From rocking horse to painting horses
FROM ROCKING HORSE TO REAL HORSES
My grandparents must have known. Why else did they carry the most awesome rocking horse with them on December 30th in 1990? Little newborn me didn’t know yet. But I soon loved that rocking horse. During my time at the art academy I even made a project around it. Some sort of combination of the strong horseback riding and arrow shooting amazons and the fascination of childhood dreams.
I didn’t have much contact with real horses till the age of 13/14. My big sister used to go to small horse riding school in the neighborhood, but when I finally was big enough for lessons myself, the riding school had moved away.
So I ended up playing on my rocking horse, collecting a nice little herd of toy horses and tumbling through the book ‘Het Brieschend Paard’ (The Snorting Horse) of Rien Poortvliet.
My fascination with history has always partially been founded on the recurring appearance of horses: Alexander and Bucephalus, knights in shining armour on noble steeds, amazons, the tapestry of Bayeux … And even mr. Darcy (Jane Austen) is described quite nicely with his big black horse.
The horse as an perfect example of powerful stillness
When I finally convinced my parents and started my first horse riding lessons, I was hooked. Soon after, I started volunteering at a horse riding school for disabled people. This is were I learned to see the horse in a new light. Not only are horses big, strong, beautiful creatures you can sit on. No, they turned out to be extremely thoughtful, loving, trustworthy beings who take care of those who can’t fully take care of themselves.
I experienced this beautiful trait once again while I lived very close to a herd of 18 horses in 2016/2017. They taught me valuable lessons and triggered this newfound artistic passion for a creature which has always been a part of my life.