Cogswell Gallery in Vail hosts an exhibition of new works by Jean Richardson Friday and Saturday.
Expressive brushstrokes, heavy texture and brilliant colors make up the abstract horses that dominate the large canvases of Richardson's acrylic paintings. She uses images of horses to convey her main focus of movement and energy.
Richardson says, "the horse as a real being is lovely in itself and I enjoy the power, speed, and the physical beauty of the animal. My paintings, however, take this real image and make it a symbol. The horse as a metaphor for the human spirit; unbridled, striving, sometimes heroic, often restless, full of energy, floating above us, calling us to other realms."
Born in Oklahoma in 1940, Richardson's parents exposed her to art through frequent trips to art museums and painting classes at a young age. She received her bachelor's degree in painting from Wesleyan College in 1963.
Returning to Oklahoma after college, she spent an entire year painting abstracted dirt roads before beginning to explore the themes of energy and motion which are still the subject of her work today.