11×14″ print available here.
This type of carousel horse, with her head pulled in and her cropped mane, is called a Trojan horse. Since all of my pony girls have different names, and this one is doing a deep backbend with the horse’s head essentially becoming a codpiece, Neleh is perfect – Helen, of Troy – backwards!
While this piece is not a Quoilyn (those eyeless, grinning creatures which show up in several of my paintings, and are embodiments of greed, avarice and lust), you can see my predilection for upside-down creatures and reversed arms and legs!
Neleh is part of my Carouselle Girls series, which takes “pony girls” one step further: I painted them as carousel horses! We put animals in situations to which we’d never subject ourselves: birds in cages, lions jumping through flaming hoops. To dress women in riding tack, impaled by poles, leaping gracefully, seemed a wonderful extension of this conceit. People tell me my Carouselle Girls remind them of a cross between Cirque du Soleil and Erte. That’s quite the compliment!