Horses

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I have only ever ridden a horse on two occasions. Once on holiday in the lake district and the first time at a nearby village where we were visiting a friend.

I used to cycle a lot, so the first ride (well sitting on a small horse being led on a halter round a feild) didn’t feel too scary, except when the horse lowered its head to crop the grass. I felt like I would slide down its neck. I still felt safe because it was under supervision.

The second time was a few years ago, before I got creaky and was still able to climb up onto a mounting block. First we had a little amble around a fenced in square of concrete. Then after being showed how to hold the reigns, we went for a short walk on some flat land between the rolling green hills of the south lake district (near Barrow I think).

I tried kicking and clicking my heels to get the horse to walk on, but it would only go when the other horses were moving. We gradually wended our way up an overgrown lane. High on either side with tall grasses and nettles. I regretted wearing ordinary shoes as some of the nettles were tall enough to sting my ankles!

Luckily the horse had thicker skin so as it was in the middle of the bunch it continued its stately waddling walk up the lane.

We finally got to a gate that led onto the main road, but thankfully we turned round and started off again. I realised we were heading slightly down hill and had the familiar vertiginous feeling as the horse dropped its head to nibble at some juicy flowers.

I was glad to dismount, which was a bit of a struggle! I was not used to riding horses and found it quite uncomfortable.

I’ve never been out on a horse again. I doubt I could climb aboard now. I still have much respect for horses, they are beautiful animals, and all the ones I have seen have been friendly. I really respect anyone who can horseride. That must be a wonderful skill. How they can stay on while the horse gallops along underneath them is beyond me.

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Finished Owl

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He’s finished ! Took a while….

I have been a bit “off” lately, I’ve wanted to finish a couple of paintings but haven’t felt up to it. To do art you have to concentrate, work out what you are doing, then act on it. I could think what I wanted to do but could not do it. I think I had been working so hard towards the two craft fairs I did a couple of weeks ago that I had run out of steam. So it’s good to be able to paint again. I love this little owl, he’s only tiny but I think he’s a real character. He should be going to a new owner today.

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Crossed cats paws 🐾

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You sat a while, washing, paws crossed in contentment. A tiny leaf near to you, ready for the swift pounce when you see it again. Then dance around the room, catching, lifting it up in the air, only to see it fall again. Your eyes gleam as you lick a back leg, plotting a swift twitch of your paw. A substitute mouse or bird, but far less cruel. Cat you have got cattitude!

Recent minatures

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If you wonder where I have been, I have been painting these tiny miniature paintings on canvases around the size of a matchbox.

I’m quite enjoying doing them. I would like to present them in small gift boxes but I don’t know where I can get some from.

People don’t seem to have room for art, so the idea is they might buy one of these to put somewhere special… you never know…

I haven’t done much this month but at least I have got going again over the last few days. I’m putting an Exhibition up later today which will be up on Saturday and Sunday at Etruria.

Details are that the Etruria Industrial museum is holding a static steam engine day on Saturday and a classic car day on Sunday.

Might see you there…..

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Chameleon

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Oh Chameleon,

How do I draw you?

You are Camouflaged in camouflage !

You hide in plain site

Like an octopus hides itself

Or a wobbigong shark,

Or a squid…..

Oh Chameleon

Your tongue is so long,

Like a limpet catching prey,

As long as a woodpeckers tongue

wrapped round its brain?

Or an anteaters snout?

I don’t know,

Because I can’t see you,

Hide in plain sight

Out of sight.

That’s your trick

Sneaky……

Portraits

 

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing people’s images when I paint and draw both traditionally and digitally. I also enjoy painting animals, and again I need to be accurate in representing them.

There are lots of books and videos to aid drawing and painting techniques. But the biggest thing that helps me is practice. Like anything else the more you do the better you get.

That said, having the book you are drawing in or canvas you at painting on placed at an upright position, either vertical or slightly sloping, helps with the resulting picture. If you draw on a horizontal surface thee picture can end up elongated or distorted. Similarly if you have a canvas in front of you too low down you can end up with a picture where the head may be to big, and thevlegd too small. It’s all a matter of positioning so you see the image equally.

I don’t tend to draw out first, I’m really terrible for starting with the eyes then working my way out! I guess I think the eyes hold the character. If you look at a face eyes are not always level. Because a face is symmetrical does not mean it completely matches on either side. Edgar Allen Poe was photographed, and when you take the two halves and multiply them into two new faces it could be two different men you are looking at…

Anyway it’s too early in the morning to be doing this…

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P.S. the paintings here are distorted a bit because of the angles they were taken at. I have tried to straighten them up digitally but they are still a bit “off” I will try and get more photos if I can, but some belong to a relative who lives a fair distance away .

Finished painting?

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I’m calling this finished…for the moment, its a question of how much detail I can add….

I enjoyed painting him, but there is such a lot of fur, of different shades, tones and colours, that its hard to get it right. I hope his owner will like him.

I met a lady yesterday who happened to come in to the warehouse at Etruria where we are holding an exhibition and hands on workshops at the weekend at Etruria Industrial Museum – (see my previous blog). She showed me photos of her son’s work, it was stunning! He does paintings of horses, and the attention to detail reminded me of the work of George Stubbs, whose equine paintings are remarkable. We both agreed that Stubbs painting of the horse Whistlejacket is one of our favourite paintings.

So this little fellow will be off to his home soon. I enjoy painting pet portraits, its a challenge to get an accurate image the owner will approve of. There is something about portraits of people and animals that appeals to me.