Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Red Rope Halter"
20 x 20 oil on gallerywrap canvas

I am off to the Vineyard this weekend for an opening for a new show of horse paintings. The opening reception is July 21st, 7 - 9 pm at ABoDE gallery, on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Red Rope Halter will be one of the featured paintings, along with some of the other works I have featured on this blog lately, Dressage Face, Star Gaze, and Pony Lineup. Fourteen new pieces in all, including a dog and a couple of cats!
Red Rope Halter is just one of those paintings that was begging to be done. I had a shot of this horse in the paddock at Saratoga, and his wide-eyed expression, and the afternoon sunlight on his face was just compelling me to paint him. It took me a while to arrive at this composition. Originally I wanted to show more of him, in a more rectangular format. But when I pulled back from his face, so to speak, it just wasn't as interesting. When you stand in front of this canvas, I want this horse to be invading your space! And there is enough hidden information that you can't really tell if this horse is moving forward into your personal space, or backing away from you. The red rope halter is what really makes the piece work for me--just a nice shot of color framing this guy's face.
The easel has been quiet lately, since finishing up the last of the paintings for the show, all the work has been in packing and shipping art--not my favorite task, but it is always exciting to send new work out of the studio to be viewed for the first time. July is too humid to paint anyway...and until I can get a larger AC unit in the studio, I can't really get it comfortable enough to work on hot days. Not that I wish summer was over yet though. I'm enjoying these dog days--poking around the yard and discovering the ripe raspberries and checking on the blackberry patch every day, waiting for them to ripen. Cheerio, my 8 month old English Shepherd, is maturing and mellowing, not as energetic in the heat. She's growing into a marvelous family dog. We've started Obedience II, where we are beginning to really work on the heel and the longer down-stays, and this dog is a star in her class. I don't feel that it's anything I've done--she's just been so easy to train.
I'm looking forward to competing with her eventually, in Obedience trials or Rally Obedience. Perhaps I'll even try Agility.