Equestrian Stylist had the opportunity to get to know equestrian artist Caroline Towning. Take a peek below at our Featured Artist Q & A and some of our favorite works of hers below! Caroline’s true passion is in her equestrian oil paintings, but she uses the detail in pencil and watercolor as a foundation for her oil paintings. We are fascinated by her talents, and find true emotion and beauty in her work.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into equestrian painting…
I have always had an obsession with drawing and painting horses ever since I was a young child. I grew up in the country surrounded by horses, dogs and animals and they became my favourite subject to paint. When I went to university I studied 3D computer animation and my end of degree film was a story about a unicorn and a horse and I spent a lot of time studying the horse’s anatomy. It was clear that my horse obsession had still not gone away. After university, I worked in animation and film for about 10 years while still drawing and painting horses in my personal time. In 2015 I took the jump and started working as a full-time artist, I was still doing a lot of human portraits but horses kept dominating my work and over the last couple of years I made the decision to concentrate mainly on the equine artwork which seems to be a niche that really works for me.
Q: I see you do Drawing, Watercolor, and Oil mediums. Do you prefer one over the other?
My main medium and passion is oil- but my work in pencil and watercolour is essential to the oil painting process. Before I start any painting I do countless sketching in pencil and watercolour trying to understand the composition and the subject. Watercolour is a very hard discipline as it is a really unforgiving medium because it gives you only one shot at making a mark on a piece of paper, unlike oil whereas you can keep layering up the painting to get the final result.
Q: Do you ride or own any horses yourself? How did you get into horses?
I grew up with riding horses as my mother has kept horses her entire life and still competes regularly. These days she’s in dressage but she used to be a keen eventer in her prime. I rode nearly every day up until my late teens and I was a keen showjumper. When I moved away from home I lived in New York and then London and have never returned to live in the countryside. Unfortunately city life has not given me the opportunity to keep another horse, however, this is something that I would love to return to in my later years. In the meantime, I get to spend a lot of time with horses as I travel around painting them and can dream about one day owning one again.
Q: How do you find your inspiration?
Horses, of course, are my main inspiration but I also look for inspiration in absolutely everything else, I go to a lot of galleries and exhibitions and look at a lot of other artists and photographers work to see what they are doing- there are so many talented people out there. I am a self-confessed Pinterest addict- I actually have two accounts because I pinned so many pins in the first account I could not find boards and had to open the second. I also paint to music and when I relook at a painting I can always remember what song I was listening too when painting certain parts.
Q: Anything else you’d like our readers to know? Tell us! 🙂
This year, 2018, is a really exciting year for me – I am going to be doing a lot of travelling in search of beautiful horses worldwide to document in paintings- next month I am going to Asturias in Northern Spain to make a film and take photographs of this stunning white horse which I found on Instagram. I am currently building up a painting series for an exhibition in London next year, this is all while juggling my private commissioned work which I am currently working on a few racehorses and polo ponies paintings. Its all very fun and exciting.
For more information, or to purchase Caroline Towning’s art, please visit: https://www.carolinetowning.com/