Friday, June 8, 2012

Horses and Painting

     I have had two life long passions.  Horses and art.  I have found an interesting way to balance them.  The weather this week has been nothing short of heavenly and I have wanted to ride everyday and I have wanted to paint out everyday.  Instead of travelling elsewhere to paint, yesterday I decided to pack my gear and head to the barn.  Those of you who live in the greater DC area know that the clouds the last few days look as though a whipped cream can has exploded in the sky.  I wanted to be sure to capture them.  I had almost forgotten I had an appointment for my three dogs to be groomed so that was going to shorten my time.  After I dropped them off I arrived at the barn and decided on a change of plan.  I took my mare Gypsy out to a field next to where I was going to paint and the two of us had a pleasant couple of hours enjoying the cool breeze and bright sun.  I had to stop short of finishing the painting but decided I would come back and plant myself in the same spot today.
The view I selected
The painting in progress
Gypsy is in the field just to the right of me and I used her as my model and placed her in my painting creating a new fenced field for her.  This is as far as I got before having to quit and pick up the dogs, and this is where I set up again today to finish.

Almost finished, just some tweaking to do
"Gypsy in Clover" 11x14 oil on linen panel
   Today I arrived at the barn around 10:00, took Gypsy for a ride (actually she took me) and afterward, while she was having a snooze in her stall, I headed back to where I painted yesterday.  The light and clouds were the same  and I had already captured the sky. Today I concentrated on the foreground shadows from the large tree I was standing beneath.  Note to self.....bring more to eat than the stale granola bar in my backpack and a thermos of water.  I was starving!  I quit around 3:00 but I had taken time to lie in the grass and look up at the sky through the tree.  I realized that I was having a day like the summer days I had as a kid.  I would leave the house in the morning and stay out all day until hunger drove me home late in the afternoon. Sleep like a log and get up and do it again.  Sounds like a plan!
      In the studio I will use a knife to improve the fence lines and pick out the debree and granola bar crumbs that are stuck in the paint.  I forgot to mention it was really windy and I had to really clamp down my panel. I also need to make Gypsy a little more defined but not much.  The brilliant sun made her look lavender/blue gray at that distance.  I forgot my camera today or I would have uploaded a photo of the new guy who was in the field watching me today.  Delano is a very handsome, five year old Hanoverian who was completely fascinated by what I was doing. Did I mention I really love horses?

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