Monday, November 23, 2009

Equine Artist Carole Andreen-Harris Visits Santa Anita

When I was younger, my father -- then a rising star among California landscape artists -- visited Yosemite National Park. The result was a stunning series of landscape paintings that brought to life the magnificence of the mountains, streams, trees and rocks. Each piece was a labor of love, each canvas a reflection of the intricacies of nature that must have nearly overwhelmed him upon first sight.

When I met with artist Carole Andreen-Harris at Santa Anita one morning before Breeders' Cup, I imagined that she must have had similar feelings. Andreen-Harris, who lives in Arizona and has spent years photographing and painting racehorses at local racetracks such as Rillito Park, was suddenly in the midst of the greatest equine athletes in the world. I could feel her excitement as she photographed them jogging, galloping, and breezing by in the crystal clear October sunshine with the picturesque backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Carole Andreen-HarrisCarole Andreen-Harris snaps a shot of Breeders' Cup horses on the track at Santa Anita.

Visual artists are unique human beings, driven by a desire to express life's beauty in a tangible medium. Andreen-Harris strives to translate the visual power and poetry of the horse in painting. With a lifelong love and obsession for everything equine, she has a special passion for horse racing. Her trip to Santa Anita yielded more than 400 photographs suitable for painting, and she has already begun work on some, including a lovely study of the head of a chestnut horse, for which she sent me a sneak peek.

Work in progress, Carole Andreen-Harris

Her style is one of realism, with the horses the focal points in her paintings. Her use of light to accentuate their sleek coats, combined with the detail of each straining muscle, gives the viewer a sense of the excitement and action of the Thoroughbred racehorse. To see more examples of her work, visit her website at

This post is dedicated to the memory of my father, landscape artist Bernard Wynne, who passed away November 15, 2009, at the age of 89. He lives on in his works.


Roys said...

Mary,I am so glad to see you feature Carole. The first time I saw her work I thought she was special. She seems to catch the soul of a horse. Great job on bringing this talented artist to everyone's attention. I hope she is flooded with new customers.

Janosita said...

Excellent horse portrait by Andreen-Harris.I googled a look at Bernard Wynne's paintings - lovely, very. I am sorry for your loss.

Marcie said...

I'm excited to see what Carole can do from her trip. I can vouch that she was super-excited to visit, as most people are once they first set foot at the great race place.

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