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Equissage to Fine Art

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

The Fairgrounds in Dayton, Ohio provided a 365-day drawing smorgasbord for Artist Helen Bailey ( “I lived across the street from the Fairgrounds and would go over and draw the horses who were boarded in stalls. I had ample opportunity to draw from life. The play of the muscles as they walked and ran just fascinated me.”

Shown Above: "Looking Out for Me" by H.E. Bailey

Helen’s passion for horses began when she was little and so it was no surprise when, in high school, she was awarded a scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Many, many years later, she bought her very first (and only) horse and began searching for an art teacher to help her hone her drawing skill.

Linda Lucas Hardy became Bailey’s first teacher and Linda helped her enter multiple local and regional contests. Seemingly overnight, Helen won awards at the State Fair of Texas, the art show in McKinney, Keller, Grand Prairie, Richardson, Irving and more. Those early wins continued to fuel Helen’s passion and she began joining national organizations dedicated solely to equine art and colored pencil technique ( ( ( (

Shown Above: "Starlight Express" by H.E. Bailey

Not content to rest on her laurels, Helen decided to take a week-long course in Equissage (horse massage) which taught her the names and positions of a horse’s bones, muscles and body parts. ( Today, on the Equissage website, everyone can enjoy candid photos of horse celebrities, Opie, Cheesy, Melody Rose, Dancer, Jonah, Lord Dubai and more. ( According to Bailey, there is so much more to learn from workshops, photos, programs, and other artists. She cites Facebook as enormously helpful for equine photography and continues to draw inspiration from the artists she talks with weekly.

A solo-show artist for The Martin Place in McKinney, Texas ( a recipient of too many regional art awards to list, Helen Bailey views the future as very bright for her talent. She shares her art at the Art Club of McKinney meetings ( and annually takes part in the McKinney Art Studio Tour ( McKinney is very lucky to have such a gift.

In the event you’re interested in learning the fine art of equissage or in purchasing one of her pieces, Helen can be reached at

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Lawrence Jonish
Lawrence Jonish
Dec 29, 2023

It's fascinating to investigate the transition from Equissage to Fine Art. However, it is important to put first health, especially in light of common childhood illness. It is necessary to strike a balance between passion and well-being. Let us nurture young minds and talents while maintaining their health!

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