Monday, February 21, 2011

Splashing Equines, Redux and Update

A dear reader has requested more info regarding my working method. As I mentioned in the previous post, I  woulda, coulda shoulda documented the first drawings right on the canvas. You know the ones - an afternoon of work rubbed out in aggravation and re-started with heavy sighs of disgust. Ugh. No place for romance. Alas, very rough first sketches survive...the first brainstorming thumbnails whipped up in a stream of consciousness onto the pages of my journal/sketchbook.
I love these - straight out of the friendly cooperative side of the brain. They're fresh, inspired and so lively. If only to discover a way to continue that free flow into the oil paint...
The early horse on the right was supposed to be throwing down it's head into a buck, but the head would be in the water...thus that troublesome lunging beast appeared in it's place.
I'm comfortable with the composition...finally. My splashy water is fussy and will be put off until the end. I ask myself why I spent so much time drawing out the legs if they'll ultimately be undefined in water. Geesh. If you look closely you'll notice a chalk line a bit higher than halfway across. Below is shadow, above will be bright warm light to mimic a dramatic sunset. A long way to go with lots of work ahead

"The centipede has rhythm and flow in its hundred legs precisely because it does not have to think about it. Consider this the next time you move the instruments of your art." - Robert Genn

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Horses Crashing in the Ocean Painting

 I'd like to share the creative process of this painting with you. Medium sized (for me), approximately 48"x58", oil on canvas. You know me - dynamic crashing rough-playing horses in the surf infused with passionate crazy emotion tinged with danger aggression and beautiful wildness.

My inspiration is derived from the wild white horses of Carmargue, France. Every equine photographer worth their salt has journeyed there to capture...capture...capture...their freedom, grace and magnificence.

I only wish I had photographed the first sketches on the canvas so that you could witness the struggle from conception to tangible progression. It was work, a weeks worth. So much to determine...composition, direction, speed and motion.

The diagonal thrust of the horse jumping out of the water on the right was so overwhelming I found myself listing to the left. Combined with the thrown head of the horse in the middle, the composition sent your gaze right out of the canvas...exit left. Returning to the head of the original drawing which is downward and slows the diagonal overpowering pull - only this time with attitude. Pinned ears and fierce gaze.

I'm still so pre-occupied with the momentum of the jumping horse, I've added an opposite diagonal in the background cloud. That should stop it for good, I hope.

A note for my artist peeps: My darks (black) are a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt umber, a combination I've used for many years. I was concerned about using this composite with the warms I have planned as it may produce a green tinge. Ugh. So, I purchased a tube of Gamblin's Chromatic Black which is a composition of Quinacridone Red and Phthalo Emerald. It's working and speeds the process.

"Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Misty Morning Foxhounds Re-Visited

Elegant, traditional and exquisitely visual. Great fun, what's not to love? These are my peeps and we share a love of animals and...dare I say...fortifying drinks. Yesterday morning, artist friend Bob Stebleton and his wife and my hubby plus moi braved the cold morning temps to bug the very hospitable members of the Misty Morning Foxhounds.

Master of Foxhounds (Mistress?) Alexis Macaulay and her pack of happy hounds.

Foxhunting Florida-style.

 This could be a future painting. So attracted to the dappled light in shade.

 Long-time readers of my blog will remember Montana the Thoroughbred. Two years later and he's still fit and healthy thanks to his devoted owner Susan.

 Jumping for the shear joy of it.

Heading back.


Last night two tigers visited me in my dreams. Double dose of passion and power and how good it feels to reclaim it.

"O tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide!" - William Shakespeare