Har­ness­ing the Power of the Equine

Arabella - - CLUB ART - Writ­ten by Mark Pavilons

Call her a horse whis­perer if you would like – a con­nec­tion from deep within the psy­che of artist and sub­ject – a spark ig­nited by the look in the eye of an equine friend or res­onat­ing from the play of danc­ing flick­ers of light or faint shad­ows. A mag­i­cal in­ter­ac­tion, this un­de­ni­able spark, ig­nit­ing an idea for a work of art to be­come a master­piece of di­vine ex­pres­sive­ness.

The Sub­ject of Horses

As a gifted and ac­com­plished equine artist, Ade­line Halvor­son’s pas­sion for an­i­mals, in par­tic­u­lar draft horses and dogs, has al­ways been nour­ished by a bond which far ex­ceeds the idea of the ob­server and the ob­served. Sit­ting at the kitchen ta­ble as a young­ster, Ade­line was sel­dom with­out a pen­cil and pa­per. She of­ten drew horses, al­ways from her imag­i­na­tion. Grow­ing up on a farm in west­ern Canada, an­i­mals were never far away, and her years of rid­ing and groom­ing horses had pro­vided her with in­ti­mate knowl­edge of her favourite sub­ject mat­ter. This spe­cial bond has served her well in her cre­ative paint­ings, bring­ing th­ese an­i­mals to life on can­vas, en­tic­ing the viewer with an es­o­teric ex­pe­ri­ence of the senses – the horses’ manes re­al­is­tic to touch, the sound of their hooves res­onat­ing in the ear as they stir up the dust on the Prairies, the ex­quis­ite shapes and mus­cle move­ments rip­pling un­der Ade­line’s well-worn brush. "I paint the sub­jects that are true to my heart, and def­i­nitely be­lieve the words of Sir Win­ston Churchill: ‘There is some­thing about the out­side of a horse that is good for the in­side of a man.’ I love paint­ing the tex­ture of the har­ness and the var­i­ous buck­les, spots and rings," she says. "When work­ing from live mod­els, I used to en­joy get­ting to know the an­i­mal as I worked on it, and was al­ways sur­prised how I could eas­ily get them to turn their head back to a cer­tain po­si­tion while I worked."

left, One of the Boys, acrylic on linen, 10" x 8" above, Home Sweet Home, acrylic on linen, 48" x 24"

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