Thursday, December 28, 2006
I then cut out these other flowers and put them around the horse. I did some watercolor and some acrylic painting over it all. Then I cut out another horse's head and pasted it on top of the first one. After that, I covered the whole thing with a couple layers of heavy gloss medium from Golden.
The feel of these cards, with all these layers on them is very "real". They have so much substance compared to a simple watercolor.
It seems the way it made me feel so happy to do this, I'll probably be making more....
Monday, December 25, 2006
At first, I was a little sad, but as the time progressed for Christmas day to arrive, I began to be glad. It was the perfect time for me to think about the reason we have Christmas, it all began with Christ! It became a blessing for me to spend a quiet day, realizing how important He is to me and how thankful I am to know Him.
We've not had the perfect December. My grandmother passed away. Her death was expected as she'd had a stroke and lay in a coma for a week. The hardest time was just beginning. Our nephew, Curtis, who was 18, was killed in a horrible car crash. His life was just beginning and we thought so much of him. He spent a few days staying with us this last summer and we enjoyed him so much. He was happy, willing to help, full of plans for his future. In a few days time, we learned to love him. We hadn't known him before that.
It's said all the time that life is short and we have to make the most of what we have. This Christmas is for me, a time to give thanks and to learn to appreciate what the Lord has given us. I'm going to treasure my memories of my Nan and of Curtis.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I'm in between studios again. We bought a 14X70 mobile home and we're going to convert it to my studio. So I'm moving out of the other house. For the winter, I've moved back into the spare bedroom in this house we live in. Somehow in the middle of having three incomplete studios, I lost my colored pencils. I was determined today to find them so I spent some time looking. Guess what? They were under the desk at the other house. I don't know who put them there.
Spring will be exciting. I'll tear up the old orange shag carpet from the 14 wide, get down to bare particle board floors. Paint them with several coats of paint. Then move in my furniture and have a permanent studio.
I think the back bedroom will become my water media room. The front bedroom will become my oil painting room. The little bedroom will be for storing frames. Every cupboard and every closet will be full of the tools of my trade. Maybe I'll never lose my colored pencils again.
Now I have to get back to the problem of this painting.
As always, thank you for stopping by. I wish you the best of holidays!
My website of Montana animals and scenery.
My horse ACEO cards.
Original art, a most treasured gift.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Update on this painting. I really wanted to keep this for upcoming shows, but I couldn't resist. I listed it on ebay and it has a bid on it. So if you like this painting, and you want it in your collection, click the link to my ebay store and place your bid. I listed it last night so I think the auction has five or six days left on it.
A wonderful person bought two prints from my ebay store today also. That makes this a good day for an artist and I hope for her also. When I purchase ACEO cards from artists I admire, I get so excited, waiting for them to arrive.
Thanks for dropping by to see my paintings.
Montana art, the animals and scenery.
Horse aceo cards are easily purchased with paypal here.
Original art, a most treasured gift.
"The Percheron's Eye" is sold.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
This is another aceo card. Only 3.5x2.5 inches in size. I like the way the paint slides around and does it's own thing on this Yupo paper. It gives this particular painting a soft look.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
This year hasn't been easy as far as personal problems go. Robert has had his left shoulder replaced, his neck fused and his back fused. He has scars upon scars from all these surgeries. So you can guess a lot of our time was spent in the hospital, going to therapy and recuperating from being in the hospital. My grandmother passed away, my dad had his shoulder operated on. We went camping for several days with our kids. We got married. We bought a 14X70 trailer house for a new studio and got it hauled in here.
There have been many things going on to keep me from painting but at the same time, I've done nearly 200 paintings and sold most of them!
I tried painting en plein aire for the first time this year. I did some unique landscapes, some crazy experiments and bought some new mediums. Painted some animals other than horses, which is hard to believe. All in all, this was a great year!
When I'm practising my drawing, or playing around with paints and papers, I'll spend 10-20 minutes on some quick study work. Mostly, I try to get the shape of a horse on paper and I'm using my how to draw horses books for examples of different positions horses can be in.
These studies are drawn on Yupo paper and I used my watercolor brush to do the drawing. Yupo is plastic paper so it's a unique experience. It's slick and it's not absorbent. The paint sits on top of the paper. You can wipe it off after it dries and you don't even know there was a mark there.
It's perfect for loose flowing things like the mane on the top horse. You can also flow in the shape of a horse, then go back in and draw the details on top. If you do this, you stroke the lines on fast or you'll melt the layer beneath them. Nice thing is, if you put a line where you don't want it, just wet it and pick it back up again. Let the paper dry, then place the line where you want it to be.
I suppose you could wash the same piece of Yupo off and paint on it forever! It's fun stuff. I think I went to Yupo.com to find the paper and they sent me nice sample packs so I could try the paper before I bought some. It comes in different weights and it's all fun to paint on. The title to this post is a link to their American website.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
When my kids were small, we had a mean rooster named, Duke Rooster. A trapper brought him to our house, and asked us if we'd keep him. This trapper had been tying Duke by one leg to a tree, using him as coyote bait. When the coyote came in to get the rooster, the trapper would shoot the coyote. This trapper said the rooster had fended off so many coyotes, so courageously, he began to feel sorry for the rooster and was looking for a good home for him so the rooster could live out his days in peace.
We took Duke Rooster in. Which was fine and good until Duke became the tyrant of the farm. The kids didn't dare go outside. He had spurs that would win in a Boone and Crocket spur contest. We carried a pitchfork with us everywhere we went and when Duke squatted down and spread his feathers for a charge, we'd pick him up with the pitchfork and hold him until he got out of the mood. With his feet through the tines on the pitchfork, he couldn't go anywhere and he'd eventually get over being mad.
Duke roosted at night on the corral rails. We think a hawk got him because one night, he disappeared. For a rooster, he lived quite a life.
My grandma is dying. She had a massive stroke last weekend. She wants to die, she refused all life support. Her throat is paralyzed and so is one side of her body. She never wanted to live to be as old as she is, she wanted to die when my grandpa died but that didn't happen. She's been in a place where she was cared for as she couldn't live alone for a few years now.
I guess I feel as mad as this rooster one minute and as sad as all get out the next. I wish she could peacefully go to be with the Lord in heaven. Who knew she would suffer this long without food or water? And knowing how she would hate to live with IV's and feeding tubes and not being able to move and being to old to recover, how can we wish her to live any longer? And how can we, as her family, not respect her wishes? Even after she had the stroke, she couldn't talk, if a nurse approached her with an iv or oxygen or suggested a feeding tube, she'd get so agitated. She jerked oxygen from her face, she doesn't want any of it. Talk about courage to the very last. She always told us, "Don't worry about me, I'm a tough old bird." It's true, she is.
But how I'm going to miss her presence on this earth. She's the one person who taught me it's ok to have fun in this life. You don't have to take yourself or the next guy seriously. Drink a beer, invite your friends in for a party, go fishing and whoop and holler! Cook a huge meal that almost founders your friends and family and enjoy every minute of it. Dance until dawn. Camp under the stars.
She hassled me every step of the way over my paintings. She rarely liked what I painted. To her, everything had to be "real". You couldn't paint just the eye of the horse. You had to paint the entire horse. Mountains had to look like they really are, you couldn't interpret the way you loved that mountain by adding your own colors and style. Yet she's the one who gave me my first set of oil paints and nudged, prodded and poked me to keep painting. She was an artist herself, like her mother was before her and like I am now.
When my son called me last night, he said, "Mom, how are you really?" The first words out of my mouth, "I'm a tough old bird, Johnnie, don't worry about me." They were her words and I said them without even thinking... her legacy lives on and she'll always be with me.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
On the off legs, I outlined with green instead of bright red. I probably used cad red light to outline the horse. When I first transfered the drawing of the horse to this paper, I saw that red line around him. Don't ask me why, these things pop into my head and I have to get them out onto paper.
I'm now seeing this thin red line all around the horse. So here goes, that will be the next step. Then you wonder why artists want money for their paintings! So many layers, so much work...... to much thinking for my poor brain...ha. I'm joking. I do love what I do, but I still want to get paid for it. No different than a doctor who loves his job. donna
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Here's the painting with four alternating layers of Sap Green and Alizarin Crimson on top of what was there before. I use the hair dryer to dry the layers. Some people say it dulls the color to use the dryer but I do it anyway. I'm liking the look of this. It's getting better. Only a few dozen more layers to go.....
If I had liquid mask, I'd mask off the horse and branches and this painting would go a lot faster. As I don't have any, I'll be careful as I go around the horse each time. If I mess up one time and get these staining colors on the horse or branches, it's ruined. Or if I want to save it at all costs, I'll use acyrilics on it at the end. I'd rather not.
My paper is thin, so it's buckling up. I just let it. Some people stretch the paper to hold it flat. I don't care what it does, I'll iron it when I'm finished and try to make it flat again. As I layer on the colors, I work with the curls.
I'm working on a rocking horse. This is my beginning drawing. I'll do a lot of work on this. It was supposed to be half rearing but that didn't happen. So.... if you can see where there are two parts of the horse that didn't line up, you can see where I cut the horse in half.
I've now put him where I want him to be and I'll trace over this with tracing paper and put his belly and back together again.
I wish I had taken time to scan all the weird things that happened to this horse and his base as it progressed because there were some strange things happening. This is the final sketch and you can see, this is the point at which he became a rocking horse. As I went along, I refined the drawing of the horse, and the base came to life as twisted twining branches of some kind.
I've transfered my drawing to 140 pound hot press Arches watercolor paper. This paper is really thin and kind of slick. I like dragging colors around on it. I let the Alizarin Crimson on the outside of the horse look very rough at this point because I'm going to add layers of colors until the background looks black. It might take 20 layers of color to do this. You have to be very patient as one layer has to dry completely before you can glaze another color over it. I'm using transparent watercolors only at this stage. Doesn't look like much yet, and I'm wondering how it will turn out.
I'm seeing the branches of the base with tribal carvings on them but I don't know what they'll be when the time comes. I'll post more when I get some more done to this.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This one is a watercolor on 140 pound hot press paper. I layer the colors over themselves until they're very strong and vibrant. It's 5X7 and I'm going to ask $35 for it.
The "Bucking Bronco" is sold.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
This is a little departure from my normal work but I like the old 50's graphic things. It reminds me of old cowboy posters from when I was a kid. This is a watercolor with permanent ink.
He's a watercolor painting with a little pastel pencil on it at the end. To make the background look black, I layered burnt umber, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, sap green, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, more sap green, more cobalt blue, more sap green and more cobalt blue for the final layer. The straw was easier, just a few layers of burnt umber, throw on some yellow ochre then add some lighter and darker colored straws with the pastel pencil. He even has his little milk whiskers showing.
I'll post him on ebay, although who knows if he'll sell. Ebay isn't doing very well right now for a lot of us artists. I guess the stores are luring the shoppers in with tantalizing descriptions of electronic products....
If this doesn't sell, I'll take that as God's way of protecting me because I have some upcoming shows and I do need art for them also! If I sell it before it gets to the show, I won't have much to let people look at. So either way, if he doesn't sell on ebay, he becomes product for shows.
This little guy is sold.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
So Robert sat in the truck while I went in this morning. I found this guy in sporting goods, he said he'd help me but he had to talk to management about taking parts off another machine. I said that's ok, you talk to them but my position on this is: I was going to buy a second hand treadmill from an ad in the paper but I thought I should get a new one to be sure it worked good and had warranty. I decided from all the stores in Great Falls to come to walmart for this treadmill, get it home and we can't use it because parts are missing. I said we held up our end of this business deal when we paid cash for your treadmill, now I expect you to hold up your end and deliver a tread mill that works.
He said ok, he came back in a bit with the arm that was missing off the treadmill. I got part way out to the truck and I got to thinking how there were some wheels on the end of those arms and they were also missing. So when I got to the truck, I asked Robert if he'd noticed those wheels missing. He said yes, you'd better go back and get them too.
So back to walmart I go. I found the same person, I said could I trouble you once more? There are also wheels missing from the treadmill we bought, I just asked Robert about it and he said they aren't in the box. The guy goes over to the treadmill he'd taken the arm from, gets the box off the bottom shelf and out onto the floor. He takes the lid from the box, he grunts and groans like it's killing him to turn that treadmill over. (I thought, what's wrong with him as I had carried the entire treadmill in out of the truck the night before and I had no trouble with it at all. It wasn't that heavy.) Suddenly the guy grabs the entire treadmill and sends it skidding down the isle. It made the hugest noise you ever heard and parts went flying out of the thing all over the aisle.
I was so shocked and half scared, I was just shaking inside. I pretended he hadn't done what he did and I said See that little box right there? We didn't have that in our treadmill so I think those are the wheels. He reached down, grabbed that box, slit it open with his knife and he was just fuming with anger, he said between closed teeth, is this what you are looking for? I said yes, and I grabbed the box and headed out of the store. About that time, a lady who works in walmart came around the corner and looked at that treadmill all over the floor and she had such a shocked look on her face. I turned back and got a look at the guys name tag and I reported him this evening to the manager of the store.
I was actually scared out of my wits when he did that. I hope he never does it to anyone else, what if a little kid had come around the corner in that aisle right then?
I still almost can't believe it when I think what that guy did to that treadmill. I kept thinking, if I don't report this, he'll try to sell it to someone and they'll pay good money for it and it's all broken inside.
So that was how my day in walmart went! I think the holiday crowds are all ready getting to the wally world workers.
It was a second prize, taking second to a painting I loved. The painting that won first was of a cat, leaning over a rock to look into a pond. I didn't mind taking second place to that painting at all because it was lovely.
To find the art show online, do a google search for Newton Fine arts Small and Miniature show or Carriage Factory Gallery newton ks.
Friday, November 17, 2006
If you click the title link above, it leads to a site about the Belgian horses. You can read up on them if you're interested in this wonderful draft breed of horse.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Robert is doing better after having his back fused. He still has a hard time regulating his body temp and he's either hot or cold, he's gettting bored from having to sit around so much. He's used to being outside working. But that's a good sign that he's feeling better. He can get tired from walking a block. Back fusions are not easy surgeries and he had an awful one. I think we're lucky we had Dr Schaeffer and Dr Dube doing the work. They're excellent doctors.
My next painting is a belgian draft horse and she's all mane and tail. I'm working on those long tangled strands of hair and trying to make her look cute under it all.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I might make several more paintings of her, as I'm working toward a show the Equine Art Guild is having featuring the artist's own horses, or horses that influenced their lives. There are other horses that have been very important to me so I'll have to do paintings of them also.
One horse I loved for 22 years was my first horse, Lucky. I was 8 years old and so was he when my Grandpa bought him for me. He was a cowpony. I'd sneak out my bedroom window at night and sleep on his back so I could spend a lot of time with him. I've been thinking of him a lot since the idea for this guild show has come up. I don't have many pictures of him, I'll have to see if my mom has some.
So, this painting of Class is finished. No more updates, I promise!
It might seem crazy to work this way, but at some point the painting will take over and appear as it wants to be. There will come a time when I'll get an "Oh Yes!" moment and know exactly how to finish this. In the meantime, I'll keep playing with colors, layering them in, blending some, letting others become sharp and clear.....wondering if I'm crazy.....and maybe when I'm finished, this will look like something fun for you to hang on your wall.....
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Here's a little painting, 9X4". It's a watercolor, made with using two colors. French Ultramarine blue and Burnt Umber. We took pictures of this herd of cow elk near the Swift Dam trail head into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
I call this "Girls Night Out". Just because it looks like the girls are ready to head off by themselves somewhere and have some fun! Looks like they're taking one last look behind them to make sure no one sees them leaving!
This painting is on gessoed mat board. I like this surface as I can float color across it and it doesn't sink in. This makes it easilly manipulated. You can lift color after it dries, and push it around the entire time it's wet. Makes for a fun process.
I haven't been painting much lately as Robert had his back fused and I guess I was worried about him and wanting to help him more than I needed to paint. He's doing better now and things are settling down. I'm back to painting again!
Monday, October 23, 2006
I'll post the link twice so it's easy to find it.
I'm a member of the Equine Art Guild and we're having a members show called "Interpretations". In our painting reference library, we have several photos of two of our member's horses. We each chose reference photos that appealed to us and did paintings from those photos.
You can see, there were a few photos that were very popular and several of us used those photos, but the resulting paintings are so different! It's an exciting show and I'm proud to be part of it.
You'll see my paintings under Donna Allen Weber as the show went online before we got married. Next year, my paintings in this show will be signed Donna Ridgway!
Go now and see the show, you won't be sorry you did!
Monday, October 16, 2006
For this painting, I was tired of putting color on canvas so I decided to try drawing with a pencil directly onto canvas and see what it would look like. It was ok, but lacking in excitement. I have some Rob Ross liquid white oil paint here so I dipped into it and began to smear it around the canvas into the graphite. It made the softest neatest colors of grey so I kept blending away until I liked the image of this little foal.
I've made another one since, but I'll wait until tomorrow to post it.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
The kids show pony is turned out for the winter. The busy show season is over. His banged tail is growing out, his roached mane has grown so long, it's about to fall over on his neck again. He's wondering where the kids and all the activity went! He's all alone in a snowy pasture, looking for company. Hopefully, the kids will come by and spend some time with him after school, on weekends, and holidays....
You'll notice I'm signing my paintings differently and that's because I got married. My name is Donna Ridgway now! That's pretty exciting for me....:)
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
We found this guy near Bonner, Mt at a wolf keep. It was quite a feeling to stand just the other side of the fence from a wolf and look into it's eyes.
I can't help but think the wolves would rather be dead than penned up like they sometimes are nowdays. I guess they don't get much choice in the matter.
We also got married! So now my paintings are signed Ridgway! What a good feeling.
Each of us thought we'd never do that again, but when it's right, it's really good. I guess that's what changed our minds.
Friday, September 29, 2006
To see all the artists who participated in the launch for these cards, click the title of this entry, it's a link to the official OSWOA website. Type OSWOA into the search bar of ebay when you want to see all the OSWOA cards that are for sale. You'll see every style and medium of art you like, just like you can with the aceo cards.
I call this painting, "The Changing of the Gaurd" as the seasons are changing on the Rocky Mountain Front, much like the gaurd changes at the Palace! It's an orderly procession that happens with precision ...
Sunday, September 24, 2006
We were visiting with a rancher near Choteau, MT, yesterday. He told us another story about a grizzly bear sow and her three cubs.
He had some Hutterite boys who worked for him. These boys wanted to see a grizzly bear. He told them one day, he'd seen a sow and her three cubs down by the county road. The boys jumped into the back of the pickup with their cameras and they headed out to see the bear.
This sow grizzly was walking along parallel to the road and there was a fence in between the truck and the road. The bear suddenly charged the pickup. The rancher poured the coal to the truck and spun out in the road as he drove off. One of the boys was at the back tailgate, snapping pictures of the grizzlies gaping mouth, the other boy was trying to break the back window of the truck to get in.
The rancher was a little worried, wondering if he'd get them out of harm's way in time. When the sow turned back to her cubs, she gathered her babies up and headed for the hills. One little cub stopped in mid flight to get another look at the people and the truck. He stood up with his front paws in the air and his head high.
The mom bear realized he was missing, and she spun around, ran back to him, cuffed him right and left and took off for the hills again. The chastized cub kept up with the rest of the family and they disappeared from sight.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Click the title link to learn more about Vivera Inks.
I always used Epson printers in the past. I've discovered something new! My epson quit me, wouldn't roll the paper through any longer. I was desparate and I didn't want to wait forever to get a new printer as I have prints for sale and have to be able to make new ones as needed.
I went to good old walmart and checked out the printers, I was madly searching for archival inks and a printer that would scan my artwork and print out my photos. Lo and behold, or hold and below and as one of my old friends used to say, I found an HP printer that would use archival inks. Tested to last 108 years or more!
Didn't think I could go wrong so I brought the printer home and tried it. I absolutely love the colors, and the quality of prints and photos I'm getting with this printer.
If I wear the printer out, as I will in a year or so, I can buy another right downtown. How handy is that? And the quality is amazing! I've never made such beautiful prints before.
I posted some aceo photos on ebay today. The colors are clear and gorgeous. You can see them above.