Brenna Tyler Fine Art
I was born on April 2nd, 1979 in Seoul, Korea. My biological mother was Korean and my biological father was an American soldier who was stationed in Seoul. My birth name was Smokey Kim. I remained in Korea as a baby, while my biological father returned the United States. My biological mother became ill and I was placed in Father Keane's orphanage, who sheltered me and found me a home. At eighteen months old, I was adopted by a loving family who lives on a working cattle ranch in eastern Oregon. I was embraced by family and surrounded by animals and art. I instantly fell in love with the horses and started depicting them in artwork when I first held a crayon. My art started being cast in bronze when I was young and my parents kept much of my childhood artwork. I have created horses in art for over 35 years and I enjoy reflecting on the horses I created when I was four years old.
As I develop a deeper understanding of self, I realize how strongly art is related to my state of mind. With reflection and introspection, my adoption, where I live, family, friends, community, horses, and art fill me with sincere gratitude. Honestly expressing myself allows me to be present in life. It creates the opportunity to seek an open heart, pursue an open mind, and love. I'm an individual with strengths and weaknesses who constantly transforms in this journey of life. I live my truth, I believe in inner strength, and I am grateful for every moment I'm alive. With honor and respect for the past and the future, I embrace the present. When nothing seems to stay the same in this ever changing world, there is one thing that is always constant. My present is my pure and honest state of being.
I pay homage to horses. I pay homage to my artistic family who has encouraged me to explore with many mediums and express my authentic self through art since I was a little child. I also pay homage to the ancient Asian artists who've portrayed horses in similar ways for centuries before me. In Ancient Korean history horses represent energy, freedom, and the vitality of nature itself. Horses were honored as guides of the soul. Horses were depicted in pottery, folding screens, and grand stone sculptures. Horses symbolized freedom, prosperity, distinction and speed. Receiving affection from horses was sacred, and organic horse statues were often created from natural materials such as clay, wood, branches, and bamboo. Appreciating the ancient, timeless, and everlasting connection between humans and horses fuels my passion to create and be part of this beautiful and undying legacy. It helps me understand why I too was born with a consuming and unstoppable fire within that constantly burns to create the essence of animals, predominantly inspirational horses who evolve from the vast materials that surround me.
Honoring the 2014 Year of the Horse, The National Museum in Souel Korea hosted an exhibit of late 19th century ancient horse art. Among the display was the oldest horse skull ever found in Korea. A horse sculpture found in the royal tomb of Gyeongju was also on display. I am happy that horses were and still are being cherished and creatively portrayed in art all over the world. Uplifting expressions of peaceful power, horses are pure and certainly guide my soul as I am inspired to create when my art brings others joy.
Passion is Purpose
Life with horses forever more...
My parents tell me that the connection I have with horses was innate. I bonded to them and they responded to me when I was very little. The experiences I've shared with horses comes from my lifestyle. It extends from professionally schooling, boarding, breeding, selling, and participating in polo, rodeo, hunt seat, western, english and dressage. I've also been a riding instructor and vet assistant for race horses. Horses have always held an important and noble role in relation to the ranch and family. Horses are often involved when my family and friends spend time together. They are crucial for transportation and success in ranch work as well as pleasure riding and show time. Our horses are not just assets, they are part of our family.
I suppose many would consider my conception a misfortune or a mistake. I ended up in an orphanage because I was born in a place where I was unacceptable and my birth mother became so ill, she left me so I might survive. Yes, I was left, and yes, I was an abandoned orphan, but I do not believe I was a mistake. In fact, I believe every moment that has led to my present breath was actually perfect. For this, I have truly become who I am, a being full of love and faith.
I was a leaf that fell from a very high branch. I fell into a breeze that carried me safely down to the ground where I was left, but the breeze only abandoned me because it loved. It loved so much it left me within a piece of heaven on earth where I would not die. It gave me a second chance in a different place where I would be given a different name and learn of a different love. It was this gift of abandonment that allowed me a second birth. A birth where I could look into the eyes of my mother and my father. When I was eighteen months old, this happened. I was adopted. Finally united and in the presence of my parents. They were my sun. They were warmth, nurture, concern, comfort, and kindness. They were unconditional love and they filled my heart. I know they are why I eventually learned to shine and feel a sense of self worth.
It is hard for me to fathom how I can feel so at home in a place so far from where I was born. I've developed such a great appreciation for our ranch, my family, my community, and horses. I love and value them all beyond words. My revelation is that it's because they create my perception of existence. They have supported me and encouraged me to be my true self. To be o.k. with the strengths and weaknesses, the successes and failures as I strive to simply be. It is through this journey of life I find purpose, passion, and honesty. As I experience life I have faith, value freedom, and cherish love. I hope inspiration and joy spreads through my art whenever it can.
Personal Style & Objective...
My admiration and respect for horses has also been expressed through mediums such as charcoal, pastels, water color, pencil, ink, serigraphy, lithography, tin, copper, iron and steel metal working, wood working, glass, and clay.
I enjoy creating pieces that are unusual, with organic qualities, textures, and unpredictable surprises. I also love exploring the potential of new materials and variations of mediums that can be captured on canvas, natural materials, or bronze. Through sculpture and painting, I hope to share love from my life that viewers can interpret in their own way.
Horses have taught me about will, virtue, honesty, self acceptance, and what matters most in my life. I cherish them and still have so much to learn from them. Portraying them in art is wonderful.
Honors and Awards...
I've participated in many shows and exhibitions for over twenty years and my art has received a myriad of honors & awards. It has been wonderful to witness my art spread and be received by viewers and collectors all around the world. I am excited to create art when I learn it has a positive impact. It truly brings me great inspiration and happiness to know that my art spreads joy. I know that I owe the success of my art to those who believe in me.
In 2004 I received a Bachelors of Science in Art after studying at the University of Oregon and Eastern Oregon University.
My studio overlooks wide open fields that blanket the earth below Craig Mountain. I love working in a beautiful setting where I can see the horses and the horses can see me. It is in the comfort of the ranch (surrounded by nature, family, and horses) where my inspiration is ignited for sculptures and paintings. It is also where I collect many of the materials that I use in my sculptures.
After a second visit to the E.R., the Dr. informed me that I had a head injury and could not ride for months. Riding helps me be present and deal with life. After some time of being very sad, I was inspired to adopt a horse that I could work with from the ground. Jake and I traveled to a rescue and looked at the horses in need of homes. I was instantly clear of the one, even though I was informed of his unruly nature. He had been in quarantine longer than the other horses because he'd been denied from the slaughter truck several times for being a white horse. I was informed that white horses are more susceptible to tumors, and when bound for consumption, they are not desirable to meat buyers. His beautiful color had saved his life from slaughter and on the drive home we happily named him Silver.
We were relieved to get Silver home safely. He was incredibly head shy. He would strike and flip over backwards to protect his head from being touched. It was very concerning and our veterinarian checked his head and teeth. With sedation, our vet was able to inform us that Silver had thrush and the worst ulceration he had ever seen. If left untreated, he would have gone blind. The bridge of his nose had been broken, but the injury was old and fused. Assuming that his head had been beaten, I was encouraged to work with him cautiously. Silver simply was where he was and I was where I was. I loved spending time with him. He was so forgiving. We believed in each other and began to trust. Jake would tell me that I seemed so happy.
Silver continued to transform into the sweetest gentleman. He loved being caressed head to hoof and would press his muzzle against the window to see us. Silver became so thoughtful and careful with his humans, he became the horse we trusted with our son Connor and for other little children to ride.
I don't know why, but just a couple weeks after we got silver, I set my camera on the fence post to film what we were up to. I made this video for Jake to show him Silver's progress. My family and friends told me that Silver was the luckiest horse because I took the time to heal his eyes and care about him.
The truth is, Silver is the one who healed me.
All Rights Reserved, Brenna Tyler, 2017