"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Haze of Possibilities and the Way a Horse Sees

A Haze of Possibilities / oil on linen panel / 16x20
Having painted this composition with a trio of horse and jockey combinations before without satisfaction, I determined to try it again.

I learned some quite interesting facts about equine vision this week. Horses do not see the same way humans do - they have only color receptors for the blue and green spectrum and cannot discriminate reds - apparently much the same as a person with red-green color blindness. The theory is that this may cause the horse to rely more on contrast to judge distance to and height of an obstacle when calculating take off. When a horse is approaching a jump he will see it in sharp focus, but will lose this focus around 3 meters away and may not be able to accurately judge distance to the jump. He will perceive the jump differently from his rider not only because of the difference in color perception but also because he has a much wider field of vision due to his eye placement. This adds to the importance of the connection between the horse and rider as they approach a jump.

Having long been fascinated by the interaction, partnerships  and cooperation that are established between man and beast as they interact together during moments of great intensity, it is part of my underlying drive to paint steeplechase as a way of expressing this relationship.

20 comments:

  1. How interesting! Lovely painting too, Susan. I like the motion you've captured.

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  2. Susan, your horses become more "alive", more exciting each time you paint them. I LOVE the version of the steeplechase.
    Wonderful bits of information on equine vision, too. It always amazes me that we are able to get on their backs, and communicate with them, especially when jumping. Talk about trust!
    Kathryn

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    1. It amazes me too, Kathryn and I often wonder why they do agree to do what humans ask of them. Its a mystery.

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  3. That's so interesting about horses' vision. Love the painting Susan!

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  4. It's amazing what we know about animals! This painting is beautiful with perfect movement and colors.....

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    1. It is a never ending source of fascination to me how man and beat relate and interact.

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  5. I love how the horse to the right is running into the picture, such a strong and energetic painting with your fabulous colors !

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    1. Thank you, Jane - I wanted to give depth and the feeling of continued action.

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  6. Interesting read about the relationship between man and horse! This is painting is so full of energy, fabulous!

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    1. Knowing these kinds of details helps me achieve a greater understanding of what actually is happening between horse and rider. Thank you, Judy.

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  7. Susan, absolutely Brilliant. Their movement is oustanding. All the best.
    Vic.

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    1. You are so kind, Vic - many thanks.

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  8. For example this one. The speed is so high and tension is so strong. How do you paint it??
    So very interesting info about horses and partnership, thank you very much.

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    1. Ah - that is my intent - to capture in paint the intensity of the moment so the viewer is aware not only of the motion, power and bond that is in place, but also of the intimate connection with time and space that this example presents. There is more going on than meets the eye and I try to allow the viewer the freedom to discover that.

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  9. Susan, je geeft een heel interesante uitleg over het gedrag van deze dieren,
    je brengt het ook mooi over op het doek !
    groetjes van Simonne

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    1. Informatie zoals deze brandstoffen mijn begrip van de band tussen paard en ruiter - meer aan de hand is, dat voldoet aan de ogen van de kijker. Thank you, Simonne!

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  10. My Husband is colour blind Susan - Always makes me nervous when he changes a plug, lol!
    I know little about horses but I used to ride years ago. Your painting is of course beautiful... powerful... dramatic... But when are they not? :0)

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    1. Thank you, Sandra - I am happy with this one and will see what it looks like framed up after it dries. I found info on the equine vision interesting as it applies to my paintings a bit. A deeper understanding of what is really going on between horse and rider allows me to paint with a little more truth.

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Your comments are welcome and brighten my day!