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Artist spotlight: Joy Abbott is part-time artist, full-time horse lover

Like anyone else with a passion, local artist Joy Abbott has to sideline her painting hobby to commit to a full-time job and personal obligations.

However, during the moments she's able to pick up a paintbrush, there are no limits to what she can do.  

Abbott's unique approach to her art pieces start from photos she takes at events or around the city. She then recreates the photo on a canvas using oil or water paints to bring new life to her subject.

The subjects of her art pieces vary from a birds, to dogs, to her favorite subject, horses.

"It's hard to put into words what inspires me," Abbott said. "The creatures themselves are the inspiration. I see something that looks so beautiful, and I think it needs to be shared," Abbott said.

Her love for horses started when she was a child, when she rode and drew them constantly.

As an adult, Abbott attends events around Aiken to take pictures of horses so she may capture them on canvases.

Her favorite way to photograph horses involves getting as close to them as possible so she can capture their "unique expressions." Afterward, seeing her work on canvas compared to the photo she takes fills her with renewed satisfaction and wonder.

"I always say, 'How did I do that?'" Abbott said. "That's the thing about art, it doesn't really matter what subject you paint, you just get creative."

Abbott's next project will involve man's other four-legged best friend: dogs. Abbott hopes to begin a project involving rescue and services dogs in the area, and is currently looking for good contacts with whom to connect. 

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