Soldier of Fortune
Oil on canvas
44 x 38 inches
“Animals, the simplest things. They are not affected by spiritual and intellectual torments from which men suffer. Animals and their elements exist in that state of perfect innocence which reigned before original sin, guided by that mixture of freedom and necessity in which pure instinct is composed”
From The Intensity of Animal Life by Franz Marc & Wassily Kandinsky
It is instinct that makes Jo Taylor paint the horse. For many years she has devoted her time and energy to exploring her subject and its ancient relationship with man - this she believes is one of our last links with nature. She has travelled far and wide to find her subjects – visiting the Spanish Corrida, riding with gauchos over the plains of Patagonia, watching Thoroughbreds on the dirt in America and wandering the Indian deserts on the back of a Marwari horse in a quest to explore this ancient partnership. Drawing from life not only creates energy in the paintings, but more importantly gives her a deeper understanding of her subject.
For 8 years, she has been Artist in Residence at the University of Liverpool Veterinary Department. Through this role she is able to gain a deeper knowledge of what lies beneath the skin, by observing operations and sometimes post mortems – working from the inside out.
Jo chooses to work in a variety of media in an organic palette, often mixing materials together to keep movement through the work and to create a surface. Scale ranges from tiny working drawings to pieces of a monumental scale. The bold application of the paint combined with the energy of the life drawing is not only a response to the unpredictable nature of the beast, but also to that of the climate which she may have been working in. She wants the viewer to be able to feel the heat, smell the sweat, taste the dust.
She has had several successful solo exhibitions in London and throughout the UK. Her work can be found in collections in the UK, Ireland and America.
She lives in rural Lancashire with her husband, retired greyhound and ex- racehorse.