“Riding horses is an art form in itself,” artist Brooke Major declares when asked about the magic of putting horses into painting. She continues, “To translate my love for them, the sensitivity, compassion, and expressions are the goal to depict in my artwork. And to correctly paint this challenging animal, one must know the animal in all its glory.”
And that, exactly, she did. The painter’s world revolves around her art and horses, juggling her craft with breeding hoses. Since she was three years old, she’s been involved in both fields; it was only natural for her to eventually find steady footing in where she is today.
The creative likens art to horses, in a sense that she considers both as true therapy. She points out how the art form allows her to escape reality and completely focus on the task at hand.
“It is the most satisfying feeling to achieve success in the obtention of the completion of an artwork,” Brooke says. “I have learned that in art, as in life, you must paint through the desires of the heart. The more passionate you are about something, the more you love something, and the better you’ll be at communicating through it. It becomes so automatic that you don’t need to even think about what you are depicting in your work; you can rely solely on the intelligence of the hand.”
After moving to Normandy, Brooke decided to commence her art career and horse breeding operations. “Breeding horses allows me to know the anatomy of the animal at every stage of its growth. Therefore, it allows me to be a better artist,” she comments.
With this, it is inevitable to dip her toes in horse disciplines eventually. She is dedicated to training horses for hunting and showjumping, and has been a national elite judge for the hunters in France. She also learned polo while in Atlanta, where she faced South African players. Striving to better know in deeper knowledge, the artist practiced western pleasure, barrel racing, stag hunting, dressage, and cross country.
Showcasing a mix of painting and sculpting in her works, the artist presents mastery with sculpted titanium white oil paint. She mentions her passion for light and shadow, the tools that allow her to maximize these elements in her pieces.
“By lighting the sculpted paint while using many different colors of light, it allows the painting to change colors,” the entrepreneur explains. “The thickness of the paint varies the depth of the work through light and shadow, giving an impression of movement.”
It’s enough reason for her to make our favorite riding buddies the subject of her art. “I love the way their eyes, ears, and nostrils unmask their attitude—the way they can rapidly move and change their cadence following their emotions,” Brooke muses. She’s also inspired by architecture, and mainly incorporates both themes when doing her painting. “I tend to paint cathedrals or bas relief that typically includes horses, and that has depicted scenes of life in the middle ages on these magnificent edifices,” she describes.
With a global vision in mind, the painter hustles to get her work out there—with ideas of putting up exhibits on all continents and in as many countries as she can. With an impressive resume of shows in the US, France, Holland, and Belgium, Brooke slowly but surely inches her way to the goal.
When asked about her most prized work, the painting called “The Cowboy” comes to mind. This piece has been awarded on four different occasions, including first prize honors in a ceremony by “Le Franc et Bourgeois” oil paints.
Currently, Brooke has been busy on her bas relief projects, including horses, from Greek mythology at the Whiteside Art Gallery in North Carolina, USA. She will also organize exhibits throughout the year in and around Paris, Monaco, and Southeastern USA. Meanwhile, her breeding center will also be on a full schedule, as she prepares her string for the hunter finals in Fontainebleau.
In her opinion, she does what she’s best at because it showers her the freedom to express her creativity, in my mood at any given moment. “I am allowed to share that creativity with the world,” Brooke states. “The main important thing is to be able to live my dream life through my horses and my art.”
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.