Saturday, November 01, 2008
The Light Calls!
One thing that gets me running for my camera is cool lighting. While I've been playing with low-light conditions in my paintings more in the last while, the right kind of light, the kind that creates strong contrast, still makes for the most drama. That's what sent me snapping pics of Twine the other morning – yesterday's painting is a result of that shoot. Today I find myself drawn to more of the same, though this time it is Clever, and it was the first light coming over the trees one cold January morning. I think I'll call this one "Expecting." Not only does Clever have that kind of look on her face, she was probably a month and a half from foaling Billy in this photo.
Clever is an eight-year old Thoroughbred mare, and you can tell she hasn't met the kindest of people in her lifetime. When she first came to me, newly in foal to last year's baby, Peaker, she was very suspicious, very reactive. She's come a long way, and actually looks for treats now instead of snorting at me if I approach her stall, but I think she will sadly always be leery of the human race. The reference photo for this painting appealed to me so much because of the very kind and serene look in Clever's eyes. It was a long time coming with this mare. After a bit of a reluctant start to motherhood (what is this thing, and what does it want from me?) Clever is now a wonderful mother...well, at least once she gets past that first nursing! To be fair, so far she has produced two big, strong babies, so you can kind of understand her feeling a bit of resentment!
Today's painting is a 8 x6 oil on Raymar smooth cotton panel, painted with the same limited palette as yesterday. This was the first time I'd worked on this surface - it came in a sample pack of Raymar panels. It was a bit harder to get used to, especially after yesterday's familiar gessoed masonite! Working wet into wet started to get difficult, and I wasn't able to get some of the detail I wanted. I haven't signed it yet, and as I look at it I keep seeing little things I'd like to address! I did start straight with the brush and paint on the panel this time. I've posted a little bit of the progression I went through, below.