levels. It has also created a global ‘artist’s community’ where artists can easily discuss ideas with each other.
On the downside, it brings increased problems with plagiarism and copyrighting, but I think the benefits outweigh the problems.
Has it had an effect on yours?
Certainly – the fact that I can market my work online, and sell to customers all over the world, means that it is possible for me to make a living as an artist (albeit meagre!) and have a job I love!
Which one is your personal favorite piece?
I think one of my absolute favourites is ‘Dreamy Sunset’, and another I love is’Any Port in a Storm’.
Would you ever sell them?
Yes, I did! I’m always so broke that I can’t afford to keep work. I dream of painting portraits of my own horses, to keep, but I have never yet had time!
What else are you passionate about?
I am passionate about gardening, particularly permaculture and vegetable growing.
Working on anything new?
Currently I have a series of tree paintings underway, but I also have some ideas brewing for a series of illustrations of small, shaggy Pegasus ponies.
More to Come
Thanks to Danielle for answering the interview and sharing her art. Be sure to subscribe to her Art Blog 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.