Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Do Horses Dream?

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Of course, no one knows for sure but the horses and they aren't telling. A lot of "experts" think that they can't dream because they have no soul, but we know better, don't we? There is a belief among the Irish people that children, before they reach the age of reason (whatever that may be), are still able to see angels and hear the music of Heaven. Their minds have not been so cluttered with the things of this earth that hide such sights and sounds from the rest of us. If I choose to believe the same about animals, who can prove me wrong? Every now and then, I see this faraway look in the eyes of my dog Barney and I long to know what he is seeing that I can't see. I have seen the same look in the eyes of horses and cats, haven't you? Sometimes I am embarrassed by the arogance of mankind. We could learn a lot from the animals; things such as unconditional love and absolute trust and devotion, honesty, courage and joy.
White horses and dreams seem to be a recurring theme with me. They are beautiful animals to admire and appreciate but for me there is something spiritual about them. They seem almost other-worldly, magical creatures. Of course, this notion would change if I were the one cleaning the barn, I am sure. I have probably seen too many movies and heard too many of my mother's bedtime stories when I was a child.
This, I think, is the finished painting, and if no adjustments need to be made, I will list it on eBay tomorrow. For those of you who are familiar with my more realistic work, don't worry, I haven't left it. Even now there is an acylic painting of a cat under a table (or maybe a chair) that is more that style. Well, it may be an oil painting, we will see what happens.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Work in Progress

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I was looking through one one my portfolios and discovered a drawing done in white charcoal pencil on Indigo Canson Paper. I began the work some time ago, but for one reason or another, never took it past the initial drawing. Seeing it today revived the vision. So I began modeling the horse and laying in color. The blues and lavendars make up the colors of dreams, the dreams of wild freedom. Of course it has a long way to go and I am not sure I like the composition, but I love the energy, the freedom, the colors and I hope I can carry out the dream. Fortunately pastel is a medium that CAN be changed and corrected. If it works, I will show you the final product. If it doesn't we will forget I said any of this, right?

This would probably be a good place to confess that every painting does not always work out the way I plan. And sometimes I DON'T plan. At least not enough. Sometimes the spontaneous ones turn out to be my most successful. And sometimes they turn into total disasters. This would also be a good time to tell you that sometimes the experience of painting is more important than the finished product. But sometimes the whole experience is nothing but pain. Still, I would rather be doing this than anything else in the world. And as long as there is beauty in the world, especially in the form of cats, dogs, horses, wildlife and flowers, I will continue to paint them, not because I want to but because I have to.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kitten Playing with Flowers.

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Two signs of Spring and two of my favorite subjects: kittens and flowers. Just painting this made me feel better. Spring WILL come, flowers will bloom and kitties will play with them. This is one of a series of paintings of cats and flowers, a subject I hope to revisit often. The most recent one (I think) was "White Cat With Rose" an acrylic I did last year. "Kitten Playing with Flowers" is a pastel and somewhat more impressionistic than many of my other paintings of cats. Pastel seemed to suit the lightness of the moment and I painted it losely to portray her carefree spirit. I will try to put this on auction on EBay this evening.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Black Cat on Black

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Did you ever notice that God doesn't do anything boring? When He gives a fur coat to an animal, even if it looks like a solid color, it is as myriad and varied as the animal kingdom itself. If you look closely at this cat, you will see purple/blues and browns in the shadow areas and silvers and reds in the highlights. I plan to list this pastel on eBay this evening. It is a pastel on Stratmore Pastel paper, matted and mounted on foam core board.