Meet Sacha Phariss, an equine artist currently residing in Mexico. Sacha and her parents moved from their home in California 14 years ago to live and work as missionaries. She has shared her story and information about her “Horse Majesty” series – Each of her 12 paintings are featuring a horse representing a theme, i.e. “Be Courageous” or Be “Bold”. Read onto discover more about Sacha in her own words and her interview as well!
. . .
“Happy Birthday!” Ripping open with excitement my gifts from my 4th birthday there in front of me was a gift from a friend, a plastic, light, Bay Horse with her small colt. It was love at first sight! This small act of friendship began to direct my life passion and future goals to equine art. My family is from California, and we have been serving as missionaries for the past 14+ years in Mexico, as our lives have been dedicated to serving and assisting families to apply Biblical principles to their lives for true happiness and success.
My name, Sacha, means helper of mankind, which is my life purpose to serve, assist, and make a difference in the lives of others. Since a young child I began to draw and then paint horses, as a self-taught artist. My love and passion for horses grew since my 4th birthday with drawing, dreaming, reading, and playing with now a collection of plastic horses. Within less than a year of being in Mexico my father found for sale a beautiful white, but neglected and abused, pregnant Lipizzaner mare. Lovingly and tenderly I nursed Twilight back to health and she gave me a beautiful gift, Sapphire!
Twilight’s health declined and her death was related to her past abuse and care. My heart was crushed with tears of sorrow that would not stop. I felt like my heart would explode from the pain of knowing that this could have been prevented. This experience taught me a greater love and compassion for abused animals, and to reach out to animals in need. My dream is to create realistic, inspired, meaningful, equine art. I enjoy creating the personality and spirit of each horse that I bring to life on my canvas. Horse art is something I love, not just in creating it but having it all around me to enjoy.
I paint in acrylic right now but would love to try oils soon. I have also used other mediums such as pastels, watercolor and of course one of my favorite graphite pencils. Even though I am totally self-taught and never attended school as I was home schooled, I I have learned so much watching other artists and visiting gallery’s and museums.
I have a passion for art and am not even sure where it can from, I think it’s in my blood. I recently participated in my first show ever in the United States, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. I was able to sell and share my art and it ended up being a good learning experience. If I am honest, it has always been an up hill battle to follow my dreams of being an artist (one that actually makes a living) I have had one difficulty after another but with the help of everyone around me, family, friends and lots of work on their part as well as mine I have been able to push though. I have learned so much during the difficult times such as patience, perseverance, love for others and seeing how others have sacrificed there time to make my dream a reality.
This has been a great blessing in my life. In the great scheme of things it’s not what I accomplish but who I accomplish it with. It’s never been easy as of yet but the best things in life are always a lot of hard work and are definitely worth fighting for.
One of my favorite creations, ”Horse Majesty” is a collections of 12 paintings with names such as, Be Bold, Be Colorful, Dream Big, Make A Wish, Be Unique…. etc. Above all I believe art is meant to encourage and inspire and I hope that comes across when you see my art.
AOTH: Where are you from and where do you live?
SP: I grew up in Santa Cruz California but have been living in Mexico by Lake Chapala right in the middle of Mexico for the last 14 years.
AOTH: Would you please tell me more about your ”Horse Majesty” series? How did you come up with the idea for it?
SP: The way I come up with any of the ideas for any series is normally with just one idea. I find it hard to keep painting different thing with different ideas that have no relevance to each other. There’s so many beautiful things out there to paint and it’s overwhelming to pick something so I come up with one idea and then I let my imagination go wild in that little area.
Example: With the Horse Majesty series the first painting I thought of was a black and white horse on a black and white background. Now I loved the idea but how could this make it into a collection if I did nothing but black and white, it would get old and boring to paint. What was it about this idea that was interesting? It was exotic, bold, colorful and the main point was to make people stop and look at it even if they didn’t like horses. They needed to want to take a second look so the idea was make the horse pop out. To do this it needed to have a surreal or unique background. I decided all the paintings in this series had to have this look. All my art is meant to encourage people. How can this series encourage?
Names are a way of making a point, just looking at beautiful art can encourage people but I wanted to direct their toughs in an uplifting direction so I decided that the names needed to be commands like, Be Bold, Dream Big, Be Colorful and Be Kind. I started coming up with names for the paintings that had not been created yet, I did,t even know what they would look like. Now I had the names and the first idea and this is where it gets fun. What ideas can I come up with that fit the name and theme? I don’t always come up with the names first but in this case it really helped. When they where being painted I could think about the name and how I could put that feeling in to the art. I put the ideas in a file with the names, this way I could keep an eye out for anything that would work with the ideas, so I wasn’t thinking of my next painting but my next 12 paintings at the same time. This saves so much time and if I see a reference photo that would go well in one of the ideas it go’s in the file. All my series/collections have 12 paintings because if it was a set of 6 or 7 that would be way to easy but with 12 it is always a challenge. When I think there are no more ideas that go with the theme I have to stretch my brain and that’s when some of the best ideas come.
AOTH: Are you a full time artist?
SP: Yes and No. Yes all I do for work is art but I do not as of yet make enough money to live on if I was living alone but because I live with my parents I do just fine. My only paying job is art.
AOTH: Any words for other aspiring artists?
SP: Start creating, get out there and do it. Practice all the time. Study other artist that you look up and see what they do and how they started. Also something that really help me was having the time to do art. They say you can always make time for what’s most important to you.
Growing up I didn’t have a TV and this gave me so much time to work on other things. I would recommend stepping back, looking at your life and seeing what’s really important, what your wasting time on that could be put to a creative use. Make a plan. Where do I want my art to be in 5 years? What do I have to do to get there?
AOTH: How do you market your art? What platforms online do you share your art on and which ones do you find the most useful?
Instagram and Facebook have been the best for getting my art out there but it’s important that you are involved in every platform you have the time for. I also have an Etsy store and of course a website. If you are planning on selling art online you have to have a website that makes people trust you. If they see art on Facebook and they want to buy something, even if they are going to buy it on Etsy, they will go to the website and take a look. Even if it’s a simple website it gives them the idea that the artist is a professional and they will be willing to work with that artist. You have to think of it this way, if you were going to buy a product online from someone on Facebook you didn’t know and they didn’t have a website, would you trust them?
For portraits and selling originals there must be a website. I have also found that Pinterest is helpful, I pin all of my own art there and put links to my website. People will go on Pinterest when they are trying to get ideas for decorating there house and its nice to be right there with your art. I am going to include the things I have not found not helpful as well. Advising in magazines is something I didn’t want to do but I had a friend that surprised me by paying for my art to be in a magazine. I believe this was a total waste of money and nothing ever came of it. This is just my opinion. Also paying to have advertising on Facebook/Instagram or any other place has never done anything for me. You need to get out there, go to any art shows/fairs you can and share with your fiends and family. This will get you more business then anything else. Throw your art a party, invite people you know (even if their not horse people) do a little party in your studio or home and share your art with them. Everyone knows someone that would like a horse painting and the word will get out.
AOTH: What are your goals for the rest of the year as an artist?
SP: Finish Horse Majesty and Horse Passion collections before the end of the year. Their are 3 more 24 x 36 paintings to create for Horse Majesty and 5 more 24 x 36 for Horse Passion, as well as starting at least one for a new series that I have had in mind for a long time. I would also like to paint my biggest painting yet an 8 x 4 foot painting on canvas but this might be wishful thinking because there might not be time between portraits and finishing up my collections but I am dreaming big.
AOTH: If you could go back to change something in your career, what would it be?
SP: Taking art more seriously in the beginning. I used to do little drawings all the time but I didn’t decide to be an artist until 5 years ago. I didn’t start painting until 4 years ago. Even when I did start painting it was not serious at first, I should have put more time into it. Here is an example, when I first started it would take 2 months to start and finish a 24 x 36 painting now if working hard on it in, in 2 weeks or sooner I can have a 24 x 36 painting finished. Yes I have gotten better and faster but I could have painted one a month when I first started if I had actually spent the time I had available on it. I believe I would be a better artist now. Lesson learned, don’t be lazy with art.
Sacha Phariss Socials
Thank you for letting me interview you, Sacha – I am looking forward to following your artistic journey!
. . .
. . .
. . .
Art Of The Horse Socials
If you enjoyed reading this article, never miss out on reading weekly equine art articles and seeing art daily in your Instagram feed by following Art Art Of The Horse on social media!
. . .
. . .