Art Of The Horse December 2017 Banner Contest Winner–Kathy Ellem!



With a quick glance at the beautiful drafts above, it would seem that these are photographs captured in the split second of a camera’s shutter. But in a closer inspection, you can see the immense detail, and precision used to craft these paintings that can take days, weeks or months to complete. Each whisker illuminated by the glowing sunlight adds another layer of depth, bringing forth a rich vision of color, beauty, and power that brings these draft horses to life.


Kathy Ellem

Location: Victoria, Australia

Websites:,   Facebook


‘I want people to connect with the bush in a positive way.  To reflect on the values of hard work, steady calm strength which ultimately the draft horses symbolize for me’.–Kathy Ellem


Kathy Ellem’s career in the arts started off when she was an adult, after she had a life changing trip to Canada. There, she met her future husband and lived in Queensland, Australia for a time before moving to the family farm with cattle, working horses and everything else that comes with a working ranch in Victoria, Australia. From there, Kathy took her first oil painting workshop with Bill Sass, who introduced her to the medium and guided her in her artistic journey and in 2007 Kathy had a serious interest in panting. She did some drawing as a little girl, but decided that route would not hold a future for her. Instead, she pursued a degree in Biology, “which was interesting but not where my heart lay”.1501158592608

After her lessons with Bill Sass, she continued to soak in the advice and teaching of several artists, including John Wilson and Lyn Diefenbach in Australia and Scott Burdick, Susan Lyon and Greg Beecham in the USA. As Kathy says, “The sky is the limit” and she will continue to evolve and nurture her artistic flair.



My goal is, as Mary Nelson (Art of the West Magazine, 2017, Nov/Dec issue) put it so eloquently, to ‘find new ways to explore the abstract possibilities of realism’. To produce art that is magically so much like a photo but on closer inspection is a vibrant mix of colours and shapes creating a story that is interesting both from a distance and up close.– Kathy Ellem



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