Thursday, April 24, 2008

Me? Acrylics? Never!

Well......we should never say never.

The two acrylics - above and below - have just been finished and I must say, I am a bit pleased with the way they came out. They are both 9 x 12" on gallery wrapped canvas and ready to hang on a wall...together or separately. I will be doing more work with acrylics in the future. I am using acrylics with some of my casein paintings too, finding an interesting effect with the mix. So one could say I am getting into more mixed media works of late. These two works were inspired by our Welsh Cob Filly, Maggie. In a previous post I showed the graphite study I had done of this filly's eye, to figure out the format I wanted for the paintings.

The weather has been so lovely lately in Morrill, Maine. This is a such a nice change from the long winter we had. I am trying so hard be good and work in the studio ...but goodness... the sun and the gardens call for me. How can one concentrate?
I have also been walking our Cob mare Victoria...some folks walk their dog...I walk my Cob. She enjoys the time to get out and away from the herd...and I enjoy having her company. Her daughter Maggie isn't too pleased that her mother is getting out and about without her...........but such is life!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It Was A Long Winter

The snow is almost melted from the fields on our farm and our Cobs are taking advantage of the warm April days we have been having...and basking in the sun. Miss Maggie filly is doing just that in this watercolor done on watercolor board. [ image size 8 x 13"] She was very curious as to what I wanted has I snapped this picture.....but not so curious that she had to get up and approach me. Normally she would be 'in my face' and wanting to know what I had in my hand. Munchies maybe? But the sun was warm on her back and she was comfortable and resting......lazy one could say?

Spring is really here and a girl needs to take advantage of it.
It was a 'LOOONNNGGG' winter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happenings at Cob Cottage and Elsewhere

I have been invited by Anderson Galleries of Locust Valley, NY, to participate in an art exhibit, “Horses in Art” opening at the gallery on Thursday May 1, 2008. Paintings and sculpture from the show will first be previewed and exhibited at opening day at Belmont Racetrack, Wednesday April 30th at a private luncheon. How I wish I could be there for that! But our four horses, our Corgi and cat keep me at home feeding, cleaning and doing for them. I am often the artist in absentia. My painting “Gypsy Vanner and Wagon” is headed down south for that show. This is the watercolor and tempera painting shown above.

And THEN my mixed media painting “My World” took first place at the Grand National Western Art Exhibit and Sale that was held at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. last week. This painting is done in casein, and liquid gold leaf……….a dreamy work with white horse and moon. Several of my ‘Shades of Black’ Series where also hung at that show.

Today I will try and work in the studio…with the sun and warmth calling me outside. My spring bulbs are peeping up in the perennial gardens and I even see my curly onion tops emerging through the ground in the veggie garden. There is much to do outside…. but much to do inside too…what a predicament??? Which way to go???

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Feet Don't Fail Me Now

There are a lot of times when I feel my feet aren't listening to my brain....yesterday was one of those days. I was wearing my Wellies to do barn chores and I slipped on the frost covered grass and sort of did a split and there such a maneuver? feet were not listening me to for sure!!

But this is a good way to segue into the title of the above painting , 'Feet Don't Fail Me Now".
This a a 12 x 12 " casein that I 'whipped' out on canvas on board. Not much detail, but I liked the composition of this and went into it with lots of color. I can hear the pounding of the hooves and the roar of the crowds................

I need to get back into my watercolor paints and I already have a few works started. I always have at least two going at once so that I can keep working and not have to wait for paint to dry. It is always a welcome change to get back into another medium............I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Acadian Deer

The reference photo for this drawing of a young Acadia buck was given to me by a passenger who was on the horse drawn carriage my husband was driving on the carriage roads in Acadia National Park last summer. I decide to try this shot in a close up in graphite. This drawing is about 9 inch square on Bristol paper. It is available for purchase.

It was fun doing this in detail, with no actual details of the trees and leaves... just the suggestion of their being there. This young buck had soft velvety antlers. He wasn't afraid of the carriage full of visitors as they snapped pictures of him from the carriage. I wonder if he couldn't smell the humans due to the draft horses being there.
Les [my husband] had told the folks during the ride around Day Mountain, that his wife was an artist...and the fellow, who shot this picture, offered to send me the photo to paint, draw or whatever. So here is my first work from the reference photo.

We have many deer around our farm in Morrill......[sometimes I think TOO MANY when they eat my perennials!]....and have been enjoying watching a young skipper run around our horse fields in the evenings of late. He is so full of himself.
Spring is in the air!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Down and Dirty

Yesterday the sun was shining and the inviting warmth of the hay bedding our paddocks near the barn beckoned to our horses to take long naps in the spring sun. It has been a long winter here in Maine. I took advantage of their sleeping to do a charcoal study of one of is one of 'Duster'. [It is 18 x 12"]

Our horses are comfortable with my being around them when they are laying down in their stalls and paddocks, so even with me walking into their space, with my Artboard and Strathmore gray scale paper tacked onto it, they continued to doze in the sun's rays. As time allows I plan on doing more plein aire work this year..I may even do some landscapes!! I haven't done many over the years.
I had forgotten how dirty I get with charcoal. I am not a very meticulous artist in the best of times.....working with charcoal, I get it face...........and all over the paper...But in the end I do get some charcoal where I want it on the paper and end up with a drawing!!!
Today it rains. I am content to work in the studio.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

There Are No Rules

When I was growing up in Italy I used to beg my parents to take me on carriage rides in the livery carriages that were throughout the city of Milan where we lived at the time. For me it was important, even then, to have some kind of connection with horses, even if they were not my own and I wasn't riding or driving them myself. Before moving to Italy we had lived in New Hampshire on a farm where I always had my own horse. Actually I had gone through a series of horses and ponies by the time we moved to Milan. But in Milan I was horseless and lost without them.

When I saw this photo of a livery carriage and horse on their break, it reminded me of those times.

This is a 9 x 12" casein on Colorfix paper. I have also thrown a bit of pen and ink into it too, for definition. I am having fun with the effects that I can get with casein on Colorfix gessoed paper.
I have done quite a few of these and I just realized that I haven't even put them on my website. Add that to my To-Do list!

The To-Do list gets bigger by the day.....but "There Are No Rules "!!! ....and that is also the name of this casein.