29 Sep “Foray to the Front”
Foray to the Front 46 x 36″ oil/linen
Like most artists I work at home. Add to it the fact that this is a working ranch, which means we ALL work at home. This is not usually a problem and can be handled with a nice set of ear buds attached an iPod to block out unnecessary noises. However, now and then I get an unexpected visit to the studio. I like to limit these visits because they often have a detrimental effect on my creative process. Mostly because the visitor usually wants to give advice – really they can’t help themselves, we’re all artists at heart, right? Anyway, this painting suffered from such a visit and was set aside for quite awhile before I had the courage to work on it again. Thankfully it has survived where many have become firewood or floating devices cast off the nearest bridge. (Actually I don’t do that, but I’ve always wanted to!)
This painting was inspired by Taos Painter: Ernest Martin Hennings, whose horse processions have always fascinated me. Heres a few details on how it came to be.
This first photo (above) is of the preliminary sketch. I wanted that line of horses to draw your eye to the top of the mountains. At this point I didn’t have any idea about who the subjects would be, but I’ve always wanted to do something with women at the turn of the century vacationing in a remote part of the country like Yellowstone or Glacier Park – with a sort of Evelyn Cameron feel.
So, this is how I came up with the idea of women riding side saddle.
I also wanted these cavalry gentleman escorting the ladies through the wilderness, with a few added critters. The one below is a Hoary Marmot. There are also a few Picas in there too, but you’d need to look closely at the original to see them.
As always, photography on these larger paintings is tricky and I’m never fully satisfied. If anyone has a suggestions, I’m all ears.
Until next time…