The Spanish Ambassador Pastel by B.K. England was accepted for exhibit by the American Academy of Equine Art, and hung in the Kentucky Derby Museum. Prints are available.
Her soft and subtle pastel paintings reveal the warm affection she has for her subjects, often her own Haflinger horses. Restraining her choice of colors to soft, rich hues, B.K.'s work beams with a soft ambience that is flavored with sentimental overtones.
England's creativity is also expressed in her photography and published poetry. She has co-hosted a radio talk show about horses in Northern California where she now resides. B.K. feels quite fortunate that a lifelong passion for horses has lead to such a many-faceted career.
Recently, she has created gift cards with copies of old photographs she has collected and admired. Each card is a bit different, composed with lovely papers, ribbon and trim. She explains, "I've been collecting old photos, especially of ladies and horses, for many years. The pictures are too special to just tuck away, so it's wonderful to be able to share them in a unique way."
B.K. continues, "At one of my first art shows more than twenty years ago, an elderly woman started talking to me about her life-long love of horses. She had grown up in San Francisco and her eyes lit up as she told me of dashing out of her home to see the fire horses charge by when she was a little girl.
"She had so many special memories, and still had that passion for anything equine. We must have talked for an hour, and she made me so aware of how fortunate we are to have this passion that so enriches our lives. It's been a connection that has brought me most of my friends and we never lack for something to talk about."
B.K. grew up on a ranch with an eclectic assortment of horses. Both grandfathers were horsemen and they shared their love of horses with her and her father.
England comments, "I doubt that there is another art subject about which the artist is so passionate. I can't concentrate on just one breed, as they all speak to me in their own way. I've painted backyard ponies and national champions, and one is just as important as the other.
"Older horses are very important to me," she continues. "We have two senior-citizen mares, half-Arab Pintos, and it's a privilege to take care of them, as they've given us so much."
Although B.K. England has won numerous awards for her artwork and photography, her greatest pleasure comes from capturing the image of a beloved animal to the satisfaction of the people who know it best.