Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, it wasn’t until Carrie Nygren moved her family to Wisconsin, that riding became a part of her two daughters’ daily lives and horses became the focus of her renewed passion for art. It was after the “in-between years,” as she calls them, the years between the MFA, marriage, moving, raising a family, a bevy of pets and working as a film producer, that she was finally able to pick up where she left off: painting. And, as the saying goes, “paint what you know.” After a nearly 25-year hiatus, with brush in hand, Nygren began the journey of the art of the horse. Sport horses to be more exact. From hunter-jumpers, to polo, Nygren has developed a delicate balance of capturing the unique personalities of the horse while engaged in motion—whether it’s a portrait or action shot.
She never wants you to be aware of the process, rather, just be aware of the subject. Over the past five years, with an art foundation firmly based on the materials and techniques of the masters, along with strong draftsmanship, her works find a balance between traditional painting and contemporary composition. Integral in her pieces is attention to anatomy, motion, emotion, dimensional volume, weight and tension, which all contribute to the evocative horse paintings that capture not only the “portrait” of the horse, but the nuanced and unique power and strength of equine form. No matter the sport, there’s a unique relationship between horse and rider—a level of trust, partnership and athleticism not found in other sports. Translating that relationship to canvas is what Nygren considers her ultimate challenge as she develops and grows as an equestrian artist.
In addition to being an award-winning artist, she is a member of the American Academy of Equine Art, Associate member of the Oil Painters of America, Associate with Distinction of American Women Artists, a member of the Portrait Society of America and a Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists. —
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