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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My horse, Mary Lou.

I read a horse story this morning, about a guy who loved his horse. It got me to thinking about my horse, Mary Lou. She was a quarter horse, a sorrel mare with a white dot on her forehead. Her mane was flaxen colored, her tail was dark.

She was so pigeon toed, the most pigeon toed horse I ever saw. But when I got her, I couldn't afford to be picky, and I found someone who would trade me a Jersey milk cow for a horse. That's how she became mine, I wanted a horse and I didn't want to be stuck milking a cow!

Mary Lou was a funny horse, she could either be the best horse you ever rode, or the worst...depending upon the mood she was in. I rode her for years and it didn't take long to learn she could turn on a dime, and run like the dickens. It was great cutting out cattle on her back.....

One time, I wanted to watch her run, instead of being the person on her back. I found a guy to be my jockey and I entered her in a community race out in a stubble field. The horses running against Mary Lou were race horses, and cattle horses. The race horses were thoroughbreds off the track.

When the race began, I was one of  a couple hundred spectators. I was yelling, "Come on Mary Lou!" Suddenly I realized, she'd somehow heard my voice in the middle of all the noise of the crowd. She cut across the entire field of horses and headed straight for me!

She almost plowed to a stop when she got to me, but the jockey was able to turn her and get her back into the race. She saw the other horses in front of her, and she took off like a jack rabbit, you could actually see her lower herself to the ground and stretch out running. She gained like they were standing still, passed them all and won the race.

It was awesome to see my little pigeon toed mare beat the field. I was standing next to a guy who'd put a lot of money down on Mary Lou winning the race and I asked him, "How did you know she could run like that? You took a chance putting that kind of money on her?" He said, "I don't know for sure, I just looked at her pigeon toes and thought I bet that horse can run!"

It was sure fun to know she could go as fast as a race horse and win!

Some photos of Montana wildlife.

A wild goose landing.

My dad's great horned owl.

An osprey fishing.

Hope you enjoy these birds!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Chicken painting, watercolor chicken by Donna Ridgway


I believe she's looking at a tasty bug. She seems very intent, and she doesn't care at the moment if her feathers are a little mussed. She's about to strike and let that bug slide right down her throat!
I didn't know I would enjoy painting chickens as much as I do.
I used to raise at least 50 chickens a year for the meat.  It was a big job butchering them and I didn't like it much but it was kind of necessary to have good meat in the freezer for the year. The part I didn't care for much was that my chickens were my friends along with providing meat.
The kids and I had pets we loved among the laying hens. They'd walk up to us, and wait to be picked up and loved. I miss that about my chickens.
Donna

Monday, November 02, 2015

Black Chicken painting, watercolor on Yupo paper.


Here's a little black chicken. She's going to a new home tomorrow! I'm glad, she's a nice little chicken but someone really wanted her and that is nice.
Donna

White tail doe finished

This did not turn out to be much of a work in progress! The reason for that is because she almost painted herself! I got so involved in painting her, I just didn't think to stop and scan her in the process.  That's the fun of painting, sometimes you get totally lost in it.
Donna

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Work in progress painting, watercolor on Yupo paper. First scan.


I'm beginning a painting, watercolor on Yupo paper. A very wary deer! I hope she's going to be adorable, but I never know at this stage of the game.
I'll be making adjustments from here on out....this is the beginning drawing, just putting something down on paper so I have the start of a plan to work with.
She's probably thinking, "Can I trust you or not?"
I'm using a photo for this painting by Crystal Stacey -Feather Edged Photography, from the photos for artists group on Facebook.
I have thousands of photos of my own, but it's so nice to work from someone else's photos also. Thank you to Crystal for making this available for artist's use.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Old Hopeful, portrait of a dog, begging for treats.


Here's to high hopes! Look at this guy. His cheek is full of treats he's gathered, and he's hoping to get at least one more!  
I don't always use my own reference photos, this was painted using a photo that Karen Broemmelsick took with her camera. Using her photo, I kind of exaggerated the size of the ears, and the size of the muzzle to create this dog.
Her photo was wonderful, the expression in the dog's eyes was worth a million bucks! Thank you Karen for making your photo available in the photos for artists group on Facebook.
Sincerely,
Donna Ridgway



Bison, original watercolor painting, wildlife art.


In "real life" this bison was out on the prairie, with the Rocky Mountains behind him.  He was following a cow, and feeling his "Cheerioats"!  I loved the way his fur on his face went this way and that way...it was certainly fun to paint. Their fur (wool?  fiber? fleece?) is so soft, it's like touching a cloud. It's kind of unexpected to know such large, tough, animals can be so soft.
I hope your day is interesting and full of new things!
Donna Ridgway

Original painting of a mule deer, watercolor, wildlife art.


Robert and I were driving near the Dearborn River when I took photos of some mule deer. That was a few years ago, and I just painted this deer from those photos, this month.  Sometimes it takes me a while to get to all my plans. I did like how this deer turned out, it made me happy!
Donna Ridgway

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Raven in the Woods


8X9 inches
Watercolor on Yupo paper

In some cultures ravens are associated with healing. I hope my raven helps to heal my friend who is ill. I've not painted many birds, so this was quite fun to notice all the differences in his eyes, compared to horse's, dog's and cat's eyes. And then there are all those wonderful feathers and finding the best way to portray them...I enjoyed the challenge and painting the raven was great fun.

The day I began this painting, Robert and I installed a row of cedar board fence behind our house. By the time the day was finished, and I got into the studio it was late.  I was so tired I had a time walking to the studio.

But I joined the dailypaintworks to create a painting a day and that painting had not been created yet! So I slogged my way to the studio and sat down to make a painting...I feel quite committed to this process.

So here is a raven for you....
Donna

Saturday, September 26, 2015

As it goes, I'm still painting flowers.





For a while, as I was painting flowers, they tried to become more and more real! I didn't want that.
I wanted these to be kind of impossible and fun looking! Preposterous flowers! :)

So I found working in abstract is just as difficult as it is trying to recreate a form of reality. I have to work at it to keep the flowers crazy and abstract.

The flowers at the top of this post are so far away from reality I made a poem for them:

Are these flowers?
Or are they not?
And if they are.....
What kind have you got?
Donna Ridgway