I remember obsessively drawing horses as a child. When I began to paint again I almost immediately reclaimed them as a subject. I no longer own horses so I work from stock photos just as I would for a design project. I look for dramatic silhouettes without sentimentality, no flowing manes and tails, which I rarely include as more than as suggestion. These newest horses use abstract under paintings inspired particularly by Page Jones Davis, Sammy Peters and Christopher Wool. Their different styles provide vocabularies that I play out on the computer, super imposing the figure until I find a good match that uses as much abstract spontaneity as possible. I try to pre-compose passages of shapes, marks and colors to support the figure’s reality with the goal of few additional marks being needed to explain the final figure. The titles express transcendence using phrases from the poet Rumi.
Laura Berendsen Hughes is a graphic designer and fine artist. She has a BFA in sculpture from UNC - Chapel Hill and has lived in Durham for over 40 years. She is a professional graphic designer running her own business Laura Hughes Design. While her work as a graphic artist and illustrator has always been about composition and communication, she has recently returned to working in fine art where the goal is original creativity not messaging. She is exhibiting acrylic equine inspired paintings on canvas that bridge realism and abstraction and rely on the beauty and drama of the horse as an alternative to the human figure.