Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on panel
Here’s a change from the cows…I missed my horses! Cows are fun, but maybe I’m feeling more serious today. Horses are a lot more dignified, don’t you think?
The challenge in painting this was taking my substandard reference photos and getting the look of dramatic light on them! This worked out alright, me-thinks!
You can own this little lady by clicking right down here, to bid in the Daily Paintworks auction…

Advertisements

Dressage

Dressage ~ 7″ x 9″ oil on panel
I finally feel like I’m back in the swing of painting again! Yay! 
I’d had too much time off…too much time relaxing. Not a bad thing, I just felt like I forgot how to paint a little. How do I hold the brush again? How much paint do I mix up? What’s the complementary of orange? Lol!
At any rate, I’m on a roll now. I really had fun with this one. I slopped the paint on with wild abandon:) (Well, only the background, but I really like the texture of the built up paint. It’s really nice and juicy.
This one’s going up for bid on Daily Paintworks, so click here to
for you chance to win.  

Thoughts on Why I’m an Artist

False Modesty ~ 7″ x 9″ oil on canvas panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks
Why am I an artist?
Hmmmm….
I remember sitting at the coffee table, at five or six years old. We had a brown shag rug that tickled my knees. 
Someone had given me a sheet of tracing paper and it was a revelation.
I could draw something that looked like what it was supposed to! It wasn’t childish circle faces and triangle trees. It was a dog, or a horse, or whatever it was…I don’t even remember the subject, but it looked like what I’d meant it to look like! 
My parents had beamed and exclaimed over how beautiful it was, always encouraging even my most childish scribbles.
As I sit writing this, my six year old daughter has just run up to me, beaming,
with her tracing of Draculaura. “Look how good I’m doing, Mom!” she trills.
“Wow! That’s awesome!” I say. 
It doesn’t matter that it’s traced, it matters that it looks right to her. That day on the brown shag rug, I suddenly had confidence that maybe my little hand holding a pencil, could make something look right, how it was “supposed” to look. And I know that is what my daughter is feeling right now.
That day I decided I would be an artist. I didn’t stop drawing. I drew everything I could and soon I didn’t need to trace. I could make it “look right” all on my own.

Sunlit Bay

Sunlit Bay  6″ x 6″ oil on panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks
My attempt at showing strong sunlight on a dark horse…I must say he was a bit of a challenge, but I really enjoy working with the rich colors. 
This little guy is on Daily Paintworks starting at a really reasonable price. Click the link above, if you’re interested.

Sneek Peak ~ New painting in the works


Preliminary sketch for new painting
Here’s a sneek peek at my upcoming painting. This one will be larger than my little 6 x 6’s…at 16″ x 20″.
As usual, I combine multiple references and lighting effects to come up with a composition that works for me.  I try to stick with the rule of thirds for my center of interest, in this case the beautiful highlight on the face and the horse’s eye.
I also have some really exciting news today! I was the featured artist on ArtPromotivate, a popular art site. I’m so thrilled!
Check out my interview HERE
Happy New Years!
I hope you all have a fun night:)

Blue ~ or the otherwise white horse:)

Blue ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks
Well, the horse obsession isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! I’m happy to report that I’ve found a subject that I don’t seem to get sick of painting, other than my kids!
I’m on a roll! I’m working on a few bigger horse paintings, too, so stay posted:)

Thoughtful ~ White Horse Portrait

Thoughtful ~  6″ x 6″ oil on panel 
For sale on Daily Paintworks
bidding starts at $35
Happy Solstice, everyone! And happy new beginnings. According to the Mayan calendar, today doesn’t mark the end of the world, but the end of a cycle. Today is the first day of the new cycle, which is supposed to be characterized by enlightenment, where great changes take place to thrust us into a new age of evolution as individuals and as mankind. I wish you all peace on your new journey.
Today also marks the shortest amount of daylight this year…Thank goodness as of tomorrow the days will be getting longer! I can’t wait for the sun to come back. But really, isn’t winter a time to settle in, slow down, ruminate, and recharge? Just like the plants do under the soil. They rest so that they can return, with more growth and beauty than before, when the sun returns. 

Our Life’s Work

“Life’s Work” ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on panel
BID NOW on Daily Paintworks
“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. ” 
― Margaret Young
What do you really want to get out of life? Really. If money was no object. Well, do it. The purpose of your life is to to pursue productive, meaningful work. To spend most of your time doing something that you and others find meaningful.. Period. If you’re doing it well, with all of your heart, with passion, then you will find a way to make a living. So many of us have it backwards, we put off life, trying to make a living doing work we hate, so that we can one day do the things we love and be happy.

The purpose of your life is not to become rich, or skinny, or beautiful, or find the perfect mate, or have twenty five children, or work in a cubicle. These may be things you want to do, but they are not your purpose. (Well, maybe they’re yours, but they’re sure not mine…two kids is enough, lol!)

When you find it you will know, because time disappears when you’re immersed in it. Your senses become heightened, you become completely absorbed. A mountain could come crashing down and you wouldn’t even notice. 
So if you are an artist, and you’ve decided that the purpose of your life is to paint, then paint. Paint between commercials. Paint when the kids are asleep. Paint after dinner. Or paint for your job, but just do it! (Easy enough to say, not so easy to do!)
Painters paint, gardeners garden, musicians play, bees buzz…it’s what we do! Does it need a purpose other than it’s what makes you feel alive?
This is something that I’ve really been struggling with. I virtually quit for almost four months. I still painted, but there was no desire behind it. No passion. No thrill. I looked at the canvas as an obligation to fulfill. I had to have something to post to my blog. I had to have something to put in my newsletter. I had to finish what I started. It had to be my next masterpiece. It had to be perfect. It had to fit into some imagined “body of work”.
It had to be sellable, or how could I justify the cost of materials?  I couldn’t just paint and not get paid…could I? I couldn’t just paint because I love painting.  All that pressure. No wonder I couldn’t perform.
Who says our purpose has to be our job? And if it was, would it still be our passion? What do you think?
What’s your passion? Are you doing it? Are you making a living from it? 

Sundance the Buckskin

“Sundance” ~ 12″ x 16″ oil on Raymar Panel
BID NOW on Daily Paintworks
My newest painting…I’ve always been particularly enamoured with the buckskin, ever since “Dances with Wolves”. I wanted that horse so bad! I love the feeling of exuberance in his pose, like he’s about to explode into flight. I tried hard to achieve that feeling of liquid gold, how the sun glistening off of a horse’s coat can sometimes look metallic. The photo didn’t turn out very good this time. I’ll try to post new photos when the paint dries and the glare dies down.
Also, it snowed here, at least 6 inches over the last few days. It makes it much harder to get good photos. I usually take photos of my art outside, on an overcast day, which isn’t usually hard to do here, because it’s usually overcast! But the snow bounces light all over the place. I’ll have to come up with another solution.
Well, Bye for now:)

Rapscallion — the shaggy pony

Rapscallion ~ 6″ x 6″ graphite on bristol
For sale on Daily Paintworks BID NOW
This is my newest little guy…I’m still on a horse kick. I don’t think this one will end for a while. I’m having too much fun. I’ve named him after the website of the guy that took the picture. I fell in love with his photo, and emailed him for permission to use it. Have a look at his great work here.
I think I’ll do a larger color version soon, too. I love the square format. 
While revisiting my past love of horses, I also had an urge to revisit my past love of graphite. 
For years I only drew. I was afraid of color. Afraid I’d be no good, and I spent hours and hours rendering dozens of pictures in pencil. I got quite a few commissions, and sold quite a few pieces, but then I tried painting…and it was so fast! It was like someone gave me wings! And I didn’t suck, lol!
So for years, I haven’t looked back. Why would I spend hours and hours labouring over something when I could be finished in a few days or hours? 
Well, as part of my artistic “healing” I guess you could call it, I’ve found solace in the simplicity of the pencil. Not much is needed for materials, you don’t have to have a lot of room, and for me I don’t have to think much. It’s kind of like meditating.
So maybe I’ll do some more. Mix it up a bit.
If you’re at all curious about why I needed artistic “healing”, I’ve written about it in my newsletter, along with a bit of a review on the book that helped me immensely. You can read it here.
That’s it for now, folks. Have a lovely day!