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How Artist Julie Ferris Is Advocating For A Shift In Perspective When It Comes To Equestrian Art

By Kristin Thornton


or thousands of years the domesticated horse has played an integral role in shaping global civilization. Physiology, coupled with an inherent aptitude to comply with man, positioned this strong animal to significantly contribute to history through remarkable roles including human mobility, transportation, war, labor, sport and leisure. Today, a shared affinity and respect for the majestic horse disables socioeconomic and cultural barriers across cultures, particularly amongst equestrian enthusiasts. Fine artist Julie Ferris recognizes the contributions of the horse both in the past and present and creates pieces that accurately represent their attributes at the elevated posture they deserve.

Julie’s paintings are often identified by her presentation of subjects on white backgrounds.  She explains, “Early in my career I found myself gravitating towards the white background as I grasped for whatever kept me grounded and focused. The color white, being a symbol of truth and light, proved itself as the best option in this. I wanted the horse with its personality and character to be highly evident in my work, so the white energy of the background allowed the truth of the subject to stand out. It created this wonderful contrast comparing the complexity of the horse with the simplicity of the white background, which I really loved. Personally, the white was symbolic for me as I began my career and felt chaos around me and in my mind, full of unknowns about whether or not I could become successful at what I felt called to do. I had no backup plan. Painting the white background was therapeutic, and provided meaning simultaneously for me, instilling a peace and calm, as well as surrounding my subjects in the way I wanted them to be seen, with white ‘light.’”

Custom Portrait of Hearsay
Oil on Linen
60 x 40

Custom Diptych Portrait of P Legale (left side)
Oil on Canvas
30 x 40

Custom Portrait of Notable
Oil on Linen
30 x 40

Dynamic women not only seek progress, but it is within their capacity to advocate for change.   Julie is fiercely ambitious to advance the perception of the horse as a subject that is respected by non-equestrian fine art experts.  She relentlessly pursues excellence within her technique to reach this objective.  Julie?s fortitude and aptitude continue to alter former perceptions and her positive professional trajectory is indicating that her vision is transitioning into reality. 

Architectural Email for Inquires
Oil on Canvas
35 x 70

See Also

Julie Ferris in her studio with her dogs, 2018

More About Julie Ferris:

Julie Ferris is working to reshape the way equestrian art is defined and perceived. By using the horse as emotive language in her work, she incorporates her own psychological response to the horse by creating works that aim to highlight the unique qualities and characteristics of her subjects as well as promote the idea of connectivity and intentionality. Her art has a sense of relatability to the viewer whether they are an equestrian or non-equestrian firstly, because of the viewer’s initial perception of the horse, whatever that may be, and secondly, because of the emotional response they have while experiencing her work, thinking back on memories connected to their own experiences. Ferris doesn’t just paint horses, she paints life; she paints the reality of the seen as well as the unseen using the horse as her vehicle.  

Over the years, Ferris has participated in multiple group and solo exhibitions with galleries in Atlanta and the South East and is currently working on a limited number of private commissions, and her own explorative bodies of work. She strives for excellence in all of her work and continues to push the boundaries of the horse in art so that these miraculous animals are exquisitely portrayed in all of her depictions. She hopes, after experiencing her work, people will develop a newfound or deeper respect for the horse and equestrian art as a whole, as well as make new connections about themselves and the world around them. All of Ferris’ experiences with horses and life cumulatively add to the authentic way that she captures the horse, and now, as a new horse owner herself, she looks forward to sharing the personal journey of horse ownership and the bond between horse and rider as an additional perspective in her work. View more of Ferris’s work at, and connect with her on Facebook and on Instagram @julieferris_equine_artist

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