We love horses in the flesh but the next best thing has to be horses captured as art. To exercise our creative sides, and just in case you are thinking of adding a piece of equine art to your home in 2016, we’re sharing our favourite pieces.

Pablo Picasso

'Le Cheval' is a beautiful silkscreen print of a horse on heavy weight paper, and one of Picasso’s iconic drawings that use only a few simple lines. This piece of equine art was the influence of primitive art in the early 20th century with its simple styling that led Picasso to create these simpler line drawings in his later years.

His single line drawings are so simple but at the same time so powerful, as they create so much meaning from one single unbroken line. Picasso loved animals and kept a huge variety over his life-time, many of which appeared in his work, and particularly in his line drawings. The simplicity, energy, and life captured in Picasso’s line drawings perhaps explains the continued popularity of these images. This is such a classic image, and would look perfect anywhere in the home or office.

Jennifer Bell

Jennifer has been ‘pony mad’ from the age of 4 in a non-horsey family, and was forced to turn to drawing and horse art in frustration at the lack of ponies.

She gained a degree in Fine Art (sculpture) then worked her way into an advertising agency and retrained in graphics and design. She also finally learned to ride properly and qualified as an AL Freelance instructor, and since 1986 she has combined writing/illustrating books (mostly equestrian, which continues to be her passion, including 2 books on how to draw horses for J.A.Allen) with painting acclaimed trompe l’oeil and murals in hotels, restaurants, churches and visitor centres, as well as some of the loveliest private houses in the country.

Bell is happy to be commissioned to paint most things, including portraits, and any size. Recently she has been painting and exhibiting large-scale equestrian art canvases as ‘portable’ murals. We love her work “Royal Applause” which captures beauty and light perfectly.

Millie Wark

Student Millie Wark, who attends Lathallan School, wowed the judges of the ‘My Future Visions’ competition with her stunning equine art sculpture of a horse, which was inspired by her desire to be an equine vet. The competition challenges secondary school pupils from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to create a work of art which represents their career aspirations.

Millie explained: “I started by collecting wood from my local beach, St Cyrus nature reserve. Wood isn’t like clay – it can’t be manipulated or flexed. I have been around horses all my life so I knew straight away that I was going to make a horse out of wood. So using the internet and pictures, the horse’s head started to come together.”

We could look at this piece of horse art for hours – it is so perfect, and the material makes it even more beautiful and rooted in nature. You would never think this has been conceived and created by a 13 year old! What a talent. 

Xelle Photography

This company was founded by Charlotte & Adrian in 2013. They met whilst working as event photographers, covering a variety of equine events in the South East. After one too many rainy days standing in a field they decided there must be a better way to combine their love of horses with their photography passion!

Xelle started by “accident” really, a chance conversation over Facebook with a want to create something truly unique, combining both their knowledge of photography, with Charlotte’s artistic background. Luckily they had plenty of subjects to test their skills on, Adrian had four dogs of his own and Charlotte, at the time, had three dogs, a horse and four alpacas! Their techniques and artistic processes have developed over time to create, what they believe is perfection in animal portraiture.

With prints starting from just £175 and shoot fees starting from as little as £65 it is not as expensive as you may have thought to have your very own, stunning pet portrait or piece of equine art! The equine art image we love most on their Facebook page has been made into a poster, so you can own this artwork in the form of an 8x10" image for £12 plus £2.50 P&P.

Norman Thelwell

Thelwell is regarded as the unofficial artist of the British countryside and is possibly the most popular cartoonist in Britain, since the Second World War. He commented on many aspects of human behaviour, but he is perhaps most synonymous with little girls and their little fat ponies. They have helped to ensure his continuing popularity and his immortality.

How the iconic horse art and equine cartoons came to life was quite by accident: “One day I did a pony drawing and it was like striking a sensitive nerve. The response was instantaneous. People telephoned the editor and asked for more. Suddenly I had fan mail. So the editor told me to do a two-page spread on ponies. I was appalled. I thought I'd already squeezed the subject dry. I looked at the white drawing block and wondered what on earth to do. In the end I dreamed up some more horsey ideas and people went into raptures.' The 'Thelwell pony' was born.”

We love Thelwell’s drawings. There is a scene for EVERY situation, and the expressions are many that we have pulled ourselves over the years! He captured frustration, joy, surprise and love perfectly!

Have you got a favourite piece of horsey art? Share yours in the comments below or post on our Facebook page!