Art of equine: Horse-lovers draw, paint majestic animals

Though depicted in a still oil painting, the powerful animal gave the impression of dynamic movement.

The horse’s curving neck, soulful eyes and graceful form had been captured in minute strokes of the paintbrush. Other paintings showed flowing manes, galloping legs and powerful shoulders and necks.

“Horses have a lot of strength. They’re sleek animals, so when I’m sketching or drawing, you can show the muscles and the movement,” said Lisa Guckelberg, a Greenwood-based equine artist. “I love to be able to convey that.”

Lovers of horses and art have united in a new organization based in central Indiana. The Equine Art Guild will serve as a gathering for all artists who use horses as their inspiration. The guild hasn’t existed in the state until this year, and has opened its first show this week at the Greenwood Public Library.

“We all have that shared love of horses and art,” Guckelberg said. “The horse is such a majestic animal that it’s an easy subject for someone who truly loves them.”

The guild was born during a horse show conducted earlier in 2016. Guckelberg and a handful of other equine artists were gathered at the Hoosier Horse Fair, conducted every spring at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Organizers of the fair hoped that the artists and their work would add another dimension to activities such as the horse sale, breed showcase and children’s corral.

“While we were together for those three days, we began talking among each other. We were aware of other organizations that promote equine art, but all in other states. None were in Indiana,” Guckelberg said. “We feel like there’s a market in Indiana for equine art, and we discussed that together, we’d be able to market ourselves better.”

That initial group of three artists has been the driving force behind the guild. They’ve used their connections with horse trainers, breeders and artist groups to recruit other members to help promote equine art.

That process starts with the Greenwood show.

Guckelberg has been painting and drawing for most of her life. She works in a variety of styles and subjects, but it’s horses that truly speak to her.

“I’ve lived and breathed horses my entire life. Honestly, from the time I was very young, I’ve loved horses. When I was young, I couldn’t have a horse, so I gravitated towards drawing them, that’s the next best thing,” she said.

Other artists participating in the show include Jan Snyder, Roseanne Crowell, Dorinda Cassiday and Nancy Beise — all from central Indiana.

The show will include 40 pieces of artwork, from oil paintings to graphite to multi-media creations. Organizers wanted to open it to all types of equine art, though no sculpture will be part of this event.

Some of the pieces are straight-forward images of horses running, jumping and preening. But others are more experimental, using a combination of colors, shapes and forms to capture the animals in unique ways.

The Greenwood show runs through Oct. 28. A second show is planned for next spring at the Nickel Plates Art District in Noblesville.

Meanwhile, guild members will work to expand membership in the organization. Anyone with an interest in horses and art is welcome to join.

“We’re not exclusive. We welcome anyone who likes to draw or paint horses,” Guckelberg said.

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The Horse in Art 2016

What: The inaugural exhibition of the Equine Art Guild, a new artist group dedicated to depicting horses in painting, drawing and other forms.

When: Through Oct. 28

Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St.

Artists present:

  • Lisa Guckelberg, Greenwood
  • Nancy Beise, Indianapolis
  • Jan Snyder, Cicero
  • Dorinda Cassiday, Anderson
  • Roseanne Crowell, Noblesville

Cost: Free