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've discovered Picassa! Using this program, I can whiz through a hundred photos and choose those I wish to share with you in one click!
If you ask me, no other tree has such a wonderful trunk and creamy bark as the aspen trees. I never tire of composing shots among their forms and shapes.
Remember, these photos have been optimized for the web, so their true colors and clarity are not shining through.
I'll be uploading my aspen trunks to my red bubble site where they can be purchased as giclee prints on paper and canvas. Check out the red bubble site, you might find a great gift for one of your family for Christmas!
Thanks for stopping by my blog, we're having some cyber hot chocolate together!
More horses being funny! I uploaded some great photos of horses tonight to my smug mug site. They're in the album May 28 08 under the horses gallery. Hope you have fun seeing these two bugging each other.
The sorrel in this picture, with the blaze face and four white socks, looks so much like the very first horse I ever owned. My horse was named Lucky, because his mom died from a rattlesnake bite when he was a baby. He lived, drinking from bottle...until he could live on his own. He was Lucky to be alive!
He was also the love of my life, as horses go. My grandpa gave him to me when I was 8 and Lucky was also 8. He was with me until we were both 32. The day he passed away, he came down from the pasture and got as close to the house as he could, laid down and died.
He came to me in a dream the other night, so I've been thinking of him a lot the last few days.
It's truly humbling to me, to read what someone else has to say about my work. When I find someone who likes what I do, there's also a great feeling of satisfaction inside me, for that is one reason I create what I do.
I love this bright eyed horse! Not only was he bright eyed, he had vertical stripes down his front legs, something I've not seen on another horse. Another day, I'll post his legs. This horse, was just plain gorgeous, such a soft look in her eye.
I've switched from my poor dilapidated mac G4 laptop to a new windows machine running Vista. I had the greatest fear of windows! I never would have believed I could switch and be so happy about it. But this new computer is great.
The files pop open quickly, no matter how large they are. I haven't had chance to do a lot of things on here yet, as I've been so busy setting it up, downloading programs etc... But what I have accomplished, I've been very pleased with.
I had an old Wacom tablet hooked to my very first mac, I couldn't get it to run on my G4 computers for some weird reason. I decided to give it a try today and imagine my surprise when I went to the Wacom site, and downloaded the very driver I needed! After about 10 years, it's still good on a brand new computer. It's working perfectly. So expect some computer drawings soon!
Way back in September, it rained, and I got photos of mud puddles. Don't ask me why, but I can get totally fascinated by what I see in a mud puddle. Perhaps it started when I was growing up, and I spent most of each summer, summer following, and haying. The only entertainment on the farm, while you were driving round and round a field on a tractor or swather, was to watch the cloud formations and see if they contained recognizable shapes.
Now I see shapes and patterns in mud puddles...
I decided I ought to begin posting my mud puddle pictures under a Mud Puddle Madness series. There are some good ones...like the old hussy I see in the bottom picture. Surely you can see her also! She's quite the madam. :) Her hip sticks out in a sexy pose, her lips are pouting, her hair is frizzy, she has bangs...She's kind of cute.
You can click these images and see them larger, in the top photo, there's a deer fly sitting on the water. If he wasn't there, you could see an angel in there, somehow the flies presence ruins the angel. I almost photoshopped him out. Then I decided I liked him as the focal point in this, he's so clearly sitting on top of the water.
What do you see in these? Maybe there's only a goey muddy mess...or maybe there are some other things... Donna
Or you could say, Winter has arrived! The weatherman predicted snow two days ago, so we wondered if it would hit us or not.
It's good to know, we have everything winterized, wood cut, hay laid in.... We should be cozy as can be until spring.
If only we had got the studio skirted...we were having more fun taking photos and camping this summer than worrying about it. :) That's ok, we can do it any time...you have to go camping when you can.
I dried 40 pounds of winter pears yesterday, maybe I'll get the remainder finished today. Got some apples left to do also. Maybe I'll make apple pie! Can't think of anything better for a snowy day than fresh apple pie made with Macintosh apples from my dad's little orchard. Donna
Are you familiar with Gurning? These two horses stood tied to the hitch rail, making faces at each other for an hour or more. They're young horses, and wanted to get out on the trail, so they were entertaining themselves until the guides had the dudes and the mules loaded up. Reminds you of kids, doesn't it? Donna
Photo I'm working on for this project. This photo is not one of my own, I found it on an artist challenge project in a forum I frequent. I'd credit the author, but they didn't list their name. When my painting is finished, I'll be posting it in the challenge results. Here we are again.
I have discovered reasons I love to paint and I'm only in the second day of this experiment. The experiment is- After a summers vacation, of taking photos only, I want to know if I'd like to continue painting and taking photos, or go to photography completely and forget the painting.
Reason number one for me to continue painting is this: When I woke up at 5 am, I immediately remembered this painting was sitting on my desk, ready for some more paint! Painting gives me a good reason to get up. I don't lay there and waste an hour, waiting for daylight. As winter approaches, I'll have even more hours to paint before daylight arrives.
Reason number two: The funny things that happen when you're painting.... For example, I layered burnt sienna over this dog, then hit it with the hair dryer and a long brown booger ran out of the dog's nose and across the rest of the painting. Now that was funny. You might have to click the image above and see a larger version to get the full effect.
Reason number three: In 20 minutes time, I've drawn my dog, and even though it has rough spots, it looks like a dog. One of my most fun reasons to paint...to take raw materials, and create something that wasn't there before.
Reason number four: In 20 minutes time, my dog is complete with shadows, and light, form and shape, and the beginnings of personality. I've corrected the placement of his eye, and corrected the angle of his nose-need to do more work on the nose..... I've noticed his forehead is wrong and will be working on that next. I'm totally involved in the process of painting. The painting has taken on a life of it's own, and it's telling me what it wants me to do next. I absolutely love the feeling this painting has created inside of me.
Reason number five: Even though I work from photos, I draw the image myself. I begin on a plain white sheet of paper, and draw with my paint brush. It's so hard to explain the connection I feel between the image and the end of my paint brush, but there's an incredible pull from the image, directing my lines onto the paper, it's like I'm not doing this myself, but I'm pulled into the process. It isn't a push, or a nod, or a bump, it's a strong, steady pull, from the subject to the end of my brush.
I've painted animals from life, and although the process is fun, I don't enjoy it like I enjoy working from a photo. I don't want to have to worry about what the animal is doing next and try to imagine how they looked in the preceding five seconds.
And taking the photo itself is part of the process. When I'm taking photos of an animal, I get to know who that particular animal is...I see if he's funny, or smart, or kind of dumb and clutzy.
I like taking the photo that best captures his personality and habits.
Reason number six: There's something about painting that takes the photo one step further. The photo requires a mechanized process and a type of machine (for better words) to make the image happen. But the painting is "MINE"! No other person could copy this painting exactly as I painted it. Look at all the work around this country that's copied, the copy never looks exactly like the original.
You can go to an art class, where 30 artists in the class are working from the same photo, and no two paintings will look exactly alike. When I post this image to the forum, it won't look like all the other paintings the rest of the artists will paint.
So, you can see, I've discovered my photos and paintings are both part of my process. I guess I'll keep doing both. If I find more reasons I like to paint animals, I'll post them in my next post.
Remember, you can feel free to leave a comment before you go! Perhaps something I've posted has got you thinking....
Perhaps you don't agree with something I've said....
Maybe you'd like to take some art lessons, and try this yourself. If so, don't be afraid, jump right in and do it! The feelings you receive while you're painting are worth it. Let me know, and I'll help you get started.
Maybe you're painting and wonder why you do it! I'd like to hear the reasons you continue.... Donna Ridgway
Email Me if you have questions, or want to inquire about purchasing a painting.
Here's my first 10 minutes on this drawing of a lab. I haven't touched a brush to water since spring, so who knows how many changes I'll have to make before this actually looks like a dog.
I did think I should end my "vacation" and get back to work. I can't believe I've gone this long without painting something. It isn't natural!
I've gone without painting when I was doctoring sick animals, or had sick babies, or when I was packing irrigation pipes, and haying, but I've never not painted because I had no interest in it before. It's always been my life. So this is an experiment to see if I still "like" painting or not. Maybe it's way more fun to take photos and have an instant image, than it is to struggle along painting.
What do you think-why bother to paint or draw, when you can capture the image in a photograph? Is it worth it to paint an image, when it's all ready been captured by a camera?
There's something inside me that likes the process of smushing paint on a surface and trying to make it look like something real. But I wonder what is the purpose of it? Ideally, I'd love to paint something another person would love to own. I'd like them to want it so badly, they'd purchase it. Then I could buy more supplies and paint another picture!
I have some weird thoughts going through my mind tonight. I guess I'll stop painting now and go watch "Walk the Line". Donna