OK, he’s done. Looks a lot better with all his hair!
The only “iffy” aspect of this painting was having to remove his owner’s arm, which was holding the bridle. Which meant I had to make up part of his shoulder. I think it came out just fine, but it had me thinking for a while. Nothing left to do now except deliver it.
Posted in Aquabord, art, horse portrait, horses, latest version, new horse portrait, painting techniques, watercolor | Tagged Aquabord™, art, horse portrait, horses, painting progress, watercolor | 6 Comments »
Pride–another of Billy’s barnmates. Original source photo by Mary Landry Decker Photography.
Taking a little time out from the Belgian pair to work on this little Aquabord™ commission. This photo was taken in a similar setting as the one of Spur which I did last December. The photographer is also the same, which makes me happy because she takes very detailed pictures and that always helps me out.
The background is complete, Pride’s muzzle needs a little more work, and of course the rest of his neck, chest and shoulder haven’t been touched yet. As soon as I finish his head, the rest should come fairly quickly. Looking to finish this in the next day or two.
Posted in Aquabord, art, horse portrait, horses, new horse portrait, watercolor | Tagged art, horse portrait, horses, painting progress, watercoclor | 3 Comments »
Two draft show horses, ready to strut their stuff, but not necessarily too happy about it. I’m calling this painting “Attitude” since they appear to be displaying quite a bit of it!
I thought the last pair of draft horses in harness that I painted were incredibly complicated (see them here) and felt like it took an eternity to paint them. The new pair, part of a four-horse hitch at the Michigan Horse Council Stallion Expo this past March, are going to take an eternity plus an infinity. Is it a coincidence that I finished the first painting last May? I don’t know. Things have a way of creeping up on you. The only thing I can say at this point is that the painting part shouldn’t be nearly as difficult and time-consuming as the pencil drawing was. These guys were outfitted in show harness and fancy braids, which you may not see too clearly in the photo but believe me I think I know every wrinkle of their ribbons and every facet of their harness studs.
It’s probably time to bring up a little discussion about drawing, and why I insist on doing it rather than projecting or tracing the image–which, of course, would save a lot of time over the painstaking freehand drawing method. It has become totally acceptable among a huge number of artists to project the image they will later paint. I do use a projector for very large canvases, but I project my drawing, not the original image I made the drawing from. I figure I’ve already drawn it once, I don’t need to do it again. But I definitely need to do it once. And the reason is…this is how I get to know the subject intimately, by staring at it and making endless corrections until I am totally bug-eyed! I need this connection with the subject in order to let myself become one with the painting. I don’t know how else to describe it, except to say that experience has taught me that if I trace something I have no idea later how all the parts relate to one another. When I draw, I know that I have studied every aspect of what I have drawn and the map is laid out for me and I understand it. I have no quarrel with artists who trace or project their original images; it just doesn’t work out very well for me.
Posted in art, draft horses, drawing, horse portrait, horses, painting techniques | Tagged art, draft horses, drawing, horse portrait, painting | 4 Comments »
I spent the past weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Biennial Neon & Light Exhibition, which is a national invitational exhibition of artists using light as an art medium (see how cleverly I copied that from the official poster). The boyfriend, aka JiMao, teaches neon art and lighting design at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute and has been a part of this exhibition for many years. It features both professional and student work, and this is the third time I’ve gone along for the ride to help set up his students’ projects. The event is coordinated by the head of the glass art department at the University of Wisconsin, who is retiring this year. That means the future of the event is unclear. So this may be the last time we’ll be able to go crazy with light art in a large dirt-floored building normally used for agricultural shows! I’ll try to keep the commentary to a minimum, but in a few cases it’s necessary in order to understand a particular art piece. Enjoy!
This sculpture made entirely of paper, lit from within.
Looks amazingly like the sun’s corona–it’s an animated neon circle tube.
Created with blacklight.
Neon inside the center ball, then candles lit from hand crafted glass holders. I like how the bottom flames burn upward!
The current for the lamps passes through the wet clay. As the clay dries, the lamps dim and flicker. The one on the right isn’t dry enough yet to make it obvious.
Looking down a structure designed like a ship’s hatch.
If you look for it, you can see my reflection as I took the photo. Nice depth to this piece which was only about 6″ thick in reality.
3-D sculpture from a gauze-like material.
The boyfriend’s collaborative (JimaoC4) cracked windshield sculpture. The next 3 photos show the words “throw away and”. Rest is up to your imagination.
P.S.–I also took advantage of the fact that the Midwest Horse Fair was in full swing only a couple of miles away. Spent a few hours there and walked a few miles. Met Padré, the champion Mustang stallion I wrote about and did two portraits of a while back. Also caught up with the folks at Sons of the Wind Farm, where I spent a week at “dressage boot camp” in 2011. One way or another, just have to mix the horses with the art!
Posted in art, dressage, light, neon, Padré | Tagged art, light, neon, Padré | 2 Comments »
It’s not football, but Michigan needs some kind of bowl, so here it is, just finished. It was 99.9% finished a couple of days ago, but I felt my sometime need to let it sit a couple of days just to make sure. So I made two small adjustments and that was that. Part 3 of the “Orange” series has a canvas waiting. It will be even larger–36″ x 46″. Haven’t done a small study for it, don’t feel the need to. That could backfire, of course, but we’ll just see what happens. In the meantime, enjoy!
Posted in art, landscape | Tagged art, landscape | Leave a Comment »
Have been hard at work on part 2 of the “Michigan Orange” series. Looks like I’m about 3/4 of the way to finished. Stand by…coming to an electronic device near you soon. In the meantime, will have work in the Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival in May–
“Castile Gold”, oil on canvas, 28″H x 46″W
and also in the Skokie Art Walk in May–
“New England/Berkshires VII”, oil on canvas, 22″H x 32″W
I’m waiting for jury results for two other shows in the summer. One of them could be really big. Not saying anything more about that right now!
Posted in art, exhibit opportunity, gallery show, landscape | Tagged art, gallery show, landscape, painting progress | 2 Comments »
I had the good fortune today to be able to attend one day of a three-day clinic and symposium with another of dressage’s endangered species–a true old style European master who has the grace and humor to convey his wisdom in a way each of us can understand and appreciate. Last year I was able to audit a day with Walter Zettl and now a day with Charles deKunffy. I accompanied my friend Tanya, who is also a trainer at Willow Tree, and her horse Nicky to Albion College in Albion, MI for this most interesting of dressage events. What made it even more educational than the usual clinic was the symposium presented by Charles before the actual rides. He covered an immense amount of material in three hours, everything from what makes a good rider to what makes a good dinner conversation! The emphasis on culture, virtue and philosophy was presented in such a way that half the time we were transfixed and the other half we were erupting in laughter. If you ever get a chance to attend one of these events while Charles–who like all the old masters is getting up in years–is still with us, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Now for the fun part–a few photos of Tanya and Nicky!
Charles giving some guidance to Tanya and Nicky
Nicky doing what he’s famous for…and while it looks like Tanya’s pulling in this instant, she really wasn’t and Charles praised her for letting him have his head.
Nicky doing what we want him to be famous for! Nice, balanced, strong trot!
Posted in dressage, horses, riding clinic | Tagged Charles deKunffy, dressage, horses, Walter Zettl, willow tree | 1 Comment »