Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Festival Inspiration

The two paintings below, Appaloosa and Indian Horse were also works created from the horses that were corraled next door to me during the National Folklife Festival.  Indian Horse is 22x28 in acrylic.  Appaloosa is about 15x20 (can't remember the exact dimensions, it's sold) and is the last horse painting I did in oil pastels.  Having grown tired of dealing with glass, mat and framing, I decided to switch mediums.  I miss the great immediacy that I have with the pigment directly in my hands, but the framing situation is much easier.

Appaloosa (top) and Indian Horse (below)

The Connection

The horses in the painting pictured below titled Sharing are the same horses that I painted in Sweethearts.  I photographed them when I lived in Butte on East Broadway.  In July of 2009 the National Folklife Festival was in its second of three years in Butte.  That year's festival was about the culture of the horse in Montana.  Lucky for me, the horses were corraled behind where I lived. Very close by was a little arena where horse demonstrations were held.  I watched two cutting horse demonstrations with Wylie Gustafson.  It was amazing to see how responsive his horse 'Whiskey' was.  In the second demonstration, Wylie brought in another horse who just stood off to the side.  Sometimes when the horse's friend is brought in it makes for a calmer, more relaxed horse.  In the corral, it was very evident these two horses were very close--best friends.  Later in speaking with Wylie I learned that they were brothers (or at least half brothers) and that if one were to die, the other one would soon follow.

I gave Sweethearts that name as it was a painting I produced for 'The Love Show' in February 2010 at Main Stope Gallery in Butte Montana.  We could also call it 'Brotherly Love' too!


Catching Up!

It's been a long while since I posted just before I left Salt Lake City.  So I will pick up where I last left off.  I'd had a 16x20 giclee print made of Sweethearts (below) for the Barn Party fundraiser for the Equine Program at the National Ability Center in Park City.  A local framer donated the black mat and black frame for the print.  The framed print was striking and received a total of 18 bids in the silent auction!  I was astounded and delighted with the donation that resulted.  It was a great evening where I met new people and had a chance to visit with Alejandra Lara, the facilitator who helped me be more comfortable around horses. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Latest painting/New Beginnings

This is the latest painting I've completed.  It's titled Etta in Winter and is 22"x28" in acrylic.  It is a commission for the owner of Etta, the mustang that I have been working with.  The photo that I worked from was taken in late March while she still had her winter coat.  March in Park City, Utah is still quite wintry!  Now in June her face is almost white, although she still has those dark grey markings above and below her eyes.  I'm now starting to varnish my paintings.  Left unprotected acrylics attract dust which can be very difficult to remove.  Unlike oils however, I can't go back to add or change the painting itself.  At least that is according to the technical information from the website.  I'm now thinking more about the life of the painting in someone's home...if a bottle of champagne gets sprayed all over it, how will the owner clean it?  This way it will be a lot easier and not damaging to the painting.  Plus the varnish finish creates a uniform surface.

I'm about to embark on a new adventure and life.  A week from today I will be moving to Moberly, Missouri to join my sweetheart Charlie.  The cost of living (housing) is significantly less than just about anywhere in the West, except maybe Butte MT.  But I will be 2 1/2 hours from Kansas City and St. Louis each, where there are world class art museums and large art districts.  I also plan to get involved in the art scene in Moberly and Columbia.  My belongings will be put on an ABF trailer, which will then deliver them to Moberly July 8.  In the meantime, I plan to take a southerly route through Monument Valley and onto Santa Fe, where I plan to stay a couple of days to visit galleries and the Georgia O'Keefe museum.  I've read that Santa Fe is the second largest art center after New York City.  So it would be great to see it on the way to my new home.  I also plan to stop in Canon City, where I used to live in southern Colorado.  There I will check out the Paint Factory, a Paint Horse breeding and selling facility, which has been the source of a number of my paintings.  If time and opportunity exist, I'll also go to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Center.  That center is actually part of an inmate program where inmates gentle and train mustangs so they can be adopted.  It's a win-win situation for all. The inmates learn a livelihood, they grow in their work with the horses, and the horses end up with a home.

I will miss the West a great deal because it has been my muse since the 70s.  But I plan to make regular trips out there.  I already have a plane ticket to Butte in September.  I will visit friends and pick up my studio furniture and jewelry tools, and drive back in a 10' rental truck.  I plan to visit the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody and the National Cowboy and Westerm Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on the way back to Missouri. Hopefully I'll be able to stop in and visit SLC and Etta in Park City.  I will miss her very much.  I've become very attached to her. 

I will later post Sweethearts, which was the image of the giclee print that was in the silent auction at the Barn Party earlier this month.  I need to reduce the image first, and right now packing is my priority.