How a horse’s neigh inspired new artwork

Every morning, I’m woken by the thump, thump, thump of the wagging tails from my two rescue dogs on my bed. Which is then followed by my two rescue cats taking turns pouncing on me to get up and feed them. Once I’m up and everyone is fed, I feed the tropical fish in my tank and check on the outdoor feeders for the birds.  It’s no wonder that animals are the main subject of most my artwork. \"FullSizeRender\"

Last summer, I had an opportunity to feature my art at the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic. For me, it was a wonderful mix of my love for animals along with my art.  While I’ve been to other horse shows to watch my friend’s daughter compete, it wasn’t until I spent three days at this show, taking in all the sights and sounds, that I was inspired to create several new equine collages.

First of all, the place is beautiful, a real feast for my artistic eye. Flower arrangements were everywhere I looked.  Colorful displays were used as centerpieces on tables, large hanging baskets were in the trees, bright red geraniums surrounded the jumps in the rings and simple pots were placed on top of bales of hay.  From my booth, I had a view of one of the rings and could watch the riders compete.  Occasionally, I would hear the clip clop of hoofs as someone would walk their horse by the vendor’s tents and off in the distance, I would here a loud neigh or a snort. Those sounds would remind me of where I was and always put a smile on my face.

This a completely different atmosphere from the other art shows I’ve participated in. Everyone, from the spectators and the exhibitors to the vendors and organizers, were all so friendly and laid back.  I had the chance to meet people from all around the country and learn about their story.  I got to pet several basset hounds who visited my booth and even a white Persian cat that a woman kept on a leash.  All of which have inspired new art pieces from me.

There is something about being around horses that I find reassuring. In a world full of tweets, likes, and boisterous politicians, it’s a beautiful thing to see people connect with animals and be dedicated to a time honored tradition.  I also found it very encouraging to see so many young people in the sport.  It gives me hope in our next generation of leaders.

This was by far one of my favorite events I did last year and I’m looking forward to being there again this summer and again being inspired.

Deborah Shapiro is a collage artist, who uses magazines as her paint. To see here work, visit her website and follow her on Facebook.

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