It’s Royal Ascot week and whilst not being a fan of horse racing I certainly find horses beautiful and inspiring and as such they have featured in many of my Cityscapes over the years. Most of the time they are in the background but illustrate the relevance of horses to a region. In my Ireland Cityscape a small but energetic horse runs wild along the beach in Donegal.
I have created Cityscapes for two horse race institutions around the world: The Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Japan Racing Association.
Both designs celebrate the history of these institutions and impressive grandstands and the horses are a key component of the designs but are not at their centre. The truth is horses are very hard to draw even in my naïve style of illustration! I hope over time to focus on drawing horses and improve my drawing skills along the way!
One of my favourite horses I drew was in my Cityscape of Cody, Wyoming, in which a rather happy looking horse charges ahead with a girl on his back carrying a banner advertising the Cody Nite Rodeo. No two ways about it … horses love to run, feeling the wind rush through their mane and galloping along the ground under foot. I love this design that celebrates the Wild West and all of the wonderful nature and history that’s associated with this region and local hero: Buffalo Bill.
Working horses appear throughout my Cityscapes as in a recent design that I’ve created for the Big Pit in Wales. It’s not easy reading about the plight of mules, (as well as humans and canaries!) when doing the background research for this design, but it’s an important story to tell, part of our nation’s industrial heritage and I try to relay this in a way that engages. My mule, canary and people in the Big Pit are therefore very industrious not sad.
Another recent Cityscape I undertook was of the sensational Sintra in Portugal … a place that I have been to and loved, like many others who are fortunate enough to wander up to this palace in the mountains above Lisbon. Two horses and riders in dressage perform their dance in the bottom right of the design, welcoming people into this mysterious and beautiful fairy tale land.