Our horses hold a special place in our hearts—and what’s better than actually wearing them with you? Equine artist Katie Pacheco makes it happen for all horse lovers and more.
Bringing “fine art for the modern equestrian” on the table, her art allows people to have their ponies on their clothes. The animal shines through the clothing, making sure that the portrait hand-painted on fabric looks exactly like the real one. “Rather than conceptualizing the process as being that of putting a horse onto a canvas, I perceive it as bringing a horse forth from the canvas,” she shares.
The first-ever skirt Katie designed was created on a whim, as her sister needed one to wear to a party. However, one thing led to another until she couldn’t stop herself from creating them. It brings together two things she loves—the equine industry and fashion.
However, this creative’s work started long before she started making wearable art. Katie has been splashing colors on canvas and selling paintings for 12 years. Her business has just expanded to other gift items, like ceramic mugs and notebooks.
Growing up riding these beautiful beasts influenced her decision to pursue art and horses altogether. Upon deciding that she wanted to pursue training professionally, Katie attended university and majored in Animal Science. She finished school and instructed, where she met her husband, who was a helicopter pilot in the US Navy.
They moved to Guam when they got married. “It’s a tiny island in the pacific where I quickly discovered there were no horses. As all military spouses do at some point, I adjusted and began to teach elementary school. But there was a big hole in my life without horses,” Karie recalls. She then picked up charcoal and developed her flair for art. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Her style, she describes, is greatly affected by the connection that I feel to each horse that I paint. “I grow quite fond of each of them. In the process of painting, each develops a personality that is reflected in the final piece,” the artist reflects. “I strive to make a painting of a horse that emerges from the canvas. A horse that you would want to walk up to and stroke its neck.”
Even though her family needs to constantly move from one place to another, inspiration from horses follows her everywhere. Katie recounts how she feels the exact way horses move when in a saddle or even the feel of their sleek summer coats on her hands. “Horses have given me so much in my life; I honestly would not be who I am without them. So they are inspiring to me in the way that anything life-changing is for a person,” she adds.
Her first large charcoal drawing is still kept in her home, which the artist considers her favorite. In this exact masterpiece, she cultivated the dream to have her work leave the message that the horse in the piece is telling through his expression and body language. “Whether it is the look of greatness, the fitness of an athlete, or the connection between a horse and rider, I try to always focus on the horse’s expression, which is where the magic of great equestrian art lies,” Katie explains.
Even with 12 years of experience, every day feels like she’s just getting started. “I am an ‘idea person,’ and honestly, I don’t even know what I might come up with next. But I love that art provides so much opportunity for growth,” the artist beams. Right now, her hands are full with commissioned pieces—and happy that Katie gets to work with the things she loves most in the world.
What's Your Reaction?
Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.