It certainly does flow from Sullivan’s brush. The horses, buffalo, longhorn cattle and even armadillos and horned lizards seem to move on the page. “I used to paint a lot more realistically,” Sullivan remarks, “but what I really wanted to express was the graceful and powerful motion of the animals, so as time passes my paintings become more and more ethereal in that expression.”

She catches other animal motion, too. The armadillo mama with her four babies waddles along searching for someone’s garden to root around in. The horned lizards circle each other, deciding their next moves.

In order to paint the essence of the animals in this manner, one must have familiarity and kinship for the subjects. Ms. Sullivan says she has always been around horses, even worked on an Arabian Horse Ranch for a while. She has studied the various subjects she paints – not just by being near them, but researching their habits and habitats. For example, she could tell you that armadillos always have four babies, and all four are the same sex. Hardly anyone need to know that, but if you do a painting of one baby armadillo with a mother, it would be strange.

Ms. Sullivan often participates in juried weekend art shows, and makes appearances at galleries that carry her work. But her favorite place is in her studio, working on a new commissioned painting, with her four cats for company.

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