P Buckley Moss Blog – Gentle Soul
Gentle Soul is a portrait of one of Pat’s golden-hued horses looking quite quizzically at the observer, becoming the human presence in the image. The horse in Pat’s art is an important and easily recognizable form of iconography. Iconography is generally defined as the “subject” of the work of art. In the history of art the horse has been used as a symbol for thousands of years. The horse is known to symbolize human sensuality, nobility, strength, and grace. For Moss, the horse specifically symbolizes a freedom of spirit characterized by the long flowing mane and flaring nostrils.
It is not only the horse that is part of Moss symbolism, the blue reflecting pond behind the horse is also symbolic representing the depth of the human soul. The mountain that rises up in the landscape creates depth and the trees lining the horizon are compositional elements used to break up the planes of space that appear throughout the image. Moss’ style, known as the Valley Style, often contains these images of landscapes. The style was named for the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia where Moss raised her family and became the well-known artist she is today.