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For Florence Flameng the horse has been an artistic inspiration, personal savior, and even matchmaker.   She met her husband of 12 years, Belgian rider Eric Flameng because of their common love for horses.  Now the beloved animal is the subject of a new line of stunning silk scarves she is creating.


Flameng gained her artistic acumen through both nature and nurture.  She comes from a family of artists, having been taught by her father, the renowned painter and sculptor Alain Aslan who is famous for his beautiful female figures, including Brigitte Bardot who became a fan and family friend.  Flameng went on study at the Les Beaux Arts in Paris but it was always her passion for animals which matched her love of art.


little me at 2years old

Flameng enjoyed time on a family farm outside Paris.  “I spent my whole summer vacations feeding animals and finding eggs , herding and milking the cows,” she recounts, “You paint what you love the most, and for me it was the animals.”


On a neighboring farm there was a butcher that saved horses from the slaughter house.  Flameng remembers, “ I’d never ridden before, and the first horse that would come to me I’d put the saddle on.  I never had any formal training.  I always thought that it was an incredible privilege that an animal of that beauty and strength would allow you on his back and let you decide where and how fast you wanted to go.”


Florence arrived in the U.S. in Winnetka, a suburb of Chicago with her first husband and young son.  Isolated as a young mother away from her family and friends, she fell into a depression which thankfully found a four-legged cure.  She explains, “I didn’t speak much English and I was very young and living in a big mansion.  Everybody thought I was the au pair and no one would talk to me.  I was extremely lonely.  A horse saved me.”


She bought an old quarter horse mix named Halvah for $450.  At sixteen with a bowed tendon, he wasn’t even supposed to canter.  With her loving care, however, he turned into the most amazing horse and lived until 34 with Flameng fox hunting him until he was 27.  He did have one difficult character trait.  He didn’t like men.  Whenever a man would get on, he would gallop straight to an apple tree with low branches to shed him.


Florence is now happily settled with Eric in Wellington, Florida at their farm, Floriac.  She returned to painting four years ago when her children were a bit older.  This pleased not only her but her father.   “My father believed it was a gift from god and when you get a chance like you have to use it,” she says.


halvah and corey

Florence Flameng has an uncanny ability to create life-like images using different media .  “I will mix everything and anything that will accomplish the look I want to get,” she says.  Spending time with the animal she is painting is essential in her desire to capture each one’s original temperament and spirit.


It was a tribute to the passing of an incredible horse which first exposed Florence’s equestrian art to the community.   The Flamengs are good friends of grand prix rider Eric Lamaze and when his gold medal mountHickstead suddenly died Florence wanted to find a way to pay tribute.  She painted a portrait so compelling that many people wanted a copy of it.  She chose to reproduce and share it in a creative way, printing the image on quality silk scarves.


Florence explains, “Instead of it being on the wall you can wear it around your neck or give it to friends and family.”


Of her wearable art, she adds, “It’s the perfect composition with colors, shape, textures, and the flowing movement of the fabric.  When I make a scarf, I look at it for the realistic subject but also how it becomes abstract when you fold it.  It becomes a superimposition of colors and shapes.  That’s why I chose a sheer silk that allows transparency so the colors can play together.”


Florence considers herself an extremely lucky person in her love of horses and art.  She says, “When you do your passion you will always find your path, and your guides will help you to find the right way.  People feel that, and the doors open when you work with your heart.”