Friday, August 15, 2008

Cheerio, Run!
oil on canvas, 48 x 24 in.

I had a great time photographing Cheerio running around in the springtime, chasing her tennis ball, and this painting was the result. An English Shepherd in full stride, her glossy coat flying in the wind--it describes my dog so perfectly. I had planned to send this painting to a gallery, but I just couldn't do it--it fit so perfectly on the bedroom wall, right above where Cheerio's crate sits. This one is a keeper.
Quick update on the kitten: Status: Adopted! Yay! We're back to a reasonable number of pets in the house.

I'm on vacation this week, and it's been a week of getting outside, getting the horse exercised, the dog exercised, and the kid exercised. We've been bicycling, hiking, and I've been riding! The bugs are not that bad here this August, so I've been out on the trail. We even fit in a trip to Six Flags, where I am proud to say that I rode a rollercoaster three times! Okay, so it wasn't the Superman coaster, or the Batman coaster, or even the Mind Eraser. It was Catwoman's Whip, which is pretty comparable to the Goofy's Barnstormer kid-coaster at Disneyworld. But I loved it! It was just enough of a thrill to me! My son, on the other hand, at eight years old, was just tall enough to ride all the big coasters and seems to enjoy being twisted and turned and plunged and flung upside down at very high speeds. I'm glad he doesn't have my stomach! It's a lucky thing that my husband is willing to ride with him on these things, because if I rode one, they would be carrying my body out on a stretcher, after I had a heart attack!

I have managed to fit in some painting time, and my latest project on the easel is an ambitious one. It's a 30 x 40 in. vertical canvas divided into a grid of 80 3x5 in. rectangles. In each rectangle is a horse's head, viewed pretty much head-on, but there is some variation to the angles and expressions of the horses. The horses are all individual personalities, but the concept behind this grid is to show the spectrum of horse colors, starting at the bottom with the blacks and dark bays, and as it goes up, there will be lighter bays and liver chestnuts and light chestnuts, buckskins, palominos and greys. It's unusual for me to work a canvas from one end to the other--I'm usually painting all over the whole thing--but this is a very different sort of a painting, and so far, I have almost 30 heads painted. The image below was shot with a digital camera with indoor lighting conditions, and shows a portion of the heads. I think after all the heads are in there, I'm going to want to go back into some of them and tighten up a few details, but for now, I'm painting the heads fairly quickly. There aren't a lot of layers of color on each horse--each one is painted within about a half hour. I solicited pictures of my friends' horses, and fellow equine artist's horses, and dug deep into my own photo bank, and I'm hoping that the result will be that everyone that sees this painting will see "their" horse somewhere in there. At least a horse that looks somewhat like their horse. It may take me the rest of this year to finish this, but it's well underway.