Name: Amanda Charlton
Business Name: Essentia Equi
Art Media: Oil pastel, graphite, colored pencil, Copic marker, acrylic and oil paints
Art Form: Painting, Other Media
I am entirely self-taught, having begun my life and art with horses at the age of 6. The workings of the equine’s spirit, mind and body has always been my paramount source of inspiration. As such, my work focuses on combining anatomical accuracy with emotional energy.
Essentia Equi is my artistic brand and was born in 2013. Since then, I have been commissioned by many passionate equestrians including United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver medalist Jannike Gray. My work has been featured in numerous publications including the Sun Journal, Portland Magazine, Root Art Magazine, and the Long Islander. My work has exhibited within the Northeast as well as in Utah.
I fundraised $13,000 in 2017 through sales of my work in order to participate in the world’s longest horse race (ridden on wild Mongolian horses), the Mongol Derby. My work will always be inspired by the creatures and landscapes who make this planet so incredibly beautiful.
Charlton is a lifelong horsewoman who has made equestrianism and the art that is connected to it her life's vocations.
Essentia Equi, Latin for “the essence of the horse,” is my artistic venture to represent through physicality what I feel emotionally within my work with equines. I notice lots of parts; I notice lots of layers, I notice patterns, and I feel how those parts and layers and patterns move into one another, on top of and beneath one another, when I open myself up to the horse’s experience.
I use Essentia Equi to communicate what I feel with horses, for a picture is worth a thousand words. I work to communicate the blend of many truths and every shade of grey within the essence of the horse. I strive to capture the unique movement, fluidity and electricity that comprise the essence of the individual. Through this study, I have learned that horses must be granted the freedom to move and change as they need. I have learned that we are not so different and that I must grant myself the same right—this equality between species offers a true respect for life.
Charlton participated in the world's longest horse race, the Mongol Derby, this past August 2017 to raise awareness and funds for rainforest conservation and wild mustang adoption.