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Oil Stick Explorations with Ruby

Haflinger, equine art, Jennifer Pratt, horse art

“Ruby #I”, 8.5,x12 oil stick on canvas, matted.

Ruby is a sweet Haflinger mare from Washington I met in June. She is the first Haflinger I’ve had the opportunity to model for me. Ruby quickly won my heart with her blonde locks and food-motivated, friendly disposition. I soon discovered her nickname is indeed, Miss Piggy.

“Ruby #II”, 9″x13″ oil stick on Canvas, NFS

I’ve completed three Oil Stick studies of her and this is the 3rd of the 3. Many people are asking me – What are oil sticks?? They are oil paint with wax molded into stick form. The brand I am slowly developing a collection of is R & F. They have a luscious, buttery consistency. I can use the ends to draw on my surface, or flat edge to push/pull/drag colour. I tend to lay the colour in, then loosely detail with my brushes or drag my rubber scraper to blend or lift the colour.

haflinger, equine art, Jennifer pratt, horse art, oil sticks

“Ruby #III”, 9″x13″, oil stick on Canvas, matted.

These paintings are is completed on 10″x14″ canvas sheets, acid-free matted to 12″x16″ and the opening is approx. 8.5″x13″. Comes matted and clear bagged, with acid-free, foam backer board. Studies #I & #III are available, click on images, or go to my Daily Paintworks Gallery HERE

 

 

Colt at Midday

sporthorse, equine art, oil painting, horse art, Jennifer Pratt

“Colt at Midday”, 6″x8″ oil on panel, unframed

Click HERE to bid

It’s that time of year again when my sporthorse breeder friends are staying awake around the clock on foal watch, anxiously waiting for their mares to go into labour. I just love seeing everyone’s new additions, and checking in on young horses I have previously met to see how they are coming along.

I’m in disbelief it was already a year ago that I met this curious colt by Centre Pointe, out of a Westporte Dam at CountryLane in BC. He didn’t have a name yet at the time, but what stood out was his expressive, dish face, wide set eyes are deep red bay coat – just like his sire. I was in his paddock in mid-afternoon, the sun was high and it was getting to that warm part of the day when the babies all take a nap. Such is the life 😉

Wendell

Sporthorse, equine art, Jennifer Pratt

‘Wendell’ 8×10, oil on Canvas Pad

Click HERE to purchase via Daily Paintworks.

This study was created using Oil Sticks. Essentially oil paint, in bar form. I’ve been playing around with this new-to-me medium for a few months now. One thing I am loving about the sticks is the abiliity to really work into the surface by rubbing the stick on the flat edge or with the end tip. Once the media is down I can use my gloved finger or knife to manipulate the pigment as I wish. Moving the pigment around creates texture and adds depth to the surface.

My model for this work is a beautiful, dappled grey gelding named “Wendell” by Westporte, that modelled for me at CountryLane Farm in Delta, BC last spring. The work is on a loose Fredrix Canvas sheet. Would need a backing behind it to frame, or could be hinge taped to matt board then framed.

Young Hunter Stallion

Sporthorse, Equine Artwork, Jennifer Pratt

‘Young Hunter Stallion” 6″x6″ oil on panel, unframed

Click HERE to bid, via Daily Paintworks

Finishing up loose ends in my studio as my sublet is ending in June 🙁  how time flies!! I’m on the hunt for a new space in Portland. Completed this smaller work completed in the studio today and uploaded to Daily Paintworks. My model is from my session with the young hunter stallion Centre Pointe, standing at Countrylane Farm, Delta, BC.  (Holsteiner, Chambertin x Vanda III by Cassini I)

6″x6″ unframed on panel.

“Electro-Static”

Jennifer Pratt, Equine Art, horse painting

“Electro-Static” 12″x16″ oil on cradled linen. 7/8″ depth.

Click HERE to purchase.

Longtime collectors of my work might remember my earlier works were incredibly detailed with a high level of realism. Over the years, I’ve worked to loosen up my strokes with a few strategies. Bigger brushes, different grips, speed painting, distance from the work, standing vs. sitting….etc…That said, I’m learning that realism can still play a role in the work I produce, in fact, some days it’s necessary. I think of detail days as recovery sessions. Workdays where I regain energy and mental focus until another painting session when I feel the exciting momentum to loosen up, paint free and with intuition. Perhaps for some painters they are able to do this all the time, but for me, its a gut feeling when I enter the studio, I know when i’m ready to bust it out, or linger with a little more patience in the details.

This painting begins to explore the idea of the two combined. I wondered If I worked on a piece over a longer period of time to allow days of recovery (the detailed bits) and expression (the loose bits) Where would this go? With Electro-Static, the detail is with the body of horse itself, but creating a sense of impulsion with her leg movement. She is static, but moving.

My model is the fantastic Dutch warmblood mare, Freedom by Zion, Sisters, Oregon. (minus one white sock, added to balance the painting – for art’s sake 😉)

Horse Painting, Jennifer Pratt

“Oil Bar Trot Study”, 12″x16″ oil bar on canvas panel

Lastly, I’ve had some requests to make my studies available for purchase, so I’ve uploaded an oil bar study to Daily Paintworks Auction. Click HERE to bid.

equine art, broodmare, sport horse, Jennifer Pratt

“Favada”, 22″x28″ oil on gallery depth canvas

Favada is a broodmare bred for dressage, from Island Farm in Victoria BC (Wynton/Darwin/Flemmingh bloodlines). I visited her and her foal Mandala, last spring when I was on a road trip gathering new inspiration. I had a clear vision for this painting as I started. I felt I could express a fairly simple pose but manipulate it in a way to make it more interesting.

I knew I wanted her head to be in full focus, but the rest of the image to fall away gently, and in a subtle abstracted way. I used my handy rubber dough scraper to pull the paint into, away and across the image. Thus the slightly ‘pixelated’ effect.

I’m really quite thrilled with this painting. It’s been several years since I have worked in larger format. Viewing in person, she literally jumps off the wall, making her quite the presence in my studio. 🙂

This painting is available, inquiries may come to me jennifer@jenniferprattartist.com

 

‘Exubérance’

equine art, horse art, Jennifer Pratt

Exubérance, 24×30, oil stick + panel

I’m pleased to introduce the first of several larger scale paintings I’ve been working on in my studio. These works have utilized my recent discovery of a new-to-me medium; oil sticks. Essentially, oil paint in bar form. By allowing myself to play without expectations, I’ve discovered wonderful some possibilities with free-flowing sketch lines (longtime readers might recall older works of mine using Watercolor pencil in a similar manner) with painting further detail into certain sections I feel fit. Embracing a trial and error process of navigating a new medium, I’ve toyed around with sketching, painting into, drag around and mushing to blend with a gloved finger. A rubber spatula easily wipes off any areas I’m not happy with, or moves it around creating interesting patterns as it blends with other colors.

equine art, Jennifer Pratt

Detail, hind end

When I allow myself to be physically engaged in the process I can feel the movement of the horse, action of the legs, mane and tail and draw in what I really feel is happening with that animal is if it were moving.

equine art, Jennifer Pratt

Front end detail

As the oil bar is dragged or pulled with a tool it leaves some texture behind, adding another dimension to areas of choice. I am enjoying the immediate effects as well as some of the forgiving qualities. When I am  fully involved in the process mentally it is easier to let go any thoughts of doubt, fear and use the medium courageously.  I am excited to see where these explorations take me.  I have several larger works in progress in the studio and eager to add to my original inventory as these new works are called complete. As always, thank you for your support as I continue to ever evolve as an artist and painter. ❤

Exubérance is unframed, shipping price includes full value insurance and signature required upon delivery. For more purchase information, please click HERE

Scaling Up

Freedom, Jennifer Pratt, Dutch Warmblood

‘Freedom’ 8×10, Oil on Panel, unframed

Available via Daily Paintworks

It’s been two months of working in the new studio in Central Eastside PDX. Over this time, I have developed a regular routine of going to a place of work, instead of trodding out to the backyard studio. I have so many paintings in mid-creation I’ve lost count. It’s a wonderful feeling to have an abundance of inspiration, motivation and focus. So far, all of the paintings in progress are bigger than the 6″x8″ panels I’ve been creating and selling on Daily Paintworks auctions for the last couple years.

Scaling up to larger surfaces has presented new unique challenges to work through, such as quantity of paint, size of brushes, working distance to and from the canvas and scaling my initial drawing layout. It’s a process I’m working through and learning to enjoy the ride along the way.

As I went into the studio Monday morning, I felt the want to be able to start and (hopefully) finish a painting in one go, Alla Prima! I decided to work a little smaller once again in order to do so. As a result, the above painting was created. My model with the extravagant movement is a ‘Freedom’, a Dutch warmblood, combined driving mare, by Zion JC, residing in Sister’s Oregon.

 

 

Boyish Curiosity

Stallion, Jennifer Pratt, Centre Pointe, Daily Paintworks

“Boyish Curiosity” 6×8 oil on panel

Click HERE to bid via Daily Paintworks Auction

I recently participated in an Art Therapy class called “Mothers in Mid-Life”. The class was geared for women transitioning from the parenting years to another chapter, one where find ourselves we gaining independence as our kids become more independent. For some women, including myself, it’s been so long that we’ve worn the parent role, we forget how to use this time for ourselves. The class opened my eyes to emotions I was experiencing, but did not know how to describe or coin a term to. Above all, I was happy to know I was not alone. I met a group of wildly creative and vivacious women. All of us adoring our kids, but ready to unleash the tether of allowing ourselves to be on-call for all their needs, more than giving ourselves the gifts of realizing our own dreams. How do we do both?

During class we did a great deal of free writing. Just letting thoughts or the subconisous leave your hand to the paper. Streams of words. I discovered things about myself in these free flowing words, and reconnected with my former self in BC times (Before Child) There are parts of ‘BC’ her I would like back, but I also know I am far more mature, experienced and wise today than I was back then.

I’ve begun to incorporate free writing as part ritual in the studio. Today, I let the words flow about why horses and what do they mean to me. I’ve been asked so many times over the years Why Horses? Meaning why do you paint horses instead of people or landscapes or…blah, blah..if you are a fellow horse artist, you know exactly the question and how often you’ve heard it!  As usual the words surprised me, they were equally weighted between pure curiosity about their ridiculous beauty and amazing people I’ve met over the years, contrasted by utterly horrible experiences I’ve had with the animal and some rather unscrupulous horse people. Much like parenting it has not been all roses and rainbows, there were hard times too, but I still love them dearly and they continue to capture my imagination and drive my passion to this day, even after all these years.

 

Centre Pointe and a New Chapter

Horse painting, Jennifer Pratt, equine art

‘Centre Pointe’ 6×8 oil on panel

Hi Friends, some great news!! I am writing to you from my new studio in inner SE PDX! I am feeling so wonderfully positive about this move for so many reasons. It’s only been a few short weeks since I began this new chapter, however I’m already feeling a greater connection to my artwork and a drive to create. Having a separate space to travel to means I have somewhat of a ‘workplace’ to go to. I’m seeing new faces in the neighborhood along the way here, but once I’m holed up in my space, I can have the solitude to create. No more journeys into the house from the backyard studio and risk of being distracted by a pile of dishes in the kitchen sink along the way. I had no idea how much creative bandwidth this was stealing from me, until I left it at home.

Since this marks a new chapter of moving forward, I’ve made some decisions on how I wish to proceed. I’ve spent the last few years working small paintings, it’s been a great exploration to explore and develop my style, but I’m feeling the want to push into larger format. I still plan on selling some small studies on Daily Paintworks on occasion, but in the background I have several larger pieces that I wish to spend more time developing and honing until I release them to the website. I have so many ideas in my mind, but I also know myself well, that patience is also key so I don’t become too frustrated with myself.

The painting I just posted, Centre Pointe is the young Holsteiner stallion standing at Country Lane Farm in Delta BC.  They were the last of the three farms I visited back in the spring in my search for new material. This is my little thank you gift to them for their time and effort presenting and holding the horses for me, so I could have some great new material to work from. Now, I’m feeling complete that all three farms have their thank you gifts. I can move forward with all their models they gave me as fantastic inspiration in my new space. 🙂

thank you – JP