Diane Hodges

I have always enjoyed working in mixed media, whether it is watercolor, photography, stained glass, fiber arts, duct tape or wood.  I have found in art as is true in life, we are drawn and inspired by those things that truly touch our hearts. And for me most recently that evolves around nature and horses.

In creating my stick horse sculptures, I was inspired by my love of horses as well as the topiary horse sculptures that were created by Jim Mason and installed in front of the Arts Castle in Delaware last year.

Since I can’t weld, I started gathering maple branches and grapevine from my yard.  I live in the woods so all I have to do is go out my back door to find materials for my horses.  A dear friend has a beautiful, old wisteria arbor and she lets me harvest the woody climbing bines, the more gnarled the better.  To create a horse, I begin by finding interesting branches and sticks that are shaped and contorted in certain ways that might be a leg or neck or shoulder.  I then start tying the branches together with handwoven wool and use hot glue to make sure the branches and vines are secure. I don’t work from any images other than what is in my mind and where my mind somehow transforms the wood into horse.  For some of the horses, I add bark that I have gathered from the footing in my indoor arena that I collect the wood again seeing tails, shoulders, heads in the pieces. Having ridden my entire life, I try to embrace the knowledge and feeling I have acquired over the years of their form, movement, nature and beauty in creating my horse sculptures.  I truly believe making these stick horses is something that can’t be taught but rather inherently feel from deep within.

Diane Hodges


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