One rainy day at the end of August last year I passed a place on the farm where the weeds never get trimmed. Upon a second glance I noticed a little dry spot that was sheltered from the weather. I suddenly imagined a family of rabbits sheltering under there and quickly snapped a photo to use as a reference. “Summer Shelter” is the final product of that inspiration. Prints and other products featuring “Summer Shelter” can be purchased at Society6.com.
First post of the year, and long overdue! “Butterfly Weed” is a painting I started way back last June and kept putting on the back burner. It is meant to portray those midsummer days when the milkweeds are in bloom and swarming with butterflies.
Prints and other products featuring “Butterfly Weed” can be purchased at Society6.com
Earlier this fall, I was proud to participate in a fundraiser for The Nokota Horse Conservancy®, an organization dedicated to preserving the rare and historical Nokota® horse breed.
Nokota® horses are a distinct bloodline descended from the mustangs owned by Sitting Bull. A more in depth look at their history can be read here on the NHC website. True to their mustang heritage, present day Nokota® horses are hardy, intelligent, and athletic, with their Spanish ancestry clearly visible in their appearance. One unique characteristic of the Nokota® is the prevalence of the roan coloring. (like War Chief, here) This coloring is rare amongst equines in general, but quite common with the Nokotas®!
Below is “War Chief,” my submission to the NHC fundraiser project. He was an enjoyable challenge to paint, due to representing the random splashings of his roaning, as well as capturing the fresh loneliness of the prairie landscape. The original painting of “War Chief” can be purchased at The Nokota Horse Conservancy® Gift Shop, with proceeds going to support the horses, while prints, mugs, and tees can be purchased at Society6.com (with proceeds going to support the artist!)
Every day my cat Taz climbs up on the window sill and sits, sometimes for hours at a time, watching the going-ons of the world. No dog is walked, bunny rabbit hopped, or bird flown without being monitored by my little lookout. This painting is a tribute to her tireless vigilance.
Sometime around May of 2014 a young female goose waddled onto our farm and made herself at home. For the next four months, “Gertie,” as she came to be known, was a fixture at the barn. Arriving vehicles were greeted with raucous honking, driveways were pooped on, and stock tanks were in ever-present danger if her personal pool was not kept fresh. Alas, as autumn closed in, the difficulties of keeping a lone goose with no real pond to swim in became overwhelming. Gertie was transferred to a neighbor’s farm with a large pond and many other geese and ducks to keep her company.
To commemorate her stay with us, I painted a portrait of her. As a subject of painting, birds present some fascinating opportunities and challenges. Feathers. A lot of them. It was fun to study the way the feathers folded into her wings and spanned her breast, as was working with her subtle, pebble-toned coloring.
If you like this painting and would like one of your own animal, I am available for hire! Watercolor Animals Portraits are available for purchase at etsy.com!
“Daisy Chain” is a fanciful painting I made around March to capture the essence of spring. The background of this painting uses a very loose technique with lots of bright, fresh colors. The bay horse nibbling at his buddy’s flower wreath is the inspiration for the whole scene, and provided a great opportunity to practice drawing new horse expressions! The bay horse is based on Felix, a horse at my barn who can never resist a snack!
Today marks the end of the Saxonburg Festival of the Arts as well as the Saxonburg Fine Art Show. Every year the art show chooses a theme, for 2015, “country life.” Nothing says country life, especially in late summer, than a hay field. Especially, a hay field that’s newly baled, on a fresh morning full of crows or blackbirds gleaning for whatever goodies have been uncovered in the grass.
Unlike some of my other pictures like “Quiet Summer Wood” or “Maiden and Unicorn” that take weeks of painting, thinking, and revising, “Mother’s Love” was completed rather quickly, in just a couple of hours one afternoon. The main inspiration for this painting for me was the opportunity to play around with the appaloosa coloring: the dark spots on white, the white spots on dark, the roan-ish blending between the bay and white areas, and the speckling around the mare’s muzzle, were all exciting for me to work on. However, the main draw for people who see the painting is the interaction between the mare and her foal, reaching around to gently reassure her baby, a tender moment that seems to transcend species.
Sitting here tonight on a hot late-summer evening seems like the perfect time to look back on “Summer Night,” a painting completed around this time of year in 2014. Three horses under the full moon, quietly grazing and bonding in a tall meadow full of fireflies. Crickets are chirping, horses munching, and the soft breeze blowing through the grass cools the evening air.