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An emotional connection to the foals, ponies and horses that she paints is an important part of the process for this artist. And it shows in the results. Unlike the vast majority of artists, Susan takes the time – physically and emotionally – to watch and get to know her subjects. Even the half-wild ponies in Connemara, turned out to breed and wander the stone-walled bogland, are visited by Susan many times before she commits their image to canvas. This way, she captures not only their colour and shape, but their character, their habits, their relationships to each other. It is this shared love of the enchanting landscape of Connemara which brings together Kenneth and his daughter Susan and provides a rich link between them, with these sceneries forming a crucial part of their shared artistic vocabulary. Susan strives to capture in paint the wonderful views and precious fleeting moments that pass with the changing light. The background is stunning, but Susan’s passion for horses means that the landscape takes on most meaning when ponies, a long-famous native to this area, inhabit it. She embraces the image of the horse in all its forms: as foal and full-grown, at leisure and ridden, the intimate pairing of solitary horse and its rider cantering through the edge of the waves, or a group excursion of inexperienced riders, ambling on steady steeds across the sands. All are lovingly interpreted; the artist’s emotional connection with this area breathes in every brushstroke. So it is out in the West of Ireland, where the vibrant colours and ever changing lights and moods of nature’s landscapes join these connected souls in their quests to present their beautiful experiences of their world to us.


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