A couple of posts back I showed you EmyLou. I can now reveal–since the gift”er” can’t seem to wait until Christmas to hand over presents to her gift”ees”–the first painting in my previous post A Pair of Puzzles. This painting required a bit of creative placement of various parts from different photos. I was lucky enough to find the right stuff!
A few years back I was asked to do a video of this horse with his trainer riding. After the ride, we took several photos in the ring with the owner, trainer, and the trainer’s trainer! Lou was a lovely little Arabian who even in his late 20’s cruised around the ring like a champ. I was thinking I also needed a close-up of just Lou and Terri to put at the top of the video as a sort of cover page. By that time Lou was already back in his stall with Terri, and it turned out to be a lovely photo for its intended purpose, but for this painting the gray-brown stall in back of them wasn’t ideal; plus, I had to use flash in the stall and it created some unwanted highlight flares and shadows.
So, enter the artist. Serendipitously (this happens a lot, fortunately) last year I arrived at the barn on a very foggy damp rainy day and as I looked across at the pond from my parking spot I thought what a lovely misty scene that was and I really ought to capture it for some future painting. As I was looking through my reference folder of “horse backgrounds” I knew as soon as I saw it that this was the one.
Terri kept a wooden stall plaque hanging on the back wall of Lou’s stall. Wendy, who commissioned this painting, agreed with me that we should somehow try to incorporate the stall sign with the dream saying on it and we decided to make it kind of cloudy and floating in the background. Putting the tree background and the stall plaque behind the horse and owner was pretty matter of fact. I did have to adjust the lighting for the painting to keep the figures from fading into the background since all elements of the final confabulation were degrees of brown and gray. I used one of the photos I took in the ring to get all the detail on Lou’s face, some of which had been washed out by the flash of the stall pic.
So there you go, the puzzle behind the puzzle!
PS: Terri loved this present!