Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Budweiser Clydesdale

When the Budweiser Clydesdale's were here, I spent five days with them. Drawing and painting them from life. This painting, "Before the Parade", completed in the Studio, depicts just part of the preparation ritual. They were given fantastic attention and care, and all seemed to enjoy it. I wanted to show the wonderful colors and give the feel of water on the wet coat, and forming on the ground on a clear day.

The Horsemanship Connection: One of the things that was very clear to me while spending time with the Budweiser Clydesdale Team, is the attention to detail they had that allows for a great presentation and safe interaction with the public. I know many people, (myself included), that are around horses allot sometimes lose our focus, ending up in situations that are undesirable. Living in the moment, is a gift that horses teach us. I believe that living in the moment keeps the stress and anxiety to a minimum. What do you think?
"Before the Parade" 12x14 original oil painting. $225.00 plus $4.80 shipping.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Gray horse on a Sunny day

I had the chance to paint "Doc" a good natured horse that is well loved by his owner. Doc's name originated from the movie "Tombstone". I had painted Doc a couple of months ago, when he had his winter coat, that was somewhat lighter than it is now. During the past few months, while painting horses from life at Goldfield Ghost Town, I have met many wonderful people. During this past week, many winter visitors have returned home. I wish them a good summer, and look forward to their return in the Fall.

The Horsemanship connection. I wanted to pass on a couple of wonderful websites I have found. One is Enlightened Horsemanship, which has wonderful posts and active comments. The other is Karen Musson. She is able to clearly and simply state important concepts of horsemanship through feel.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An occasain for rain

Usually, I paint horses en Plein air on Saturday mornings, but we had a welcome rain today. So, I took the opportunity to paint a small horse portrait in the Studio. This oil painting has a very intimate feel to it, and the cool colors in the coat are very subtle. The sky color is subdued, much as it was outside as I painted it. The horse in this painting is my Palomino, Adobe, who has been through allot this year. (Sarcoids, cancer, an eye infection and a hoof abscess) I hope that the bond I have for him comes through in this small portrait.

The Horsemanship Connection. I have been thinking about the process of making the right thing obvious when teaching a horse something new. The best example I could think of was teaching Comanche to pick his feet up. When I got him, at 15 months old, he did not know how to pick his feet up. I wanted to set him up to succeed, and teach him as much as I could. So, I taught him to back up one step at a time. I then picked up the foot that was poised to come off the ground next. This way his weight was already shifted onto his other three legs and he is set up to balance. Comanche is willing to pick up his feet for me without being pulled, pushed or jerked around. I know this concept of release will also translate into requests to pick up his feet while under saddle.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Budweiser Clydesdale Portraits

During the recent visit of the Budweiser Clydesdale Team, I spent time painting them from life. Here are two 5x7 portraits I did in the Studio. Painting these horses from life allowed me to see all the wonderful color visible in their coats. The rich color is what I focused on in these two paintings. I also wanted to show the warmer and cooler colors of these two horses. This nice pair of paintings were completed mostly using a pallet knife, the thick texture of the paint was symbolic of the amazing presence these horses display.

The Horsemanship Connection: In the past couple of weeks, Ray Hunt and Sally Swift have passed on. Two wonderful teachers that have brought many insights into horsemanship and riding. The time I spend learning from these great teachers, watching horses and being aware of Harmony, Balance and Breathing add value to my own skills. The ability to pass those principles on in our relationships with horses and people is the manifestation of the teachings of Ray Hunt and Sally Swift.
5x7 oil paintings $50.00 each plus $4.80 shipping

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Painting horses en Plein air

When painting horses from life, "How do you get them to stand still?", is the question I hear most often. Followed by, "How long dose it take?". When I am painting horses at Goldfield Ghost Town, I never really know how long I will have to paint. In this photograph, is Kody, the Palomino, the horse I chose to paint. I took this photo as I saw the riders coming out and getting ready to leave. Since I had not finished the painting, I wanted to have something to look at for detail accuracy. The horses are tied to the hitching rail, but are still able to move around. They shift from side to side, play and nip their neighbors. Although they are not completely still, I have a chance to capture them quickly.

This is all I had completed of Kody when his owner was ready to leave. I have the horizon, the main shapes and shadows in place. I continued to work on this until I had it 90% completed. During this time I had a nice opportunity to talk with folks as they watched me work.After I got home, I added some accents and highlights, as well as Kody's halter and lead rope. Horses live so much in the present, and that is how I feel when painting them. I spend the time it takes to get a feel for the personality of the horse I am painting as well as the coat color and conformation. The subtle details I acquire during this time are what the horse "tells" me about where they are at that moment, and that is translated into the painting.

"Kody" 6x8 oil Sold