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Gathering for Winter

Mayday in Foal, 9×12, oil on panel.

Summer is winding down in the Pacific Northwest.  The cool rains will soon come and with horses, this means mud and fuzzy coats. With that, the optimal season to be out studying, sketching and photographing new subjects is ending. Yet, I can look forward to retreating into my Sellwood Studio for the winter months to focus on production of new paintings. I thought I would share a sneak-peek into what and who I will be working with over the winter months.

Mayday (pictured above and below) is a thoroughbred x shire cross owned by my friend Stuart at Corbett Farm. Stuart has a unique property with not just horses, but many farm animals ranging from peacocks to pigs. There is nearly always something new on the farm every time I visit. My last visit there was a new clutch of ducklings as well as a handful of baby peacocks strutting around. The property has several unique Airbnb rental units. If you are an animal lover and visiting the area, I highly recommend booking a ride and a stay. Stuart is a wonderful human being and so willing to share his love of animals.

peacock, Jennifer pratt, mayday, corbett farm

Mayday and Peacock photobomber © Jennifer Pratt

Stuart contacted me in late July to let me know Mayday was soon to foal, he was quite drawn to how beautiful she looked and felt it was an optimal time for me to visit to capture her pregnancy glow. I admit I stuttered for a bit, as the many broodmares I’ve painted over the years, I can’t say a client has ever called and said come paint her ‘before’ she has the foal. It’s always been after the foal has been delivered. I’m not one to stick to convention though, so away I went. Stuart was in fact totally right, Mayday looked lovely and she modeled perfectly for about 2 hours with very graceful and elegant poses.  Ideas of how to capture her for Stuart started effortlessly flowing.

broodmare, diarado, jumper, Jennifer pratt

OTMA at 3 weeks.

I couple weeks later I received a call from Stuart to say Mayday had delivered a healthy filly by Diarado he named Otma. Again I went out to visit and captured some great material and gave the oil sketch of Mayday in foal to Stuart as a baby shower gift. Can you tell by the photo above that dad is a jumper???

haflinger, jennifer pratt, blonde horses

Glorious Ruby

Next there is Ruby the Haflinger of Boondoggle Farm in Washougal Washington.   You might remember some oil bar studies I did a short while ago that Ruby was my model. I went back to see Ruby again because I wanted some reference to her in sunlight. It was drizzling rain on my first visit. I knew with sun lighting her coat she would come off with some brilliant metallic copper and gold. Now I know I usually stick to warmbloods as my subjects, but 5 minutes with Ruby and she will capture your heart. She is an exquisite model, yet full of character. She made me laugh all through all her photo sessions. She really likes food! like a lot! She has mastered the ability to go back and forth from total glam model (I call it her Zoolander face) to lip flapping, extended, weird angled twisted neck without moving her feet (see below) thorough the entire model session.

Haflinger, miss piggy, Zoolander

Ruby being weird but still beautiful

Next on the winter agenda is a series of showjumping paintings. I just got back from my first trip to Spruce Meadows Masters. I have been watching Spruce Meadows on CBC every year since I was a small child. Now living in the PNW, Calgary is just a short hour and 45 minute plane trip so I took advantage for the first time this year.  Three days to myself to just geek out on showjumping, YES please!!

spruce meadows, show jumping, Camargo 2, Luciana Diniz

Luciana Diniz of Portugal and Camargo 2 winning 1.60m Tourmaline Oil Cup

I had good seats in the Southwest grandstand. This is directly above/beside the in and out gate. What captured me as an artist was watching how the horses and riders entered and exited the ring. Was the horse backed off, tense or did they trot in like they owned the place? How did that play a role in round they rode? Did they walk out on a loose rein? When the exited did they pat their horse even if they had a bad round? Little things to note, maybe they don’t mean anything to anyone else, but to me, this is where my painting story started forming.

Luciana Diniz, fit for fun, spruce meadows.

Luciana Diniz and Fit for Fun, having a friendly chat by a fence that gave them problems.

Of all the horse and rider combinations I watched over three days, it was Luciana Diniz of Portugal that truly captured me. On all occasions she came trotting into the big ring on a loose rein, giant smile on her face, her horses relaxed, happy, not to mention going in very little tack comparatively to some of the gargantuan bits and gear out there (check out the snaffle!). After each ride she vigorously hugged each horse and engaged the crowd to share in her joy. Her charisma was infectious and I was indeed caught up in it. Fit for Fun aka ‘Fitty’ had just one rail down in the jump off on Sundays CP International Grand Prix. When they returned for the ribbon presentation she walked over to where they had the rail, they stood and had a chat. I can only imagine what she was saying, but it would seem by her extended hand she was giving the mare a little pep talk for the next time they see a similar tall, skinny vertical a couple of strides after a double liverpool combination. After checking out her website, Luciana just seems like an all round awesome person, I hope I am so lucky to see her jump again.

So as you can see, I am ready to hunker down for winter with ideas from Spruce Meadows, Ruby, Mayday and Otma. I’m ready to get to work! 😉

 

 

Schooling Finya Sketch Series

dressage, Jennifer Pratt, equine art, oil sketches

Schooling Finya #1, 11×14 oil on panel. unframed

It’s summertime, which means studio time goes in fits and starts due to the lack of routine of school for my son. It’s an ever present reminder to try and stay patient and present in parenting mode, but I do find myself grappling with my mood when I do not get enough studio time to get some of the creative angst out of my system.

equine art, Jennifer pratt, horse art, oil painting, dressage,

“Schooling Finya #4” oil on canvas panel

My new studio in the village of Sellwood, is in such an amazing location. My son is now old enough where he can make small ventures to the local pool with his friends, while I retreat to the studio and steal a couple hours to paint. Then I hear him and his entourage outside my window, down the street soon to burst through my door. And then, studio time is over….

dressage, equine art, oil sketches, horses, Jennifer Pratt

Schooling Finya #3, oil on canvas panel

So given the limited amount of time, but high amount of desire to paint inside me, I felt the want to work on something fast, yet challenging. If you have been a longtime friend of mine, you know it’s rare to see the human figure in or on any of my works. I tend to keep to the horse figure. Despite taking some workshops in life drawing, for some reason, part of me starts freaking out inside once a figure is added. However, this time the rational side of my brain, told the other half..’It’s just shapes’…I know the tack and positioning like the back of my hand, so just relax and focus on the shapes. (yes, I have these internal dialogues, all the time!!)

Finya, dressage, freestyle, dressage

Schooling Finya #2, 12×16 oil on canvas panel

I’m really quite thrilled with the results. They are light and playful, yet simple and to the point.  I can see progressing with these, adding some color, freeing the movement further. Many possibilities! My model for these works is the beautiful Finya, from Island Farm, Vancouver Island BC. She is by Freestyle, out of a Pacific Sunset Dam. More photos from my farm visit HERE

I’ve priced these at an easy $100 each. They would make an lovely grouping, so if anyone is interested in more than one, email me, and we can arrange a group price and ship together.

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.