HWF auction artist spotlight: Hazel Morgan

This oil painting on board by English artist Hazel Morgan is part of the Hound Welfare Fund benefit auction on March 20.

The first in a series of profiles showcasing artists who have donated their own work in support of the Hound Welfare Fund. The art featured here will be auctioned on March 20 at the HWF’s dinner and auction in Lexington, Kentucky. For information on how to bid, contact coakford@aaa-alliedgroup.com.

ENGLISH artist Hazel Morgan lives about a mile and a half from the Wilton Hunt kennels, and the hounds there are frequent models for her work. Even when she’s not painting them, the Wilton hounds are a daily feature of her life. She passes the kennel on the way to and from her children’s school.

“The hounds are always either coming back from exercise or out in their paddocks, and it’s lovely,” Morgan said.

Morgan has been painting almost as long as she’s been riding, and the two pursuits were always entwined. She got her first commission–a portrait of a dog–at age 16 through contacts she made while a groom at high-level British three-day events like Badminton and Burghley. As more portrait requests came in, the teenage artist found her painting was a good way to help support her horses. By age 27, her career had taken off to the point that Morgan was able to become a full-time artist.

Morgan’s elegant and moving portraits–of horses, hounds, and humans–have brought her international acclaim, as well as commissions from prominent racehorse owners on both sides of the Atlantic. She visited the States on a working trip about five years ago, when Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky commissioned her to paint portraits of their mares and foals. She’s also painted at quite a few hunts, even taking her sketchbook along in the saddle in order to record horses and hounds in action. The mid-Devon, Devon and Somerset Staghounds, and a number of others have hosted Morgan and her easel.

Morgan has gotten most of her training in the school of life by riding, hunting, and spending time among horses and hounds. But she also attended and taught at an Italian portraiture academy.

“I was used to working from moving animals, and to suddenly have a person sitting still in front of me meant that I could paint very fast and easily,” she said.

Morgan says she paints, on average, several hunting or racing paintings, a couple of portraits, and two or three paintings of her own. “I’m always moving among those fields: hunting, racing, and portraits,” she explained.

Morgan’s luminous paintings are growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. The key to her success? Simple. “I’m painting what I love,” she said.

For more information about Hazel Morgan and to see more of her art, visit her website.

Hazel Morgan’s painting shown above will be among the art on offer March 20 at the Hound Welfare Fund annual benefit dinner and auction. For more information about the event and/or how to bid, contact Christopher Oakford at coakford@aaa-alliedgroup.com.

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