Your sneak peek into the studio of Donna Ridgway, Montana artist. Updates, several times a week, art demo's of paintings in progress. Horse art, animal art, Montana landscapes. Photos of Montana, landscapes and wildlife.
This is slow going today, must have to many things on my mind. I can see Robert working outside my window, he's grinding off the cattle panels were turning into our outside display as we're getting ready to do the Chokecherry Festival show in Lewistown, Mt. We liked that town and they invited us back so of course, we have to do it!
We haven't updated the display for so long, it doesn't fit what we're doing now.
So in the middle of painting, I'm trying to think up ways to spruce up the exhibit. It also has to be fairly wind proof, we don't want it taking off and wiping out someone else's display. Most of that, I leave to Robert, but I will have to think up how we're going to decorate the inside and make it look nice.
We bought quilt tops from my aunt who's in her 80's. She makes wonderful quilts so we thought they would make a great display on the tables. We now need some black table cloths that hang down the front of the tables to the ground....might have to go purchase some black fabric. That will show off the quilt tops to advantage. I just hope they aren't so wild you can't see paintings on them, everyone will be asking to buy the quilt tops instead of the paintings!
Some nice denim curtains will create our backdrop. They should look nice with the quilts in front of them.
So now, this painting is coming along. I got the colts' legs untangled, that was quite a job, to make sure you don't paint the right leg, the wrong color!
More equine art on my website, thanks for stopping by!
Got this started last night. I'm using cerulean blue and orange, acrylic. It's 8X10". On gessoed hardboard.
This two color combo has got me intrigued right now. It's so simple to go from cool colors to warm colors, to dark to light. And the range of colors from these two is quite amazing, yet you have such harmony in the colors. It's quite fun. :)
This painting goes very well with Stretchin' It as they're kind of the same theme of foals and what they do when they're in the pasture. They also fit together because they're the same size and the same coloring. They'd look great hanging on each side of a larger painting of a western theme.
Since these paintings are created with complementary colors, the eye perceives them as being a neutral grey, so they'd look good in almost any setting.
Of course, as you can see, Scratchin' It is still a work in progress, I'd better get busy on it and get it finished!
As always, thanks for stopping by, sign up at the email box to your right to have this blog delivered to your inbox, you'll have first chance to purchase paintings as they appear.
Here's the big baby again. The white manes just weren't working on this painting and I knew it all along but it took me a while to get brave enough to come in and change them. So my Haflingers have become buckskins and who only knows what breed they are now! I guess you can take your choice, they could belong to a pack string and have a little draft horse in them....
To see more buckskin horse paintings, go to my website, you can purchase prints for $25, free shipping and use the easy paypal buttons with your credit card, even if you don't have a paypal account.
Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate knowing you were here if you feel like leaving a comment. If you have a blog here, it gives you a great link to your blog.
I have to say, I've never had a painting go through such intense ugliness as this one did before I got it looking like I wanted it! I was going to throw it away at one point, then decided to gesso over a bunch of it and start over. Thank goodness for gesso.
This foal and his dam looked like Haflinger's to me, we found them near Ovando, the day we went over Huckleberry Pass. They seemed to belong to a pack string of close to one hundred horses and mules. They were cute with their white, creamy looking manes blowing in the wind.
You can purchase this original for $99 or an 8x10" print for $25. The original is approx 7.5x9". It's watercolor on gessoed mat board.
Thanks for stopping by and for passing the word about my paintings to your friends and relatives!
I started this painting and I think I'll call it He's a Big Baby. This is watercolor on gessoed mat board.
We're applying to a gallery, Robert with his poems and me with my paintings so I want some new work to use for shows and applications. We have three or four big shows coming up, so I need something for those too.
Now I know how it feels to need a lot of work and be pressured for the time to turn it out. It's a good feeling but a scarey feeling, wondering if you can get everything done that you need to do. I'll make a lot of prints for the shows and hope that carries me through with what I need there.
I've painted to day until I'm cross eyed, I guess that's long enough.
If you're interested in using the technique I use for these watercolors, first cover a piece of mat board with several coats of gesso. Let each coat dry thoroughly before you add another coat. I paint three or four layers on both sides, sometimes going to five layers of gesso. It makes a nice surface for these paintings.
I then draw my image onto the mat board, either with a pencil or my paint brush. The nice thing about this is, if you make a mistake, you can put some water on your brush and take it right back to the gesso.
This technique is backward from most watercolor painting. I put on a lot of dark colors, then wipe them off to get to the highlights. When I start a painting, as I've done with this one, I find the light places, and place a dark color next to them. I want the light colors to look strong and lively. This helps them to pop, and makes a nice contrast.
To put clouds in the sky, I threw cobalt blue over the entire sky. I then loaded a brush with water, and flipped and drug it through the sky, leaving random puddles of water here and there. They dry looking really funny with a lot of blooms and weird shapes. I'll go back in with a barely wet brush and pick out the highlights of the clouds and enhance their shapes.
To make grass, I throw some darker layers of yellow ochre and sienna onto it. I'm just going to for some random patterns to work with at this stage. I don't care how they look or where they fall.
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
You can see more horse paintings on my website. If you'd like to leave a comment, help yourself! :) donna
I used three colors, orange, cerulean blue and burnt sienna on this painting. I think it made a kind of different, neat effect. It's totally complementary colors so it seems to pop, even though it has a limited color palette.
It's an acrylic, which I don't do very often. But I did have fun with it.
He'll probably show up on my website for $350, professionally framed, or you can purchase him here by getting in touch with me.
As always, you can see more horse art on my website. Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment if you find it in your heart. :) donna
He's Goin' Places! This little foal is marching across the prairie, chewing, and working his lips, he's probably looking for his dam!
This is a little ACEO card, watercolor on gessoed mat board, varnished for protection. I has white space around it so it can easily be framed as miniature art, or trimmed and placed into an ACEO album.
You can see more of my horse art on my website. Thanks for stopping by, your comments are appreciated. Let me know if you were here! donna
This is my messy old palette. I haven't cleaned it in a long time because I've been painting watercolors and to tell you the truth, I forgot all about my oil paints and they dried up.
I actually sat this old thing in front of my desk and for the last month, I've seen it there without thinking about it.
Today, I got to wondering why I hadn't cleaned the old paint off the surface as it sure looks terrible. The longer I stared at this, the more I saw a painting inside it. Look hard and see if you can find a woman with long green hair, purple skin and a wonderful look of freedom upon her face.
If you need help, here she is.
And from looking at this picture above, I created this painting:
If you're an artist, there's inspiration all around you. In fact, you're so inundated with inspiration, it's hard to know what to paint next. I don't think I'll ever catch up with all the images and ideas I see in this world and inside my own head.
Most of the time, I paint horses, and I'm totally happy to do that. But sometimes, other things call to me and I paint them. I want to be an artist who can paint most anything so I keep trying.
There were also some funny reasons this painting came to being. Someone I know was visiting with me yesterday about a church in Great Falls called Set Free. They'd gone there to get free food. I think the words Set Free stayed with me.
I've also been thinking about how wonderful it is to live with my husband who I love to pieces. I feel set free by the love we share and the freedom we give each other to be ourselves.
So you could say this painting is about me and something very personal I've been thinking about lately.
But, truly, I don't have purple skin or green hair. :) LOL
If you've had enough of this and want to see some horse art, it's still there on my website. Donna
I learned to drive in a truck almost identical to this one. My dad took me out to the horse pasture, where there was a steep hill. The truck had no brakes. He said if I learned to drive without brakes, I'd always know how! We'd get in the middle of the hill and he'd have me stop and start out again! I did learn to drive.
The pickup had one of those starters on the floor that look all wrinkled. You had to manage a lot of pedals to get started again on that hill. Only way you could stop, was to work the clutch in and out to hold the truck in place. If you killed the truck, it was so much trouble to get going again! We rolled to the bottom of the hill several times.
I could barely see over the dashboard, so I'm not sure how old I was. I do remember driving grain trucks and hay trucks when I had to get down off the seat and onto the floor to stop or start the truck moving. I don't suppose I was very old. We had a throttle dad would set for speed, but if you needed to stop, you had to get off the seat and hold the clutch and brake in with your hands. :)
Everything changed! I wiped the brown off the blue horse and made him blue. I liked him way better this way. I simplified the background. I wanted to make this painting look clean, and kind of icy, except for the mule.