Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Party Painting and Purple Wraps

“Bellator” 9x12 oil on canvas board - photo provided by fellow artist, Linda Shantz

Last weekend I participated in something called The Virtual Party. Artists are provided with a reference photo and required to paint their interpretation of it within a twenty four hour period. It’s amazing how different many of the images can be, all from the same image!

We were given five days to do this. Since I’d been sick and tending to my lame horse, I didn’t decide to give it a try until the last day. After a little over five hours of painting, I managed to produce my version of Bellator, a young warmblood, in his winter blanket. After doing the one hour paintings, this one seemed like a snap to do, and I’m fairly happy with the results, even though it’s not perfect. Maybe I’ll work on it some more some day, but for now it’s drying on the easel.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I was making frequent trips to the barn to check on my horse and to treat his leg. Some slight swelling had appeared in his knee since the vet’s visit and then some swelling of the ligaments behind the cannon bone. We began cold hosing the leg or icing it, and both front legs were wrapped for added support. With the help of bute, he’s gradually come around.

Last weekend my husband came with me to the barn to help. He’s not really a horse person and hadn’t taken much interest in my horse before now. In fact, he hadn’t seen Scottie in a very long time. But they managed to get along quite well anyway. We had Scott in the barn aisle in the cross ties, and a few of the other horses came in to the arena to see what was going on. John was standing at Scottie’s head, patting him and talking to him while I iced his leg. Every time John moved away to pat one of the other horses, Scottie started pawing. I told John that meant he wanted attention, and John would hurry back to him. The pawing stopped immediately. This scenario repeated itself several times and warmed my heart to think that two of the three most important men in my life were making a connection. John was even talking to Scottie the way he does to small children and our cat, and Scottie was eating it up!

On my last visit to the barn, Scott was much better with very little sign of a limp. He had purple wraps on, it was a sunny day and perfect for getting some photos. The first one below is Scottie who had just had a good roll before getting up from his nap. He’s still very shaggy because it’s too early up here to get rid of that winter coat. Snow and cold could return anytime for Winter’s last gasp.

The second photo is of Scott and his best friend, Mikey. I had turned Scott loose in the indoor arena, and he wasn’t quite ready to go back outside into the heat. After greeting Mikey, they engaged in a game of what looked like lip wrestling. Mikey is a Morgan with a lovely arched neck. These two never seem to tire of playing together but are separated for now to keep the lame horses quieter. I love the play of light on Scott in this photo and the way it shows off the arch in Mikey’s neck.

I think it will make a great painting.

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