Formal art training began at The Quaeter School
of Fine Art and Design. At nine years of age Alexis
attended classes three days a week after regular
school. The art schools faculty were Chicago Art
Institute graduates who loved teaching art. She
persued eleven years of art classes in drawing,
sketching, figure drawing, sculpture, illustration,
colour theory, watercolours, and oil painting. Alexis'
art training continued at the University of Arizona
with a Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts, and a coveted
post graduate degree in Interior Architecture from
the The Royal Copenhagen University of Architecture
and Design in Denmark.
A successful Interior Architectural Designer in
San Diego, California, Alexis Burris has continued
her love of art and horses in her artwork. Racing,
The Sport of Kings and Arabians are the most dominate
themes in her current art works.
"By the time I started first grade, I knew I loved
horses. I loved the look of them, their power, their
spirit, beauty and the sweet smell of their necks.
Pony Club was a big part of my childhood. Endless
hours of grooming taught me more about horse anatomy
than any art class ever could. About the time I
started Art School in 4th grade, I was saving my
allowance and earning money doing extra chores so
I could buy grooming tools; body brushes, dandy
brushes, currycombs, sweat scrapers and hoof picks.
I studied horse anatomy charts, determined to know
all I could about them. Horses are the thread of
continuity in my life. I've always loved them, spending
time with them, watching and painting them. They
take my breath away!
I've owned and showed horses most of my life. I
spent many wonderful 'down home' years as an adult
living on a very large working cattle ranch, South
of Tucson, Arizona. I generally paint the 'hot blooded
horses', the fire in their eyes kind of spirit,
not to say I don't love a good Quarter Horse. Smartest
horse I ever owned was out of Waggoner End; great
cow horse, solid hooves and smarter than most people
I've ever met!
When I first start thinking about a new painting,
I gather together my reference photos, sketches,
paints, brushes and ask myself, what do I really
see here. What needs to be remembered? What is important?
What grabs me, makes me want to paint?
A jockey angle- guiding home a victory.
A moment of sheer horse contrariness.
A quiet time, horse and rider in connection.
A moment of super effort, horse and rider in the
zone of high-performance.
Sometimes an unusual angle or a shaft of sunlight
"owns me" and sparks the beginning of a painting,
starts to tell the story. It's magical to me...
I watch the spirit of the horse and rider come to
life under my brushes. I can't keep my hands out
of it, blending the colours with my palms and fingers,
can't help myself, it's a tactile experience. I
do get messy and smeared with paint, but soap and
water takes care of that!
My colours are a little unusual, or so I've been
told. When I see a gray horse they can appear to
me in violets, pinks, blue violets and magentas.
A bay appears to me in deep blue violets and sunlight
oranges. I don't question my colour sense, I let
it naturally develop, my job is to let go and let
To draw and paint, it's the best! I lose track of
time, lose myself, and gain connection with my source
and creation. I appreciate the gift. Thank you for
the art lessons Mom! My intent in my work is to
capture a moment, a mere nano-second of present
reality. The look, the heart, the essence of the
horse, as I see, feel and sense them."
"I love this job!"
"Her paintings seem luminous, it's like they glow
"I love her colors, I've
never seen a purple horse, but she makes me believe
"The colors! The painting we have looks like a spotlight
is shining on it, it glows!
catches the action, the horses almost seem to jump
off the canvas!"
"Her painting of our "Charisma"
is wonderful! Thank you Alexis."