PONY” depicts a
wild pony from
in front of the animal. It lowers its head
and walks forward, one hoof in the air,
as the wind picks up its mane and tail.
Powell uses broken color to develop the
surrounding scene in a vibrant mix of
greens, yellows and blues. She achieves
an impressive amount of kinetic energy in
this simple composition.
While “Carrot Island Pony” is full of
movement and places its subject in a
detailed outdoor space, “Outer Banks
Pony” represents the iconic animal in pro-file,
focusing on the shape and contours of
the creature’s body and isolating it inside
a flatly painted backdrop. The pony is heavily
impressionistic, and Powell’s clever layering of paint and flattening of picture planes creates an illusion that the pony is materializing from within
the pale, blue-green surface.
“Horse Study” depicts another pony in profile, combining movement and anatomical accuracy as it slowly walks forward. Focusing on the rip-pling
of its muscles and subtle swishing of its tail as it moves, the piece demonstrates Powell’s robust technical ability.
In an effort to have a more ecological practice, Powell frames these and other paintings in reclaimed wood. Some are even made from
reclaimed lumber from an old cotton mill in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, adding another dimension of the personal and local to her pieces.
Seeing her paintings is an intimate and precious experience, and one can’t help but recall the adage about artists pouring tiny pieces of
themselves into their work. The connection between artist and subject is visceral in Powell’s practice, and she doesn’t shy away from sharing
that with audiences.
“I want to capture things that I see and that I find beautiful, and express that beauty in a way that touches people,” she says.
Carrot Island Pony, 8 x 10 inches, oil on
Horse Study, 12 x 18 inches, oil on canvas panel.
Outer Banks Pony, 11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas panel.