Atlanta native, Julie Ferris is the Southeast’s premier equine portrait artist. With energetic commitment and a genuine love for her subject, Ferris masterfully captures the strength, elegance and beauty of each horse.
Ferris’ interest in the history of equine portraiture is evident in her paintings. Echoing the spirit and tradition of masters like George Stubbs, Theodore Gericault, Rosa Bonheur and Sir Alfred Munnings, she also incorporates her own contemporary style, perspective and expression. Paying close attention to the formal aspects; line, color, shape, scale and composition, she creates portraits that are realistic, yet painterly. Ferris is interested in capturing the duality she sees in her subjects. “I love how the horse personifies the contrast of steel and velvet,” Ferris says, “because even though they are strong and powerful, horses also possess a gentle and soft nature.”
Ferris is just as much a student of painting as she is of the horse itself. She began riding and competing at an early age, competed on the elite IHSA SCAD Equestrian team throughout her college career, and continues to ride recreationally and with a trainer once a week. She recently purchased a young Westphalian horse named “Vienna” who she plans to train and show in the future.
In her most recent life size portrait of a horse “Sculpture in Motion,” Ferris interprets her long held belief that horses are living sculptures. The title of this work references a question posed by American sculptor, Alexander Calder, “Why must art be static? The next step is sculpture in motion.”
Ferris received a BFA in Painting with a Minor in Equine Studies from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia. Her work has been commissioned and collected across the United States and internationally.