My heart is as ancient as the sea
To ride the waves you must follow me
I patiently wait for you to feel
The depths of wisdom which I reveal
In mind and body, heart and soul
We are gifted with life and thus a role
In the unfolding quest of love and light
Be still and trust your own insight
~ Kim McElroy
This painting was commissioned by Joy Collier for the cover of a book she is writing titled “Heartfelt”. When she saw my work she felt that I was the one who could make her vision come to life. She asked me to create a painting of a horse’s eye with a heart symbol somewhere in the composition. While contemplating her project, I ran across a picture of this beautiful friesian gelding I had photographed named Tijs, and I knew it wasn’t just a coincidence, that he was the one to model her vision of the heart of the horse.
I met Tijs (pronounced Tyce) while photographing him with some other friesian horses owned by one of my clients. I felt a special attraction to Tijs’s sensitive soul. He was a little anxious and a little curious, and had a lot of playfulness in him. He reminded me of a faerie, as if he was almost not of this world. Sadly he wasn’t long for the world, as he passed away shortly before I began painting him. I am glad his spirit can continue to touch more hearts through my painting, and that he can continue to receive the love and admiration of those who see him.
When I shared the completed painting with a friend, I asked her if she saw the heart. She looked again, blinked, then said “oh yes, but actually I see two hearts. One is his forelock, and the other is around his eye.” I realized Tijs had hearts woven within his image all along.
About the book:
Canadian author, Joy Collier knows from experience that when you meet a horse person, it isn’t long before you are hearing a story about the horse they have now or a horse they used to have. Often the stories are told about the one horse that made an impression, the one that there was a special connection with. Joy realized that it is just such stories that you rarely get to hear from the elite of the horse world. So she decided to write a book titled “Heartfelt”, a compilation of stories from Canadian equestrians, including Olympic riders and respected leaders in their fields. Joy’s passion is to share these stories, knowing they will touch the hearts of her readers. She commissioned Kim McElroy to put her special touch on the cover of this book with her painting “Heartfelt”.
You can contact Joy for the publication date at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy’s Comments on the painting “Heartfelt”:
A falcon flew through chasing a songbird the day that I went to pick up my commissioned piece from Kim McElroy. The falcon was chasing something he desired to have. Here I was chasing my dream of writing a book and looking for the right cover picture to attract readers and of course buyers.
I hoped that the falcon was unsuccessful in his quest but I felt very successful in finding the right artist to capture the perfect image to complement my work. I had met Kim a year before, by fate or chance if you will, at the Mane Event symposium in Cloverdale, British Columbia. I was drawn to her by her work and by her demeanour. After a brief discussion of what I was planning to write about and my interest in a work of art for the book cover, we decided to e-mail each other and come up with a plan. I found her easy to talk with and open to my thoughts. I also gave her artistic license to help me with my design.
The finished work was outstanding and everything that I could have dreamed of. Kim captured the essence of “Heartfelt” in the horse that she chose to use, the colours of the pastels and the brilliance of her work.
When I first saw “Heartfelt,” I saw such a quiet expectation in the eye or this creature. The expectation that a horse has when someone he trusts and cares for is coming into his world. When I saw the piece, framed and ready for me to take home, there was a strength of knowing, exuding from his face and neck.
Thank-you Kim for putting your heart and talent into this piece and making this experience one that I will always remember.