Lara Branca is a native Coloradoan, born in 1975, with a visual career spanning two decades. Her school-year, city upbringing was contrasted by summers spent at Girl Scout camp, where she developed a deep and abiding love for wilderness, the land, and horses. Her life has been shaped by a thirst for traveling and living in wild places, as well as interpreting these experiences through movement and visual art.
Lara received her BA degree in Painting with Honors from Fort Lewis College in Durango CO in 2006, and earned a MFA degree in Painting from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2016. She currently lives and works in deep rural SW Colorado, where she pursues painting in-situ landscapes and abstract horses.
Her current series fuses the elements of landscape and equine form into large scale abstracted equine oil paintings.
My series of oil paintings, “The Wind of Heaven”, is inspired by the proverb that states “The wind of heaven is that which blows through a horse’s ears”. My art
explores the emotive and communicative potential of the abstracted equine figure in vast landscapes. I capture a dream-like feeling by conveying multiple horizons, shifting perspective and translucent forms to the viewer.
Being in the presence of horses takes me inward toward the divine. I experience them as teachers and healers. I draw them them from photographs
and life. I have developed a visual language of marks and shapes to signify equine movement and figure. I make small in situ paintings of the landscape, absorbing the land, light and colors, which later re-emerge abstracted. As I paint these large canvases, I fuse elements of the landscape and horse forms spontaneously, letting the “signs” emerge from my intuition to create transparency, abstraction and place.
In my paintings, the shimmering planes of the horses’ bodies ripple and react to the surrounding light, and the arcs of their limbs respond to the curves of the
earth. I strive to create work that connects the viewer with a mystical world inhabited by sentient, silent, communicative and graceful beings. I desire for viewers taking a walk in these landscapes to experience “The Wind of Heaven” through the horses’ movement and form.