Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Nobility Without Conceit"

Well, I signed the painting of "the girls" last night after doing the final work on it. There is a saying among some artists, that a piece of art is "never finished, just abandoned." While this is a rare piece I will keep for myself, I did have a couple of show deadlines to work towards that kept me working on it. This painting will be part of the EAG "Artist's Muse" online show, as well as From Heart to Hand, a group show this coming weekend of members of the Fine Arts Society of Milton.

Rather than babble on, I'm going to paste the information I submitted with the EAG show entry.

I struggled with a title for this painting, and have to admit I'm at a loss for a clever paragraph to describe my feelings. With a new foal on the ground at my farm, I'm reminded of the day my dark bay Thoroughbred mare Sass (reg'd Hallowed Be) foaled a tiny bay filly who has grown into the now seven-year-old mare we've come to know as Monster. It's been almost a year now that Sass has been gone, so painting this was more than a little difficult and bittersweet. While Monster is known for her attitude, her mother was the kindest, quietest mare on the planet. She was gentle enough to put a child on without concern. When I took the reference photo on which this painting was based -- just days before my sweet mare was put down -- the worry and respect on Monster's face was so different from the displays of attitude and fire I usually try to capture.

When trying to come up with a title, I was thinking of names in these mares' pedigrees. Sass's sire was a son of Vaguely Noble (FR) named Noble Saint. That brought to mind a favourite quote of mine that I'd forgotten, and it seemed a fitting tribute to Sass. Now, if I can just get Monster to read it!

"The Horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, Beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet no slave" - Ronald Duncan

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