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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Watercolor? Oh, my!

Combining 2 of my wild mustang photos in an attempt to find a composition that pleases me, I decided to try my hand at watercolor after a long hiatus - about 10 or 11 years! I dug out some watercolor paper and found a few tubes of paint stored in zip-lock baggies that were not completely dried out. Not remembering much at all about watercolor, I just dove in with a devil may care attitude.  I painted this piece upright on my easel as I would paint in oil - and you can see I have a few rivulets that are obvious mistakes, some blooms here and there and various smudges and undefinable watery things! Nonetheless, I am not totally displeased. It was fun and kind of freeing to try my hand at a new medium today and I must say I was not a little bit inspired by the many masterful watercolor artists who are kind enough to follow and comment on my blog. Looking at their work gave me the impetus to try this out and I thank them!

Here is a close up and thanks for looking! :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Approximate Symmetry

Oil on Linen 22 x28. I might reconsider some things and tweak it tomorrow but its done for today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wild Mustangs!

Today I went in search of the elusive wild mustang. Having seen them recently in captivity at the Board of Land Management facility where they were stripped of all dignity and majesty, I had to see them in their natural habitat. A neighbor suggested a drive along USA Parkway just west of Reno so that is where we headed today. And were greatly rewarded! We must have spotted over 40 wild mustangs and were able to get close to some and got some great photos to share. The gorgeous stallion above was all alone and let me and my camera approach him to about 100 feet. He looked so strong , so healthy and, well,  he looked so wonderfully free!

He showed no real fear of me but nonetheless kept a predetermined "cushion of safety" between us.

He let me take quite a few shots before turning tail and leaving me behind.

We next came across several larger bands of horses with babies - they were a little further away but if you click on this photo to enlarge it, you will see that the pinto baby in the background is nursing.

Later I went  back to the area where I had seen the chocolate stallion to find that he had returned with a friend. This second stallion was the most amazing color - perhaps a grayer shade of mauve? I think he is astoundingly beautiful - and he had no problem with letting me and my Sony get to within about 40 feet. What a beautiful, beautiful boy and a breathtaking experience for me - a city girl from San Diego with cowgirl blood in her veins!

Not a typical Memorial Day but I do want to say a word of thanks to all of our veterans for their service to our country. You are honored and deeply, deeply appreciated. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah is 16x12 on an old linen panel on wood - painted over a workshop painting that was not very successful. She was done as a portrait sutdy with a very limited palette - burnt sienna (I love Winsor&Newton burnt sienna), cad orange, naples yellow, dioxazine purple, alizarin crimson and white.  Also you might like to check out this link http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/foxhunting-horse-a-hound/photo-of-the-week. It's always a thrill to see my work on another site!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ballerina #18

Ballerina 18 is now official - she has made the transition from a sketch on paper to a finished piece on linen. She now has some proper lighting and a soft shadow to ground her. She is 18x24 on linen panel.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ballerina 18 Oil Sketch on Paper

Trying to get a feel for the position she has put herself in! A fun oil sketch - about 18x24 on heavy brown package paper.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Palm Beach Polo & Country Club Gallery

I got some wonderful news today (and some terrible photos!) from Jeanne Chisholm of the Chisholm Gallery. She has hung quite a few of my Steeplechase Series paintings in her gallery at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. I do apologize for the poor quality of the photos but my excitement at this opportunity drove me to place them on my blog anyway! As you can see in photos 4 and 5, my pictures are in stellar company. The polo paintings are by Paul Desmond Brown (American, 1893-1958). Paul Brown is widely regarded as the pre-eminent American illustrator of equestrian subjects. I am so delighted!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Final Day of Life Drawing


Today was the last day of the current session of life drawing at the NV Museum of Art. The top two sketches are 40 minute attempts and the bottom was 20 minutes. I am looking forward to putting the pencils away and taking out my paint and brushes this weekend.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ballerinas are Taking a Break-Back to Steeplechase

 Weeks and weeks of struggle have gone by where I have wiped off untold numbers of painting attempts. This has happened to me before but perhaps not so profoundly as this time. The only way I can describe it is to say that the paint feels alien to me and I no longer have any rapport with it. I am hoping that I have emerged and can regain some confidence again. I am pleased with the painting of the steeplechase mishap above - and relieved to have experienced a sense of familiarity with my brushes, paint and canvas when painting it.  It is 20x24 oil on linen board.
This is a quick oil study done on heavy brown paper as an attempt to force myself out of my painting slump.

Through all of my struggles,  I  continued to attend life drawing whenever possible. It has really kept me going and given me the strength to survive the painting slump. The drawing above was a wonderful opportunity  at foreshortening and I had fun with the white charcoal pencil on the next two drawings of Tom.