Website & places you can find my work online
Website: The Briar Rose Gate
Where I am
A small Island, just off the South coast of England consisting of 65 miles of wonderful coastline.
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born on The Island, where I still live. I am a self taught artist and even from earliest age I can recall the desire to create.
Whilst not blessed with the most prosperous of family upbringing, I managed to find media from which to create art pieces (even if it did mean using flour and water as a glue substitute).
My love of art has only ever been surpassed by my love of animals, from the stray dog from down the street, the grateful recipient of my smuggled tea time sausages, to the philandering Tom cat that frequented the back yard, they were all loved with the same affection.
Horses, I was crazy about them, my first lessons were on a little bay retired carters pony Tommy, ridden bareback in a field, when I was about 4yrs old. I would try to draw him when I returned home, along with favourites like Champion the Wonder Horse and Mister Ed.
Finally my hard working mother managed to pay for rides at local stables (local as in 400 yards away). I can clearly remember the pleasure of being entrusted to sit upon a real pony. To the extent that I would have been quite happy just to sit and feel the warmth and touch of the pony.
I was so taken with the whole experience, and so quiet, the staff would often enquire with my Mother, if I had enjoyed myself. From that point, my involvement grew to the point that
by the age of 9/10yrs I was already taking out the accompanied rides on behalf of the school, in exchange for ‘horse time’. I was a very responsible child, older than my years.
I have owned my own ponies and later horses horses since the age of 14yrs, and still keep a very loving and trusted mare that has been both friend and a fantastic competitor for me. At the age of 33 yrs she now still enjoys a much deserved cosseted retirement.
What is your favorite breed?
I must admit, I don’t have just one favourite breed. I am enchanted by the native ponies of our British Isles, Welsh, Dartmoor, Connemara, Newforest, and Shetland. I love the quiet strength of Heavy Horse Breeds and Vanners. I admire the beauty of the Arabs, Andalusians, Freisians and Lippizans, and
often use these as models for Pegasus and Unicorns.
I don’t get to see many of these nowadays, you have to get up pretty early or be out very late!
I loved to ride English and Irish Throughbreds.
Who are your main influences?
I love Alfred Munning’s paintings. His consummate skill with brushwork, and the play of light is amazing.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
More like a constant companion, Poppy my Black Labrador, always under my art table, or board as I work…
Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
No, Not really, but I do enjoy working, after a major cleanup of my
watercolours and an intensive sharpening session with all the pencils…there are a lot, so its best done on a day when you weren’t intending to paint or sketch.
Oh, and of course constant tea and chocolate breaks, is that a ritual?
Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
The Island is a very beautiful place to live and has a wonderful diversity of landscape features and coast. The only drawback can be lack of many of the equine breeds, and exotic animal subjects I would like to photograph for reference.
Living on a Island, means you would have to book boat crossings just to photograph certain subjects. Recently though, a blog friend has offered photo references for several Heavy Horse breeds which is very kind of her.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
I feel it has had a good positive effect for most people, making the selling, buying, and the appreciation of art in general, open to a wider audience.
Has it had an effect on yours?
I have broadened my subjects, to demand, which is more interesting for me too. It has made it easier to meet buyers and friends too, it has been a very pleasant experience for me all round.
Which one is your personal favorite piece?
I only have a few pieces of my own art, one I have kept is ‘Faith and Hope’, a little foundling Pegasus foal and bunny companion.
Would you ever sell it?
Yes, I would always sell one of my own artworks if I needed funds to help my own, ‘in house’ small family, which of course, includes pets and animals, even a favourite piece.
However I would not part with my few treasured gift pieces of art from fellow artists, furniture would have to go first…
What else are you passionate about?
I am passionate about pets,animals and wildlife being treated humanely with respect and care.
So I am passionately opposed to the issues of cruelty, abandonment, poaching, culling and habitat loss through ignorance and greed.
Working on anything new?
I have a possible new commission work in the near future. It would be one, or possibly a pair of small terrier dogs.
More to Come
Thanks to Linda 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.
What a wonderful interview! I love Linda’s work, it really shows how much she cares for animals.
I adore Lindas work, everything is created with such passion! She is one of lifes wonders, a very special person who cares for everyone and everything!!
I too am in love with Linda art and I am so happy you got in touch with her for this delightful interview. Thanks for coming up with the idea to interview horse artist. I love to read about artist and see samples of their work.
Dearest Linda I am so proud of you, your art, your love of nature and everything you do. Including, but not limited to the day you came to visit Pauline’s house on your motorcycle bearing gifts. I will be seeing you this summer as Kim and I will be on the Island July 2 till August 7. Stay well – Love always – Sheila XOX