Story and photos by Elaine Anne Watt

You immediately feel it when you’re in the room with Isabelle Truchon – the passion, the energy and the sensitivity to everything around her.  Her emotions not only translate to her work, they are elevated so that each confident stroke of her paintbrush evokes a powerful response in her audience.

Sheila Johnson felt it immediately when she first saw Isabelle’s paintings at Greenhill Winery & Vineyards where many are placed throughout the property. “I wanted that here at Salamander where people come to relax, feel at home and embraced.”

Sheila Johnson and Isabelle Truchon enjoy a special moment before the unveiling

Sheila Johnson and Isabelle Truchon enjoy a special moment before the unveiling

Earlier this year, Truchon travelled to Camargue, France, taking over 6,000 photographs of the beautiful horses to be found there. On a crisply cold early spring morning, she gathered image number 0897, which became the inspiration for this  painting. “I love to paint herds and use space to capture them in their natural state,” said Truchon.  “In this piece, “Into the Morning Light,” I had a wide open space of 8 feet by 5 feet to work with. I like to work in monotones, not a lot of color, but with the feeling of roundness that works so well with a contemporary feel.”

In particular, Truchon is drawn to horses because of their amazing shapes, combining a linear organic quality and incredible movement that personifies freedom. “I stood there as the horses of Camargue charged at me and I didn’t feel scared.  I felt at peace as they ran right through me doing what they’re meant to do. I was just a part of their element.”

For her part, Ms. Johnson’s efforts to make Middleburg a “hub of expression” are “more than exceeded by this amazing piece. Isabelle, you’ve done an incredible job, and I’m just so excited,” she said. ML

To visit more of Isabelle Truchon’s  work and for upcoming shows, visit