Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Back to my Comfort Zone

People tend to play in their comfort zone, so the best things are achieved in a state of surprise, actually."  -- Brian Eno
This occurred to me last week....

I was thinking about life, and art, and painting.  There's a long story attached to the fact that I want to spend more time with my horses.  I'll tell it some other time.  But I was thinking about art, too, and I realized...

Horses are what I want to paint.  And skies, and other animals.  But mostly horses.

A few days after I came to this realization, I went to the Fragrant Mushroom Gallery where my jewelry and my art is sold.  Cherri, a fellow animal lover and the friendly face at FMG, had a group of great animal loving ladies there (I sort of missed what organization they were working with, I need to find that out... I offered to do a painting for them for a fundraiser).  While I was talking to Cherri they were fighting over the two horse paintings I had there at the gallery and one of them bought them both :)

More recently... actually after I attempted the horse the other day in watercolor... I decided I really prefer to work in oils.

Now that the weekend from hell is over and the dust is starting to settle (mostly), I'm back at the canvas, and today I roughed in this handsome guy who seems to see a friend over the fence.  It's 11 x 14, and this is the very rough, work in progress version.  I hope to finish it by the end of the week, because my goal for June is to finish at least two paintings a week.  The other goal is to do more sketching.  Mostly horses.

I started drawing horses as soon as I could hold a pencil/crayon/marker, and never took much interest in drawing anything else until I took painting lessons a few years ago (of course, I skipped a LOT of years of drawing in between... a little sad about that but better to start some time than not to start, right?).

I'm also extra extra excited because Rachael (the lady who bought the 2 paintings) wants me to do a commission painting of her 30 year old TWH mare.  I love the idea of painting a beloved horse for someone.  I'd also like to do a series of paintings depicting the relationship between horses and people.

So prepare for some horses.  And other animals.  But mostly horses.  I'm giving in to my obsession.
Part of the problem with drawing horses obsessively when I was a kid is that some of those left-brained "this is how you draw a horse" things still persist, so I feel like some of my drawings come out pretty adolescent.  Oddly enough, I'm so much more comfortable painting.  But I feel like my inability to draw and sketch is kind of a liability, so my other goal this month is to sketch 2-5 pages in my little index-card-sized sketchbook (I am not as intimidated by this little sketchbook as I am bigger ones).  So, I started with the bottom middle one and you know, I think even in six drawings that I did tonight, I think I made some pretty major improvements and challenged myself with positions and angles I don't normally draw.  Expect a little sketch collage like this hopefully every day, and we'll see where we get by the end of the month.  Since legs/hooves are my nemesis I focused on them a bit today.