Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rocking Horse, Work in progress, watercolor.

This seems to be getting fall colors. I never knew that would happen. Painting is always a surprise to me. I don't want to know ahead of time what's going to happen. It's more fun this way. The darker the background gets, the less you see the roughness of each layer, yet it's all there. It creates some strange patterns and colors when you slurp the paint on and around like this. So far so good on getting the paint in the right place, I haven't totally ruined the horse by a wrong brush stroke. That's not to say it can't still happen as I have more layers to add.

Rocking Horse, wip

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.....

Rocking Horse, wip

It's got the uglies that's for sure! This is a layer of sap green over the AC. I'm going to keep going back and forth between these two colors until they get really dark. I like thin watery glazes. It seems each one shows through the others and you get so many layers and mysterious happenings inside your painting. It all has something to do with the way light bounces off some colors and absorbs into others. I don't get very technical about this stuff.

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.

One rocking horse, coming up. WIP

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

Bucking Horse, watercolor

When some people say they're going back to the 50's they think of the cars, or the music. I'm going back to the 50's but I'm thinking of the art. My version of these old time horse graphics might have a modern twist to them, but they're done because I'm thinking of the old days.

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

Toy Horse on the Desert, ACEO watercolor.

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.

Horse ACEO, foal painting.

This little guy has perfected the art of the stretch. It isn't easy when you have such long legs and not very much control over them.

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

Walmart experience.

My Robert is supposed to do a lot of walking to get well, he's recuperating from back fusion. So we went out last night and got a tread mill at walmart as the weather is supposed to get really bad here pretty quick. We got the tread mill home and there were some parts missing when we went to put it together. I called Walmart and they said come in tomorrow and get the parts, we'll take them off another machine.

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.

Award winning painting.

What a wonderful surprise I received in my inbox last night! This little painting won an award at the Newton Fine Arts Small and Miniature juried show. I was so excited, I was running and yelling all through the house like a crazy woman! To make matters even better, it was a cash prize!

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

Belgian Draft horse with lots of mane. Oil painting ACEO.

Even though Belgians are large horses, there's almost more hair to this one than horse! Her name is Adrianne and she's sure cute. She's a PMU rescue and her owner generously gave me permission to paint her. She'll be for sale in my ebay store
this evening.

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.

Painting Sold

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sage Runner, ACEO Oil Painting, Horse picture

This is a little Sage Runner. It was actually my horse Class. We turned her out in a pasture after having her with us on our two acres all summer. Boy did she run. She was having the time of her life. Two acres isn't much room for a thoroughbred so we take her to the mountains in winter and fall when feed gets short. It gives us a chance to love her up but lets her spend some free time also.

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.
Painting Sold

Monday, November 13, 2006

WIP 4th installment, thoroughbred horse. Retired race horse.

Now, I like it for sure. I added a blue shadow under the mane, brought out the light places on her face and generally reworked the body. She looks kind of alive and glowing like Class really does look. She's a gorgeous horse.

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!

WIP 3rd installment, thoroughbred horse. Retired race horse.

Much better. I'm not going to work on this forever, so it's probably finished. I like having more color in the horse and less in the background. I hated the red so I was glad to see it go! Can't say I won't put some more color in the horse, it seems to give her more substance and she might need it. Her shoulder isn't quite right yet either, the line of it is to strong and unatural. So I suppose I'll go back into it again...Once I post things, I see more I want to do to them. :) Donna

WIP 2nd installment, thoroughbred horse. Retired race horse.

I signed this but I can see I'm not finished with it yet. I'll probably work on the shapes of the colors behind the horse, they don't fit right. I'll make the horse more orangey brown too. What fun, to sit and play with pastels.

Work in Progress, pastel, suede mat

Here's a picture of my horse Class again. At this stage of the painting, I have no idea what it's going to become. I look in the box of pastels, and I touch them, pick some of them up and put them back down again....After a while, I pick one up and use it on the painting in one place or another. I make random layers and shapes while trying to keep the form of the horse on the paper.

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

ACEO, Barnyard Duo, Pastel painting.

The pastel pencils have still got my attention. I'm starting to love these things. I'll be wanting more colors before long.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Medicine Hat Paint, Pastel, ACEO Card

I bought some pastel pencils so I could work on ACEO cards in pastel. The large sticks are to hard to manage. This Medicine Hat paint looks worried but I'm not sure why!
Painting Sold

Friday, November 10, 2006

Elk watercolor painting by Donna Ridgway.

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!