We all aren’t aware of what the future holds, but sometimes, life has a way of surprising us in the end. For painter Weatherly Stroh, the arrows have pointed towards one direction since her early tweens—to art.
“I have always loved art since I was a kid. I painted my first oil painting of a duck when I was 11. I guess that’s a little foreshadowing of my future as an animal artist!” she tells POLO LADY. Now, this creative makes a living out of this passion and is about to celebrate ten lovely years of working on her craft.
Scrolling through her online portfolio introduces you to various flora- and fauna-inspired masterpieces; however, horses are prominent figures in her catalog. Growing up in a horse farm and with riding hunters, jumpers, and equitation, Weatherly admits that these beasts are an integral part of her life. “I have always felt a bond with them,” she shares.
While she stopped hopping on horses to focus on work, the artist recalls her years riding and showjumping back in college and during the time that she went through a divorce. Back then, she met some lovely horses that she owned—who also inspired her to pursue equine art. Meanwhile, polo is on her future agenda. “It is such an amazing sport to watch. The athleticism and agility of the horses and riders are really awe-inspiring!” she muses.
This connection with ponies, combined with her flair for art, led her to a recent achievement—one of her artworks is chosen as the cover art for Wellington’s 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival. Weatherly considers this feat her proudest moment yet. “It was really fun to see my painting used in advertisements and posters all around Wellington this season!” she exclaims.
When asked to describe her style, Weatherly thinks she’s quite versatile—it ranges from realistic and more traditional portraits to looser and more expressive. The art pro goes back and forth between these styles, but she can see herself leaning more to the latter. One example of this is her favorite piece so far, the painting called “Coming to Ya’ (Grey).”
“I had done the painting several years ago on aluminum in a more realistic style with a dark background. I like the painting but didn’t love it. One day, I finally mustered up the courage to sand and smooth off the first layer of paint and work back into it,” Weatherly recounts. “The painting is now much more interesting and dynamic and, I think, a much more powerful piece.”
What keeps her motivated and dedicated to pushing herself as an artist is the fact that Weatherly gets to connect with people. She dreams of inspiring people to follow their own passions and bringing beauty to the world through art. “We all need more positivity and beauty in our lives at the moment!” she happily adds.
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.