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Childhood, Magic, and Dreams of the Future

“Unicorn” by Kim McElroy, Age 13

When I was little I drew horses on everything – usually whatever was handy which were often paper napkins in restaurants.  On one occasion, I drew a horse and gave it to a waitress I liked.  She was so delighted that she led me over to the cashier counter and gave me the biggest Snoopy cookie I had ever seen.  But it wasn’t only the cookie that thrilled me, it was the fact that she liked my drawing – that it made her happy.  That was probably the moment when I decided to become an artist.

“From the Mist” by Kim McElroy, age 13

When I was sixteen years old my mother and I were traveling to Germany from Seattle, Washington.  We stopped in San Francisco for several days.  We went shopping at the famous Cannery area Upstairs I found myself drawn into a fantasy art and toy shop.  I was transported into a magical world filled with faeries and dragons, art, books, toys, puppets, and music.  I talked with the lovely shop owner.  She had samples of the music she sold and I bought a cassette tape titled “Equinoxe” by French electronic composer and musician Jean Michelle Jarre.

I took the music back to my hotel room and put my headphones on and listened to it on my walkman.  I had never heard anything like that music.  The music was so inspiring I got out my watercolor paints and pad and started to paint a flying horse.

“Winged Horse” by Kim McElroy, age 16

I was so filled with the music that I became lost in the process more completely than usual, and the time flew by and my painting emerged without any preconceived idea.  I felt that music was a new key to my process of art.  The next day I went back to the store with my painting  to give to the store owner to thank her for helping me find such inspiration.  She was so thrilled with my painting that she offered to sell my artwork in her store.  She was my first Gallery!  I was so excited to have my art in such a beautiful, magical store.

“Defiance” by Kim McElroy, age 16

When I returned home I painted several more fantasy horse paintings and framed them and sent them to her.  A few months later I received a check in the mail.  My first sale at age 16!  Little did I know at the time that I was going to become a famous equine artist!

“Follow Me” by Kim McElroy, age 16

My impulse to share my art with no expectation in return – and the heartfelt responses of those who received my gifts, led to these magical moments that created my desire to share my art with the world.

“Beckoning” by Kim McElroy, age 19

It is fascinating to me that among my first works created for sale were winged horses.  Many years later I attended a workshop on Shamanic Journeys.  During the guided meditation to meet my animal guide I actually tried not to see a horse, thinking that I would be making it up if I did.  What appeared vividly in a way I knew instinctively wasn’t just my imagination, was a white winged horse I later painted called “The Messenger”.  But that’s another story….

“The Messenger” by Kim McElroy, age 29 Prints and Posters available at

Sometimes we get glimpses of who we are in our childhood, in the things that hold magic for us.

Have you been transported by music, or art, or writing?  Perhaps there is a creative passion in your life that can lead to something you thought you could only dream of…

In my DVD Secrets of Drawing Horses I feature stories and meditations to inspire us to connect with that childlike wonder in art and in life.

Horses allow us to return again and again to that magical place.

“Sweet Dreams” by Kim McElroy

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