I have a question for any photographers out there, or really anyone with a camera phone who has taken a good shot of a horse in the last …forever.
I have a few shows coming up this summer and I’m framing up some big stretched canvas pieces to flesh out my inventory, but I’m fresh out of photo references.
Normally I can go out and take my own, but my guys are so blissed out with this nice weather that they literally just walk everywhere, eat, sleep and poop. Good from a farming perspective. Boring for photo reference. They seem to get even lazier when I have my camera on me, quite frankly.
I’d be looking for dramatic lighting and/or action. Lately I’ve been really interested in large pieces of close up portrait work, but I’d love anything with an equine in it.
I have other resources I can tap into if need be, the idea of asking you guys just occurred to me so I thought I’d toss a line out there and see if the idea appeals. Anyone interested?
Thank you all for being so patient with me over the last few months. It’s been a bit of a crazy winter and I haven’t been able to paint at all. Art show season is going to start soon, though, so I’ve gotta get it into gear.
For any interested, I’ve started a separate blog to dump all my horse-related-but-not-art-related stuff to. This will be a strictly equine art related blog from here on out.
Anonymous asked: Your art is breathtaking :)
Thank you! :3
I received an email this morning informing me that one of the members of an artisans guild I was part of for the last few years is being taken off life support this morning.
I want to take a moment to write down my respect for this man, because none of my family/friends knew who he was and how much he influenced my attitude about my work, and I think that someone should.
I walked into the guild with a few paintings to be juried several years ago, fresh out of college and wanting to get involved in my local artistic community (which is actually pretty large and prolific). This is back when I did more oil work. When I came back into the room after they’d all had a chance to talk about my work and decided it was fit, he took me aside and went over it all with me. He pointed out different aspects of certain pieces and talked about it all at length. “Do this again,” He told me, and highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of a painting. “I like what you’ve done with this focal point.” He’d say of another. (Whisk is a recent one I actually painted while keeping in mind that advice). We would do show and tell after every meeting, and his advice was always fantastic.
He was so enthusiastic about my work. His work. Art in general. He took it seriously, he had fun with it. He pursued ideas, he set stuff aside and let things come to him. He bought rare japanese artbooks at flea markets and carved life sized pond themed centerpieces out of pieces of wood. He built working toy replicas of sailing ships. He struggled with depression and art blocks. He told me about escaping Nazi Germany with his mother as a boy, about silversmithing and making jewellery, about the years he spent in Africa. He made chinese paintbrushes from my horses hair and told me about the difference in the quality of two very specific brands of paint, what happens to the indigo over time in certain light. How to get the best glazes.
We all loved him at the guild. He brought a level of energy to our discussions that couldn’t be achieved when he was absent. We talked about art theory and practical applications and everything in between. To me he was Santa and Merlin and Gandalf, only better. He was real, and he was interested in what I was doing, and that was priceless.
I will probably spend a lifetime reaping the benefits of his small kindnesses and influence. So if you’re still here and have read all this, all my rambling out my grief about a man you have never heard of and likely never will again, thanks. You didn’t have to. But since you have, know that this fellow artist has influenced me and inspired me to keep going with that enthusiasm for art that was his hallmark and with that same spirit of kindness and willingness to share what I’ve learned so far. I haven’t figured out yet how to best pay it forward, but in the meantime just know that I’m an open book. Ask me anything, I’d love to hear from you.
You are all precious and fantastic. Just like I am, just like he was. I want you all to know that I think that about all of you. So let’s all be amazing together, shall we?
Finally had a bit of time to do some painting! I’ve been crazy busy with maintenance here on the farm, trying to get everything ready for winter.
This painting is titled “Whisk”. 14x18” watercolour and ink.
I may go back and fix the chin a little bit. Apart from that this is pretty much done.
This is the part about this painting I’m the most excited about:
It’s my first watercolour painting done on wrapped paper. I got a whole roll of the stuff for my birthday this year and I can’t wait to start playing around with some bigger canvases. Super stoked.
So the showing last weekend went well, all things considered. The weather was terrible though, and there wasn’t a lot of traffic through. Still, I got there and got set up without a hitch and was able to meet and talk to some incredibly lovely people, and I sold a few paintings and got some exposure. I was also able to drop off three commissions to people who lived nearby, and I’m receiving final payments for them. So all in all I was able to make enough to pay for the trip plus a small profit, and I may even be able to get a few pieces into a gallery or two in the area. I’m kind of excited about that.
And I was able to visit with my best friend all weekend. That alone would make it all worthwhile.
I’m thinking of changing up how I mount a few pieces. I’m looking into alternatives to putting watercolours under glass, and if it works out I may have some bigger pieces in the works this winter.
This trip also helped me by making me seriously consider which direction I’d like to go with my work for the next little while. It may be a bit before I can implement some of the changes I want to do, but I’m really looking forward to it.