Sunday, May 03, 2009
Look closely at this amazing photo of Calvin Borel being led back to the winner's circle aboard Derby winner Mine That Bird. He's dropped the reins in his lap yet his left hand still grasps firmly with a half cross while the right has put away the whip (or maybe still tapping a shoulder).
Hands are an integral, expressive element in my paintings. Rider's hands are literally holding onto over a thousand pounds of pulling, jerking, grabbing-the-bit horsepower. Tendons stretch, joints enlarge. Okay, you imagine that I study them endlessly, and I do, but here's a secret: almost every hand in every one of my paintings is Michaels'. Props keep company with art supplies in the studio - from helmets to silks. Tied to my storage rack is a set of reins that I coax Michael into taking a hold of, pull back hard, and make 'em gnarly (then sketch like mad)!
Hands from "Harrowing":
And, from the Farrier Series: