This week’s cover artist, Julie Freund, is the selected 2014 poster artist for The Hampton Classic Horse Show. The poster, a collectable souvenir of the historic event, is a reproduction of Freund’s oil painting titled “Paseo.” The young artist discusses her love for both painting and equestrian sport, and her anticipation for this year’s Classic.
It’s quite amazing that you’ve been able to fuse your passions for both painting and horseback riding. Was there a moment when you thought you had to decide on one or the other?
While I was at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) I was asked a lot, “If you had to choose, painting or riding, which one would it be?” And my answer often was influenced by my physical location at the time. If I was in SCAD’s painting building, I would say painting. If I was at the equestrian center, I would say riding. But really I don’t think I could choose one over the other, they both go hand-in-hand.
I was drawing horses long before I started riding them. I was that two-year-old that only wanted to play with horse figurines and draw horse pictures. I remember one day my mom was looking through the newspaper and saw an advertisement about horseback riding lessons and asked if I wanted to try, and it’s snowballed from there. I began riding when I was 8 years old and started showing at the age of 10.
The composition for “Paseo” is unique, the view is from just behind the horse’s hooves. What made you select this area in particular to zoom in on?
At SCAD we focused a lot on the biomechanics of the horse, the hows and whys of the equine. I had some wonderful and talented professors at SCAD who have become a large influence not only in my riding but also in my artwork.
For this particular painting, “Paseo,” I was emphasizing and exploring the details of the equine hoof and its movement through the sand. As a rider our job is to communicate with the horse where to place their feet, all through body movements and physical interactions. I am still amazed that riders and horses have found a way to become partners and communicate through mostly a non-verbal language. I often tell this to young riders, “every step you are communicating with your horse, having a conversation, you want to make it a good and clear conversation.”
Where does the title “Paseo” come from?
I got it from a translation of the English word “walk” to Spanish, which is “paseo.” I often don’t come up with a title of the work until I am almost done. At that point, I have a quick conversation with my roommate, just bouncing off ideas and maybe look at a dictionary or thesaurus until I find one that fits the piece.
What is your fondest memory a horse show?
I never attended the Hampton Classic Horse Show, so this year will be my first time! I have been to horse shows along the East Coast, ranging from Lake Placid to Ocala. I love going to horse shows, whether it’s to compete, work or just watch.
Julie Freund will be having her first solo show, “Pinto: A Perspective of the Equine,” in Milwaukee at Splash Studio on October 18. To see more of her artwork, visit julieannafreund.com.