Prince of Shadows

Prince of Shadows ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on hardboard panel
For sale on Daily Paintworks…bidding starts at $39.00
Click here to bid…the link becomes active the afternoon of Dec. 19
My love of horses has been with me since I was a child. I remember so vividly, a spirited Morgan/Arab cross that I was riding with a friend one day. She was a beautiful bay that looked very much like the horse in the picture I painted. My own horse was a placid and gentle quarter horse and was no challenge for my friend who hadn’t ridden much. Being the experienced rider  we decided to switch and I got to ride that gorgeous Morgan. She was a dream, with a smooth gait and lightning speed. 
About an hour into our ride, five kilometres or so from the nearest house, the horse I was riding went down on her knees, and tried to roll, saddle and all. I didn’t know her well, and thought that maybe she was just trying to dislodge the saddle. When I saw her eyes, though, they were filled with pain, and I knew she must be colicking. Colic is a painful intestinal condition, that can severely injure a horse, and is very very serious. If they don’t get medical attention, they can die. 
I forced her to her feet, and we took off, at breakneck speed, through the woods. My only thought was to get her to a house where we could call a vet, as soon as possible. She would run, then stumble and fall…every time I had to jump off of her back before she rolled on me and then my friend and I would pull her to her feet, and I’d get back on and run more until, battered and bruised, we made it to a friends’ house that had experience with horses, but she wasn’t home. Only her young daughter was there. We called the vet, only to discover he was already out on another call, and it would be hours before he returned. We got a bottle of vegetable oil, wrenched the horses’ mouth open and poured it down, and then took turns pulling her to her feet, and making her walk in circles. I was always told to never let a horse roll when they were colicking, as it could cause serious damage. At any rate, after a few hours we were exhausted, and still no vet. My friend finally came home, and said we should probably shoot her! I refused adamantly, as it wasn’t even my horse! Finally an uncle showed up who had a pain killer for animals, and the horse calmed down. And then the vet came, and finally all was well. The vet commended us for saving her life! 
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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…

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:)

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? 

The Shaggy Pony

The Shaggy Pony 18″ x 18″ gallery wrapped canvas
$1200.00
This pony reminds me of Ireland…they have lots of beautiful, shaggy ponies…It inspired me to write a poem, which I haven’t done in a long time, but I’ve been longing for the place lately…
O beautiful misty land of my dreams
I want to unfurl you agains my skin and breathe in your scent like a lover
I want to tangle my hands in the manes of your shaggy ponies 
and ride through your hills of heather
I long to dive from your cliffs and dance like a child
to the music of my ancestors.
This has to be the pony I dreamed of when I was a little girl. All messy mane and liquid eyes, multicoloured and fluffy…I fell in love with him all over again when I saw the photo, and I had to ask permission to paint him. The great reference photo was from Rapscallion…which would actually be a great name for this little guy…He looks like a rapscallion 🙂