A horse got me moving again

I think I fell victim to “Covid coma” without even having the disease. My “blogging coma” lasted a couple of months, meaning I didn’t do any painting at all since early September. I’m pretty sure part of the lethargy was brought on by the September sale of the boarding barn where I ride and the subsequent installation of new management, followed by the death of my riding instructor in late October. And throw in a hefty dose of political consternation for good measure.

Then a week or so ago this little watercolor on Aquabord™ horse portrait commission came in to break the spell. It had a deadline, so of course I woke myself up and completed it on time.

The original photo was quite dark, so I brightened it up in Photoshop so I could see which black parts were harness and which black parts were horse. In spite of the very nicely in-focus photo I still had a bit of trouble tracking where all the black straps and lines went on the black horse. I would be drawing and following one line through the various rings and then “poof” it would magically disappear. And there were so many of them! In the end, there’s only one tiny section which isn’t 100% accurate, but I’m not letting on where it is.

Here’s a work progression from start to finish. The colors don’t always match from photo to photo because everything but the final (and most accurate) rendering was taken with a not-so-wonderful phone and the final one with a D-SLR. Click on any of the photos to bring up a full-size gallery image.

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in Aquabord, art, drawing, Gypsy Vanner, horse portrait, horses, horses and carts, painting techniques, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to A horse got me moving again

  1. Kathy Noone says:

    Alli, I am so sorry about all the changes in your life. The death of your trainer is so sad on many levels. I hope the barn change is working out gor you and Charm. Picture is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Thanks Kathy–I’m pretty sure the barn will be fine. It’s replacing an irreplaceable trainer that will be difficult if not impossible. Will just have to keep eyes and ears open and see what comes my way.

      Like

  2. Clover says:

    Good to see you’re back in the saddle, Alli! (Couldn’t resist — sorry!) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. anne leueen says:

    This is amazing! The horse and the details are marvelous. I am sorry to hear you have had the difficult upsets in your life. Good to know that a horse commission got you back into the groove. Thank you for sharing the whole process!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      I’ve had so very few difficult times in my life that I feel like I really have little cause to even put it out there. But I thought it was pretty neat how this experience with the painting helped me out. Thanks for caring!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great job. Totally understand the covid lethargy. I did very little except a commission in August.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      It’s kind of interesting how some people on social media can seem like they stick to a certain personality and very seldom veer from that lane—always productive or always self-critical or always upset about something or always relentlessly cheerful. I think I’m one who mostly stays away from emotional revelations so for me this was a tiny toe tipping into the pool of possible empathy. It’s somehow comforting to know that the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily regard me as a slacker 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy Powers says:

    I always, always love your horse portraits! Years back I bought a small one of yours for a gift for my brother-in-law. Having been a farrier for 46 years and loving, in particular the drafts, he cherished that painting until he passed away a year ago. I am shocked and saddened to hear about Wendy. My condolences to her family and also to you, Alli. Better days ahead!

    Like

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Just to clarify, my trainer who died (cancer) was Karin. Wendy was my barn manager, and was forced out by new management. She’s a tough cookie, so when she eventually finds a permanent home for her family and her horses she’ll be fine. In the meantime all are in temporary digs. My travails pale by comparison but I was affected by hers too. So yeah, it’s been a bit of a rough ride.

      I do remember which painting you bought! I still have a few sets of note cards with that painting on them. Thanks for your kind words ❤️

      Like

  6. Nancy Powers says:

    Oh, I’m sorry, Alli! I thought that was Wendy!

    Like

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    You have clearly had a tough time of it Alli. I am sorry to hear that but it’s nice to see you back painting again. You have my sympathy, struggling to work from someone else’s photo for a commission. I always swear to myself that I will only accept really good quality images and then find myself peering at a pixelated image and having to do extra “research” to work out what might be going on in the picture. It can be pretty stressful! You have done an excellent job with this horse!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jan Frd says:

    It’s really amazing Alli – reading your blog, I had no idea so many things happened/ feel like I am just coming out of a fog as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ebrada says:

    Congrats on breaking the spell. I’ve experienced the same for different reason and it lasted a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jofox2108 says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the death of your riding instructor (and the loss of your place to ride). Lovely to see you back painting again – beautifully done! It really gives me the feeling that I’m sitting there behind him or her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Thanks Jo. I haven’t lost a place to ride, it’s just changing and the new management has their own ideas and plans and it’s hard to tell new owners what a well-oiled machine the place was before they bought it. Will have to wait and see how it goes this winter when both dressage riders and the jumper riders have to share a somewhat less than ideally sized indoor ring. My hope is that the jumper people will want to be on a typical 9-5 office-type schedule and leave the late evening hours for people like me. That would be perfect. But for now everything is in flux. We have always had jumper classes but we also always knew exactly when they were scheduled so we could let them do their thing. Now it’s unpredictable because there’s no published schedule. Back to that “well-oiled machine” comparison…hope we get it back.

      Like

  11. Radosal says:

    Los colores oscuros siempre son difíciles por su mala costumbre de “comerse las sombras”.

    Liked by 1 person

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