Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Bunch of Bucks!

"Bunch of Bucks"

We were coming home from the car show at Lincoln, when we decided to head for Bean Lake on the cut across road to Augusta, Montana.  We noticed a mule deer buck in a coulee beside us, and we stopped to take a photo of him.  As we looked onto the hillside, we were looking directly into the setting sun and it took us a moment to make out there were three more bucks on the hill.

We sat and waited.  I took some photos of the bucks on the hill.  But the shot I was hoping for, wasn't happening.  The buck on top of the hill, began to walk out of sight.  The buck at the bottom of the hill was slowly grazing his way up, but he was a long ways from the rest of the bucks, who had begun to gather near the top of the hill.

Once again, the largest buck at the top of the hill began to walk over the ridge.  I held my breath and he stopped.  I ran down the road a ways so I wouldn't be shooting at them, directly into the sun.  The buck at the bottom of the hill finally came up to the others.

There was one split second, when the bucks stood like this together, then the big one walked over the ridge.  The impossible shot had come into being!  There are 25 tines in this one photo....

This photo of the bucks has won two featured spots on Red Bubble, one in the Deer Me! group, and one in the Even Toed Ungulates group.  I hope you enjoyed seeing it, as much I enjoyed catching it!
Donna Ridgway

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Henry, AKA Sharp Slicker, my new horse.

Sharp Slicker, or Slick, or Henry :) A favored child has many names. lol If you click on Henry, you'll find my album of more pictures of him. I haven't got good ones since, the light is just wrong for getting good pics of him.

Last night, Robert and I were dragging out some lumber wraps to cover a pile of lumber before it rained. Robert had drug several tarps out and I was going to pick them up to drag them where we needed them, but I had to walk over the pile to get to the other side of them. I wondered what Henry would do, as he was walking along as he always does, with his nose on my shoulder.

I stepped onto the crackly pile of plastic tarps, and he came right along with me. He had to step pretty high to get over them, but he just kept his nose on my shoulder and kept right on coming. I laughed so hard. I guess he will follow me anywhere?

We're having so much fun with Henry...and Pedro likes him too, even though Henry is such a big big boss of the show.

Henry is smooth to ride, his gaits are like air. But he's so large, in three strides he's loped across our small place. We're busy making a kind of arena so I can ride here, when I don't feel like riding along side a busy 4 lane highway. Even though the ditches are wide, it's more fun to have a private place to ride.

So that's what I've been up to lately! Riding and visiting Henry....

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"Kiss Me!"

Nothing can be sillier than two mules playing!  You'd swear these two are in love!

You can see more of my digital art on my Red Bubble gallery.
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The Hitch Hiker

"The Hitch Hiker"

This little foal wasn't quite ready to take on a rider yet, but this cat couldn't resist jumping on his back when the foal walked by the corral fence! The cat looks like he's daring the foal to try to get rid of him...:)

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Bright Eyes!

I took a photo of this horse near Charlo, Montana. I thought he was cute as he looked over the back of his pasture mate.  I added an old rusty car hood photo to this for a layer of texture, then I used photoshop brushes and many layers until I made his bright eye pop!
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Cowboy Camper

I spent some time this spring, redecorating our pickup camper. It's a traditional type pick up camper, 10 foot, with the bed over the cab. We picked it up for $100 at a farm sale ...It was in good shape, no leaky roof, and a nice floor plan, with two big closets, and a bathroom... We put it on our four wheel drive pickup, we needed a camper that will get us to some of the places we want to go, where a 5th wheel just won't fit!

This photo is of my grandpa, with one of the horses he raised. You can see part of the big haystack to the right, and more horses in the background.
It's not every husband, who could buy something like this for his wife, and have her be happy about it! But this is one of the presents Robert bought me for my birthday. It was an antique bottle opener, but we turned it into a cupboard door handle.
I recovered the back wall behind the table, with the same material I used in the curtains. The knick knack on the back of the table, with the cowboy boots, I painted to match the dishes. We'll use it for napkin holder.
Made the curtain tie backs from strips of leather and some conchos.
Imagine this, I even found a hair brush with a horse on it! The antique spoon, matches the wire whip from the other photos.

Robert made me a towel rack from an elk antler, I made the curtains, hung some antique items on the wall, and the horse just fit into the corner.
The rope hanging here, came off a bale of twine, from long, long, ago! The photo is of the Ridgway Saloon, in Camp Crook, South Dakota. Robert's grandpa ran that saloon for 50 years, and at one time, he owned Tipperary, the famous rodeo bronc.
There's a little horse show cowboy in the corner, swinging his rope, some Sweet Grass in the very corner behind the cowboy, my Grandma Allen's old spice cans, and the cowboy coffee pot, come on in, we'll sit and visit, the coffee's on!
I have an old wire whip, my old cinch ring, and some other antique decorations here...

I recovered the seat cushions with green denim...and made some bandana pillows. I was going for a "cowboy" look.
I painted the table red, and Robert remodeled it, so it sat against the back wall. We'll use the antique cowboy dishes my aunt gave me, many years ago.
This is our gallery wall, Charlie Russell prints, and my art work. We bolted the frames to the wall, so they'll remain where we put them! I do need to find a piece of glass to go over the Charlie Russell at the bottom, at the moment, I placed that print inside a clear bag. It works better when you're actually in the camper, than it does for photos! All you see here is the glare...
We placed black and white family photos on the cupboard doors, we wanted a feeling of nostalgia, and a personal touch. In this photo, you see my grandpa branding the calf, my Uncle Bill on the horse, and my great granddad Howe, looking on.... this photo was taken when they were proving up on their homestead land.
Scarlet had to pose on the bed! She loves it there. We found this southwestern type comforter at a yard sale for $3, we love bargains. I made all the curtains. They're made of denim, and I added the horses you see on the front curtain.

So there you have it, a Cowboy Camper!
Donna Ridgway

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"I'm a Real Bright Fellow!" More digital work...

"I'm a Real Bright Fellow!"
First off, I love seeing meadowlarks on fence posts! They're such in integral part of spring in Montana! But there are all ready hundreds of photos of meadowlarks on I wanted to do something different...

Secondly, I was thinking of the value of tones, sepia, black and white, and full color. So this piece explores that theme also.

When I was finished with the work, the title popped into my there's also a dose of humor in this photomontage. Hope you enjoy seeing my meadowlarks! :)
Donna Ridgway

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Digital fun....It's been a real dry year!

"It's Been a Real Dry Year!"

Here's a spoof on the favorite conversation of ranchers and farmers. I had so much fun working this up.

The world of digital art has interested me for a long time, but I've resisted spending the time it takes to learn "how" to do this for ages. I finally took the plunge and spent hours and hours working away in Gimp and Photoshop Elements, until I could create something I actually liked.

I hope you get a kick out of it also! :)

You can find this image for sale here on my Red Bubble site.
Donna Ridgway

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Eagle Rising

On Valentine's Day, 09, we decided to take a drive and see if we could get some photos. It was snowing hard, the wind was blowing.... We drove along the Missouri River and to our delight, the eagles were there along the river. Some of them were fishing, but most were sitting in trees. This eagle was on a rock outcropping, high above the road, sitting on a post. I had to walk up to him, and see how close I could get. This is the moment when he took to flight...

A few years ago, I met Sharon K Shubert in an online artist organization. We became friends. To make my story short, Sharon stepped into the world of digital art. I had a longing to see my photos used digitally, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around digital computer programs! One day, I mentioned to Sharon, we should get together on this....then I won't have to learn this digital stuff.... We were off and running!

I sent Sharon the large, digital file, of "Eagle Rising", and she created "Twin Eagle Landing"! Neither one of us knew this, but the other one, had entered their image in the "I Love Bird's Group" on Red Bubble. And each image was featured!

Here's the award we received for our images. I think it was awesome fun the way this turned out. You can see more of our combined images on Red Bubble and soon to come...on Zazzle.

This is an exciting venture for both Sharon and I. It's like when 2+2 ='s 5! My camera and my eyes, plus Sharon's digital knowledge and her eyes, creating something better than the sum of the parts!

Donna Ridgway

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Want to help me name this photo? Some awards!

Need some captions for this photo. I'm sure someone can come up with something good! I asked on Twitter, and Facebook also. Be fun to see what anyone thinks it could be called.

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Another of my photos was featured on Red Bubble in the Wolves in Art group. I was tickled pink to open my Red Bubble page and see the notice they liked my "In the Trees" photo of a wolf.

Last but not least, Linda Shantz awarded me A Passion for Painting award! She's a wonderful equine artist, you'll love her work.

Believe it or not, my studio is clean. What a job that was! I think I can find things when I need them now. For some reason, stuff really piled up in there...I wonder what that reason could be? I can't blame it on anyone but myself, that's the really sad part. :)

I suppose I'll feel more like painting now!

We've been working in the yard lately, got some new gravel for the driveway, harrowed the pastures so Pedro has a clean field to enjoy. Planted some flowers, mowed the lawn-our grass if finally growing! We've had a few warm days in a row now. Perhaps spring is really here!

If this post is disjointed, blame it on Robert. He's on ebay..."look at this rat rod!" "hey, look at this old truck!" "Look what they did to this old's made out of wood!" "Can you imagine how much money they must have in this one? It's all original!"....

On that note, I think I'll check out and go to sleep....
Donna Ridgway

Monday, May 04, 2009

Donkicorn meets Elfin King.

Owning a donkey is a very special thing, and it's also an educational thing. Owning a donkey teaches you to think patiently! Our Pedro teaches us something every day we own him. He's quite ornery and quite delightful, all at the same time. :)

While I'm waiting for Pedro to come to me, to get a pellet, or hoping he'll allow me to pet him, my mind gets to going a million miles an hour, with all the what's one of my what if's...what if Pedro was a unicorn donkey and he was in the moonlight, and the elfin king came along. What if the unicorn horn on the donkey touched the crown of the elfin king? I think sparks would fly and it would light up the night!

Even though this would be such an exciting sight for me to see, the donkicorn would remain calm and humble, patient and kindly. And the elfin king would be humbled and honored to have such an event happen to him!

Stick around, these two might get together again someday! In the meantime, you'll find them in my etsy store by tomorrow.
Donna Ridgway

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Update on the elk. He's in the snow now!

Poor elk, he went from fall to winter in a hurry. I couldn't make him stand out from his background so switched seasons on him. I bet he was surprised! lol

I'm calling him finished this time! He's 8X10" on canvas board, painted in acrylic. I'll probably put him for sale in my etsy store.

My art isn't very high priced. I'd like to think I could sell more art at a low price, then sell a few at a high price. I'd also like to price my art so ordinary people can afford it. So don't be afraid to check out my store! You might find a gift you'd like to give someone! Makes me happier to sell something than to have them piling up in the studio taking up space. After all, once I'm finished with a painting, it isn't mine any more, it's just waiting for it's new home!
Donna Ridgway

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

An elk painting. Work in Progress, WIP

I've laid in the basic elk, and a little bit of an idea, but need to figure out where to go from here. This painting is 8X10 inch, on canvas. I started it with watercolor, to place basic colors and draw the elk onto the support. I've now moved on to acrylics and covered most of the painting over with some under layers.

More to follow later!
Donna Ridgway

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The Unconventional Yearling

I call this the Unconventional Yearling. In real life, this little filly had the strangest coloring, a dark bay roan, with tan points. I began to draw her with blue paint on the support, and this followed. She has a mind of her own! She wanted to be this way, truly she did!

She seemed really cute and full of personality when I finished her, kind of like she could come to life and be a real horse!

It's so relaxing and interesting to paint in an unconventional way. Kind of challenges my brain to create something new, and make it work.

Hope you enjoyed the Unconventional Yearling. She's for sale in my etsy shop for $35.
Donna Ridgway

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

She's Pink!

A few days ago, I felt honored when Linda Shantz asked me to create a guest blog post for her blog. She asked me a few days ahead of the needed post, so I had plenty of time to create a horse painting for her blog.

You can find Linda's blog by clicking her name above. You'll enjoy her work, she paints a lot of thoroughbreds, and she also paints dogs... Oh yes, she's also writing a very good book!

So take a minute, and check out her blog, you'll see my work in progress, along with her wonderful paintings and stories of the horses she's caring for.

Donna Ridgway
PS, I'll be posting this pink lady in my Etsy store. You can purchase her there. I can just see her in a little girls room!

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Emmie, finished. Cat oil painting by Donna Ridgway

Here's Emmie, with some whiskers, eye brow whiskers, a shine on her nose, and a bigger chin. She still has a funny little pug nose look on her face. But some cats are like that, so I'm leaving her like she is. She was so much fun to paint. I could imagine her soft fur in my hands as her form took life.

I'm using my limited palette of French Ultramarine Blue, Lemon Yellow and Grumbacher Red paint. You can call that a limited palette, if you wish, but in reality, it's the most UNLIMITED palette there is, for you can use these three colors and create any color in the universe. In this cat you can see ranges of orange, brown, green, violets...almost everything but blue! Even though you don't see blue, it's there in the mixtures.

Hope you like Emmie, I'll be posting her in my Etsy store.

Donna Ridgway

I thank you so much for stopping by this blog, if I could make this blog become my kitchen table, we'd be having coffee and cookies together right now!

Hope you're having an exceptional day, and if you would like to tweet this post on twitter, just click the little blue bird below.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Emmie, a cat oil painting by Donna Ridgway.

I began this painting while looking at a photo of my own kittie, Scarlet. Suddenly a different cat began to emerge. This new cat has long hair and Scarlet has short hair, so I had to find a new name for this little fuzz ball! I decided to call her Emmie, because she has such pretty emerald eyes.

I'm almost finished with this. She needs an addition of whiskers, then I'll post her for sale in my etsy shop.
Donna Ridgway

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