A love of horses led Moe Hahn to become an accomplished self-taught equine artist.
There’s not a horse that Moe Hahn won’t paint. She’ll put brush to canvas for any breed, any discipline.
“I’ve loved horses all my life. I got my first one when I was 13,” says Hahn, a Rhode Island native who moved to South Florida in 1984. “Over the years, I worked as a groom for a jumper outfit, a breeding manager for a Morgan horse farm and an office manager for a thoroughbred farm. Horses have always been a part of my life.”
And art came into Hahn’s life via her passion for horses.
“In 1991, I was working as a manager for a Delray Beach car dealership to support my horse habit,” recalls Hahn. “It was a very stressful job, so when I decided to take some time off, I thought I would do something artsy to relax. I went to a craft store, bought a drawing pad and a box of pastel chalks. In an hour, I had drawn a horse, and I was much more relaxed.”
Happy with the results of her new-found hobby, Hahn delved deeper into art. From pastels, she briefly tried water colors before settling on acrylics for her medium. Six months later, Hahn quit her dealership job to pursue an equine art career.
“For 28 years, I did the art and horse show circuit with my artwork,” says Hahn, who moved to Ocala in 2004. “Along the way, my work has been featured in art galleries, horse show programs and equine magazines, including covers. For a while, I had my own art gallery, but now my house serves as my studio and art gallery.”
For Hahn, the artistic process begins with a good picture, usually taken by her.
“When I look through the camera lens, I see the painting that I want to do,” she says. “I generally work from 4am to 6am when it’s quiet. I begin by sketching on the canvas from the picture. Usually, I sketch out several canvases at once. Then if I get stuck on a painting, I don’t agonize but just move on to another.”
Hahn loves “the bright and intense colors of acrylics.” She notes that she’s “particularly fond of big canvases, 24×36 [inches] and up, for their great impact.”
On Saturdays, 8am-noon, the public can watch Hahn paint at the Ocala Breeders’ Feed & Supply on North U.S. Highway 27. Most of her commission work comes from those Saturday mornings, as well as word of mouth.
“Art is my passion,” says Hahn. “I’ll always paint horses.”