Amazing House Commission

Private collection 21 1/2 x 12 1/2″

The above painting was a commission for a dear friend and client.  If I were 20 years younger,  and she were mean, I would envy her the life she lives.  But I am so happy for her, envy can’t enter the picture.  Eighty or so acres, a beautiful modern, but farm-house home, A barn with three horses and a boarder, an indoor riding arena, two dogs and a sweet cat. (The sweet cat alone makes me envy her now that I think about it!) We are both blessed with terrific husbands. She is giving her husband this painting as an anniversary present.

You see he built this beautiful house, and the barn, and the outbuildings, put up the fencing, landscaped, planted the fields and anything else you can imagine.   While I assume he sub-contracted some of the work, he basically built the entire spread.

House portraits mean I have to paint tight and detailed.  I’ve done quite a few and this one was special to me because of our friendship.  We have shared riding, her home and lots of good meals together with and without spouses. But as I put down each line, siding, shutter, fascia boards, railing, fence line, I became more aware of what a remarkable feat he accomplished.  These lines I was drawing were planned, purchased, handled, secured, and fashioned into a home, and a barn where people and animals are nourished and protected.  And  I only portrayed two sides of the home and barn.  In real life this home and barn have a back, and another side. And let’s not forget it has an entire interior.

The “Amazing” in the House Commissions is the amazing man who built this home.  And I thought I was creative!

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Tan Grapes

8″ x 10″ acrylic on paper $75

A group I belong to on Facebook recently had a cute post regarding how to name your band.  You took the color of the pants you were wearing (in my case, tan) and added the last thing you’d eaten (grapes.)  Hence the title of my post.  Some of the combinations were very funny.  I found mine a little boring.  Which leads us to dressage.  This Olympic sport has been labeled elitist, made fun of by Steve Colbert, and for those not of the equestrian ilk is about as exciting as watching grass grow.  It takes enormous amounts of money, and commitment. The result, is measured in the fact it’s supposed to look like you’re not doing anything!

During a class this week, we were a little over zealous in putting acrylic paint on a palette.  Being the child of depression-era parents, I grabbed a brush, some acrylic paper and a photo from a dressage exhibition I’d gone to see recently.  No preliminary sketch, just hit the paper with the paint. (So much for my structure!)  I liked the horse pretty much, but when it came to the background, my mind flashed to the Facebook page and this little game.  Let’s marry two totally unrelated objects.  The structured elegance of dressage against the backdrop of some funky colors and abstract designs.

Just goes to prove, you never know where you’ll find your inspiration.

FYI – Charlotte Dujardin and Valego from Great Britain took the Gold in Individual Dressage.  Someone on that Facebook page is going to like that!