Artist: Kristen Queen
Title: Day Break in Virginia Horse Country
Artist Comments: Being born and raised in Virginia it is only natural that I admire the inherent beauty, history, and heritage of this great Commonwealth. Virginia is rich in historic treasurers, but its horses are at its core. Virginia is steeped in equine traditions and lore; from legends of champions and bloodlines, to the development of the able Quarter Horse (American’s Horse), to the churlish, but loveable, and world renowned Chincoteague pony, are a only small parts that play into the huge source of pride we Virginian’s have for our horses, and of that shared by equestrian enthusiasts around the world.
Virginia is rich in equine heritage. You will not travel far without passing a small farm, a grand estate, or maybe just a back yard pony pal. Horses are an intrinsic part of our landscape. One of my favorite places to visit is Lexington, Virginia, home of the Virginia Horse Center. The ride up there is as beautiful alone through winding mountain roads, and skirting the Blue Ridge Parkway; but once you reach the Horse Center and make the walk up the hill to the cross country course, overlooking the entire premises nestled by the Blue Ridge mountains and take in the view of Virginia horse country you are just captivated. There is just something about the scenic landscape of the mountains, mingling with the smell of hay, tack, and the sounds of whinnies, and hooves. The opportunity exists here to see many breeds and disciplines excelling in advanced competition, or just an introductory schooling lesson, all at one time. It’s an enthralling experience for both a novice, or a veteran horse lover and enthusiast.
As soon as my panel arrived I knew instantly what I was going to paint. The deep hues instantly brought to mind the mountains, with day break teasing the horizon line and bathing the pastures in soft yellow light. I could hear the morning greetings of soft nickers, to see the foals just start to rise with the morning, and yearlings frolicking in the mist in the paddock nearby. This is a sight you often see, and one that never leaves your mind once you have.
Being able to capture this and contribute it just a small piece of my life’s experience to that of a much larger work has been an exciting experience. The representation of what I find a “horse gift” has been to witness the beauty of Virginia horse country. I hope to pass this gift along to others, and recognize just a small contribution that the horse has given to me, in order be a part of the assembly of a spectacular work of art culminating so many stories, experiences, talents, and beauty into one exhilarating artistic tribute to an animal which whom we would not be where we are today without him