Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Barn Time and Happy Accidents

I spent last Friday afternoon at the barn because it was Spring Checkup day for the horses. It's always quite a social time, too, because usually we three boarders are there along with the barn owner, Shelley. As usual, Scottie was a gentleman for his shots and teeth floating, and I also had the vet do a chiropractic adjustment on him. This time there were no major issues found although his left hip was locked up and his ankles were stiff from a winter of bracing on the icy hillside which leads up to the barn in the winter turnout.

Afterward I rode for half an hour, and Scottie definitely had more spring in his step and was very responsive to my aids, clumsy as they are. I told the vet that my ride had been "cushy" compared to before. But now I'm the one who needs working on because I'm so out of shape for riding that I'll never be able to manage trail rides this summer if I don't do something about it. It's back to the exercise program that will also include more regular riding again. This past winter I basically hibernated and didn't go anywhere unless absolutely necessary. I guess I needed that time to regroup and recuperate after last year's unpleasant events.

And then there was the Happy Accident I discovered when going through the photos I took last week at the beach. We artists talk about Happy Accidents in our work which usually involves messing up what we intended to do but having it come out better but in an unexpected way. This time the accident was in my photos. I'd been aware of one lonely gull hanging around hoping for a handout, and in one photo (see above) he flew by leaving a lovely shadow of himself in the sand. You can't see him against the foam of the surf, but there's that shadow to betray his presence.

I probably won't use this in my Horse Gift painting, but it will have to go in some future painting for sure. Speaking of the Horse Gift painting, I'm coming along on that and have been designing my waves. With luck, by the end of the day I should have it all traced onto the panel and can at long last begin painting! With all this preliminary work done, I'm hoping it will practically paint itself.

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