Friday, June 29, 2012
140 lb fabriano extra white
19 x 24
i guess i have painted this horse a million times. so, i wanted something familiar in my effort to go bigger with my watercolor paintings. it is difficult to get the water and color to behave in any kind of meaningful way particularly on a large surface!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
11 x 15
so what if i have two research papers due Friday. i painted this one twice. i am learning so much on the first attempt that I am able to get my colors and the eyes down for the second and hopefully final attempt. the eyes are always so important to any portrait! This is actually Sam, my go to guy. not only for painting but also for riding. He is always so reliable not to mention that pretty face. although, you can't identify the actual horse (although I can) i do believe that i have captured his essence... and he is so sweet.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
11 x 15
I was looking for something quick to paint and had this photo laying around. I took it several years ago but the photo has always been one of my favorites. There was a slight breeze blowing and the horse seemed to be relaxed and enjoying the breeze. All in all it was a calm day and a calm horse.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
7 x 11
Precious is a small Catahoula that I had been asked to foster for a while. She was abandoned as a young dog. The family probably picked her out of a litter of puppies and didn’t realize that she was impaired. Then she grew up and was put on the street. The shelter picked her up. It seemed that she had been left behind. After a while, she was adopted from the shelter. A few months later, the second family moved and left her tied to the back steps. So, the shelter picked her up again. It’s hard to place a dog with two major disabilities.
Precious is from south Louisiana and the product of an effort to breed for her beautiful blue merle coat and glass blue eyes. It was to be temporary and I was concerned about dealing with an animal that could not see or hear. How do you communicate with her?
The first few months went okay but then she just stopped eating. I thought simply that she would just get hungry enough and eat. This didn’t happen. I tried table scraps, milk, cottage cheese and bread but it was clear that she must also have an eating disorder. “Well,” said the vet, “any change will be amplified psychologically because of her problems.” I found that I could get her to eat by sitting on the floor beside her and putting dry dog food in my hand. Slowly she began to eat regular meals in a regular manner.
As the weeks passed, she learned to take her cues from my “normal” dogs and seemed to get around okay. It was difficult to get her attention. If she were sunbathing in the yard, I would have to go out and touch her. For the longest, she would jump up startled in raw fear. If she were sleeping on the porch, I stomped my foot. At night, I blinked the porch light. I learned that she could see just enough to notice the blinking.
As fall approached, my son began deer hunting in tree stands that he had scattered about the property. “Mom, your dog finds me in the woods and sits at the bottom of the tree! She’s ruining my hunting.”
She is very intelligent and manages to avoid dangers such as flying horse hooves. When she ventures into the pasture, she carefully stays by the fence or the edge of the woods so she can jump to safety should the horses spy her and decide to investigate.
She can find anything with her nose. She will now awaken if sleeping in the yard and the breeze blows my scent her way. She jumps up, puts nose to the ground and tracks every step that I have made until she runs into my legs. She begins at a walk, that grows into a trot, that becomes a dead run. “How brave. Blind dog running.” I wonder, “Would I be brave enough to run if I were blind… and deaf?”
I have now had her about eight years and she is… just happy to be here.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
11 x 15
arches 140 lb natural white
This painting took 2 tries to get it right. The one below of the dark horse took me 4 tries. I'm getting used to throwing away paintings! But, I just haven't found a way to correct watercolors. That water just won't behave!
Friday, June 8, 2012
This was a paint horse mostly black/brown in color. The white patch on his shoulder and the small one on his forehead and nose were actual markings and really helped give the painting some definition and dimension.
arches 140 lb natural white
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Crackerjack & Friend
This was one of those quiet summer afternoons. It was fairly late and I decided to walk to the far corner of my place to check on my horses. As I walked down a path lined with tall pine trees and entered the lush open pasture, I came upon what must be one of the most peaceful scenes on this earth.
My small herd of five was lazily grazing in the warm sun with their backs to a slight southern breeze. In the corner, by the creek, stood Crackerjack, my oldest and wisest by far, being about 25. The rest of the herd was only a few feet away and I noticed that they were followed by a small flock of what I guessed to be starlings. When I looked back at Crackerjack, I saw that he had only one feathered friend and it seemed to be fearlessly hoping along beside what must have seemed to be a mammoth size nose.
Undisturbed by my presence, I quietly watched as these two moved slowly along, side by side. I could only guess that as Crackerjack pulled at the grass, cropping it close to the ground, sometimes pulling it up by the roots, that his little pasture buddy would pick at the bugs and grubs that had been unearthed by the pulls.
Everyone seemed very content so I turned to make my way back to the house. As I walked away I was left with the feeling that I had been viewing a long-term relationship which probably occurred every day. And, that for Crackerjack to be so tolerant, I guessed that he too was benefitting. His small friend must have been keeping the pesky bugs from lighting on his nose and face as he grazed.
11x15 watercolor on fabriano 140lb