Lisa Dorrell – Horse Artist Interview

Lisa Dorrell

Website & Places you can find my work online
I am currently working on getting a website but for right now you can find examples of my art and murals on my Facebook page.

Where I am
I live in Missouri close to Truman Lake. I live on a farm and raise cows and have a couple of horses, dogs, cats.

Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I am a wife, mother of 3 college age kids, former horse trainer/breaker, motorcycle enthusiast and self taught artist. My late husband and I trained horses together for 15 yrs. Stood a stallion, did alot of foaling, colt imprinting, etc. I have lived in this area most of my life. I enjoy the farm life, although there is alot of work, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


When did you first start drawing & painting?
I have been drawing ever since I could remember, My family is very artisitc but no one has ever done anything with it, much. My daughter is going to college to be an Art professor and I am SO PROUD of her for that .

Did you start out painting murals, or did the scope of your artwork grow to larger pieces?
I started out drawing, smalll pieces. Learned to do some painting stuff in school, but drawing has always been my first love.

I love the precise detail you can get from pencil. I started doing colored pencil in the last decade. The Murals have just came from people wanting something.


One of my former workers wanted a palm tree in her kitchen, she was the first. Then I did tropical birds for my dentist. Then sometime later, I did several for a restaurant. I basically decorated the place for them. As a result of that I got a home to do. I also did a mural covering a window for Alzheimer’s unit .

I have learned alot from the murals but feel that my painting is years behind my drawing. I feel that I am still learning. Don’t think we ever stop. If you do, stop learning, you have closed up a vital window.

You paint more than just horses, what is your favorite subject?
Horses have been and will always be my first love. I remember my mom teaching me to look at a horse and see shapes and how to put them together. I made a good living with horses. My health isn’t allowing me to do that right now, but I am hopeful to get back to it.


You can learn so much from horses. They don’t lie. They are very good judges of character. They are honest, you treat me fairly and I will treat you fairly.

Who are your main influences?
I can’t really say any one person is an influence. I am drawn to peoples work that I like. Subjects that I am interested in. Artist in this time period…Tim Cox, I love his work, he lives the life. I love the horses and the skies that he creates. Gordon Snidow, another one, Bev Doolittle, LOVE her work and Carrie Ballentyne she is another one I LOVE. She does colored pencil. So life like. Older artists Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, Charles Russell, Frederick Remington.


Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
I like to work from photographs, if possible. But I have ” personalized ” them. Take a shot and made it look like another subject. I love Paints and Apps. They are a Horse of a different color. The possibilities are endless. Their patterns and such are so indiviualized. Not two are alike. And they were used by Indians as well.

As a child that was my 2 favorite subjects. Indians and horses.

But I have several projects that I am planning on that involve some of my pets, current and ones that have passed.

Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
I don’t have real rituals per say, but I do use mood music alot. My husband doesn’t really get it, but I feel that certain music helps me set a mood. Like when I was doing the Stampede mural at the restaurant, I listened to Chris Le Doux song “Stampede” along with old cowboy songs.

Still Life

I used to laugh about hearing artists say that they “had to be in the Mood” to work, but now I really see that I too do that. If my mind is not in to it I don’t do as good a job.

Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
Not really, I do find nature itself inspiring especially this time of year, fall. I love the change of seasons. I can’t imagine living somewhere where there were NO change. I love all the seasons, but fall is my favorite.

What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
I am hopeful that it will be beneficial to me. I am a late bloomer I guess. Had my kids and life got in the way. Years later now I am thinking about making more of my art. I would love to have more people view and like my work.

Has it had an effect on yours?
Not yet but I haven’t been out there long.

Which one is your personal favorite piece?
Seems like the most recent thing I have done is my favorite. The Appaloosa horse I really love. I am happy with how well he came out. Considering it is only my second acrylic painting that I have ever done, The first being in High School several years ago…we won’t say how many.

Lisa's Work

Would I ever sell it?
Well, technically no, but it isn’t in my posession. I did it as a gift for some friends of mine for Christmas 2 yrs ago. I called it my Prelated Christmas gift. Pre – for this year – lated for the previous year I met to get it to them.

What else am I passionate about?
I love doing leather work. I used to work on saddles as a hobby and extra money.

I have made numerous things, including this year, I made my first gun holster and belt for my Uncle from scratch. I cut the leather out of a side, tooled it, stained it, sewed it and did it all by hand.

Working on anything new?
Right now I am busy with family and health issues. But I am always looking for a new idea. I am in the beginning stages of a couple of projects. Sketches for a painting of my horses and a self portrait series. One of the cowgirl side of me and one of the Motorcycle mama side. Mirror images. Should be good I hope.


More to Come

Thanks to Lisa for answering the interview and sharing her work. Be sure to check out her Facebook page 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.

2 Comments on “Lisa Dorrell – Horse Artist Interview

  1. M. McCluskey

    Beautiful paint! I am so hoping I can be able to adopt some paints from Aspen Valley Rescue here in Colorado. Their patterns really are unique, kind of like snowflakes.

  2. Greta

    amazing drawing! especially the skewbald horse :) brilliant pencil lines and great detection of the muscle on the shoulder!:D

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