Where I am
I live with my husband, Steve and son, Kyle on our corn/soybean farm near Amenia, ND which is 40 miles northwest of Fargo.
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was raised on a grain farm in northeastern ND near the small town of Osnabrock. I graduated from North Dakota State University with an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology.
I’ve had several jobs, all which have to fit in the farming seasons. The freedom of freelance writing and photography is a perfect fit.
When did you take your first picture?
The old blurry first Kodak moment was taken somewhere in my teens.
What kind of camera do you use?
Canon 20D with several different lenses – my favorite being a Canon 70-200L IS USM 2.8.
If you could pick any camera (regardless of price) what would it be?
Canon EOS 1DS Mark III.
What made you first start photographing horses?
They are such beautiful expressive animals. I love catching their body language because it is so intriguing to me, how they communicate with you and each other. Their eyes draw you into the depth of their soul. Their power and athleticism explodes yet it is accomplished with the grace of a ballet dancer. Horses are my obsession.
You are also a writer, does your love of photography or writing come first?
While I have always enjoyed photography, professional writing came first. I soon found I needed photographs to accompany my articles and once I started on the photography pathway, I was hooked and find myself enjoying it as much as if not more than writing.
To me, they are both an art. I paint with words which bring a visual image to the mind of the reader. My photographs speak countless chapters of verse and prose and evoke the passion and depth of the moment captured in time.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
I have many. I love photographing the birds, waterfowl and wildlife, my cat is always hilarious to photograph…but my horses are my passion.
Where were you the most inspired, but without a camera?
Any time I am without a camera which is rare, I am inspired and then saddened by the lost moment. Whether it is the fleeting glimpse of a wobbly fawn, the perfect light on a golden landscape in the setting sun, or a tender moment shared by two horses in the pasture, I always wish I had my camera along to capture the moment.
I think the image of the perfect evening light upon my son when he was maybe 1 yr. old – on his belly in the tall grass, his fuzzy baby hair glowing golden like a halo upon his head is my most cherished visual photograph I have regretted missing.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art and photography in general?
The internet opens many horizons for us in the sense of exposure and also in helping you to compare styles of other artists.
Has it had an effect on yours?
It has definitely helped with exposure but the onset of on-line magazines, blogs, and general computer surfing has hurt the sales of my articles.
Which one is your personal favorite image?
“Lean On Me” has a special place in my heart forever. It is of two of my geldings standing on a hillside, watching something in the distance. The glow of the setting sun brought out the vibrant colors of the normally dull winter landscape.
My older gelding, Al, was leaning a hip on Zippy as if to get his attention and say, look here, this is very special. Little did I know in less than 3 months later, I would lose Al to colic. This is one of the last photographs I have of him.
I recently won the American Horse Publications Photo Contest with “Foggy Sunrise” and also “Steep Down” was the cover photo for AAA Living.
What else are you passionate about?
Life, family and friends and my horses.
Working on anything new?
I’m always starting new projects. I just finished an article/photograph feature for Cowboys & Indians which is slated for December 2009. I’ve been published in other publications including Western Horseman, Heartland USA, Trail Rider, Trail Blazer, Persimmon Hill and many others. I plan on compiling a book based upon my Into the Sunset columns and photography in the near future. I’ll be updating with new photographs and writing samples.
More to Come
Thanks to Dawn for answering the interview and sharing her work. Be sure to subscribe to her 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.