For many years I have concentrated on painting and drawing horses and dancers as well as the occasional diversion into Landscape and woodland painting. The common motivation for looking at horses and dancers has been their means of expression through movement. My aim is to emulate the impression, indeed the sensation of motion, using my chosen mediums of oil paint and charcoal. Use of colour is vital to my paintings, I use it to describe the contours of a figure, to exaggerate a gesture or maybe to emphasise the glamour of a situation if I am painting a polo or racing scene. Very often I splash colour on to a painting to give a feeling of unity to the composition or perhaps it just suggests the direction in which the subject is moving.
My most recent paintings have diversified slightly in that I am looking in much more detail at the way a horse conveys its thoughts and emotion by a look in its eye, the angle of its head or the flaring of a nostril. They are such expressive creatures and their grace and presence such an inspiration, I am relishing in portraying these qualities. To my mind there is no need to expose the whole head and neck, it is enough to concentrate on the areas of the head where the light may fall or where the most expression is evident and to just suggest the rest. Very often the charcoal drawings of fragments of a head require a second look before the horse becomes apparent, I enjoy this element of mystery it adds another dimension to the work.
Another technique that interests me involves thinking about what material one uses to suspend paint. For the work that I have talked about until now I have used paper or canvas but I have been experimenting with the idea of paint appearing to have no supporting material, for this I am using Perspex. Acrylic painted onto Perspex and lit in the correct way gives the impression of being an unsupported object, be it a horse or dancer, that casts its own shadow. I can paint on either side of the Perspex, which gives an interesting added dimension in itself!
– Louise Mizen