Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Venice Tale

   I think, with realistic art, there is almost always a story behind the painting. So I thought it a good idea to show some of my work with the story attached.
   Many years ago, my sister, Denise, and I travelled through Greece and Italy. Italy captured my soul; when we arrived in Venice, I felt like I had come home. We would spend our mornings visiting an artistic or architectural site, and the afternoon would be spent wandering around the island, stopping for the occasional espresso or gelato. The painting above was inspired by one of the photos I took [I wish I had taken many more] while we ambled around Venice.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A quick note

I just wanted to take a moment to thank Ron Morrison. He is my 1st "follower". Ron is a fellow watercolorist, whose forte is old cars and trucks "posing" intriguingly in front of a backdrop of old houses, barns, shed, etc. His work is fascinating; take a look.
As for me, I'm slowly making progress on the floral.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Live and learn ...

I had an interesting session with the lad just now. He's been much more skittish than usual the past week - as evidenced by my flying off twice in the past two weeks. He has this "thing" about the gate to his ring, and he also [being a standardbred who has raced] has a very BIG "thing" about whips. I do not use them to hit in any way, but they are useful in training to supplement your leg, if the horse is ignoring it, or to help with longeing.
A word on longeing. It is a training technique, in which the trainer stands in the middle of a large [10 - 20 meter] circle, with the horse on the perimeter, attached to a line. The trainer then asks the horse -verbally or through body language- to perform certain actions. It's useful if you or the horse cannot ride, to warm up the horse, or the horse is higher than a kite and you don't want to be hurt. You get the idea.
Today, I worked him through some major kinks - his gate and whip fears. He had moments of apprehension and, being a horse, belligerence. However he DID reach the stage where he would calmly go around me, in a relaxed manner in an even gait. He did this going in both directions [ riders call them "reins"] And I could have ridden him.  But he showed his trust of me, and his willingness to cooperate,and that was enough. I took him to his stall, took off his gear [tack] and gave him goodies, telling him how wonderful and brilliant he was.
To make a long story even longer, training a horse is like painting. You have to know when you are finished ... when you have accomplished what you have set out to do. Do I do this all the time? - No. But it felt wonderful to realize I did so today! End of morality story

Saturday, August 28, 2010

... a beginning ...

I've had thoughts of creating a blog wandering around in my head for several weeks now, and having made the decision, here I am.
As for the format, as far as the horse and country life parts, it will probably be "stream of conciousness" - a rather sluggish stream, as my typing speed is frustratingly slow. Ideas and demonstrations of painting, I will handle in a more precise and organized manner.
I spent the day painting and critiquing two new pieces I'm working on - a galloping horse who I'm almost sure would look better headless, and a complicated floral that is creeping along, but at least in the right direction.
Here they are. The horse looks quite washed out compared to the original. Anyway, comments are welcome. i'm heading for bed and a good book -"Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin.