Saturday, March 28, 2009

Montana the Thoroughbred

Even the horses come out to view my painting exhibits.

Meet Montana, a former racing thoroughbred turned extreme racing-through-the-woods-jumping-over-obstacles fox hunter.

thoroughbredMontana's human, Susan, insists that Montana accompany her on all of her activities. So, out of the trailer for a jaunt down the sidewalk to pose (as pretty as any stallion ad) for a photo shoot in downtown Melrose, Florida.

Meeting Montana and Susan was inevitable during my visit with the Misty Morning Foxhounds last month . I can spot a thoroughbred from 500 paces and immediately recognized those fine features and tilt of the head from a group of many.

race horseSusan keeps this twelve-year-old fit and gorgeous. Doesn't he look like he just arrived at Keeneland for the Bluegrass Stakes?

FYI: The exhibit "Hooves and Horns" has been extended one week at the Melrose Bay Art Gallery until April 5th.

“I like it. He's a thoroughbred.” - Mike Williams

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Name That Painting

I'm seriously at a loss for painting titles. Any ideas?

thoroughbred artAs yet untitled, oil on board, 12"x16".

Working on the slick surface of Masonite aids the creamy flow of brushstrokes. Notice I tackled the yellow issue "head on" (yuk yuk). Any strong color works if it's repeated in the composition. It aids in stability, anchoring itself - Matisse taught me that. As an art student, I intensely studied his use of color, form and its' spatial placement. The painting below, "The Piano Lesson", served as one effective art lesson. Absolutely brilliant and beautiful.

matisse"The Piano Lesson", oil on canvas, 8' 1/2" x 6' 11 3/4", 1916.

"All things considered, there is only Matisse." - Pablo Picasso

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hunter Jumper

Creating dynamic motion for this jumping composition was an unexpected pleasure. It's difficult to see on the web but there's lots of fluid brushwork which is becoming a more focused direction in my work. One "trick" (if you will), for generating tension and movement is to employ lots of opposing diagonals. It sets up a rhythm of pace that the artist can control by speeding or slowing lines.

hunter jumperGray Hunter, oil on canvas, 20"x16"

"People call me the painter of dancers, but I really wish to capture movement itself." - Edgar Degas

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oil on Masonite

I already have an oil on canvas titled, "Pulling Up". What to call this quick, small oil on board?

thoroughbred art"Strong Effort" oil on panel, 14"x11".

Do any other artists face this challenge of naming their paintings?

This piece is loosely rendered on a small piece of Masonite with multiple coats of gesso. Smooth and free-flowing as opposed to the heavily textured canvas I prefer. I wanted to repeat the pop of the yellow cap but couldn't decide on an appropriate spot. It's a bit of a distraction from the chestnut horse but at least it draws the eye back and forth. I probably should have made the saddle towel yellow (#4) to create balance, but I didn't. Therefore, I'll deliberate over this one, possibly changing it if it bugs me enough.

"What a horrible thing yellow is." - Edgar Degas

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Neck in Front

Getting creative with titles for these racing paintings is becoming a challenge. Now I understand why some artists just number their pieces.

thoroughbred paintin"Neck in Front", oil on canvas, 16"x20"

So, Michael walks into the studio this afternoon and says: "You're painting sorta abstract with a lot of brushwork, getting away from detail." He's tentative, I'm feeling sorta good about this direction.

I printed out Irwin Greenberg's "Words to Paint By" kindly posted on one of Robert Genn's clickbacks. Taking my time to read through the list of 100, they are to be savored. Here's a couple that are apropos to this painting:

3. Suggest
14. Keep it simple.
94. To emphasize something means that the other parts of a picture must be muted.

Blog quote is from "Whispering Winds of Change", by one of my favorite spiritual gurus, Stuart Wilde.

"Of course spiritually, recession and financial disaster are a marvelous thing. It's hard to persuade people to change their ways while they're hurtling around in their Porches. But once you deprive a person of their security blanket of materialism they are left with only themselves."

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Time Off Expires

Reminder: Opening reception today at Melrose Bay Gallery, 4-9pm. I'm one of the guests artists.

Four days away from the studio. Tugging at me with each passing, the door beckoned. I ventured in to catch up on books, cleaning and reading without picking up a brush. Torture!

Lots of yard work accomplished (everything's been killed by frost), weeded veggie garden and went canoeing on the Oklahawa River from Eureka Outpost. By Florida standards, it's been an incredibly cold winter with 20 or so days below freezing.

This hawk let us get right underneath it's perch on a overhanging branch.

All the way upstream, only baby gators were out sunning. Isn't it adorable?

Not until returning late in the afternoon did we finally spot a seven footer. We're as close as we dared.

I slip from workaholic to bum real easy. - Matthew Broderick

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Focusing on Direction

thoroughbred racing"Determined", 16"x20", oil on canvas

Related to my previous post last Thursday, these "times" (our new hesitant description) have afforded artists opportunities to push the envelope and pursue fresh direction. In this new painting, I attempted to suggest and focus. Loose brushwork suggests, detail for emphasis.

At the risk of sounding corny (women who paint horses), I felt this painting. Maybe my next canvas will be of a fiery chariot of dynamic steeds being driven across the sky by the Greek god Helios.

Or not.

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. - Lao Tzu