Spring/Summer 2013

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Horses in Art Magazine

An International bi-annual publication dedicated to presenting fine art and the equestrian lifestyle inspired by the majestic beauty and love of the horse

Spirit of Enchantment


Spirit of Enchantment

I have been sculpting in various mediums for over forty years and have come to the conclusion that an artist never stops evolving. I began my art career as a stay-at-home mom, making Christmas ornaments to make ends meet while raising my children in rural New Hampshire. The ornament business grew and soon I was taking orders at the New York International Gift Show for my unique decorative sculptures. My work has been collected by Demi Moore, Anne Rice and other celebrities. Featured in galleries, museums and art shows, I even designed ornaments for the White House Christmas tree.

Misha Malpica in Horses in Art magazine
Fast forward twenty-five years, the nest was empty and it was time to really explore my art. Enamored by New Mexico, the people, the cultures, the vast landscapes, I packed up all my worldly goods and made the move. Creating one-of-a-kind mixed media sculptures, I found my niche here in the Southwest. Haunting faces of Native Americans, dressed in soft leathers and beads, standing beside their horses, my work was inspired by the legends and history of the West. And now I am evolving. At the request of a long standing collector, I created a contemporary horse and pony with my special flair for capturing emotions and using beads and feathers. She was delighted! Enthused by her response, I started making more. So began the discovery of these beautiful creatures. Pouring over books and magazines, photos and making many trips to a friend’s ranch became daily rituals to become acquainted with their anatomy, familiar with their moods and temperament. Soon I was captivated with their “spirit.”

My horses are individually sculpted in clay and fired in a kiln. Sculpting for hours, I try to give each horse its own personality. Dark, soulful eyes capture their expressive spirit. Layers of colors are applied to give a soft, worn surface to their coats. Horse hair, vintage beads, feathers and leather fringe adorn my creations. I love the beauty of an iridescent pheasant feather, the sparkle of an old bead, the design of a button. Threads, fibers, ribbons and fringe, I carefully add each element to make the horse sculpture unique. My color palette consists of warm, rich earth tones with a splash of turquoise or red. The studio is brimming with paints and stains and feathers and furs and beads and found objects. I am surrounded by my inspiration. My work tells a story. I love to eavesdrop on people while they are looking at my art and listen to the story that they weave about the sculpture.

My latest body of work is titled “The Journey.” Accompanied by a small black bird, he is carrying a mound of turquoise stones. Adorned with strands of trade beads, glass and sometimes found stones, the two friends affectionately travel together on life’s journey. It is a symbol of how two species can get along no matter how different they are and how they need each other. It is the story of their symbiotic relationship.

"The Journey" Pony is washed in browns and with faint hints of turquoise and stands 30” high x 28” long x 10”deep.

My one-of-a-kind ponies and horses are given Native American names and come with the history of the horse in the West and the significance of the markings and designs (i.e.: spiral circle around the eye aids in vision).

One-of-a-kind horse ornaments dressed in beautiful feathers, genuine beads and exquisite charms have been shipping around the world to horse enthusiasts everywhere as well.

Misha Malpica in Horses in Art magazine

Spirit of Enchantment

Magnificently splashed with color, the Appaloosa horse is an enduring symbol of the Southwest. Brought to the Americas by the Spaniards, they proved useful for exploring the new lands. Native Americans believed these horses were magical, sending messages through their skin. Unusually marked horses were highly prized and displayed extraordinary powers. Carrying a turquoise nugget, each Spirit Horse is marked with ancient symbols. The painted circle around the horse’s eye aids in vision. Lightning bolts are for speed in travel, tiny dots and arrows indicate the winds of change. The spiral circle represents Life’s journey, a handprint signifies ownership and strength. Considered revered members of the tribe, they were honored as Spirit or Medicine horses.

Sculpting and decorating each “Spirit Horse”

Individually, I try to capture the essence of the animal totem. The horse embodies enduring strength, power and freedom. Turquoise is a symbol of friendship, wisdom and protection of the home. It absorbs negative energy. Connected with the magical powers of the Shaman, the horse is the first totem animal spirit. Each horse is sculpted in clay, fired and painted with layers of colors. Delicate pheasant feathers, vintage beads and leather fringe embellish his saddle. A beautiful turquoise nugget symbolizing friendship is placed on his back and a small medicine bag holds sage and small shards for protection. Horse medicine teaches us to tap into our own inner power. Invoke your horse totem to access your personal inner spirit and strength.

Misha Malpica in Horses in Art magazine




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