July 19, 2008

This weeks projects

This week I completed "The Itch" and started on two new pieces. I've noticed that most of the stuff I've been doing is horizontal, and I wanted to create a piece that was vertical. I've also wanted to continue to work with and experiment with gouache, a medium I'm fascinated with but haven't mastered. So I did a piece of Wenona's face, using abitrary color. I ended up trying to put as many colors in the piece as possible.
I've done several other watercolor and/or gouache studies in the past few weeks, none of which I've felt compelled to post.

The next project is a painting I've been wanting to do for some time. I want to do more pieces with women and horses together, but I find that I am intimidated of doing the human figure, unless it is stylized. I had my daughter take some pictures of me on Luna, so I could study the body and how it forms and shapes around the horse.

There were a few decisions I had to make about the painting as I worked though it. I had a general vision in my head of how I wanted it to turn out, but as always, I trusted that it would be involved in its own evolution, and give me the answers I needed as I work through the process. As I began to ponder what I was going to call it, the idea of a kelpie kept coming back to me.
A kelpie is a magical horse who emerges from the waves of the ocean and tries to seduce people into riding it. Once they get on it's back, it runs back into the ocean and the person is lost forever. Appearently, if you can get a halter on a kelpie, it will do your bidding. As I was riding Luna in the photo, she kept inching deeper and deeper into the water, and I had to pull her back around and out of the water, because I was afraid she was going to try to roll in the water (which she did after I got off of her). I decided to erase the halter from the picture and have the figure just grasping the mane, so that, if one knows what a kelpie is, the painting tells it's own story.

This painting, like "The Itch" and "Tails" is done in livestock marker (or cattle marker) and oil pastel. These are basically like giant oil pastels. They are for marking cattle and livestock, so they are very permanent, but oily and mallable before they dry. Fun!

I finally got photoshop after several years without it.. this was a cool image I made, by layering the finished painting at 50% over the photograph.

Here's the final painting...

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