In the Fall of this year, I found myself feeling a little down. With Covid upon the world, just like the rest of us, I have been unable to travel freely for references and inspiration. The reality of going into the winter months without my usual abundance of ideas bursting at the seams hit me. I usually look forward to this time of year, retreating into my studio for the winter months after spending the summer collecting ideas and meeting new horse models. This year, I had to dig back into the photo and sketchbook archive, which thankfully led to a trickle of ideas.
In the summer of 2018, I traveled for my first time to Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta. Four days of Horse heaven!! Perusing my images two years later I started to see something I didn’t take note of before; the horses on course, in between the fences. Their entrance to the ring, the anticipation of the next fence, the tight turns, flexion of the joints, the slow calm exits from the ring on a loose rein. As I looked for potential paintings, I found myself distracted by big bits and humans with sometimes strained facial expressions commandeering these athletes around the ring. But what would happen if I stripped everything off to just the essential form – the horse?
I would have a few challenges. First would be relying on my knowledge of the form to make up hidden areas. Second, I would be the painting from the grandstands, would my angle from above read well? Would the horses seem unnatural in their carriage without the gear and the rider present? Would sharing the knowledge that my models once had riders with the viewer (you!) change the perception of the paintings?
I pursued the idea and the paintings took off. In fact, leaving the gear and humans out of the images felt it added some kind of a mystery to the images. Not to mention in all my work over the years, I’ve often simplified my images to just the horse.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series and I think it may even continue. I am thinking perhaps a couple of bigger paintings…? hint to those who often ask! 😉 But that will have to wait till the new year. Please visit my “Available Products” tab to browse oil paintings from this series, as well as inventory located at Equis Art Gallery. The “Sketches” tab has artworks under $100. There is still time to ship for Christmas!
In other studio news, it is with mixed emotions that can announce I am moving my studio – for reals this time! If you remember I had planned a move back in March, which fell through when Covid hit. I’ve casually kept an eye over the months and a studio came up at 2400 SE Holgate that immediately felt it would work for me. It is close to my house, less in rent, and has other creatives in the building. I will definitely miss the Sellwood neighborhood and the space I have called mine for 2 years. Unfortunately, I do not foresee the situation with the lack of sound insulation in the building being resolved post-Covid. So with this, goodbye to the Tap dancing reverberating through my floor! 😝 I will begin 2021 with a fresh start. ❤️
PS! last but not least – Moving sale 25% all my cold wax works, with coupon code “COLDWAX” at checkout!