A native of Ontario, Canada, Maureen Shelleau exudes a passion for horses that dates back to her riding school mount “Rocky” at the age of eight. Learning that he was for sale, her parents purchased the horse, and thus Maureen became an owner, and she has never been without at least one horse ever since. “He was”, according to Maureen, “my inspiration, best friend, and confidant”. Maureen sketched “Rocky” often, so much so, that she soon became highly skilled in the anatomy of the horse, and was able to sell her first Equine Print at the age of only twelve.
After four years at Sault College, where she managed to get horses into every assignment in her visual arts course, Maureen went on to study classical, and later, computer animation at Sheridan College, eventually going on to work in the animation industry, while continuing to refine her artistic skills in oils. Her Equine Art is now internationally renowned, as is her support of numerous charitable horse related organizations. Maureen has recently returned to Sheridan College once again, this time, as a teacher of Animal Anatomy.
An image of her painting, shown above, is “The Lords of Legend”, depicting, left to right, “Secretariat”, “Northern Dancer”, and “Man O’ War”. Maureen Shelleau surveyed “hundreds of friends” in the horse world to arrive at these three favorite horses, and then spent “hundreds of hours” researching each of her chosen subjects. The result is the capture, in oils, of three legendary personalities. “Northern Dancer” is in the centre spot for several reasons. His white blaze balances the painting, even though Maureen elected to show his right side instead of the usual left side view of his unique muzzle markings. Secondly he is a Bay, and the others are both Chestnuts, also adding to the balance, and thirdly, Maureen’s home has always been Ontario, and “Northern Dancer” has been a Canadian Icon since the Kentucky Derby of 1964. Maureen also points out that “Man O’ War” is further back in the painting. This is only to signify that he comes from further back in history, not that he is in any way, a lesser horse. The original painting is an impressive eight feet long, by five feet high.
You can check out Maureen’s website at, www.thehorserules.com