“With horses, no day is ever completely the same—and neither is a painting,” equine artist Steffie Hornig says. Ever since the day that she decided to combine her passion for these magnificent beasts and her art, it turned into a harmonious marriage she’s committed to doing for the rest of her life.
Horses are a huge part of her life—she lives at the barn, rides and owns multiple horses, and spends most weekends on horse shows. “Nevertheless, I can never seem to tire of them, as every horse has their own personality, and thus, making a connection with them comes with its own challenges and surprises,” she tells POLO LADY. Her love affair with these animals grew further as Steffie stepped into art school and created her first large-scale horse painting called “Powerful.”
“Ever since then, I have not been able to put my brush down and have devoted my paintings 100% to horses,” the artist recalls.
So begins her journey into equine art. Sitting down to finish an artwork is a joy for her, as she sees horses as incredibly beautiful and interesting, with many facets and little details that she tries to picture through her skilled hands. Portraying not just moments but also their personalities, Steffie begins each piece by studying the subject first—and meeting them in person, if possible. A series of pencil sketches follow it to understand the horse better, then applies a method that works best for her: the crop out style.
This technique zooms into just one area so that the attention is drawn solely to the details. “It’s something that we often forget to do nowadays in our busy, modern world!” she explains, adding, “from a painter‘s view, their large eyes and their soft fur are fascinating and interesting to work with. When painting horses, you cannot impress with flashy colors only—you have to use technique and observation.”
Apart from her flair in equine art, Steffie is also a great rider and has played polo as well. Her first venture into the sport of kings happened at the Polo Club Gut Ising, Chiemsee in Germany, where she took classes. She recalls her experience as fascinating and admired the pony’s speed and unique character. “When I was playing a little match, and my horse was going for the ball with full speed without me even pushing her—it was an incredibly powerful feeling! She seemed to enjoy the game, too,” Steffie shares.
And whenever she’s not into her next masterpiece or hopping on her four-legged friends, she’s out and about exploring nature or spending time with her family. “My favorite thing to do is to hack with my horse and partner to the forest or to play with the foals!” Steffie muses.
However, at the end of the day, this creative sleeps at night with a clear goal in mind: to offer a boost of inspiration to her audience through her art. She wants to give them a calm moment of serenity and connection with nature and the horse when observing her artwork and feel the emotion a piece evokes.
Steffie plans on doing a series of paintings solely focused on light, reflection, and gloss. These include painting the sheen of a horse under the sun or the morning atmosphere of horses on the field once. And once the current pandemic situation improves, staging exhibitions are part of her to-dos.
At present, you may find her work on Instagram and her website, which showcase the several projects she’s currently handling. She’s also part of the online gallery „Paardverzameld“ and is cooking up some excellent video footage of her work to be published online soon—so we better watch out for that!
Want to know more equine artists? Read this article about artists you must follow on Instagram.
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.