Tag Archives: horses

6 Things I Fear Painting The Most

Happy New Year!  I’ve been doing some spring cleaning, and redecorated the place, enjoy!

My first post of 2016 may seem a bit dismal, but if looked at through the rose colored glasses I like to sport, it is really a call to action to forge on and overcome that which can hold us all back!

Fear is a funny thing. When given in to it can keep a person from realizing their full potential, and finding new confidence in things they thought they couldn’t do. Artist’s have fear in spades, many mirror life in general; like rejection, failure, and even success. Some of the more specific and unique fears can be interesting and even enlightening.  Sharing these battles can be validating and inspiring to other artists… many of whom may think that they struggle alone… you don’t, sisters and brothers of the easel, you don’t!

This is a list of my personal fears in painting. Many artists (especially equine artists) will probably find some, if not all of these familiar. All of these I have spoken to other artists mutually about facing. And please note that each item on this list I have actually chosen to face (to one degree or another) rather that give in to fear with avoidance.

#6. Hooves

Spa Day 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas - SOLD
Spa Day 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas – SOLD

Ok, this one’s pretty darn specific, I know. I’ve mostly conquered this one, but for years there was a reason all my full bodied horse paintings had the subjects standing in tall grass. I had nightmares of horses standing on pavement, feet fully exposed or worse… in full action with hooves flailing at strange angles and shaped oddly. I finally decided enough was enough… I would make the extra effort to paint the hooves and get them right, no matter how long it took. Some critical problem solving and hard work made this one a former fear. I leave it on here for others to know it can be conquered… grass is a beautiful setting but a lame crutch!

#5 Landscapes

Gabbi and Billie 18" x 24" oil on canvas
Gabbi and Billie 18″ x 24″ oil on canvas

Of course I love a beautiful landscape or scene, on it’s own or as a backdrop for a subject. But sky and clouds and foliage… oh my! There’s such a clear difference between landscape done right, and landscape done wrong. I can get a lot of depth and richness with the shades of browns found in most horses… but light blues and greens are hard to keep from looking garish and just plain wrong in my hands. I’m working on it, with some success and even more failure, but I will never give up, never surrender!

#4 Poor Photo Reference

Mah2_wb
A very poor photo of my own QH filly Mahogany (circa 1987)

This is one where there’s little substitute for experience. It’s always challenging creating a portrait that is a true likeness of a subject when the photos you get to work from are of poor quality (especially, as is often the case, there’s no way to meet the subject or get better photos). Developing the critical eye that’s needed to glean the relevant info out of a fuzzy Polaroid from 1983 is as important a skill as that of knowing how to control the pencil or brush.

#3 Dogs

Flicka 14" x 18" oil on canvas
Flicka 14″ x 18″ oil on canvas

Not near as scary as cats (see #2), but I always have to take a deep breath before attempting. If anything, it can be the expectations that are most feared with dogs… if the dog is a purebred, especially one that is show worthy, it can be additionally hard to please the owner who can have a long list of very particular points – not always about the animal itself, but the presentation (grooming, pose, coat etc). Still, I love dogs (I have three, something you don’t usually find with people who don’t like dogs) and find capturing their expressions and personality in paint a delightful opportunity!

#2 Cats

Cabot_MikaMeme_smFor some reason, painting cats is just plain hard (for me). They are my kryptonite. I guess it fits with the nature of the beast, so to speak, as cats are every bit as mysterious and unfathomable as dogs are open and honest, wearing their hearts on their imaginary sleeves.

Occasionally I get a spark of bravado that leads me down a path of inevitable struggle and sporadic cries of “what was I thinking!!” – another well meant attempt to paint a cat. Well, I’ve firmly planted myself right back in that regretted position again.

A dear friend of my mother has so wanted to have a portrait of her beloved cat, and I agreed to do so. It was a necessary favor to the woman who put up with me for quite a bit more than the 18 years it should have been. And in spite of her brave and mighty attempts to fashion me into a teacher, or a vet tech (which did stick for a while)… I eventually, outside of her influence, reverted to my natural state as an artist. Sorry mom.

My own cat, Cabot (see photo), has been assisting me with this piece.  I’ll know I’ve arrived in the “comfortable painting cats” department when I have the courage to attempt to paint my own. And that brings me to number 1…

#1 My Own

Self Portrait 14" x 18" oil on canvas
Self Portrait 14″ x 18″ oil on canvas

For some reason painting an animal that you own (or a person close to you) is different. Having that face there day in and day out is a never ending reminder of how far off your painting is. I honestly believe I’m too close to “see” my own animals, or kids, with the same sort of perspective needed with other subjects. This was never more obvious that when I tried to paint a self portrait last year. If I could, I would still be working on it. It was a constant battle of finding that elusive “me”, never quite right, like painting a moving object. Maybe this is the next hurdle to overcome; heaven knows I have plenty of material to work with!

 

Shake It Off!!

So it’s not easy being an artist, but it is awesomely fulfilling for those that have the gift of the desire to do it! Sure, it’s far from the worst struggles we face. But art, a valid and valued profession, is not for the weak of heart, or those who like things to come easy.

Falling in Love With Kentucky, Again! (Part 2)


If you haven’t already, read Part 1 here!

Back to the Painting

Friday and Saturday after our trip to Keeneland were spent building the underpainting while watching the Breeder’s Cup. Aside from a break to watch the big event, the Breeder’s Cup Classic, it was a two day painting marathon. Witnessing the history that was made that day by American Pharoah, even just on TV, was a powerful moment. To experience this in the heart of Old Louisville, minutes from Churchill Downs and an hour from the Breeder’s Cup itself while painting a racehorse… priceless!

Saturday evening the client returned from attending the days Breeder’s Cup races, and after some time spent basking in what had just happened in the sport of horse racing, we turned to the painting. I then made the one suggestion that would kick the fun factor with this piece up quite a few notches… “how about we make this horse American Pharoah”? At it’s current underpainting phase, the details that needed changing were negligible, and I don’t know of any horse that I wanted to paint more at that moment. The client agreed, and we were off to the races!

Really not much of a stretch to turn this into the "Pharoah"!
Really not much of a stretch to turn this into the “Pharoah”!

The Day After: Meeting the “Pharoah” At Last!

So with the final plans of the painting settled on and ready to implement, we took the opportunity to head out in the wee hours to see if there was any chance to get a peek at the big guy, the Champ, American Pharoah.

Unlike the previous three days, Keeneland was a ghost town. We were able to park right near the Breeder’s Cup barn area, and having received some inside info on which barn he was stabled in we easily found the right spot… it was where a growing crowd of press and photog’s were gathering. Eventually, a car pulled up and owner Ahmed Zayat and his family emerged, and took a moment to revel with the crowd over yesterday’s victory. Then, as anticipation was at it’s peak, there was a commotion down the row at bit, as Bob Baffert, American Pharoah’s trainer and hometown boy-done-good for Southern Arizona (U of AZ graduate, started his career at our humble track Rillito) brought him out through a different door… sneaky bugger!

American Pharoah, with the famed "Look of Eagles".
American Pharoah, with the famed “Look of Eagles”.

He was everything he’s been billed to be… calm even when surrounded by the crowds, yet engaged and interested in all the attention he could get! You wouldn’t guess by his demeanor what he’d just accomplished a day ago. I have to make a confession, I actually passed on the opportunity to pet him, the crowd was too thick and I dare not miss a moment of photo taking, and even I can’t paint a “touch” ;)!

American Pharoah; Attention Hog!
American Pharoah; Attention Hog!

My husband, Lemorris, long since separated from me somewhere on the other side of the crowd (normally slow moving and easy to find, I can be hard to keep up with when there are horses around), did not hesitate at the chance to touch the Pharoah and made contact with the big guy’s soft muzzle. I’ll admit to being a bit jealous, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I got some nice images and am already working on painting idea’s (yes, that’s plural). Bonus, Lemorris’ arm (holding his cell phone) can be seen photobombing many pictures, not just mine, including one by Barbara Livingston used in a Blood Horse article (here). It’s his blue sleeve that stands out…

American Pharoah - the blue sleeve is my husband's photobombing arm.
American Pharoah – the blue sleeve is my husband’s photobombing arm.

You can see many of the better photos I got got in my American Pharoah album:

Finishing the Painting

Pumped up even more than ever to get to work on this piece after meeting the subject, we returned and I got down to another painting marathon. Fortunately there was no shortage of images to help me get details like the tack and silks right. Working over the next three days, this piece was like riding a bike downhill with a back wind pushing you forward.

At first I worked on making little changes to the details (tack, rider’s gear, etc), including his trademark perked ears and chewed off tail (both of which I adore). Then I started building color in transparent layers…

Starting with color in the Zayat silks.
Starting with color in the Zayat silks.

The finished piece will look great on the wall it going to hang on. At the clients suggestion, I varnished only the horse with a gloss finish, leaving the rest matte… enhancing the impact. Unfortunately none of the photo’s do it much justice, so you’ll have to trust that it looks much better in person.

American Pharoah - Finished!
American Pharoah – Finished!

The Reward for Completion

Not that a carrot on a stick was needed, but mine was a trip to Churchill Downs Wednesday before leaving the Bluegrass at O’ Dark Thirty the next morning. Things didn’t start out like we had hoped… apparently they don’t allow public access for morning workouts (except for Derby week, the last time I was there), so we headed across the street to what had become our go-to breakfast joint… Wagner’s.

Wagner's PHarmacy, Louisville, Kentucky
Wagner’s, Churchill Down’s staple… good old school breakfast and lunch!

Directly facing the backside entrance for the track and with a large dirt parking lot filled with horse trailers, Wagner’s is THE place… a down to earth, old school blue collar eatery (and Pharmacy), opened back in 1922. With every exposed wall space adorned with endless Derby win and racing photo’s, this place embraces it’s connection to it’s neighbor. But, as it turns out, it doesn’t open until 8 am… for breakfast… near a racetrack! Oh well, on to our other regular stop for an awesome cup o’ joe… Sunergos.

Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs

We got to Churchill Downs later on just before the races, and being the first time my husband had been there, it was fun to re-explore, and easy on a quiet day like a Wednesday. This track is amazing, and after Keeneland the difference in size was tangible. It was also nice to see a full page ad in the program with my Woodford Reserve label. After a nice afternoon watching the races under the twin spires, we headed back to the house to prepare to head to our next destination… Florida.

Florida Bound

We flew out early enough the next morning that we arrived in Tampa hours before banks opened. It was nice to see the sun again as I’ll begrudgingly admit (as much as I complain about it in the desert). We drove inland to Dade City, where the humongous VW show, Bug Jam, would get to experience the unique presence of my automotive aritst husband, Lemorris, the feature artist and creator of a shirt design that had already been selling like hotcakes long before the show…

Hot selling Bug Jam "Bug Wars" Shirt Design by Lemorris.
Hot selling Bug Jam “Bug Wars” Shirt Design by Lemorris.

Little Everglades Ranch

That same afternoon, the Bug Jam organizer and “Head Honcho” Randy was kind enough to arrange a private tour with the owners of a beautiful property called Little Everglades, up until recently home of steeplechase racing, as well as fox hunting, a working cattle ranch, mud run’s and many other fun events and purposes. There were only a few horses on site, but the facility was amazing, and seemingly endless. Our hosts were more than gracious; it was like we’d just met old friends, I can’t wait to have some paintings from their place to share with them! Besides the neverending cattle dotting the rolling hills, we saw many different types of water fowl, a few Sherman Fox Squirrels, and (a highlight for my husband, at least as long as he was safe in the car) an alligator!

Steeplechase course at Little Everglades Ranch - wish I could have seen the races here!
Steeplechase course at Little Everglades Ranch – wish I could have seen the races here!
Alligator in Florida
Alligator in Florida

The Mighty Bug Jam

The next two days it was all Bug Jam… a cornucopia of cool events like a camp-out, cruise and poker run. On Friday afternoon, downtown Dade City streets were closed accommodate all the cars that arrived from the cruise, and then everyone headed over to the fairgrounds for a great multi-band concert. On Sunday, the actual car show (the main event) had anywhere from 700 to a gajillion cars (or at least more that I was able to see before my feet gave out). It was a visual feast of creatively where the medium was a volkswagen… all the colors, accessories, and sheer brilliance of presentation fed all the senses!

bugjam_1
Bug Jam!!

They Lost Me at “Oh Look… Horses!!”

Of course once the the local sheriff’s posse showed up on horseback… I succumbed to a more narrow focus. “Volkswagen’s? What Volkswagen’s?” I talked with some of the deputy’s for a while about horses and American Pharoah, and even forgot about the humidity for awhile. Did I mention the humidity? Sweat apparently doesn’t evaporate in Florida, it just accumulates and hangs on you like a bad haircut. Aside from that, though, the weather was amazing… OK, a bit hot (upper 80’s), but once again… SUN!

Horse make everything better!
Horses make everything better!

Epilogue

After two days of being on our feet enjoying all these events, we were both starting to show some wear and tear. So as the show wound down and all the cars started rumbling off into the sunset, we said our goodbye’s and hobbled our way to the car, heading back to Tampa to spend the night in a hotel near the airport (we were flying out of Tampa ridiculously early the next morning). We checked in, grabbed some fast food and slowly hobbled like the walking wounded that we were up to our room, and completely passed out for the night. It was our 24th anniversary, and after a trip like that I’d have to say this’ll be hard to top for number 25!

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Reminder…

Visit my Specials page for awesome Holiday Deals, including a great Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday 60% off in my Etsy Store Nov. 27-30, 2015!

Falling in Love With Kentucky, Again! (Part 1)

The Opportunity Arises

It was the kind of commission I would have dreamed about as a fledgling equine artist; a valued client wants a large mural sized piece painted on location in Louisville, Kentucky. What to do? Well, for starters… plan it in autumn (or as we call it here in Arizona… summer) during the Breeder’s Cup, conveniently to be held for the first time ever at Keeneland in nearby Lexington, then make haste to hop on a plane with paint brushes in tow! So started our 2 week lateral trip from the southwest to the south, including over a week in Kentucky, followed up by a visit to Florida!

Typical homes in Old Louisville.
Typical homes in Old Louisville.

The Setting

Old Louisville is the largest contiguous collection of Victorian mansions in the United States, which means it’s an amazing wonderland of old houses and large, ancient trees adorned with full on fall color. The whole area is positively dripping with character and class. There’s also a prestigious Art Fair held every fall at St. James Court, the heart of Old Louisville that includes notable historic buildings like the Conrad-Caldwell House. I’ll most certainly be looking into that event. The fact that all this was located less than three miles from Churchill Downs just added to the mystique. It was also the first time I’d experienced “real” autumn in over 30 years, bringing back fond memories of my childhood in Minnesota (perhaps if I’d had any “adulthood” in Minnesota the autumn and winter memories would be less fond)!

St. James Court in Old Louisville.
St. James Court in Old Louisville.
The Conrad-Caldwell House on St. James Court in Old Louisville.
The Conrad-Caldwell House on St. James Court in Old Louisville.

Getting Set Up to Paint

First thing we tackled almost right off the plane was to head over and pick up the 4’ x 6’ canvas I’d had on hold at a local art store. Even though I’d reserved a mid sized car, it was very fortuitous that they instead, at no extra charge, gave us a much roomier Ford Edge crossover. We arrived at Preston’s Art Center to retrieve the canvas, and immediately felt right at home. It had the comforting feel of a cozy hometown art store cluttered with fun art stuff, like a heaping slice of home cooking for us. 

The house.
THE house.

The Temporary Studio

The house itself was a beautiful, grand old red brick piece of history. My working space was in the basement, while we’d be sleeping way up on the 3rd floor. Our joints were quickly reminded how unaccustomed to stairs we were, having lived in Arizona 30ish years where most homes are only one story (no basements. either).  The basement was very comfortable, with a large TV that picked up TVG so I could keep up with racing… and the perfect chair (hint: I want one – see photo below). It also featured walls lined with colorfully lit shelves inset into the wall to showcase expensive bottles of bourbon and other libations. One of these alcove’s, of course, held the 2015 Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle featuring my artwork on the label, which naturally acquired the artist’s signature before we left.

Louisville_chair
I found this chair as comfortable as it was awesome… would love one for my studio!
My Woodford Reserve label is the one on the right!
My Woodford Reserve label is the one on the right.

Getting Ready to Paint

This whole painting adventure had clearly shaped up to be a practice in flexibility, something that’s actually part of my working method, so it didn’t phase me. If any painting I’m working on seems determined to take another direction, I’ve learned not to fight it, and giving in to that inevitability actually makes for a fun ride.

Two Horse Race
Two Horse Race

I started prepping the canvas while the game plan was nailed down. Similar to my piece Two Horse Race (above), a race horse or two galloping across the canvas, but almost life size. I couldn’t imagine anything more fun to paint… or so I thought (foreshadowing). I chose to do this piece in acrylic, as the shorter drying time would help me be more productive with my limited time. Not really a problem, acrylic used to be my primary medium, so aside from some rebuilding of my supply inventory, it wasn’t an issue.

I used black gesso to prepare the surface, it makes working easier when a dark background is desired. Then I went old school and used the grid-method to transfer the chosen reference images to canvas. You can see the grid below (in feet) on the canvas and (in inches) on the image, helping guide the proportions as I sketched from the source image, which was printed at 4 inches x 6 inches so it would scale up neatly from inches to feet (see what I did there). I sketched in the possible second horse to test it out and see if it helped anchor the composition, but it was unanimously decided to go with a solo horse for maximum impact.  Then I began the monochromatic underpainting, big fancy words for a black and white first layer of a painting.

Apparently I bite my lip when I’m painting; well that sure explains my chapstick addiction.
Apparently I bite my lip when I’m painting; well good grief, that sure explains my chapstick addiction!

A Break to Visit Keeneland

Painting plans in place and initiated, I was feeling good about where I was at and was ready to day trip it over to Keeneland for morning workouts and racing the day before the Breeder’s Cup (Thursday). We’ve done this “Thursday the day before the Breeder’s Cup” thing before, in 2010 when it was held at Santa Anita in the Los Angeles area. The traffic was typical LA weekday traffic, and the track had moderate crowds in the morning while pretty dead for the races later in the day. Not the case with Keeneland, it took us 30 minutes to work our way by car to the grandstand (where I was dropped off) once we reached the track and another 45 minutes for my poor husband to park and meet up with me by the rail (far enough away he needed a tram ride back to the track).

The slow but lovely drive through Keeneland's "adorned by fall" property.
The slow but lovely drive through Keeneland’s tree lined backroads, the true definition of the “scenic route”.

In spite of the congestion, it was a beautiful day in a beautiful setting. We saw (and photographed) lots of big name Breeder’s Cup horses. It was like the Oscar’s for racing fans, minus the red carpet, designer outfits and fashionistas. We did, however, just miss Amercian Pharoah’s planned workout, but since it happened on the training track we wouldn’t have seen it anyway, like most of the fans there. He was also a no-show for paddock schooling after the 3rd race (as was announced) later on, but it WAS Keeneland, a track like this was enough. Surrounded by rolling hills of bluegrass dotted with the wooden fences and pristine stables of horse farms, it’s a magical and serene location for anyone who loves horses. The specific celebrity horses that were there were but the cherry on top, though I’d really hoped to get my eyeballs (and camera lens) on THE horse… American Pharoah… was there still a chance? Be sure to tune in for Part 2 to find out!

To be continued, Part 2

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More to Share…

Visit my News page to read about my painting that Sold AND got Best of Show, and check out my Specials page to see this year’s Holiday Deals!

The Whole Picture: Christina’s Transformation

This is the first in a series sharing some of the more interesting stories behind a few of my painting’s, the tantalizing tales of how certain horses end up immortalized in paint on my easel!

Christina and her colt Kawliga.
Christina and her colt Kawliga.

I was recently looking through some prints and found one of a favorite piece… which led me to fondly reminiscing. About four years ago I was volunteering with a local horse rescue, Heart of Tucson, getting a generous helping of the highs and lows of working with animals in some form of distress. I was there shortly after a pair of mustangs; a flashy palomino mare and her buckskin colt, were rescued a trip to the slaughter house.

Christina, the mare, was just about as feral as they come… no one could enter her corral without her charging them, teeth bared and very just being all around scary. She was like the frightful but thrilling wild horse image so many of us grew up with in books and our horse filled imaginations… but very real.

Christina still unsure but more accepting of some human touch as she starts to relax in this new world.
Christina still unsure but more accepting of some human touch as she starts to relax in this new world.

Over the first couple months she settled down a bit, though still unapproachable for haltering and of course grooming… her rich golden coloring was muted by a scruffy winter coat, and her creamy white mane had formed into dreadlocks that would make a Rastafarian proud. Fascinated with her and her colt Kawliga, I took many pictures, but it was one sunny afternoon that I saw her standing staring off into the sunset – a moment where she was framed by the setting sun with a backlit luminescence that had to be captured in paint.

Reference photo for "Natural Beauty" painting.
Reference photo for “Natural Beauty” painting.

I rarely know at the taking of a photo if it will end up being used for a painting… I take as many as I can in the hopes that a few will be of use. But in this case I knew as I took the photo that it would be on my easel soon. The result was Natural Beauty, an oil painting that ended up getting into an exhibit in Nevada, ironically called “Horse HeART Show” where it garnered an award and an immediate sale!

Meanwhile, to everyone’s surprise, Christina took a decided liking to a new volunteer, Kim, who ended up being the only one the mare allowed in her corral to care for her. Kim eventually adopted Christina, and continued to patiently work with her, even if it was just sitting in her pen for hours till Christina felt comfortable enough to approach her.

"Natural Beauty" - 18" x 24" oil - sold.
“Natural Beauty” – 18″ x 24″ oil – sold.
Kim and Christina
Kim and Christina.
Photo courtesy Kim Reis.

The two formed a unique bond that now, over 4 years later, is stronger than ever. Christina is now a beloved trail horse and companion. She and Kim are practically inseparable, and their connection is apparent even in photos. Gone is the wild look of fear, replaced by a soft, sweet expression that I got a glimpse of that evening in February back in 2010. Granted, it was a quiet moment where she was far enough away to not be threatened by me – but it was enough distance to catch a peek into her future, the best one imaginable!

The view of the open trail through the ears of Christina! Photo courtesy Kim Reis.
The view of the open trail through the ears of Christina! Photo courtesy Kim Reis.

 

Christina giving Kim some affection.  Photo courtesy Kim Reis.
Christina giving Kim some affection. Photo courtesy Kim Reis.

 

Summer Specials

I have  a couple great summer specials going on that are really worth checking out and taking advantage of – and both are good through the end of August (more details on my Specials Page)!

Windblown 16 x 20 acrylic
Windblown 16 x 20 acrylic

500/200 Original Sale

Summer seems like a great chance to clean house, or studio, so check out my 500/200 sale and help me free up space taken by some beautiful but unfortunately very underfoot artwork!  Aside from a few going to shows in El Paso and Amarillo this summer, I don’t have as many traveling to outside exhibits this year.  Because of this I’m offering over 40 pieces marked down to either $500 or $200 – up to 75% off the original price, a great opportunity to own a piece of original art!

Simply Portraits 2014

Cadence
Cadence

Summer’s also a great time to get ready to get that portrait… good timing during the season where horses are all bathed and clipped up for shows, parades and other events or even just freed of their winter fuzz in favor of sleek summer coats, and a perfect chance to get a head start on any Christmas gifts (gift certificates also available)!  My Simply Portraits plan is simplicity at it’s finest… an 11 x 14 oil painting of one horse head (dogs and other subjects possible, contact artist) with a simple background and free of tack… for almost half the normal rate.  Making it even more accessible, convenient payment plans are also an option at no additional charge!

Day Trip South to Sonoita, Arizona!

About one hour (and a lovely drive) south of Tucson is a small town called Sonoita, a bit cooler and surrounded by rolling hills of grasslands framed by soft pastel mountains. All in all a great escape from the hot, dry desert up north!

And of course they give people plenty of reason to make the trip! It’s enough that it’s prime Arizona wine country (do we even need more than that?)…but there’s also May and the races at the Fairgrounds over Derby weekend (photos here). a popular event to celebrate the run for the roses locally. Then October brings the only local 3 day event (that I know of) at the picturesque Grass Ridge Farm (photos here and here) and to top it off, on the first weekend in November they have the Empire Ranch Round Up!

These new pieces are from my visit to the Round Up last fall (2013, photos here), which has an entertaining and informative variety of historical demonstrations.  From herding dogs to cavalry reenactments, and Ranch Roping to the elegant La Familia Balderrama Dancing Horses (elaborately decked out I might add, and destined to find themselves in paint)… and so much more!  I caught a couple calves (on film) bonding, and of course… the dancing horses… nuff said (and this is only the first painting to feature one of them)!

“Lunch With A Friend” 16” x 20” Oil on Canvas

“Spanish Silver” 18” x 24” Oil on Canvas
“Spanish Silver” 18” x 24” Oil on Canvas

 

Summer Art in Texas Pt. 1: AQHA Art Show

After indulging in some serious Quarter Horse fun this spring, I’ve come out of it with three fresh, new pieces highlighting the American Quarter Horse, and all three will be in Amarillo this summer at this show…

“America’s Horse in Art” Show & Sale
August 16- November 8, 2014
At the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum
Amarillo, Texas

The opening reception will be August 16, not sure yet if I will be able to attend, but my work will hopefully do it’s  job representing me.  Here are the paintings heading out to this show in the big and beautiful state of Texas…

“Simple Pleasure”  18” x 24” oil on canvas
“Simple Pleasure” 18” x 24” oil on canvas

 

“Silver Streak”  15” x 30” oil on canvas
“Silver Streak” 15” x 30” oil on canvas

 

“Joy Ride” – 20” x 24” oil on canvas
“Joy Ride” – 20” x 24” oil on canvas

 

I should have some work in another exhibit in the Lone Star State… check back for more info (or sign up for my email newsletter)

A Smooth Start For This Equine Artist!

…And I’m off! …to a good start in 2014, that is!  Oodles of new original oil paintings, equine art and otherwise… have, are and will be spending quality time on my easel.  Sporting art featuring horse racing pieces, many from trips to Del Mar and Churchill Downs, as well as some western work (Quarter Horses, cow horses, cattle, etc) will fill my work tab. I’ve shared a few new pieces below, more to come… you’ll be seeing a lot more of me, or rather my art (which, if you enjoy reading my page, is probably a good thing)!

To start off the year here’s a great opportunity to own one of my original pieces of equine art…

Original Sale on Etsy Extended!

ALL my originals on Etsy are marked down 20% (priced as marked) now through February 28th (Equine, Animal and Miscellany Galleries)! Besides oils, there’s watercolors, acrylics and pencil, and beyond the subject of equine art there’s animal and wildlife art, as well as western and southwestern art. And Bonus… because you follow my blog, and have actually read this, you get a coupon code (CAH20) for an additional 20% off – making it 40% off an original piece of art (check with me for originals not listed on Etsy)!

New Work

“The Dude” 24” x 30” Oil on Canvas

Game On Dude - 2013 Pacific Classic winner at Del Mar Racetrack

Game On Dude – a horse that has inspired me, is the latest subject of one of my originals… a dramatic montage of his 2013 Pacific Classic win and the ensuing celebration after the race at Del Mar!

“Dullahan Devotion” 16” x 20” Oil on Canvas

Oil painting of Dullahan, winner of 2012 Pacific Classic at Del Mar

Like so many I was deeply saddened hearing of the passing of Dullahan last fall, whom I’d done a few pieces of, including the official 2012 Pacific Classic painting commissioned by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. His sudden loss inspired this painting from one of my many photos of him.

 

 

Falling Into Autumn…

I hope this finds everybody ready to transition to Autumn after enjoying a splendid summer (in spite of the strange weather all over)!  I’m just settling into a quiet stretch of lots of time to spend in the studio, with occasional breaks to get outside and appreciate the desert’s shift to near perfect weather.

I have some great specials on tap at the moment… in fact there’s something for just about everyone! And besides some new work to share, I’m finishing off this fall update with a preview of what’s to come, a sneak peek of a work in progress (Game On Dude, for the racing fans reading this).

Autumn Specials…

I’ve launched some great new specials on portraits, prints and originals!

Etsy Store
20% off the entire store including a huge selection of prints (many new ones just added) and  originals, just enter the coupon code SAVE20 upon checkout, good through Dec. 15, 2013. Over 140 items listed… including the 3 oil studies for my Pacific Classic/Dullahan piece…

Commissions/Portraits

20% off any portrait… more info on my Commission page!

“Fred & Moose” 16 x 20 oil commissioned portrait

 

…and the ever popularSimply Portraits, more than 40% off select sizes… seeSimply Portraits page for more info!

*Both portrait specials include gift certificates and are good through October 31, 2013

New Work… Both Finished and Soon To Be…

“Desert Storm”  22” x 28” oil on canvas
A pair of wild horses near the Salt River in Arizona work out some issues during a monsoon afternoon storm.

“Painted Gaze”  14” x 18” oil on canvas

“Make Haste”  9” x 12” oil on board

…and a glimpse at the almost halfway point through a new work in progress featuring “Game On Dude” in a montage (two images on one canvas), be sure to check back here or follow my Facebook page for updates!

Game On Dude work in progress…

 

 

 

 

Tis the Season to Deck the Easel!

Hope this finds everyone’s holiday’s going smoothly!  As always this time of year I’m busy enough trying to keep up with portraits and print sales… nevermind the added fun of decorating, shopping and in general preparing for the Christmas! 

Of course my easel is the first area in our house to reflect the spirit of the season!  Needless to say, “Studio Sat” (aka Cabot) is not pleased with his contribution, hehe, but still joins me in wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!

But even as things get busier, I’m still finding some time to work on a few originals!  Here’s some of the latest to come off my easel…

Dun Workin’ – 18 x 24 oil

Pair of Aces – 11 x 14 oil

A Face in the Crowd – 12 x 36 oil

Etsy Store

My ongoing 35% off sale on Etsy continues through the end of the year, and besides great deals on originals, there’s a great selection of prints to be found… including the just released “Preakness 2012” prints in 8 x 10 and 11 x 14!  This piece features I’ll Have Another’s heart pounding closing run to catch Bodemeister in time to take the second leg of the Triple Crown!

And finally a few more portrait commissions…

Homer – 11 x 14 oil

Cadence – 11 x 14 oil

Joy – 11 x 14 oil