Helen Hayse was born Helen Young in southern Indiana. Both her parents and grandparents were horse breeders. She was initiated early into the excitement of the showring when as a child she became acquainted with the leading showmen and women of the day. She sold her first horse painting at age ten.
She married Walton Hayse, third generation breeder and exhibitor of the American Saddle Horse. Mrs. Hayse has concentrated on that breed for most of her career.
Like her teacher, the great George Ford Morris, she is noted for her ability to achieve an individual likeness and quality that makes each horse like himself and none other.
Since the 1930's, Mrs. Hayse has painted the leading great champion show horses for America's most prominent breeders and exhibitors. Most of her work is in the private collections of the families that commissioned them. She has also published a number of lithographs of the classic champions.
Like Mr. George Ford Morris and his distinguished predecessors George Stubbs, John Herring of England and the great Rosa Bonheur of France, Mrs. Hayse is not only an artist, but a lifetime horsewoman with many years of study of bloodlines behind her. She has also been involved in the breeding, care and training of horses. To produce a portrait acceptable to horsemen a specialist like Mrs. Hayse must possess not only skill and formal training, but a thorough knowledge of horses drawn from personal experience and dedication.
Mrs. Hayse's images can be appreciated by both horse lovers and a much wider public. Both the subjects of the paintings and the paintings themselves are hallmarks of excellence. Mrs. Hayse's finely honed skills and her craftsmanship are integral to her work. Her subjects and her paintings are marvelously elegant and evocative of more gracious times.