Thanks to her love of horses, local artist Ann Goble has accomplished one of her biggest dreams.
The 57-year-old Gainesville resident recently won an Animal Award of Excellence for an equine painting she submitted to the 2018 Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition.
“It’s always been my dream to be in one of their shows,” she said about the Oil Painters of America. “That particular show is always the one that you want to strive for. I’m really fortunate that I was able to achieve it.”
Goble is part of the Blue Angel Studio in Gainesville, and she has been painting for almost 20 years.
“I went into art after my kids had started grade school, and (I) took classes at the Quinlan (Visual Arts Center),” she said, mentioning that she is a licensed professional counselor by training. “I had always been involved in art in some way but really fell in love with painting through taking classes.”
She now works mainly in oils, and most of her paintings reflect photographs she has taken of horses, though she’s also known for painting shorebirds.
“I started narrowing my interests in terms of subject matter and focused on painting horses,” she said. “And that was through my daughter’s love of riding. Because she’s been riding since she was 5 years old, I spent years and years driving her to lessons and sitting at the barn and spending all day at horse shows. I started taking photographs and really fell in love with the horse form and the movement.”
She said she’s also been influenced by her family’s trips to a ranch in Arizona.
“We’ve been going for 20 years,” she said. “We quickly realized we all loved being there, and I started taking photographs. So most of my reference material is from our trips to the ranch.”
She said her inspiration for the winning painting, titled “Company of Three,” came from a picture she took on her most recent trip.
“That was one of the photographs that I really loved,” she said. “I made some changes to it, but what I loved most about it was one of the horses had the light from bouncing off the ground, so a reddish, sandy desert ground gave an orange reflection on the belly underneath. And then it was backlit, so the side shadow was a really bright blue. Just those colors really grabbed me, and it was all nature’s beauty.”
Goble said she had the opportunity to study equine painting in Colorado three years ago.
“I spent a week at a ranch in southwest Colorado at the foot of the Great Sand Dunes National Park with artist Jill Soukup, and we studied painting horses from life (and) did photoshoots with the horses at the ranch,” she said. “At one point she even, on a white horse with black paint, painted the bone structure onto the white horse so that we could study the anatomy. We sculpted, we drew, we painted, we did ink sketches. It was just a great experience, and it was a turning point for me in trying to work on anatomy and movement.”
To better her skills, Goble said she tries to be in the studio everyday.
“It’s like anything else — if you don’t treat it like a job, then you can’t expect to make big leaps,” she said. “It’s fine for it to be a hobby. It’s not that it has to be a job, but if you want to make big improvements and learn and grow, it really does require the dedication of being there everyday.”
And while she’s ecstatic about her most recent award, it’s not the first time her hard work has been recognized.
“Last year I was fortunate to be in the American Impressionist Society National Exhibition, which was another show that I always dreamed of being in,” she said. “The painting that got in that show was a shorebird painting. And Women Artists of the West is an organization I have been with for several years, and when I’m in their show it’s always an honor.”
Some of Goble’s work is on display at the Gallery on the Square in Gainesville and at Wild Hope Art Gallery in Atlanta.