I finally have time to work on this little painting which I began quite a long time ago. I’ve been looking at it for at least 6 months and it was bugging me, especially the drawing. The horse was too small for the rider. The horse’s legs were too short. I think I fixed it by working the edges of things, particularly the horse’s legs. I can see I could stand to work a bit more on the rider’s hands. I like the limited palette and the looseness.
This is the initial pass. I like the idea of having two overlapping subjects. I like the way these overlap. I want to jump toward more abstraction. It will come as I work it.
To change the subject totally, I am so grateful.
Our new cat, Deiter, is back home again. One of our farmers’ market community, Rhonda Stalling at Arroyo Vet Clinic, suggested I bring him in for a micro-chip scan, to see if maybe he belonged to someone else. She said he qualified for the “Good Samaritan” discount. So I took him in last week, hauling out the dusty cat carrier and shoving his surprised body into the little space and shutting the door quickly as he dashed around to find his way out. He suddenly found his voice. I’d never heard him meow before then.
Dr. Rhonda found no micro-chip but she did find he was positive for AIDS and he had such bad teeth that some needed to be removed. I just got him back after his dental surgery. He spent one night away and has to spend two days inside while he is on pain medication.
I am so grateful to the Good Samaritan program. He even had a bath! I have volunteered to paint a portrait to be given away as at their annual auction… every year for as long as they want me to. He’s a very happy boy and loved all the attention, seems completely recovered. Thank you all, who participate with the Good Samaritan program.
Now they are done…I think. I like them together. Didn’t realize how related they are. They really give me a direction. Can’t wait till I have time for the next ones.
Now what? Why do I do this? What does this painting/work mean to me? Why do I want to share it? Does it make me happy afterward, or just while I work?
Though, sometimes I’m not too happy while I work, going back and forth, losing this edge, gaining that one; changing color, value and temperature. I’m trying to make sense of those moves, to understand how to move the eye from one thing to another. And yet, most people are going to respond to the horse and the drawing which is not as important to me. I certainly love horses as a subject matter. But trying to make horses work into paintings that I want to see, with the right degree of abstractness, movement, interesting shapes and cohesive color choices is my goal and I will continue to learn.
This is much more what I have in mind. It’s more direct. has more energy, more brushwork. I had to take the background out before I can see where to go with it. I think I know now. I want to expand on the dressage arena and geometry of the schooling figures, in a subtle way. Also possibly a suggestion of a place, a fence maybe. Maybe a dressage letter? I think I’ll have time tomorrow, after the farmers’ market.
Tomorrow, I hope we are bringing little green peppers in baskets. They are to tease those that are waiting for our yummy padron peppers. These are actually corno di toro peppers picked very young. They too, are quite wonderful fried and salted.
I have been sketching horses with pencil while watching and stopping You Tube videos. I’m finding this is a great way for me to work. I am able to capture some gestural qualities of a quick study, without losing accuracy. I have thinking about tackling the subject of horses for several months now and this is a beginning. It’s a “paint sketch”. Barely started, with many directions possible.
I admit to finding paintings of horses rarely satisfying. There are very few artists that I think do a good job with it. I think it’s because I know horses so well that paintings don’t measure up. I will try to make myself (read “worst critic”) happy with these paintings. Here we go!