Sunday, August 23, 2015

Day 22 - Forty Paintings in Forty Days

It's official. The Big Horse is coming to Saratoga. As he should. After weeks of speculating will he won't he, it's exciting that the scales have tipped in favor of - YES he is!

Today I painted at Elmer's Gap, one of the entrances onto the track. Wedging myself between a guard shack and a tree, I managed the best view of horses coming and going without actually standing in the middle of the horse path and annoying everyone. Eavesdropping on the radio chatter, security is readying for superstar horse detail. The number one horse on the planet will need it as he'll be followed by a batallion of admirers aiming three foot lenses at his every move. My tiny lens will be one of them if possible.

Back to plein air. I'm exercising my drawing chops and memory. The way I painted these horses and riders from life was to draw stick figures first. This provided the gesture and feel of their movement as they walked onto the track. I went back and modeled them more carefully but did not get too detailed. This is plein air after all.

Elmer's Gap, 8"x10", oil on panel. 
The buildings in the background are those mult-million dollar homes on Fifth Avenue that back up to my favorite horse path (see painting at the top of this blog). Imagine this: relaxing with morning coffee out in the back yard while viewing thoroughbreds in training. Nirvana.

Moving forward, there's a tangle of uneven PVC piping that encloses the turf course (and other stuff) which I wouldn't even attempt to portray accurately. A few knife strokes gives you the idea. Trees are everywhere in Oklahoma and provide the dappled shade of a beautiful summer. Oh, and it's fun to paint, too.

In my best Ryan Seacrest: Pharoah!

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