This past year was the year that I took the leap and began to really put my equine artwork out in the world. More and more Facebook friends began to ask if I was selling prints or doing any custom work in response to the art journal horse paintings I was sharing. I took that as a sign and built my artist page in February and this website in March. I had no idea what I was getting into!
It has been an intense learning adventure to get a handle on all the aspects that go into website creation, internet marketing, social media relations and promotion, product development, preparing artwork for printing, let alone finding time to make art!
I am loving the challenge though and enjoying all the different aspects. Well, maybe not the bookkeeping. 🙂 I have enough inspiration and ideas for future horse paintings to keep me busy for years to come. Click here to sign up and stay in the loop on these future projects. You will get updates about once a month, called Nibbles & Nickers. And you will receive a fun, printable gift of some stickers I have made from some of these paintings when you sign up too.
I thought it would be fun to do a countdown of all the paintings I did in 2017 to show a progression of how the year went in paintings. Each painting is special in its own way and each has a story.
DG is the first custom painting I agreed to do and also the first tribute painting. This was also the first painting that I began to work from photos. Prior to this I had been working from imagination. I enjoyed the combination of extra detail the photo reference gave me along with the whimsical feel I had developed up to this point.
11. Soul’s Friend
Soul’s Friend is also a custom work. This was the first horse I painted that I didn’t personally know. Would I be able to connect to his essence and convey that in the painting? I enjoyed working with Graeme to bring through the energy of Ernie and combine it with the symbolism that Graeme wanted to use to represent his business, The Mindful Horse. Follow this link to see Graeme’s Facebook page, to see the branding in action. Prints of Soul’s Friend are available here.
10. Tranquility Arrives
Tranquility Arrives was a painting that I also based off of photos of DG. I wanted to play with some different color combinations and a wilder mane. Prints are available here.
9. Motley Crew
Motley Crew is a painting that I did on the back of an altered box. These three are back to my “from imagination” style. This is the first painting I did that featured more than one horse. You can find prints here.
8. Brave Trust
Brave Trust was a painting that began with one idea and totally transformed to another throughout the process. A tornado touched down in our neighborhood during the time I was working on this painting. Watching Belli, my pony, stand calmly outside, as a tornado was on the ground and traveling one mile from our farm, gave new meaning to “brave trust”. I had stamped the words, “kind heart, brave trust, beautiful soul” into the beginning layers of this painting. And I had been thinking about how horses exhibit brave trust pretty much every time they let someone put a halter on them or get on their backs. You can find prints of Brave Trust here.
7. Forest’s Edge
Forest’s Edge is another custom painting. This one is a tribute painting of Yanni, and contains many symbols, words, and song lyrics layered in the background. The bird in this painting has special meaning for Yanni’s owner and was one of the symbols she requested I add. As I was working on this painting, I was contemplating how to work the bird in and what color the bird should be. I was outside taking care of my own horses when the image of a red bird popped into my head. A few minutes later I found one of our cats tormenting a red house finch! I managed to save the finch and also had my answer on what color the bird in the painting should be. Prints of Forest’s Edge can be found here.
Lionheart is a painting based on a photograph by Juan Aguilar, who posts amazing photos of wild horses on Facebook. The horse in the original photo had a unique mane and forelock that stuck straight up in the air. I wanted to play with the idea of a lion’s mane because that was what it reminded me of. Of course, things worked out differently than I planned but I still am happy with the result. Lionheart prints can be found here and the original painting is available here.
Bubbles is also a custom painting. This is the first custom work I have done that was not one of my horse paintings. Painting a cat was surprisingly difficult for me. I learned that I want to stick with horses, that is where my strength lies. Bubbles is an adorable kitten and her owner has taken a bunch of amazing photos, so there was plenty of inspiration. But, because I have spent my life studying horses, I find it so much easier to convey the expression and the essence of a horse. Bubbles did turn out in the end, but boy did she give me some troubles.
4. She Rises
She Rises is also a custom painting. This painting is also loaded with symbolism. One new thing that I did was to include some of the owner’s actual handwriting into the painting via collage. This added yet one more layer of meaning. Every element in this painting is symbolic in some way regarding Luca’s story. Prints of She Rises are available here.
Caly is also a custom painting of a wise old mare who lives here at Cave Creek Stables. At this point, it was a luxury to paint a horse that I know personally. During the photo shoot she made sure to pose for me just perfectly and was very intentional about it. Her owner says that the painting feels just like Caly. That is a high compliment because then I know I got the horse’s essence into the painting perfectly.
2. Sunshine Daydream
Sunshine Daydream is another one of my custom horse paintings and also a tribute. Carson was a mustang and his wild spirit came through loud and clear in his photos. As I was working on this painting I was surprised at the color scheme that emerged, because it was so much more “earthy” than what I usually do. But then as I thought about it, it made perfect sense. Prints of Sunshine Daydream can be found here.
1. Moonlit Beginnings
Moonlit Beginnings is a painting in my sketchbook. This was one I started as I was working on She Rises. I used this painting to experiment on some techniques before I used them in the “real” painting. Then one night I began playing with the painting and it came together really quickly. As soon as I finished I knew I wanted to use this for my holiday greetings as well as creating a print, which can be found here.
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