Saturday, December 30, 2017

Stallion Reflection

2017 was an incredible year, painting and spending time with wild horses on the range.  Field study is the foundation of my work, learning from in-depth observation. Investing time painting from life allows me to confront the challenges of communicating a moving 3-D subject onto a 2-D format. I strive to capture the essence and life.

"Stallion Reflection"

The Mustang Walkabout with Meredith Hudes-Lowder of Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography was the most exciting one yet. Seeing new horses and following their lives through the years. We also returned to Assateague Island to teach painting and photography. These experiences have instilled a profound sense of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity I have to follow my dream.

I want to thank my collectors and friends for making this an amazing year! All the best to you in 2018!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Assateague Island Workshop 2017

The Assateague Island Alliance sponsored workshop, Painting and Photographing Wild Horses was a resounding success. The talented participants were adventurous and engaged. They enthusiastically  approached the process of painting unrestrained horses that move  on their own timetable. We covered painting in oils, quick watercolor sketches and gesture sketching. The Photography and editing sessions with Meredith Hudes-Lowder of Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography were educational and  insightful. 

Many thanks for Assateague Island Alliance, Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography and our awesome workshop participants!

Follow us on Facebook:

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mustang Walkabout 2017

This summer's Mustang Walkabout was successful, educating and inspiring. Karen McLain Studio and Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography visited Sand Wash Basin, CO and the Great Basin, UT. The opportunity to be on the range with Meredith Hudes-Lowder, scientist and phenomenal  photographer was wonderful. In addition to the Equus ferus  Wild Horse Photography website, she maintains a blog that covers equine genetics, coat color, and pertinent research topics.

Sand Wash Basin, CO

Painting Picasso.

The Free Meet and Shoot at Sand Wash Basin. 

Camping at the Great Basin.

Meredith Hudes-Lowder, and extraordinary photographer.

Morning waterhole visit.

Quick movement studies. 

Meredith, playing her Harpcicle harp.

A watercolor with reflections.

Goodnight from the range.
I look forward to going through the photos, videos and painting. Follow me on Facebook and be inspired by the wonderful photography of Equus ferus on Facebook as well.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Different Perspective-Using remotely controlled cameras

Several years ago, I was intrigued with the question about how horses behave when we aren't around and also how they behave after dark. That's when I first started using Trail Cameras. These cameras collect still and video, (some even record audio), and are motion activated. First, I experimented at home and was rewarded with images of urban  wildlife that stopped for a drink.

After trial and error, I learned about where to place the camera for the best shots. (I quickly learned to avoid placing it near bushes that would trigger the camera.) I began integrating these clips in my short videos. This sequence was all captured on a trail camera.

This short nocturne was fun to capture.

This video taken during my Artist-in-Residence at Bighorn Canyon, incorporates the trail camera with my Canon.

My interest also included how I could capture horses from a lower perspective. During this time I began experimenting with the GoPro.

This short video resulted in a dramatic painting.

"Mustangs" 24x36 

This GoPro video features horses from Assateague Island.

In the video below, I combine GoPro footage with  multimedia. Notice the photo with the GoPro at the 30 second mark.

This video of the Salt River Horses included the waterline.

By using the motion activated and remote controlled cameras, I have a new perspective on horse behavior. I will add to my collection of videos during the coming months. Please visit my You Tube Channel to see additional wild horse videos. Please visit Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography to see photos from many wild horse areas.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Inspiration from The Metropolitan and Wadsworth Museums

Last week, I visited my best friend and extraordinary photographer, Meredith Hudes-Lowder of Equus ferus Wild Horse Photography, in New York. I spent a day at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a day at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum.  Both museums have wonderful collections. The Wadsworth is the oldest continuously-operating public museum in the U.S. It also holds the largest collection of paintings from the Hudson River School. Every time I visit museums, I learn from the masters and am inspired to paint and grow!

From the Wadsworth Atheneum collection:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

We had the opportunity for some day trips and hikes. I painted and Meredith played her Harpsicle Harp.

It was  a wonderful week packed full of art, adventure and fun!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sparring Stallions at the Salt River

Last spring I watched two stallions chase each other and eventually have a short, yet dramatic sparring session. Although it was intense, neither stallion was injured. This is common behavior when stallions are trying to win a band of their own or steal mares from other stallions.

As I painted this, I wanted to communicate the energy and action with the dust and loose brush strokes.

"Stallion Spar"

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Painting the Great Basin Band

The process of this painting shows the use of a grid layout and the changes I made as I went along. In this painting, I wanted to show the horses emerging from the dust as they ran across the range. Every horse is effected by the dust and some of the dust color is incorporated into each horse. The depth of field is quickly engulfed in the atmosphere of dust.

The grid is laid out on the reference and the canvas. In areas of more detail, I added smaller grid lines.

A sketch of the horses.

I made some changes, especially to the rear horse on the right.

In the photo, the background horse was too large, effecting the composition and depth of field. I reduced it size and prominence. 

The dust was a major feature in this painting.  I wanted to show warm and cool areas.

Adding the horses.

All of the horses have some of the dust color added. 

"Great Basin Band"
©Karen McLain

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Anatomy for Equine Artists

I am thrilled to announce, "Anatomy for Equine Artists", with  Meredith Hudes-Lowder of Equus ferus Wild Horse PhotographyWe will examine the anatomy of a horse from an artist's perspective. A strong background in and knowledge of anatomy are critical for artists regardless of discipline. A fascinating in-depth examination of these magnificent animals and provide deeper understanding and appreciation. We will begin the series with the SHOULDER and will include skeletal, ligamentous, tendonal, and muscular aspects with an emphasis on movement. The anatomical regions will be presented from numerous angles, differing coat colours, and lighting circumstances. We will provide photographic, anatomical, and artistic examples of both genders and varying ages of the mustangs. The entire ANATOMY FOR THE EQUINE ARTIST will be available for purchase as a DVD with hundreds more photos and examples. Examples of painting technique for each area covered. The influence of light, shadow, form, and atmosphere will be  discussed. 

Illustrations and photography by Meredith Hudes-Lowder.

3-D modeling by Meredith Hudes-Lowder