Friday, February 14, 2014

Endless Equine Art

Last night I watched "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" on Netflix, Werner Herzog's documentary about the Paleolithic-era paintings in the Chauvet cave of Southern France.  Deemed the oldest works of art on record, the paintings were primarily of horses.  Their scruffy manes, knobby heads and arched necks are easily recognizable, and they are pictured running in groups.  The lines and textures of the images are so beautiful that I want to get a copy somehow and hang it on my wall.

Morgan stallion on black canvas, 9x12" acrylic
It leads me to reflect on this equine wonder, a limitless source of inspiration though the ages.  The horse lives on, forever stretching our collective imagination.  When I learned to hold a pencil and make a mark with it, I started drawing horses.  Even though I had never owned one, I drew them galloping with flowing manes and tails.  I drew long heads with pointed ears and rounded cheeks.  I drew bent legs and bulging knees and comma-shaped nostrils.  Now all these years later, I am still painting horses. It seems only appropriate on this Valentine's Day that I should be reflecting on my first love, the horse.

Here are two new salutes to our eternal friend.

"War Horse", Mustang 9x12" acrylic

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paintings on Slate

For my gallery show, I ordered a few slabs of slate from . It was my first time ordering from them. I was happy with the product, except that one of the holes wasn't drilled all the way through. But that's easy enough to fix.  They come with holes so they can be hung with something like rawhide or baling twine.

I had painted on slate before, but it's been years.  My first attempt this time was this chickadee with winter berries, on a small piece, about 3x5"  The teeny, tiny detail makes for an interesting challenge on the textured surface of the slate.

Next was another small one, this lady cardinal on a wrought iron gate. 

Once I got the slates, I couldn't seem to stop painting on them.  I am learning that slate has a rough side and a smooth side, and for some reason I keep opting to paint on the rough side! Duh. Also, it sucks paint like a sponge. It likes a lot of layers. Sometimes you think you are done but then your paint disappears!

 Today's project is a group of horses running in snow.  This piece is 6x9"  A coat of glaze made a big difference in all of these paintings.  It darkens the slate and adds a nice sheen, for a good finishing touch. 

Here's another pic of the running horses, after glaze was applied.  The glare in this photo shows the bumps and ridges on the slate which makes it a challenge to paint on.  However, it was fun and a nice diversion for me -- so I will probably order more.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Gallery Show at Fernwood Botanical Garden

Several of my paintings, including "Dots", this watercolor of an Appaloosa filly, will be hanging in Fernwood Gallery for their Contemporary Show beginning on Valentine's Day.  Fernwood Gallery is located in the sprawling and inviting Fernwood Botanical Gardens in Niles, Michigan.

Also present will be my experimental acrylic collage on 10x20" stretched canvas. "Bubbles," features a family of dolphins undulating over paper background "sand," which  has script in it about love and affection. I added some adhesive gems for the sparkling bubbles, giving this painting a whole new dimension of light and motion. It must be seen in person to appreciate! See it at Fernwood in Niles, Michigan, Feb 14 - March 16, 2014.