Keeneland Magazine

WINTER 2014

Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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56 WINTER 2014 K KEENELAND.COM hand crafted TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUISHA M cKINNEY'S CUSTOM DESIGNS, GO TO OUISHA.COM. ular in Europe. It's a way of making art with just a single brush stroke, and you have to have different brushes for each stroke," McKinney explained. The class involved decorative painting on wood, but McKinney transferred the technique to ceramics and launched a new career. "I'm never afraid to try something new," said McKinney, who also raises chickens, loves to bike and cook, and builds her own horse jumps on the farm. McKinney typically only paints three to four hours a day so she can devote plenty of time to work on her farm. She sells her wares via word-of-mouth referrals, on her website, and through fve or six home-based sales, including one at her own home on the weekend after Thanksgiving. "I'm very fortunate to have friends in the horse business all over the eastern United States, and several of them host shows for me," McKinney said. Each year, for example, McKinney holds one show in Aiken, S.C., formerly a popular winter stop on the Thoroughbred circuit, and now popular on the three-day eventing circuit. "The soil is sandy there, so it's good for the horses. And it's great for me be- cause there are lots of people there who love horses and art." In fact, that connection — between horses and art — is some- thing McKinney believes isn't just circumstantial. "If you start to look around, you see that many horsemen and women are either musically or artisti- cally inclined. I think there's something to that," she said. "We love the beauty in hors- es, so we appreciate the beauty in art." KM McKinney practices a type of folk art known as tole. faces. That's my job in this life, and getting to do it makes me smile," she said. McKinney has even dubbed one line of her ceramics, flled with pastel fower accents, her "happy" design — "it just makes you hap- py when you paint it," she said. McKinney purchases plain ceramic pieces — everything from mugs and plates to vases, pitchers, sink basins, and drawer pulls — from a distributor in Danville. Then, she decorates, glazes, and fres them in her own home kilns. McKinney's home ceramics studio — fashioned out of her home's former sunroom — is littered with sketches of corgis, foxes, horses, and Jack Russells, some of her more popular motifs. Her drawings are charming and lifelike, and yet her design skills are all self-taught. After high school she enrolled in a nine-week art school program and then never painted again for 10 years. "We did the live model. We did mountain landscapes. But it was not what I liked," McKinney explained. It wasn't until much later, when McKinney discovered a class for Tole Bridge at a former Dud- ley Square shop, that the urge to paint again struck her. "Tole is a style of folk art that is pop-

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