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.
I took photos of our Daisy's ears and got two I really liked. Now the problem is, I can't decide which one I like best. They are very similar.
The bottom photo gives you a hint of where her eye is, even though you don't see the eye. It also shows both of her ears.
But there's some reason, I seem to like the top photo better.
I wanted my photo of Daisy's ears to capture her softness, her fuzziness, her cute personality and the wonderful expression of her ears. The background color worked perfectly with what I wanted to convey..the colors matched the colors of Daisy, so they help to create a soft harmonious look.
In the top photo the one ear is definitely the center of interest. I think that's why I like it best.
What do you think? And why do you like one photo over the other? You can click the photos to enlarge them. Donna Ridgway Email Me if you have questions, or want to inquire about purchasing a painting or photo.
Amidst photos of wildlife, mountains and buttes, we also found an angora rabbit, calmly cleaning his fur. I have to admit, this rabbit was in the town of Choteau, at the KOA campground. His colors against the colors of the rocks were beautiful. I loved they way his "warm" colors, interacted with the "cool" colors of the rocks.
I grew up looking at these mountains every day. They're part of me. There have been times during my life, when I lived where I couldn't see them. I never stopped longing for another glimpse of these mountains.
Now I live my life in such a way, I can go to the mountains when I choose. It's the most wonderful freedom. I hope you like seeing these mountains that mean so much to me. Donna Ridgway Any photo can be ordered- Email Meif you have questions, or want to inquire about purchasing a painting. Other Montana photos on my photo site.
As if the spots on this mule weren't enough to see, he turned to look at me and stuck his tongue out. Like a naughty little boy.
We took this photo yesterday, on our photo shoot along the Rocky Mountain Front. You never know what you'll find when you leave home and look for animals and scenery in Montana. Donna More photos on my Montana photo site.
When I was a kid, my horse Lucky would take a nap. I'd see him out there in the field with his lip hanging. I'd sneak up on him and take a little pebble and stick it in his bottom lip.
He'd wake up with a snort and flap his bottom lip until the pebble came out. I'd laugh like a fool.
Last night, we sat here watching tv and Robert fell asleep in his chair. I decided since he wasn't talking to me for a bit, I'd go get my colored pencils and take part in the drawing challenge on the EAG forum. I went out to the studio, picked up a piece of canson paper, and grabbed a handful of pencils, without choosing my colors.
Back in the house, I sat down in my chair and began to draw this image posted by Sheri Gordon for the drawing event this week.
I was hurrying to see how much I'd get done in the allotted two hours.
The room was dark, I just had the glow of the tv screen and the computer screen to work by. Didn't want to turn on a light and wake Robert up.
Thinking I had grabbed a light grey to blend with, I went over a huge portion of the shaded side of this image..... I chose silver instead! I could see it glowing when I changed the position of the painting. How funny. A silver horse.
I tried going over the silver, and ended up with a kind of "resist" look to the whole thing.
Spent one hour on it and quit.
Seeing it in the daylight today, and hearing what the other artists commented, I might try to finish this and see what happens with it. There's also a fly on the horse's nose, which I didn't fully develop....If I work on this some more, and it turns out anywhere near decent, I'll post it later.
Kind of funny to work on a painting in the dark and not see what it looks like until morning. Donna Ridgway
We went to a tool sale yesterday and these are a few of the photos we took along the way. Near Cascade, Mt is St Peter's Mission, or what's left of it. This rock wall was at one time part of the girl's school, built by the Catholic Church to educate Blackfoot children. Late 1800's. You can read about this mission and an exciting lady if you google Stagecoach Mary, Cascade, Mt.
I especially loved the way this broken wall mimicked the shape of the hills in the background.
We went looking for wagons to haul our art work in to shows, and found this turkey! He was so pretty when he fluffed out his feathers.
Easy to see what this is! A Tail Wind! This horse was standing with his rear to the wind and I like the way his tail blew around.
Yesterday, we decided to go get wood from the junk pile at the local feedlot. Since the pickup wasn't running right, Robert decided to change the fuel filter before we left. As he was laying under the pickup, Daisy came along and untied his shoes. At one point, she had the shoe laces in her mouth and his foot about two feet up in the air. Of course by that time, Robert was laughing so hard, it wasn't easy to change the fuel filter.
Daisy is one of our donkeys, if you aren't familiar with all our stories. She's more fun than a lot of pets, as she seems to spend a lot of her time "thinking". Mostly thinking of mischief!
By the time the filter was changed, we had decided we should take the car and pull the horse trailer-getting two loads of wood instead of one. We weren't sure the pickup would run right, it might be the fuel pump is going out. This way, we could pull it home if need be.
So here we are, with the truck and the car and trailer, and plans for getting two loads of wood. Robert loaded the pickup, and I loaded the horse trailer. The trailer is 16 foot long. I had it in my mind to load it before he got done with the pickup, so he wouldn't have to do extra. I don't know how I did it, the boards are one inch, about half of them were all ready broken into 2 foot pieces, I felt like a "wood chuck"! But I did get the job done and the trailer loaded by the time Robert was done with the pickup. It's a good solid load of wood!
Some of it will go to barn wood picture framing and the rest of it is firewood. That wood pile is a treasure trove to us, we also pulled out some good almost new fence posts.
Once the wood is loaded, it's time to take photos of the cattle-the real reason I'm so happy to agree to go to the wood pile...So that is where the photos at the beginning of this post came from.
Here are some more cows: This last one made me laugh, you'd swear he's talking to you.
Huge, low flying storm clouds hovered over us all day long, you can see their grey color behind these cows. They made a perfect backdrop against the warm colors of the cattle.
There'll be cow reference photos for artist's to use on my photo site as soon as I get them uploaded. Hopefully by the end of today. Donna Ridgway
The day after a snow fall, these Montana horses are out searching for the prairie grass. They'll be so glad to realize the snow is going to turn the grass green! But for these late spring snow storms we've had, I don't think we'd have seen much green in Montana this coming summer.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you've enjoyed seeing these horses. Donna Ridgway
A true harbinger of spring. When I was ranching, I loved grabbing one of these little guys to listen to them bawl lustily for their mom. They're very strong, you have your hands full when you get hold of them...you'd better be determined when you make the attempt.
Of course, when they beller, their mom is breathing snot down your neck. So you tag them and vaccinate them as fast as you can. One of my happy memories of spring.... We saw eagles circling and circling in the sky over a ridge. We stopped to see if we could tell what they were watching....no such luck. But while we sat there, this eagle got curious about us! He swooped down low and craned his neck toward us. This connection to a wild creature will stay with me for a long time, for as I looked up at him through my lens, he was looking down at me. This is why I'm so in love with my camera. Not only am I able to go out searching for these rare and unbelievable moments, but I can share them, and through my photos, you can put yourself in my place.... Now this eagle is looking down at you! After the eagle looked us over, he soared away...his curiosity satisfied. He was so close, I was able to see his feet all tucked up under his belly. Here are two versions of the same horse on a hill. This one far away and the lower one, a close up. I loved the rough pattern of the brush, the figure of the horse, then the blank slate of the sky. In this photo, I concentrated more on the horse, the snow and the sky. I might crop the brush out and leave a blank surface before and after the horse. Those are decisions I can make as I go along.
"Rack and Ruin" This grand old barn is falling in......has lost it's stately dignity.....it's earthly usefulness is long gone. "Right Angle" I live the way your eye travels up this bush, and is forced to make an abrupt right to the graceful swoop of snow drift sculpture. "The traditional Montana Meadowlark" I've longed to capture the meadow lark on the post for a while, they've been illusive to my camera. Yesterday, we hit it lucky for not only is this one your perfect example, I also like the line of the fence and the pattern of the weeds. "Montana Meadowlark" Here's another version of this bird. I liked the way this fellow was turned toward me, curious, before he flew away. The Owl It's not ordinary to see an owl out hunting on a day such as this one was. The sun was awesomely bright, and light reflected and bounced off the snow, until it hurt my eyes! But when you look at this owl in very close up detail, on the enlarged, original, photo, you can see his pupils are very tiny.
Once again, I hope you're enjoying the photos from yesterdays' Montana photoshoot. Donna and Robert Ridgway
I love taking photos of dogs in pickups. They exhibit all kinds of doggie behaviour. This one has such wistful longing for his master to return. He hates sitting there, guarding the truck, feeling self conscious. This is a very "doggie" moment, captured forever with the camera. The line these mule deer created on a hillside interested my creative mind. I liked their path in the snow, and the way their dark shapes followed it. This little group of mule deer, trotting through the snow was cute. I liked their single minded determination and sense of purpose. Echoes of the past...an abandoned grain drill. Here we go again, another version of the dog in the pickup. These crows almost got us killed. Robert spotted them and they were about to take off in flight. He slammed on the brakes so hard, while yelling, "Look, Look, Look!" We get so excited when we see some critters, we loose all sense of logic or thought of where we are. The guy behind us will agree with that.... Thank God he was an alert and defensive driver. We'll do much better next time.
I have been working away for days, creating a photo site from the thousands of photos we take. I realize in all sensibility, I can not paint them all. And for goodness sake, why should I? Some of these images stand alone, they don't need to be turned into paintings!
On the other hand, I also realize there are many artists out there who can not spend the time or don't have the camera it takes to get images for their paintings. So I've also created a photo reference site for artists' use. If you're an artist, check it out and see if there are photos there you can use.
Sales have been brisk and hopeful at this point and the site has only been live a little while. I also have a page, where I'm placing links to artist's sites-if the artist has used my reference photos, and if he/she wishes to be placed there. I do charge $5 one time fee to place the link as I need a little something for the time it takes me to do the work. But this will give you a good SEO link to your site.
I'll include an image of one of the paintings you created from a ref photo on the site if you wish.
The ordering system is basic. Email me with the jpg numbers you'd like to use for reference photos. I'll send you a paypal invoice for the amount. When I receive payment, I'll email you the images. The jpgs you receive will be aprox 3000X2000 pixels and 180 dpi so make certain your email can receive the images before I send them.
In our photo shoot yesterday, we got very close up to the meadowlarks, an owl, an eagle who flew over, swooped low, and took a good look at us (we have that on film!) cattle drinking from a river, some nice horse photos, many photos of mule deer, the dogs in the pickup, some cute spring calves and other things. We had a good snowstorm here, so the photos are all of the snow, so that was fun for us, as we've not had snow for quite a while.
I'll be uploading the photo shoot later on today, hope you enjoy our Montana photo site. Donna and Robert Ridgway