'Her ability to find the likeness and character of each horse she paints is unique'
'Characters captured perfectly'
'life long reminders of extremely happy times'
'true likeness of my two hunters'
'We have been utterly thrilled with Refna’s work'
'forever be a happy reminder of my polo days'
'captured my very special, once in a life time horse'
'amazingly accurate and life like'
'the very essence of the subject’s character'
Such is Prince Harry's fervour for the sport that he even commissioned a local artist (Refna) to paint his and his brother Prince William's portraits during the Meadow Trophy match - but left Prince Charles to pick up the bill.
Mail on Sunday, September 8th 2002
The unique pieces in this gallery are available direct from the artist, from selected galleries and from shows and exhibitions around the country.
Heroes of the Turf 11, Tryon & Swann Gallery, review by Huon Mallalieu
'...it takes more than artistic training to make a good equestrian artist. Refna's most vital early training has been among the stables and the gallops of Newmarket. Her first success as a painter was a portrait of Mill Reef made after studying at Art School.'
Polo & The Turf by Charles Lane
'Refna’s clear and softly coloured gouache and her distinction is her confident clarity of line, showing how well she understands her subjects.'
The Society of Equestrian Artists Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, review by Stella Walker
'The racing fraternity will appreciate the portrait of Mill Reef by Refna.'
Refna from Gloucestershire is out in all seasons and weather. Observing first hand, she possesses a perceptive eye for all varying moods of her subjects and is torn equally between her artwork and her riding. She has had many commissions for her work and explains that she is more interested in action than a favourite horse. Inevitably, though, personalities do figure predominantly amongst her subjects.
Her skill lies in her ability to paint in warm tones, capturing sunlight and shadow with particular luminosity and her drawings are always in demand. Her work employs a vigorous but natural palette and all her work conveys movement combined with keen observation.
With work accepted by the Royal Academy, Sotheby’s, The Tryon & Swann Gallery and the Society of Equestrian Artists, Refna’s work is spread worldwide.
Refna's work is exhibited and sold at a number of galleries and shows and is available to purchase from several online art dealers.
Refna has exhibited at The Royal Academy, The Tryon and Swann Gallery, The Equestrian Artists and Sotheby’s.
A selection of work is currently on display at
Forum Design, Cirencester
The Wadham Trading Company, 7A Corn Hall, Market Square, Cirencester, GL72NY
01285 657599 firstname.lastname@example.org
See Refna's work in 2011 at the following events:
SUPA Festival, Cirencester Park Polo Club
Pony Club Polo Tournament, Cirencester Park Polo Club
Warwickshire Cup, Cirencester Park Polo Club
VWH Terrier & Lurcher Show, The Kennels, Maysey Hampton
Calmesden Event, Ampney Down Farm, Cirencester
Cotswold Hunt Team Chase, Andoversford
The Christmas Fayre, Lambourn
Owing to numbers, not all commissions could be included on this site. Refna would like to thank all who have helped to compile this site, with a special thanks to all those who have written such overwhelming testimonials.
MR AND MRS S. ENGLAND, PATRON OF FLYING PIGS POLO TEAM
“We commissioned our first painting from Refna for my husband's 30th birthday present over 15 years ago. Refna has since painted every horse we have owned and each one is very special and captures the spirit of the character. Refna has a unique talent for making paintings live”
THE HON MARK AND MRS ROSIE VESTY M.F.H.
“As a family we have commissioned Refna countless times for portraits of our horses. We could not be more delighted with the results and they bring us the greatest pleasure. My picture of The Boys, my hunters, is my pride and joy. Refna is amazing, she takes enormous trouble and is the greatest fun to work with”
MR AND MRS S. MELLOR O.B.E.
“Refna painted many portraits for us and our owners. She never failed to capture the essence of the individual animals. Refna’s lovely way with all her subjects made working with her a very pleasurable experience for all involved, and having her paintings hanging in our house brings back so many happy memories every day of our lives”
RICHARD BRITTON-LONG ESQ. DIRECTOR OF CIRENCESTER PARK POLO CLUB
“I was very pleased with the work received from Refna and would highly recommend her for commissions”
OLIVER HUGHES ESQ. POLO MANAGER OF THE BEAUFORT POLO CLUB
“My painting of The Old Grey Pony is the best painting Refna has ever done”
STANISIAS M. YASSUKOVICH C.B.E.
“You have a great gift for capturing likenesses even when the face is obscured by a helmet or not a face on as in the gouache on your card where Chris Hanbury is instantly recognisable. Your polo scenes are made memorable by the accuracy of posture and stance of players and horses and detail of tack and equipment. Those of us who have played the game can smell and hear the atmosphere just by looking at them”
GORDIE CHURCH, PROFESSIONAL GUIDE AND HORSEMAN, SAFARIS UNLIMITED
“Safaris Unlimted (1971) outfits the finest luxury private canvas riding safaris in Africa. Carefully selected horses carry our clients across the game rich wilderness of Masailand in Kenya. Nothing quite compares to a gallop over vast open grassland with a herd of giraffe. I had the pleasure to share this experience with Refna. Together we ran with a plethora of wildlife. Each and everyday was an adventure. The immense beauty of which Refna delicately oiled on canvas for me. The end result was magical, like the very experience itself. This grand painting hangs in my home in Nairobi as a constant reminder of the Africa that is my life, my love and my home. My heartfelt thanks to you Refna.”
TAMARA VESTEY, POLO PLAYER
“Refna’s work is amazing, most of the pictures in my house are Refna’s! Her ability to find the likeness and character of each horse she paints is unique and this makes her group paintings even more remarkable”
MR AND MRS JAMES HARPER, POLO PLAYER
“Characters captured perfectly. Best wedding present”
MR AND MRS JAMES FANSHAWE, RACEHORSE TRAINER
“We love the oil painting of Soviet Song as it is so like her and our dogs”
MR AND MRS BOB COOPER
“Captive’s eyes follow me around the room. We have four portraits by Refna of Cotswold Hounds”
CAPT. B. J. VESTEY
“Refna has refined the art of equine portraiture and her paintings, capturing as they do so cannily the character and temperament of a horse, stand as life long reminders of extremely happy times”
JILL HUGHES, WILLESLEY EQUINE CLINIC
“Refna has captured the essence of our horse Odin’s character in this portrait and it reminds one of our most treasured possession”
JACKIE ANDERSON, MANAGER OF FOXCOTE STABLES
“Refna is a very calm artist to work with, so you feel as the owner of the subject, at ease to put across your ideas, to allow their character to come through on canvas”
“Every time I look at Refna’s portrait of Jack and George, the true likeness of my two hunters brings a smile to my face”
MR AND MRS P. HEPWORTH, OWNER AND BREEDER OF RACE HORSES
“Refna has painted our horses and lurchers which is a lasting memory”
MR AND MRS A FREYNE
“We have been utterly thrilled with Refna’s work, especially the commission of the children with our dogs – brilliant”
MRS KAREN KELLY
“The portrait of both Clemmie and Sophie expresses both characters so cleverly, we love living with this enchanting picture”
WILL BOWERS ESQ
“The wonderful painting of my girls will forever be a happy reminder of my polo days amd my beautiful horses”
MRS MARY MUSTOE
“Refna has really captured my very special, once in a life time horse, this portrait hangs in my kitchen so I can see it every day!”
MR AND MRS C. EDWARDS
“When our friends who know our dogs see the portraits for the first time they invariably say how amazingly accurate and life like it is – capturing as it does the different characters of each of the three”
“Refna is able to capture the very essence of the subject’s character as well, of course, an incredible likeness. Whilst our English Bullterrier is sadly no longer physically with us, she remains very much a character in the house through the masterful painting we commissioned from Refna - in the comfortable armchair complete with a glass of whiskey!”
MRS EMMA HIGGIN
“The treasured portraits Refna has painted for our family constantly remind us of the pleasure that our ponies and horses gave to my children during their childhood”
DAVID ALLEN, POLO PLAYER
“Refna painted my first Polo Pony, Iffy, who taught me everything in this game”
MR AND MRS P BAINBRIDGE
“Refna has completely captured the characters of our two terriers. The best I have ever seen”
Refna is no stranger to horses, a keen observer of all equine sports, a natural draughtswoman, her paintings show innate compositional skills, firmness of touch and vitality of colour. She is immensely capable of showing the moods and movements of her subjects and they are depicted from a great variety of angles.
Refna studied at Cambridge and Kingston Schools of Art. She trotted off to Newmarket regularly to paint from life, and her commissions flowed.
An array of gallery work is on display at Roxton’s Polo, The Old Hunt Kennels, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, and on her website. With work accepted by The Royal Academy, The Tryon and Swann Gallery, The Equestrian Artists, and Sotheby’s, Refna’s work is spread world wide.
Just to name a few Refna commissions...
Grittar, the Grand National winner.
Lean Ar Aghaidh, winner of the Foxhunter Chase at Aintree.
Celtic Shot, winner of the Waterford Crystal Champion Hurdle. This portrait hangs at the Prestbury Suite, Cheltenham Race Course.
David Nicholson on his gallops at Jackdaws Castle with Kadi, Persian Sword, Romany Split and Dreamer's Delight.
Soviet Song, the fastest group one flat filly over a mile. Top miler in the world and winner of The Cartier Horse of the Year, 2006. Was commissioned by Mrs J Fanshawe for her husband, James, who trained Soviet Song for the Elite Racing Club at his Pegasus Stables in Newmarket.
Her polo commissions include H.R.H. Princes William and Harry playing polo at Cirencester Park Polo Club.
James Harper’s (6 goal handicapper) wedding present from members of the Cirencester Park Polo Club, portraits of his six polo ponies.
The Hon Mark and Mrs R. Vestey M.F.H. and family’s numerous polo ponies and hunters adorn the walls of Foxcote Manor.
The late Viscount Cobham’s dogs, Sebastian and Tay, are now included into Lord Cobham’s collection of paintings at Hagley Hall.
Portraits of Count Claes Bernadotte and The Hon and Mrs Alex Bathurst’s two children have been immortalised.
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton’s portraits were captured in Satin Appliqués along with appliqués on shirts for Jimmy Page.
Refna’s commissions to paint her cousins, Tony and Gordie Church, at Longonot Ranch, East Africa, gave her ample resources for a collection of African wildlife paintings.
Refna undertakes a programme of teaching, lecturing and art workshops through the year. You will be working as an individual within a small friendly class, with an experienced teacher.
Fees £ 95 (£ 90 each if introducing a friend)
Scrubditch Farm, near North Cerney, Cirencester, Gloucester, GL7 7DZ.
Bring your own preferred materials.
Please get in touch to make a reservation.
call +44 (0)1285 659918 or email:
Contact New Brewery Arts for details
- call 01285 657181
Refna's courses are designed to enable both beginners and more accomplished students to explore their talents and develop their skills in different mediums. Refna is comfortable teaching in whichever medium you choose, from pencil, watercolours, acrylics, oils, pastels and conté. We will visit the beautiful Cotswolds, Wales and France, working outside when the weather permits or indoors/studio. Some spectacular venues are arranged, chosen to inspire any student.
Refna is a professional artist who is also an experienced teacher and lecturer. She taught Fine Art at Homerton College, The School of Art and The Village College, all in Cambridge. She has exhibited at major galleries in London and elsewhere and had work accepted at the Royal Academy. Her paintings hang on the walls of many famous people worldwide.
She is a natural draughtswoman and her paintings show a natural compositional skill with firmness of touch and vitality of colour. Her experience learned over years as a professional painter is invaluable for passing on useful skills.
'I had the pleasure of working with REFNA as a colleague in Cambridge L.E.A. She was a successful Head of an Art and Design Department. She taught in a number of our schools and village colleges including Further Education and the Cambridge School of Art. The Cambridge Authority was an active L.E.A. for teachers and was able to enjoy a highly selective recruitment policy. REFNA was one of a team of highly successful Heads of Departments. It goes without saying that she is an Artist of considerable status in her field.'
Roy Bell, Retired Senior County Inspector, Cambridge and Hertfordshire adviser.
Variables such as size, art medium, subjects and backgrounds all come into the price agreed with the client. The prices below are indicative only - all commissions are bespoke work, and are negotiated and agreed according to the client's requirements.
Typical price range:
Oil onto canvas £455 - £3,710
Gouache/pastel/conté crayon £355 - £3,510
Typical price range:
Oil onto canvas £655 - £7,910
Gouache/pastel/conté crayon £455 - £5,200, single subject
Backgrounds and buildings extra
Pencil drawings onto mount from £105
Mounting and framing services available.
Please get in touch to discuss your commission.
call +44 (0)1285 659918 or email:
Copyright © Refna. All rights reserved.