Horsing Around with Birim

Throughout his life Birim has been passionate about art, he explains: “I can honestly say I have spent most of my childhood days surrounded by horses. The horses my family owned were a very important starting point in my painting career, and I have spent many of my days since drawing them. I have observed their joys, affections and passions very closely.

This love of horses took me to study veterinary medicine at University. Whilst studying, I still continued to paint regularly and it remained one of the most important things to me. As I learnt the muscular, organ and bone structure of horses in our anatomy classes, I regularly drew numerous sketches. This provided me with a great opportunity to have a sound foundation for my paintings.

I did my veterinary internship in a clinic in Normandy, France in 1980; and then in 1981, graduated from the Veterinary Faculty, at Ankara University, Turkey. At this time I was both painting and working as a veterinary surgeon. In 1990 I prepared a doctoral dissertation and gave a presentation on ‘The Performances of Race Horses’ at the Institute of Medical Sciences, Ankara University. Thus earning the title of ‘PH Dr. Veterinary Medicine.’

I have held approximately forty-five personal art exhibitions, both nationally and internationally; and attended around fifteen art fairs. I have also received various awards and honourable mentions in competitive exhibitions.

I worked for the Turkish Jockey Club for seventeen years as a field veterinary surgeon. This period was of primary importance for me to analyse the lives of horses and to better understand their psychology and social lives. Many of the drawings from this period in my life form the foundations of my paintings. I have since been closely involved in setting up many Jockey clubs, and there after their activities and progress. I am also a member of many watercolour painting associations.


When I am drawing wild horses; be it in watercolour, oil or acrylic, I am living their feelings, joys, passions and thrills with them. I enjoy painting with watercolour the most, and really like the end result it creates. In my pictures, I imagine galloping with the horses, rearing up with them, and catching their emotions and dreams with them – their love, friendship, enthusiasm and thrills. Their flying manes in the wind, remind me of how life and time flies by quickly.


The harmony of the dust behind my galloping horses, combined together with the colours and shapes of the weather and clouds at different times during the day create very dramatic scenes in my pictures.

In my paintings you can depict the yellows of an early morning sunrise, red hues of sunset or the reddish browns of wild horses with their flying manes in the wind, and hazy weather. My colours are like the rainbow after rain; they come from the heart of nature!

A Day in the Life of……..

Although I live and paint in Turkey the majority of the time; for the last three years I have spent a lot of time abroad and have painted whilst I have been travelling. I spend almost everyday painting, and I usually paint late into the night, often working until the early hours of the morning! Unless I am taking time out to attend art exhibitions.

Aside from painting, I really like being outdoors, trekking, exploring and finding new places. I also spend a good amount of time in jockey clubs, stock farms and hippodromes; and sketch in these places as I find them inspirational and sometimes, something new pops into my mind!”

See more horse art by Birim at Heart Galleries in Stafforshire.