Thursday, March 26, 2009

Young Steer

Young Steer, 36 x 36 in. oil on gallerywrap canvas

This impressive creature captivated me with it's solemn look, the warm, soft wrinkles in its skin, and the afternoon light coming through the ear. The painting is bigger than life, 3 feet square, and will make a substantial statement on somebody's wall.

I have a bunch of new work, all in stages of completion...I'll introduce them one at a time here. In the early half of this year, I am concentrating on building my body of work, especially the larger paintings, and as a consequence I don't have much in the way of shows coming up in the near future. The Glastonbury Art Festival in September may be my next show, if I'm jured in. Then I'll be participating in the Artist Open Studios of Northeast Connecticut in November.

We are eagerly awaiting the shipment of baby chicks at the local farmer's coop, and the chicken coop is partway to being completed. I am reading up again on the care and feeding of baby chicks. The original plan was to raise the chicks out in the studio, away from the pets, in a large plastic tote, with a 100 watt lightbulb for heat. However, we've decided we need to be able to monitor the chicks more frequently, and there is no water source in the studio, so Plan B is to keep the brooder in our spare bathroom, door tightly closed at all times so they don't become lunch for the cats.

We have had nice surprise visitors recently to our little pond..a pair of mallard ducks. They have come a few times, and I'm hoping they'll stick around a bit and don't mind the dog.

Friday, March 06, 2009

More Piggies.

Piglets at the Fair, oil on board, 9 x 12 in.

Summer Drafts, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 in.

A number of new horse paintings are in various stages of completion, and I have to wait until the weather complies to drag the easel and the tripod outside to photograph them, but I'll post these piggies for now, and a piece that I completed last fall--
"Summer Drafts". It all comes down to the light, and I loved the backlighting on these meaty draft horses that were being held, waiting to be hosed down on a sultry summer day. My reference had a person in there, holding the horses, but I edited the head out of the final well as the lead rope attached to the halter. I wanted this piece to have a peaceful simplicity, and the handler made the composition too busy.

I made a trip to New York City last weekend, to visit friends, show my son some of the city, and check out the big ArtExpo at the Javitts Center. Our friend, a phenomenal painter, Nick Paciorek, had his work there, and it was so nice to see his colorful city landscapes in person. I may be in a booth at this show myself next year...haven't decided yet whether or not to do it. It's a lot of work, and it's going to take some serious planning.

Meanwhile, I have another draft horse on the easel now, and the horse colors project--my grid of 80 individual horse paintings is getting closer to the finish line.
I have about 20 horse heads left to paint, then the final adjustments.

The 10 inches of snow that got dumped on us Monday has really been a bit depressing. I am anxious to be able to get out in the woods to walk the dog, and ride! The horse's winter shoes come off in a couple of weeks--all the snow better be gone by then!