Donna Bernstein

Donna: Watching horses was as important to me as drawing them. In fact, as I grew up it was the watching that kept me enthralled; studying their musculature and shape, how they reshaped themselves as they moved, what maintained balance for them as they moved, whether slowly grazing across a field or spontaneously bucking on a spring morning. I think I digitized these images in my brain somehow, not wanting to stop watching for a second, even to sketch. It was after I went home I pulled out the drawing pads, and pencilled and fantasized about their energy for hours.

Their form was my enlightenment; I could travel through them. And though their form captivated me, I’m somewhat of an abrstract expressionist at heart; simplistic, often monochromatic; suggestive; interpretive; profoundly energetically connected.

This was when the creation began… creating images of horses distilled from my visual memory and imbued with my own personal act of creation; my own distinct blend of rapturous form and abstract stylization.

I’ve come to understand that this energetic relationship with horses is the basis for my art – my intuitive connection with their inherent personality. I find they express everything I could want to say. Beauty, power, movement, sensuality, intelligence, freedom – all of the life values I hold dear are their domain. My sense of artistic expression was never so much a photographic reproduction of a horse, as much as an energetic imprint of what I see in them. They are my muse.

My favorite tool is my hands. I actually didn’t realize this until, almost by accident, well into my forties, I took a course on sculpting horses. I found that the years of study and expression let me immediately mold a powerful three-dimensional equus that thrilled me. I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to sculpt! It made me realize that somehow my hands know. The very next paintings I started working on I used those tools in a whole new way; both liberating and expressive, in a way I hadn’t experienced, my hands brushed the horse’s form into existence right in front of me.

I love creating something that didn’t exist before; something that I know is exclusively mine. Horses have been idolized and painted since the days of cave men; they are not a new subject, to say the least. But I believe as an individual I know I bring something new to the table in this feast we call art, and that is my own personal reward. Something rich and new that can be perceived through the elegant innocence of these incredible animals.

Link: Running Wind Art