Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I haven't been here for a while. Today I did this watercolor of a grey horse standing by the water trough. It's an open winter in Montana. You can see the brown grass and the windbreak trees behind the horse. I've emphasized the colors in this painting to give it some punch. I like bright colors! Donna

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Here's an update on the two scratching. I"ve done work on their eyes and some detail in the neck and jaw on the Appaloosa. Still don't have the jaw right. I'll have to study that...donna
I'll be going through a lot of changes but these horses are coming along. I've changed the jaw on the appie, it was wrong in this photo. Be adding spots and details, changed the neck under his jaw too. It's beginning to come along.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Here's a little circus horse. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, one of my older cousins took me to school with her for the day. Someone at the school was putting on a carnival. My cousin threw a ball and won a chalkware circus horse. She immediately handed the horse to me and said, "Here, you love horse, you can have it." I treasured that horse for many years. When I was grown up, I was helping my parents for a while when they were starting a new business. We went back and forth from one location to another and someone took my circus horse. I went without one for many years, until one day I found another at a flea market and bought it. I pretend it's the one my cousin gave me!

I did this painting of my circus horse yesterday, I wanted to capture the feel and excitement of a circus so I played around with the background until it felt exciting to me. When I get some glitter, I'll put it on the horse as these chalkware horses had glitter on them. It seems that will finish this painting off to perfection!

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm still thinking about Molly B so here's another photo of her. Molly B has come to represent something important to me. When I was growing up, on a Montana farm, the care of animals was our main focus. They were our living. Although we accepted the fact their lives were shortened because they were part of the human food chain, we gave them the best care we possibly could while they were entrusted to us. We'd raise a beef to eat, it would be part of our family until the fatal day when it's life ended and it's meat filled our freezer. It might seem impossible to some people, but it's the way life is. Human beings have been at the top of the carnivore list since they were created.

At the same time, we have this incredible ability to nurture and to save. I spent agonizing hours in my life, trying to save animals. They were hurt, they were hungry, they were lost. I'd spare no effort to keep them alive and healthy.

Molly reminds me of all the animals I've lost in my lifetime. As I left her pen, the roll call of names scrolled through my mind. The spectrum of my emotions went from high to low, as I recalled each animal I've loved and lost. The high, the joy I experienced as I knew that animal, the low was the pain of their loss.

This has helped me to know why I paint and photograph animals. In my paintings, in my photos, they never grow old, they never grow sick, they never die....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This is Molly B, the heifer who escaped from the packing plant in Great Falls, Mt. She ran across Great Falls, about 8 miles, through traffic, and swam the Missouri river before she was captured. The nice people at Mickey's Packing plant are going to keep Molly B and allow her to become an ambassador for good will for Great Falls. (This information might change, but I believe it's what's been decided)

So-000. Molly is now a celebrity. I'm not sure she's taken it all in yet.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Here's some more work on these two. I"ll be refining the neck and face on the horse closest to you. I've got him looking old and he's supposed to be a young horse. Of course I need to work on the neck and chest some more too. I like to get my horses looking like they really do before I start putting their real colors on them. I guess you could call this my "drawing" stage.
Oh, what a mess! I'm starting a new painting. You can barely tell, it's going to be of two horses, scratching each other's backs. I have some refining to do. My favorite way to do an oil painting is to begin by smearing some color on the support. I don't care what colors it is, I just want something I can draw into. From that point, I start to "find" my horses in there. I know they're there! You can see all the things you've done wrong at this stage. It's a continuous process of refinement, right up to the moment when I can say I'm finished. donna

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I once did a photo shoot for a master blaster. We were dynamiting a basement for a huge house. I liked this photo especially, because I caught a rock in mid air when one of the blasts went off. I'll post some more of my blasting photos tomorrow. I was digging through my photo cd's when I found this image. The flying rock is the dot you see in the middle of the dust cloud.
Here's a painting of two ranch horses, turned out on winter pasture. This is a miniature painting of the horses. The pinto is a little thick necked. I'll probably fix that. donna
This photo is kind of gruesome but I liked the way this hawk was defending his food against my intrusion. It is true to the nature of the hawk, he'll hunt and kill for his dinner, or he'll take a freebie meal if it's available along the road.
Traveling up the North Fork of the Teton, you come to Indian Head Rock. You can easily see how it got it's name. Donna
A mule wearing make up? This little mule had eyeliner on, there's no doubt of it in my mind. I thought he was so cute. donna

A sorrel horse, taking a power nap, makes a good horse picture! I also liked the horse picture on the bottom photo. This bay horse is looking up the south fork of the Teton River, west of Choteau, Montana. David Letterman has a ranch just south of this photo, along the Rocky Mountain Front.
For a change of pace, here's a picture of a hawk. He was cleaning his beak, kind of "brushing his teeth" after he'd eaten a huge meal. I'm always happy to get wildlife pictures on our photo excursions.
Sometimes an idea comes to me from a photo I take. This time, the idea for some paintings of "cow ponies" came to my mind. Many times in winter, the horses are turned out with the cattle to graze. This horse, doesn't mind sharing his food up close and personal with this curious cow. I thought they were cute together and before long, I might do a series of paintings called "Cow Ponies".
The horses in this picture are truly "cow ponies"!
A truly black horse. You don't find them this nice and black very often. Since my website is, I thought I should be uploading some nice pictures of horses for your enjoyment....
I decided to go find some horse pictures over the new year's weekend. If you like photos of horses, these are a New Year's gift for you.

This horse had very unusual eyes and I liked his direct, honest gaze. I think I see a little bit of mischieviousnes in there also!

Photos will be for sale on my website shortly.