Cynthia Rigden grew up surrounded by horses and cattle on an 8,000-acre ranch that has been in her family since 1902. Her roots in Arizona and the West are deep, yet she doesn’t call herself a “Western artist.” Rather, she is an artist who comes from the West.
“My work isn’t Western in the sense that it’s cowboys and Indians and shoot ‘em ups,” Rigden said in a profile in The Equine Image magazine. “It’s Western in the fact that I live here, and my animals, my models, are mostly here.”
A member of the American Academy of Equine Art, Rigden believes her long association with horses and cattle gives her work an edge. “I like to catch the subtle attitude of the horse, but I don’t try to romanticize them,” she says. “I believe the gracefulness and the form of the horse speak for themselves, and if I can capture that in my work, then I’ve captured the essence of horses.”