My passion is to capture motion and emotion. Since I have loved both painting and horses from childhood, it follows that horses are often my subject. They express openly the emotions we humans share, as well as having a beauty that captivates me.
My process is to show up at the studio, and see where a painting decides to go. Sometimes it is an abstraction, other times quite representational. A single stroke can say it all, or many layers obscured and revealed over a long period with an ever changing story. I am happy when the viewer has an understanding and emotional response that is personal and
reflective of their own lives. Often images show up unexpectedly and what is interpreted by the viewer is quite different than what I experienced while painting the work.
Over the past years I have enjoyed sculpture as a rewarding medium of expression. Clay, wire and wood sculpture or tiny sculptures as wearable art in silver, gold and gemstones are an alternative to acrylics, oils
“I paint horses both because I love the way they look and because they can express emotion and mood far more effectively than humans. Where we are often hindered by our attempts to communicate with words, horses express themselves physically. In addition to a full range of facial expressions, horses also use their moveable ears, bodies and four legs to show a mood or concept.
My horse paintings fall in two main categories: ” expressionistic horse paintings” that capture horses’ pure joy of movement or the way light falls across skin in dappled sunlight, or a hip in the light of early dawn; and ” human paintings” expressing social issues or coping with everyday life issues expressed through the horse.
Kate Esplen was born Catherine Van Toch in Montreal, Canada. She studied at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under Group Of Seven member Arthur Lismer, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia), worked in the interior design and graphic design fields, and established Van Toch Designs Limited. The firm served national and international clients and over a period of fifteen years winning numerous awards for art and design, including the prestigious Toronto Art Directors Club awards and Canadian Direct Marketing awards.
Kate has exhibited in the Ormond Museum of Art, Eustis Museum of Art, Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Florida Museum of Art, Deland Florida; Mt. Dora Center for the Arts, Left Side Gallery, Flesherton, Ontario; Loft Gallery, Clarksburg,On., Butter Gallery Collingwood, Ontario; Georgian Bay Arts and Crafts Association gallery; Toad Hall Gallery, Costa Rica, M V Conta in Costa Rica, and numerous private galleries. Her work hangs in private, municipal and corporate collections in Canada, Europe, Australia and the USA.