About Mattie McClain

Even at a very young age my eyes would tend to brighten for anything involving horses or art. Imagine a little girl, spending many a trip to horse events happily in the back seat of her parents’ truck doodling through a notepad until the entire back seat was covered in pieces of paper. I have many memories of that exact scene. Yeah, I guess you could say this thing and I go way back. My passion for horses has always been within me, and really took shape in my childhood days of growing up in rural Indiana. I have always had a knack for drawing them, and that developed into something of an early art career. Back then I had no idea my art could speak to people. But the math was simple: I loved drawing horses, and people loved for me to draw theirs.

Nothing has changed – except my passion for it. It’s even stronger. There is nothing more rewarding to me than creating a unique, memorable art piece for someone and seeing their initial reaction when it’s finished. Every story is different, but the emotions are always genuine. Fine art is one of the mainstays in a world of instant gratification and mass-production. There is no shortcut or app for this. There is no way to automate this process. That’s what I love about it. It is the same process that has been used for hundreds of years, or in my case, my whole life. ¬†And there’s something very satisfying about that. It’s a time-honored process that demands an artist’s full attention and commitment. It’s something not many people can do well. It’s not for everyone, but for the few who are meant for it, there’s nothing else on earth like it.

Some Details

I always like to get an idea of the subject’s personality, whether it’s an animal or a person (or both!). I want to capture who they really are. My goal is not to create an exact copy of a photo, but rather to breathe life into the final piece – as if you feel like you personally know the subject just from looking at the piece. I begin with a simple, precise line drawing. Then I add layers and layers of color, revealing every detail of the subject as I go.
Seeing my work touch someone emotionally is a truly remarkable thing. I recently completed an art piece of a client with her favorite horse, and seeing her tears of joy upon receiving the painting – that is something I can’t put into words. It’s what makes the hours of work and attention to detail well worth it.
AIGA Student Competition
Greeting cards chosen to be promoted through AIGA.
Triangle Sale of Shawnee, OK
Art chosen for catalog cover.
American Quarter Horse Youth Association
Art Contest
First Place