Horses were living with people before the dawn of recorded history. Their strength, endurance, and speed were part of the success of early humans. Horses were prized over centuries for their role in travel, agriculture, war, sport, and social position. Horses and people have had a deep connection for a very long time. Horses were the primary animal subject of early art. Stone Age paintings on the walls of caves in Spain and France, drawn in charcoal and pigment by firelight, evolved over millennia to the early Renaissance, when Leonardo da Vinci perfected the skill and art of drawing – horses were a frequent subject. The horse’s power, harmony of form, and balance of movement are seen in the drawings.
“When I was a little girl, my mother showed me the drawings of Leonardo. I was fascinated. I loved them. I began, then, to draw horses.”
Ashley Binder, an artist in Santa Fe, was that little girl. Her work evolved from that style, on paper and canvas, in charcoal and pigment. Over time, she found her own voice but stayed connected to the old tools and style of the Renaissance masters. In her drawings, Ashley captures the character of the animal and the flow of its movement, just as they did, but in her own way. She has loved horses always. Ashley has horses of her own now and cares for them, trains them, rides them, and loves them – her inspiration is continuous.