Monday, December 6, 2021

Inside the Artist’s Studio

She’s A Rainbow: Ingrid Horner

By Derrick White 

“Art is therapy, and it is healing. Art is play and passion. Art is living. Art keeps me focused and keeps me productive. I am happiest when creating. Art to me is fulfilling,” avows local artist, Ingrid Horner. Horner recently won the AASH Volume 5 People’s Choice Award. AASH is the Arcadia Art Show, an annual international juried art exhibition spearheaded by, Tyler-based artist, Dace Kidd. It is on view at the Arcadia Theater, Martin Walker PC in downtown Tyler through November 29, 2021. Horner’s large-scale, vibrant, abstract painting is a showstopper.

Ingrid Horner was born in Uruguay. She and her husband have been married for over thirty years and when her husband retired from 27 years in the United States Marine Corps, they decided to move to Tyler. She states, “My husband is my greatest supporter, and I must give him credit because he helps a lot so I can focus on painting. We have two grown boys and I think my legacy to them is to show them it is never too late to chase a dream.”

“Growing up I tried many creative ways to use my hands to come up with something new, whether it was drawing, collage, carving, ceramics, sewing, knitting, embroidery, etc. Using my hands has always been very satisfying,” Horner explains. Adding, “My background is in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. I studied Fashion Design in Argentina and then came to the United States to study Fashion Merchandising. I did freelance fashion design and worked as a window dresser for malls.”  

When describing the intention of her paintings Ingrid explains, “My style is abstract. However, since I did not start painting until three years ago, I feel like I am still discovering and evolving into something I can properly label. This year I have enjoyed working on geometric abstraction, specifically distorting letters into shapes to create some sort of hidden message. Part of my process is transforming the letters into geometric shapes. When first seen there is a hint of what is there but it is not obvious. I am also fascinated with color and our psychological reaction to it. Color and composition can move us. Color has a strong impact on my emotions and mood, so I tend to use combinations of colors speaking to me. Hopefully, the viewer will emotionally connect with my creations. I love vibrant colors. They energize and uplift me.” Ingrid’s preferred media is acrylics and is mainly applied to canvas. She will occasionally use wood as a substrate. She has also completed both indoor and outdoor murals for the City of Tyler.  

When discussing the frustrations of art-making Ingrid responds, “Self-doubt. My brain is constantly coming up with ideas lighting up like a little bulb in my head, I get so excited and then I get to the canvas and poof. I’m blank. It is the self-doubt, the questions popping up making me feel like I don’t have what it takes. I am not good enough. I must tell myself to stop. The negative thoughts really squash creativity, and it is frustrating. I don’t know if it is possible for an artist to eliminate self-doubt. Whether it hits you before you start or in the middle of it, I think every project goes through a period where you start wondering if it is going to end up the way you envisioned or if you are going to have to gesso over it and start again. And though it may seem frustrating, the process of fearing outcomes and still going for it parallels life itself. You must press on. You must keep going. Most of the time, it works out. Sometimes it does not and that is okay too. Same as in life, making mistakes in art, provides a possibility for learning.”

Making the most of the pandemic quarantine helped launch Horner into being an artist full-time. She states, “Before, I would paint and then it would be days or weeks before I would do something again. I was not consistent. I was slowly getting more and more into it, but I was tired of having to put supplies away every day and clean up paint. When the quarantine went into effect, I decided it was time to make my artist dream a job. If I was going to stay in the house all the time, then it was time for me to really go at it and make it happen. I converted a room into a studio and put plastic sheeting on the walls, protected the floors and really went for it. Once I became serious and committed, the work started developing and connections were made with other artists locally and afar.”

Discussing influences and inspirations Ingrid Horner describes, “The first time I saw a Salvador Dali painting it blew my mind. I just loved it. Reality was transformed and it was so interesting. I also loved Picasso growing up. Those two artists were my inspiration as a kid. There are so many artists I look up to now both dead and alive, some very opposites in their styles. I tend to go for more graphic works now but my interests in art and in artists are varied. The advantage of social media is it affords us the chance to see the work of so many different and talented individuals.”

Ingrid concludes, “I like to say I have always been an artist; I just did not trust myself. Self-doubt is a creativity killer but when the passion is there it yearns for realization. Being an artist was a long dream but then life took me on a different path and dreams went to the back burner. Sometimes it is just not practical to devote time to realizing a dream because there are other pressing matters in life. We moved to Texas when my husband retired, and I knew this was my time to finally get into painting. I started painting and giving away everything I made. Every time I painted, I learned something. I started taking workshops and tried to learn by watching others and experimenting on my own. I spent hours researching, studying, reading, and trying to absorb as much as possible.”