Monday, June 29, 2009

The painting adventure

Last week I went to Wyoming to attend a workshop with Cowboy Artist, Jim Norton. I took a couple of days getting there and painted at the Horseshoe Bend overlook while I was in Page, AZ. I took a detour to see Bryce Canyon, but didn't paint because of the rain. The workshop focused on really seeing color and value changes, not only in our horse models, but in the landscape as well. We spent a great deal of time focusing on anatomy of the horse and the interaction of light and shadow. I had the opportunity to paint the horse with and without a saddle, and one with a pack on. During one exercise, Jim limited us to one brush stroke per minute! I had the chance to paint the beautiful Wyoming landscape as well. One afternoon, we got to photograph Andrew Goudy, Jim's long time painting model. He was also our cook for the week. I think I gained 10 pounds, Adobe is going to think we're riding double!

On my way home, I met up with Utah photographer Gene Praag. He is truly an inspiring photographer, and has powerfully captured the life of Wild Horses. Standing in the midst of this herd, and quietly watching their interaction, was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had! My sincere thanks to Gene and Valerie Praag for their hospitality. Please visit his site for a glimpse into the life of these Wild Horses.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Painting Horses from Life

On Friday, I am driving to Robertson, WY to take a workshop from Jim Norton. I believe that continued growth and learning is essential to any career, and I am excited about this opportunity to learn and enjoy the company of other painters.
This week, I completed a commission, and worked on a series of small studies. Some of the studies, done on my "lunch break" were en Plein air. Those along with the ones completed in the studio, were done with the goal of capturing the real feel of the moment. I hope you enjoy these, if you would like to purchase one of these, please contact me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Painting horses en Plein air

Last week, my anticipated order from Open Box M arrived. These Plein air supplies are crafted with quality and ease of use in mind. Needless to say, I could not wait to get out and paint some horses on location. For my maiden voyage, I painted my Percheron/Thoroughbred cross, Comanche. He was happy to roam around the yard, eat his breakfast, (and a little of everyone else's too), while I worked. He finally came over to check it out. "Whoa, that looks like me!", was his exclamation.
The next two days, I worked on location with horses that I am commissioned to paint. My favorite way to work is to paint a horse from life, and get a clear idea of the horses appearance and personality. During these sessions, I photograph the horse as well. The final phase of the commission is to complete a formal painting in the Studio. during the session on Friday, I was able to paint the first without complication. However the second one was too shy. He stayed on the other side of the arena, looking at the horses on the next property. Needless to say, I will return to paint him from life on another day. This morning, was a fun session with a sightly animated horse. This Arab/Pinto gelding knew I was there just for him, and he strutted around for sometime before settling down.
Horses live in the moment, and painting them from life reflects that same requirement of living completely in the present. Each painting and experience is so unique and delightful, that I hope that life and joy are seen in each painting. Please contact me if you are interested in a commission.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Budweiser Clydesdale-The Trio

This painting depicts a common site at the appearances of the Budweiser Clydesdale Team. I was inspired to paint the Trio after spending time with the Team during their five day visit. Not only are the horses amazing, standing 18 hands tall and weighing between 2,000 and 2,300 pounds, but the handlers that care for them take remarkable care of them. The Dalmatian, Brady, was included in the painting as part of the living symbol of the Budweiser Clydesdale's, and the tradition they maintain. If you are a collector of Budweiser memorabilia, and are interested in this original painting, please contact me.