Dahlov Ipcar’s Signature Horses
The Kingfield Elementary School Mural
”I draw horses like you write your name, from uninhibited practice,” said painter Dahlov Ipcar in an interview last summer with Maine magazine. A short statement, but one that perfectly encapsulates her energetic style—not to mention her seemingly endless ability to produce fantastical, wild creatures. Ipcar, a beloved children’s book illustrator, has a truly singular talent that is immediately recognizable. Her horses are fluid, yet geometric. Her animals are lifelike, yet depicted in a rainbow of impossible hues.
In 1980, Ipcar brought her paintbrushes to the Kingfield Elementary School to create a 120-foot-long mural of frolicking horses, sheep, and dogs. Over the years, the mural has required significant upkeep and restoration. In 2007, expert conservationist Robert Alden Marshall was brought in to help fix the colors and prolong the life of the painting. Now, schoolchildren can continue to enjoy the summery scene as winter presses in, thanks to Marshall’s painstaking work and Ipcar’s wild, lush imagination.