Local equestrian artist turns horses into her canvas

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- A local equestrian artist is taking her love for horses and art to a new level.

Taryn Hale is known for her works of art on paper, but her horses have now become her canvas. Hale's love for horses started at an early age. She started riding them before she could walk, and as her talent grew in the saddle, so did her artistic ability.

Her small sketches of horses soon became works of art on paper, and fast forward several years, she's combined the two in a big way.

"Put two and two together and I think you can't go wrong," said Hale. "When you start with something as beautiful as a horse, your end creation, it can't not be beautiful."

Her horses are now her canvas.

"It's actually really different for a lot of reasons," said Hale. "It's hard to draw on hair because the hair can move. I think the biggest things people don't think about is horses have the ability to vibrate their skin to shake flies off, and sometimes I'll do that as I'm working on them, and they'll isolate a certain spot on their skin and shake, and that doesn't make it easy to actually target what I'm trying to do."

Aside from putting paint to hide, Hale also turns the horses mane and tail into crafty creations.

"Just like there's an endless amount of hairdos you can do on people, there's an endless amount of hairdos you can do on horses," said Hale. "Sometimes it's braiding, sometimes it's rubber bands, sometimes it's using ribbons and weaving."

Hale's inspiration for her paintings coming from her love for the west and all things patriotic. Every design she does has a special meaning behind it.

"For St. Patrick's Day, we have a very deep Irish heritage so I did one that incorporates the Celtic Tree of Life, just because that was very meaningful to me and you put anything on a horse and it brings it to the next level," said Hale.

Hale only uses paint products that are safe on people, and she typically washes the design off of the horse within minutes of being done.