Barbara Meikle opens her 11th one-woman show, “Getting Lost in Color,” at her gallery Barbara Meikle Fine Art on May 26.
Animals are the subject of many of Meikle’s vibrantly colorful paintings. Donkeys, owls, falcons and hawks occasionally come to the gallery to pose for her. She loves painting equines, and in particular her 22-year old horse Hank and her neighbor’s burro. Sometimes she draws them, but if they’re particularly active, she may film them and use still images from the films as inspiration for future works.
Among the portraits of equines on display in the show is “Cover Girl,” a painting of Meikle’s 18-month old horse Felina.
“I saved her one year ago,” says Meikle, who has been sketching horses since childhood. “She was just a baby when I rescued her from Spirit Run Equine Rescue in Gilmer, Texas.”
Meikle is an active contributor to animal rescue organizations and is so committed to them-The Wildlife Center of New Mexico in Espanola and The Horse Shelter in Cerrillos, among others-that she hosts fundraisers for them throughout the year..
In addition to passionately painting animals, Meikle sculpts them. Her bronze work includes images of burros, owls and buffalos.
“My bronzes are colorful due to a process I use that involves heating up the bronze and applying a hot patina to it,” she explains. “Chemicals react with the patina to produce wonderful colors.”
Landscapes also have been an important part of Meikle’s oeuvre for decades. While she thoroughly enjoys painting the mountains around Santa Fe, she will travel to national parks and remote areas in the Southwest to do plein-air work.