Just when I thought I had sworn off harness…a commission! This past Saturday and Sunday Reins of Life held its second benefit dressage show of the season and unlike last year, I sat in my booth instead of on a horse and had plenty of time to get this painting this far along. The two horses in the painting were pulling ponies–not actually ponies, just smaller than your large draft pulling horses. Here’s a pulling contest: They were shown by the father of a friend of mine. She wants this as a Christmas gift, so who am I to complain about too much harness? The original photo is somewhat dark and blurry, so I’m hoping nobody will really notice the fudge factor when I make up something I can’t see clearly. My reference is a photo of the original photo–taken surreptitiously with a cell phone so that the recipient wouldn’t know something was up. I’ll post the reference photo along with the finished painting when it’s done.
Posted in Aquabord, art, charity event, draft horses, horse portrait, horses, Reins of Life, watercolor | Tagged Aquabord™, art, artist challenges, charity, draft horses, horse portrait, horses, Reins of LIfe, watercolor | 3 Comments »
The “giftee” returned from abroad this month and received the stall plaque for her horse, Ekko–so now I can reveal what the horse looks like. This stall plate is different from previous ones in that it is a head portrait instead of the whole horse running freely. As an amusing side note, I had to recreate the tips of his ears for his portrait because they were missing in the original reference photo! I was particularly pleased at how well the background came out. It can be tricky trying to recreate in oil paint what a camera lens does so nicely–“bokeh”, or that lovely blurred effect. So, here you go–
I can thank Charm for all of the above. We won in the musical freestyle quadrille class and Training Level test 3, then flamed out fifth out of five in the First Level test 2. Interesting side note–our losing score was higher than our winning score in Training and First Level. Different judges in each class. We nailed it in quadrille, which we always do. Judges just can’t resist the “Rockin’ Riders”, and we got a 79 (that’s huge) this time around. Here’s a photo from our performance this past July at Willow Tree–
As for the multicolored foot, I can thank Charm for that. Right before our first ride of the day she saw something irresistible and didn’t care if I was in the way of her getting a better view of it. Fortunately it didn’t affect my riding ability but it did make walking a bit problematical. There are some folks out there who bemoan the roominess of Mountain Horse Victoria riding boots but I like them and in this case they turned out to be my best friend. As for my second-best friend (Ms Sassypants when she’s naughty) I only wish there were some way I could repay her for being a pain in the foot…
Two weeks ago it was a USEF-sanctioned 3-day event at Richland Park, and this past weekend a USEF-sanctioned 2-day horse trials at Chardon Valley. I love Chardon Valley, not only because it is a lovely place but also because it’s only a few minutes from my house! So setting up my portrait booth here was pretty much a snap, in large part because I was indoors and didn’t need to drag my tent along. Happy for that, since the weather got a bit too hot and humid to be comfortable in a tent.
Portable stabling is a great thing. Both at Richland Park and Chardon Valley stalls in the barn are extremely limited, so when you have hundreds of competitors to house these large tents are a must. This particular one is going to remain in place for a week since there is a dressage show scheduled for next weekend. At which time I will trade my vendor’s hat for a riding helmet and sit on a horse instead of sitting in my booth.
Posted in art, Chardon Valley, eventing, exhibit booth, horses, Richland Park, USEF | Tagged art, Chardon Valley, eventing, exhibit booth, horse show adventures, horse trials, horses, USEF | 2 Comments »
Chesney the Appaloosa is finished unless I hear otherwise. I put some of the pea-sized spots in at the last minute just because I could. So glad I had additional reference photos! Also thankful for my rigger watercolor brush which lets me get all those fine mane hairs without driving myself crazy.
This is the little Aquabord™ commission I picked up at Richland Park a week ago. I haven’t painted an Appaloosa since 2009 when I first started this whole horse portrait adventure. The original photo showed a halter on the horse, but I was lucky and the owner had a lot of pictures without the halter so I could see all the spots that were covered up by it. There was also a barn and a hitching rail and a large diameter lead rope that had to go. This horse has a LOT of spots!!! Took (seemed like) forever to get most of them–I skipped the pea-sized ones–arranged in their proper place. Hoping to finish in a couple of days, then it’s just UV protection and varnish and it will be on its way home.
Posted in Aquabord, art, drawing, horse portrait, horses, new horse portrait, painting techniques, Richland Park, watercolor | Tagged Aquabord™, art, artist challenges, horse portrait, horses, Richland Park, watercolor | 1 Comment »
This was, as Ed Sullivan would have said back in the ’50’s, a r-e-a-l-l-y- BIG-SHOW! Fortunately for me, Richland Park, which is just north of Kalamazoo, MI, is not that far from me. And in spite of its size, the booth fees were totally reasonable for a 4-day extravaganza. I even made my booth expenses back at this show. It’s always my goal, but not always realized. So here’s the lowdown on my RP adventure!
So I guess I should explain a little about this show. It was a horse trials, which is essentially the same as a 3-day eventing show. But they needed 4 days to get all the horses and riders in. The highest level eventing show is a CCI****, and this one also had lower level classes with the CCI*** being the top level. That meant that a lot of big names from around the country (and even some from other nations) were going to compete here. Among them were three of my personal faves. More on that in a minute
Eventing has three components–dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping. The stadium jumping took place right out the back door of my booth…conveniently! So I was able to sneak out there and get some photos.
The show hosts conveniently arranged the vendor row to also border on a portion of the cross country course, so I was able to get over there for a few photos too.
And back to the stadium jumping because it was here I was able to get my best shots.
A few words about Buck. The day before the stadium portion he broke a few ribs. He had eight horses to ride, six of them 3* and two others lower levels. I don’t know how he did it. All he said was that he was kind of sore. Click here for full details of his winning ride (yes, he won the 3* with a bunch of busted ribs) and also some good photos of cross country and some bits about how the other riders did.
Up to this point, all was find and dandy. It was now late morning on Sunday, the final day. A bit after noon, word went around that a big bad nasty storm was due to hit in about an hour and we were going to be in the middle of it. We had sort of known the day before that this might happen and show management had moved the cross country start time up by an hour to try to get all the riders in before the deluge. However, as is common in the Midwest, it was still sunny and pleasant but menacingly windy at times. Most of the vendors, myself included, decided to stow anything that might blow away or be damaged by rain and just wait it out. But the storm kept teasing us by not appearing. Two hours later a light rain began. It did not move quickly over us as it turned out to be a rather large weather cell. So the folks who had a lot of helpers just started packing everything up because it would be too late to reopen their booths if and when this thing ever did get finished with us. The Kerrits guy next door had an absolutely huge booth and wouldn’t have been able to dismantle it quickly, and I was in the same boat (terrible pun, but I should have been in a boat). As the storm picked up I worked in my tent packing things up and stowing them in my truck which was parked only about 3 feet from my tent. I finally got to the point where the only task left was to take down the tent. This is where it got messy, not to mention outright dangerous. Until now it had been only heavy rain, no thunder, no lightning. So here I am with three of the four heavy steel legs of my tent removed, and struggling with the fourth one which was being quite stubborn. FLASH! BOOM! RIGHT OVER MY HEAD!!! And I’m HOLDING ONTO A LONG METAL POLE AND STANDING IN A BUNCH OF WATER!!! That was it for me, I made for my truck and attempted to sit in the recommended position of not touching anything in it but the seat I was sitting on. Couldn’t help touching my camera, though.
Posted in art, exhibit booth, exhibit opportunity, horse show vendor progress, horses, Richland Park | Tagged art, artist challenges, exhibit booth, horse portrait, horse show adventures, horses, Richland Park | 8 Comments »