Posts Tagged ‘Andalusian’

Spanish Gold Andalusian Stallion
17 x 22
Watercolor Pencil on suede

Since it’s Sunday I’m in the gallery and working at a leisurely pace. I plan to (finally) hang my Christmas lights in the window. (Here’s hoping they all actually light and I don’t spend hours replacing bulbs) and I wanted to finish up Big Al. because it takes way more juju to create a new horse painting than work on an existing one. I still have a little tweaking to do and will probably continue to, until we make prints of it. I want to start my brothers piece today but we’ll see how the day plays out.

Derwent Aquatone
I used one of my new trial purchases on this painting as well. Derwent’s Aquatone. It is another one of the barrel-less (all pigment) pencils. I had only bought one white because I was dubious. It turns out that I once again I like the way it lays down pigment, good opacity and it sharpens quite nicely. My big dissatisfaction with it is that I broke my pencil twice in less than five minutes. Clearly it was not designed to take my kind of punishment. So no new set of these for me. But other than that I liked it fine.

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Spanish Gold– Andalusian Stallion (wip)
Water color Pencil on Suede
Approx 18×23

Okay, so I know I’m not the number one horse artist. Not even close.

But I did a Google search for horse artist and I (meaning Wild Faces Gallery website) was the first listing (of 30,800,000) under the ads and image results. (Whoohoo) Same thing for horse art

I had been ranking pretty high (as in first or on the front page) with bing, ask and yahoo. But this is a new for Google. Equine art I’m nowhere to be found. (or at least not on the opening page.) Still I’m pretty pleased.

Of course this can all go poof. In fact it may change by the time I post this. I better enjoy the glory while it lasts. I think I’ll celebrate with a diet coke and a snack. And then perhaps back to work on my painting.

A love affair with pink noses.
So I deviated from the real Alborozo by giving my horse a pink nose. I really have a thing for pink noses. I put them on every horse I can.

The nose area is not done. I guess I could break it down this way.
Ears: Stage 1 Barely started
Nose: Stage 2 At least one layer in
Eyes: Stage 3 Nearly completed

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Spanish Gold (working title)
approximately 18×22
Watercolor pencil on suede C1741

The easiest white horse ever.
I often struggle with getting a decent looking white horse. Of course I am always working on a white board or paper. So today with this soft grey suede, the white is almost effortless.( Sweet.)

I am having so much fun working on this guy. Long time readers know that I am a sectional painter. So these little pockets of horse divided nicely by the fancy tack are also keeping me quite happy. At the moment the tack is making him look a little askew. Part of that is when I drape in his forelock and mane it will be covering some of it. And part is because all the tack has yet to be colored in. (and perhaps part is because I was following my reference photo to closely. Ummm . . . . or not closely enough.)

The challenges of working on suede have once again stimulated my brain. (today I played around with working while the suede was still wet) I tend to get bored and it is the new challenges and the figuring them out part, that keeps me creating.


My dear friend Barb McGee stopped by the gallery yesterday and was looking at the drawing (I hadn’t yet begun to work on the actual painting yet) and she’s all “Well at least you didn’t crop off the ears.

I smile and say “Actually, I think I might.

With exasperation in her voice she’s all “Why?” Followed by a little shaking of the head and rolling of the eyes to indicate the insanity of such a thing.

And I’m like “Because it’s my thing.”

Truth is, whether or not the ears get cropped is all about my balance of negative space. So if I must loose the tips of the ears to achieve the desired results, so be it. And yes, that is my thing.

Transitional Title
I am pretty sure Spanish Gold will be the final title for my Big Al painting. But I have not completely settled on it. I started with “The Spaniard” and then thought perhaps “Silver & Gold” and then I just sort of combined the two.

Note: Barb is one of my favorite people in this world. She’s honest, though occasionally harsh sounding. She can say things to me, that if said by someone else, would totally piss me off. But coming from Barb, I usually just laugh and roll with it.

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Dances With Horses

Filling the well.
Well I enjoyed my horse filled weekend entirely. I spent a lovely morning at Noble Friesians just ambling around the pastures and enjoying the gorgeous weather. The horses were fantastic and after a cursory snuffle, they found me completely unremarkable (and treat free) so they promptly went back to grazing.

This works well for me because it is notoriously hard to get a good photo of a horse that is in my face and slurbering on my camera. I was hoping for some cavorting (to be clear, I was hoping for some cavorting from the horses, I haven’t “cavorted” in decades) but mostly I got grazing shots, (still an excellent way to spend a morning.) I shot over a dozen rolls of film and will share some pics if I get anything worth looking at.

Rachael, the barn manager let me wander at will among them, which is certainly a testament to the breed that you could let a complete stranger in their pasture and have no worries.

I do love Friesians. To bad they are way out of my price range. These horses are worth anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000 depending on which mare you’re looking at. That’s a lot of $$$ grazing in the backyard. Many thanks to Rachael for showing me around and letting me photograph these stunning horses.

Dances With Horses.
After the friesians and a nice visit with Carol Eilers, editor of Apples ‘N Oats magazine, I returned to Waterloo, IA to attend the Dances With Horses event being held as a fund-raiser for ASPIRE which a non-profit therapeutic riding program for individuals with disabilities. In addition to some headlining acts like the Andalusian stallion, Acierto and his owner Laura Amandis (shown here with the rearing Acierto) they had a few acts including the kids themselves. (bottom photo) Again a totally delightful way to spend the evening.

I was surprised to realize I had seen Laura and Acierto at Kentucky Horse Park earlier this year. I think I was so in love with Alborozo that I wasn’t so very impressed with Acierto then. Also, he was not as cooperative in the intense heat of Kentucky as he was at the “Dances” event. Their’s really is an impressive act and demonstrates the bond they have between them.

It is important for me to take the time to do activities like these, it keeps me motivated. I think of it as “filling the well” (or “feeding the source” . . . “tweaking the muse”. . .) sort of activities. I come back from stuff like this and just want to set right down at the drafting table and create something. Which is exactly what I’m doing.

No more WIP’s of Colton, though. I will post the finished painting . . just as soon as I finish it, that with any luck will be today or tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and mumbling over and over to myself, “I think I can . . I think I can . . .”

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I go to many horse expos and various events and one of the things that I have never done is had my photo taken with a horse. Owners who come to these types of events are so generous with their time and animals and often invite you to be photographed with their horse. I’ve always smiled politely and said “No. . .thank you though.

I have a horse. I have spent my life around horses and a photo to commemorate the experience of meeting yet another horse has never been something I felt I needed . . . until now.

This is Brigitte Eberl (on the right,) the sculptor of the Breyer Alborozo, and her friend Sondra (left.) They both came over from Germany to attend Breyerfest.

Carol Herden the artist I accompanied to Breyerfest and Brigitte are good friends. We had dinner with them both nights. Unfortunately by the time I actually had a Breyer model to be signed they had already left the state. (followed by the country) Big Bummer. I would have loved to have her signature as well as Avi’s.

When Sondra first asked if I’d photograph her with Alborozo I said of course. When she came back all smiles she offered to take a pic of me. I pondered the whole photo thing for about half a second then said “sure.”

So here I am meeting Alborozo, and I have a photo to prove it. Me and Big Al (thats a pet name I share with him now. You know because we have something special between us.) had a moment here.

Huh . . . I never knew I looked like that with all those fanny packs. I mean I look like a toddler with one of those blow up rubber floaty things around me, heading off to the wadding pool or something. In case your wondering, one is for new film, one for spent film and one for cash. I now realize I would look oh so much cooler with my camera case instead. But it weighs a ton and I always have to keep an eye on it so someone doesn’t run off with it. Hmm . . . Maybe I’ll need to put “So I won’t look so dorky” on the plus side for going digital on my pros and cons list.

The Other First
The Alborozo model was only available at Breyerfest 2008. To make it especially collectable Breyer broke the mold. Something it has never done in its 60years of existence. I had thought about including a pic of the actual Breyer but then I thought “Nah.” You can click through to see Breyer’s model of Alborozo if your curious.

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Alborozo: Andalusian Stallion

Christmas Comes Early
Isn’t this a lovely photo. Minus the cigarette this could be a heckava painting.

I got my photos back from being developed and it is like Christmas. Carefully opening up the many packages and rifling through all that glossy equestrian goodness. Smelling that hint of developing chemical wafting from the photos.

Breath it in deeply now with me. . . Ahhhh!

Equine Perfection
Just so you know I had to really control myself to get it down to this many photos. Actually as I was writing this I was thinking “Hmmm. . . I wonder if I should split up the photos into 2 or maybe even 3 posts.” (which of course I have done.) After this many weeks I still can’t seem to get enough of this horse. I mean I took well over 400 pics of him. (no kidding!) How can I include photos of him doing the spanish walk (see below) but not him doing a piaffe. (not shown) Not to mention the many and varied wardrobe changes. I need a photo that demonstrates all his glorious hair, but that might mean I would have to exclude a photo of him just being gorgeous. Sigh.

So what is the legal definition of a stalker anyway?
Occasionally a horse grabs me and I just can’t get enough. This time it was Alborozo. For the entire 3 days we were at the Kentucky Horse Park I hid out and waited for the chance to get a few photos. I might be working the booth and the announcer would say that Alborozo was coming up. I’d be like “Gotta Go!” to Carol, grab my camera and make tracks.

Truth is, it wasn’t until the last day that I actually remained in the arena to watch him perform. Otherwise I would be waiting either outside the arena or back at his stall. (all the better get some distance shots and keep clicking away until he got up to the barn.)

I was not alone in my adoration of him, as he was almost constantly surrounded by fans. I however was by far the most tenacious. I am a little embarrassed to say that when it came time to have Avi Cohen (his owner and trainer) sign my Breyer of Alborozo I was a little self conscious. Perhaps he never really noticed being surrounded by all those horse loving women. Perhaps I was just one among a sea of faces. I’d like to think so.

Andalusian or Spanish Horse?
Andalusions were named for the Spanish province of Andalusia from where it originated. What most of the world thinks of as an Andalusion, in spain is refered to as Pura Raza Espanola (PRE) or Pure Spanish Horse. Alborozo is a fine example of the breed for sure.

Note: I find it kinda weird that in some photos he looks very gray while in other he appears far more white. Suppose they actually had two horses? One (a look-a-like) for all those public appearance (white) where little girls stood smiling brightly in front of him as he was forever the patient gentleman. And another (the darker gray) for all the actual demonstrations. Hmmm. . . probably not. Odd though, just the same.

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