I spent three days last week at my second appearance at the Michigan Horse Council’s Stallion Expo held each spring at Michigan State University in Michigan’s capital city. My booth is not getting any bigger, but it is getting fuller. Note cards, Aquabord™ paintings, ink drawings, and of course all of my sample oil paintings. If I had a dollar for every person who came by and said the painting of the Friesian “looks just like ____” I would be a rich woman! Never mind that it’s really difficult to tell one Friesian from another in the first place.
Here’s the booth. The Friesian is on the right, middle row.
There were lots of boxes of cowboy boots stacked up in the booth behind me. Occasionally one would fall my way. Honest person that I am, I always returned it!
I just happened to be located right next to the Mackinac Horsemen’s Association–I was happy to show them my recently completed painting of some of their working horses. They were a pleasure to have next door, unlike some of the weird folk I occasionally get as neighbors. And they knew all about my adventures with my Willow Tree friends and the Double Dan missing trailer hitch caper from last summer. These two cuties belong to one of the ladies running the booth, and are excellent examples of the art of face painting–
Some of the best face painting I’ve ever seen. Don’t know who did it, but they certainly had a creative streak going.
Last year I happened to be outside the expo building where a four-horse hitch from Heritage Hill Farm in Albion, MI was getting ready to go. I took a bunch of photos because the light was perfect, and the resulting painting was “Attitude”. I had prints made of it because I was so darned impressed by my own good luck getting it to turn out so well. So this year the owners of the big Belgian horses found my booth and bought one of the prints. Here’s the original painting from just a few months ago.
I had so many people stopping at my booth (hopefully, stopping=future orders, at least when they spend a lot of time talking to me) that I was a bit hard pressed to get the usual number of Aquabord™ paintings completed that I usually do at these shows. I’ve found that people are more willing to stop at the booth if they see me working on something; I guess it’s curiosity about the artistic process. In any case, it works and that’s what counts. As I was saying, there were many interruptions so I got 2 1/2 paintings finished instead of the three that was my goal.
“Landing”, from a photo shot last year at the Fox River Valley Pony Club horse trials.
“Take-off”, also from the Fox River Valley show.
“Concentration”, with 1/2 of the painting still to go.
Posted in Aquabord, art, draft horses, exhibit booth, Fox River Valley Pony Club, horse show vendor progress, horses, ink drawings, Mackinac Horsemen's Association, Michigan Horse Council, note cards, Willow Tree | Tagged Aquabord™, art, Double Dan Horsemanship, draft horses, exhibit booth, Fox River Valley Pony Club, horses, ink drawings, Mackinac Horsemen's Association, Michigan Horse Council, note cards, sales, willow tree | 1 Comment »
New note cards–driving horses
I got the latest set of note cards from the printer a couple of days ago and just finished sorting them into packets and tying a nice satin ribbon around each one. They will be part of my booth display at the upcoming Michigan Horse Council Stallion Expo. I’m hoping to get some sales because the two tricked-out Belgians in the lower left corner came from a photo I took last year at the same event. They are fairly well known (someone at another show identified them by the colored ribbons in their manes!) so we’ll see how many people recognize them. I have enough this time to offer the cards in packages of 10 of any one image in addition to the normal packets of 2 of each of the five images. So if anybody has an absolute favorite I will happily accommodate them!
For anyone who just can’t resist, full details on my website, http://allifarkas.com/79833.html.
Posted in art, draft horses, exhibit booth, horse portrait, horses, horses and carts, Michigan Horse Council, note cards | Tagged art, exhibit booth, horses, horses and carts, Michigan Horse Council, note cards | 1 Comment »
An American troika
This one probably holds the record for the number of glazed paint layers. I lost track counting a few days ago. But there was just no other way to get the glowing effects of sunlight on their shiny coats. I only wish for a “magic camera” that could actually pick up the depth of the layers. Maybe some day I will invest in some professional lighting that will fix the problem, but for now—well, we’ll just make do and enjoy the Mackinac Island carriage horses with all the leafy pattern shadows they’re wearing as decorations.
This piece will be going with me to the Michigan Horse Council Stallion Expo. It will also appear in my next set of note cards which will feature only horses in harness. The cards will be available soon and I’ll feature them on my website http://www.allifarkas.com. Stay tuned…
Posted in art, draft horses, exhibit booth, horse portrait, horses, horses and carts, latest version, light, Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse, painting techniques, photography challenges | Tagged art, draft horses, exhibit booth, horse portrait, horses, horses and carts | 8 Comments »
Background–check. Harness–check. Horses–still to go.
As has happened with pretty much any horse/harness combination I have ever painted, I have done–in this order–the easiest part (background), the most difficult part (harness), and left the most fun part (horses) for last. I got a little behind schedule–lost a week, in fact–due to a side trip to Chicago to do some day job work. Glad to be back home and painting away again. Glad to get back to some live horses too, even though the weather is less than ideal. Probably about two feet of snow on the ground out there now. And no end in sight. If we get much more of that white stuff the horses will be able to just step over the fences!
Posted in art, draft horses, horses, horses and carts, latest version, painting techniques | Tagged art, draft horses, horse portrait, horses and carts, painting progress | 6 Comments »
Pencil drawing for “American Troika”
I had planned on doing a full size (16″x20″) painting of the Mackinac carriage horses which were featured in my small Aquabord™ watercolor back in December. But the thought of more harness, large-scale at that, pushed the procrastination button. I did have a couple of commissions in the meantime, but I still could have hopped on this drawing a lot sooner! Doing a large version accomplishes one very important thing–it reminds me how much more difficult it is to get all the pesky detail into a large painting than into a small one!
Posted in Aquabord, art, draft horses, drawing, horse portrait, horses, horses and carts, Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse, new horse portrait, painting techniques | Tagged Aquabord™, art, artist challenges, draft horses, horse portrait, horses, horses and carts | 3 Comments »
Here’s the real deal, Aquabord™ painting from a photo by Lyn Alban, used with permission.
The gift has been delivered and opened, so I can reveal the puzzle of the “secret commission”. This doesn’t look at all like the photo in my last post, which difference obviously is what I was aiming for. This is Macgregor, also known as Mac, a Morgan/Freisian cross who I previously painted last January. You can see all of him, as opposed to mainly his rear end, here. The challenge for the current piece was the camera flare over Mac’s back and neck. I could easily have done the painting without the flare, but it was specifically requested to include it so I did. While I was laying down layers of black for Mac’s coat I also alternated layers of yellow-orange and red-brown. To get the flare I lifted some of the black off to reveal the colors underneath. I had to be careful because although the ability to lift color off the Aquabord™ surface is a blessing, it can also be a curse if you go at it with too heavy a hand and end up all the way back at the white substrate. I didn’t experiment ahead of time, just decided to take my chances. Chance was on my side this time…
Posted in Aquabord, art, horse portrait, horses, painting techniques, watercolor | Tagged Aquabord™, art, artist challenges, horse portrait, horses | 9 Comments »
Well now, I guess this could be just about anything!
I’m so lucky that people I already know want to gift paintings to other people I already know! The latest one is complete, but since both giver and receiver are internet connections of mine I can’t share the real thing until I get word that it’s been presented to the giftee. So in lieu of another beautiful painting of another beautiful horse, I offer this nice little blur of the actual painting. I think it could be maybe Saturn and its rings, or an antique Victorian rosette plinth block, or for the more imaginative among you maybe just a weird looking boob.
I will magically un-blur this painting just as soon as it’s safe!
Posted in Aquabord, art, horse portrait, horses, new horse portrait, watercolor | Tagged Aquabord™, art, horse portrait, horses | 3 Comments »