Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Most Excellent Day

Last Fall's Trail Ride
Yesterday morning I met with my new art mentor/instructor, and we got right into learning new things. He reviewed with me how the Renaissance Masters began their paintings, showed me examples of drawings in some old books he has and also showed me some of his own paintings. He paints not only large but HUGE! Floor to ceiling sized paintings. One is a copy of a Velasquez which he did during his student days in Florence, and he urged me to do copies of my own if I wanted to.

I left with a homework assignment of creating a still life in the underpainting stage and a hunk of beeswax which he gave me. I’m to study the still lifes of Cezanne and Constable’s landscapes. Firstly, I have to find some white birch to make into panels.

Later in the day, I headed for the barn and ended up going on a nice trail ride with riding buddies, Ann and Shelley since Shelley had seen Scottie running around in the turnout just fine. We were out for a little over an hour, going up hill and down dale, and Scottie did very well with no hint of a limp. Coming up the big hill on the way back we had to stop a couple of times to let the horses rest, and Scottie was visibly tired but still not limping when we got back to the barn.

Scottie seemed to enjoy the ride as much as I did. Whenever we came to a two track offshoot he would stop and look up it and head for it as if to say, “I wonder where this goes”. He likes to be last on the way out, and no matter how many times you get him to catch up with the others, he always manages to dawdle enough to end up behind again. But, as soon as we turn for home, his pace quickens and he heads for the lead. At that point he can even out pace the almost seventeen hand Mellissa (aka The Tank).

The other thing Scottie likes to do on trail rides is eat leaves. He’s very persistent and bullish about this. Well, last night there were no leaves on the branches yet, so he ate twigs instead. Silly horse!

We had to come back by way of the long up hill because one of the neighbors now has chickens which are frequently in the road, and our horses are not chicken proofed yet. Shelley once told a hilarious story of how the horses reacted when a flock of wild turkeys wandered into the paddock one day. Pandemonium ensued. Apparently the horses thought they might be wolves in turkey suits.

On the other hand, these chickens are an opportunity for a photo shoot! I hear chicken paintings are quite popular.

I am so relieved that I can ride again and that my horse isn’t in danger of being permanently lame! I’m also looking forward to lots of trail rides this year. After my health crisis of last Fall, I’m not feeling nervous about trail riding any more. Not even Bryan’s Squirrel Trail Adventure Rides!

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