I’m a fine art photographer who creates artwork for people who have a love for the natural world, seek a sense of freedom and serenity that horses gift with open wild hearts.
One of my earliest memories as a child was going for walks with my Grandad and being mesmerised at the sight of sunlight dancing through a canopy of trees. I remember the illuminance of the green leaves as the sun shined from behind the tree. I remember the sun flare as I moved my head in indifferent directions to gaze more intensely at the tree. More than anything I remember closing my eyes for a brief moment and shutting them so tight in a childish act of trying to hold the sight of that beautiful light and tree in my mind forever.
That memory of seeing the world through the eyes of a child moves me to this day. Feeling intrigued and overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural world around me is a driving force behind my work. From an early age, a camera became a time machine – not to travel back and forth in time but to freeze time, take a breath and capture the true essence and beauty of what I see.
A career within the arts was always inevitable. I studied at Swansea Institute of Higher Education, my education in sculpture, printing, and photography came together in my mixed media photo-encaustic work many years later. Before starting Esther Marie Photography, I first worked as a Forensic Photographer at Greater Manchester Police and later at the UK Forensic Scientific Service. This role had me see the darker side of humanity, yet I could always find peace in the natural world surrounding me. I’ve been drawn to horses from an early age but as a timid child who regularly suffered from panic attacks, I never dared to follow my heart.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I plucked up courage to book a riding lesson. From that very moment I was hooked, I absolutely fell in love with everything horsey! When horses first came into my life, my daughter was very ill and spending time with the horses gave me comfort, time out and on many occasions allowed me to have a emotional outlet (there’s nothing like a warm hug from a horse) in-order to cope with the stress of having an ill child. I often had to go on auto pilot and keep my own emotions in check to move through daily life. I kept going though and even signed up to do my British Horse Society courses too. My two passions in life, photography and horses, collided harmoniously and my equine fine art photography career began.
Being able to create fine art photography and photo-encaustic artwork of my clients horses that is so meaningful to them is so important to me; creating personal artwork of clients horses is very rewarding. My artwork becomes more valuable as time goes by. I often receive lovely messages from past clients who let me know how grateful they are for the artwork I created for them after their horse has sadly passed away. Knowing I have created a lasting one of a kind artwork of their beloved horse means so much to me.
When crafting photo-encaustic artwork, I often think about how the photograph was created. The movement, emotion and dance of the horse mixed with the perfect light. Photo-encaustics is a lovely mixed media art technique that uses beeswax and dammar resin as a medium to create encapsulated art work. Layers of melted beeswax and dammar (tree sap) are painted or poured on to my fine art photography print and the fused with heat, the process is repeated many times and gradually I build on texture and colour using oils, wax and pan colours to enhance my photographs. It is an ever-evolving creative process that I love. My passion stems back to my art college days when I learned the process of batik, where you create textile wall hangings with silks and wax along with the hands-on process of being in a traditional darkroom before the world went digital mad!
Because of these past experiences, I understand the power of horses and the deep connection people have with them. Being able to capture emotive artwork of horses (through both personal commissions and my limited edition artwork) resonates with the horse owners and art collectors who share my love of the natural world, is so important to me. My artwork and limited edition prints are inspired by horses and the natural world they dwell in. Nothing compares to that moment where I instinctively know that I have captured the heart, soul, and beauty of the horses. I love that the final act is to encapsulate my photographs using nature’s own bee wax and tree sap. This final act adds depth and ensures my art will last a lifetime and take pride of place in homes across the world.
Now, more than ever, our natural world is so important to us. I believe everyone should experience the sound of thundering hooves as horses gallop past, learn to love the simplest parts of their day, like the chill of an autumnal sun, which my Grandad used to call “honest days”. Through my work, I hope you feel inspired to take time out to feel the wind in your hair the sun on your face and feel at peace in your world.
A lovely poem that means so much to me. "Leisure"
By William Henry Davies
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
All her work uses archival fine art papers, printed by hand and professionally crafted. Her limited-edition photography can be seen at exhibitions or by private appointment.
Esther Marie also provides help and support with regular fine art photography workshops to people of all ages. Horses inspire Esther’s photography on many levels with her work renowned for capturing all their beauty and grace. This has also extended into animal advocacy. Working alongside animal charities – ACE, HAPPA
PHOTOGRAPHY |PHOTO – ENCAUSTICS
I love to create beautiful fine art prints of my work and I really enjoy using the expressive, messy mixed media technique photo-encaustics.
The photograph I’ve captured is expertly printed onto beautiful printing papers, a work of art in its own right but to me, the final process of creating my artwork is using an age-old process called Photo-encaustics, using natures beeswax and tree sap, adds an expressive emotion and texture which you simply can’t get from any other medium.
Esther Marie Gallery
86 Huddersfield Road, Newhey