Horses and Her Muse
by Kim Roe
Kim McElroy is a well-known equine artist from Washington state. For more than 20 years her pastels have been found on popular greeting cards, collectibles, and fine art prints. Her visions of horses portray the power and beauty of the horse’s form, but more than that, they offer us a glimpse into the horse’s spirit.
Of her art she writes, “Rather than merely creating beautiful paintings of horses, my compositions are usually intended to convey meaning to the viewer—whether it is of a horse’s state of mind which we might wish to emulate, or to symbolically represent concepts or feelings which horses embody by their very nature. I believe art has to be personal and that it should have a depth of meaning.”
Kim is also a talented writer, crediting the horse as her muse. She has a wonderful blog, Spirit of Horse, where she writes of the artist’s life and how horses inspire her work. Kim has an intuitive understanding of the essence of horses, and she seeks to express elements of the horse’s spirit in order to help heal people.
About the above image McElroy writes, “Here is one of my recent portraits titled Sea of Love. It is a portrait I created for a woman from here in the Northwest named Virginia Bassetti and her Morgan mare, Caroline, who passed in 2009. Virginia grew up showing Caroline for many years at local shows and in 4-H, and Caroline meant everything to Virginia. It was so hard for her when she lost her best friend. The portrait’s inspiration was about the tide washing away the pain of the past, and is helping her recall instead all the wonderful times they shared.”
Kim’s art has been gifted and commissioned by famous people such as President Ronald Reagan and the royal family of Kuwait, but her most cherished accolades are the daily responses her work inspires in those who love it.
Kim lives at SkyeLandeSea Farm in Kingston, Washington with her husband Rod, horses both big and miniature, and a menagerie of creatures. www.spiritofhorse.com.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.