Horse

Another project that I have been working on is horse illustrations/art. Something I did a long time ago that I picked up again just recently. We used to own racehorses and I would sit in the paddock and sketch the horses as they were getting tacked up and harnessed for races. A lot of the horse folks would peek over my shoulder as I used to sketch. It was a lot of fun and I used to love it. We haven’t had a racehorse for a while now but it was awesome. My husband used to drive our horses in the races.

I also collect model horses and being part of the model horse world, you have to go to Kentucky for the Breyerfest at least once. Breyerfest is an annual model horse event held at the Kentucky Horse Park every year. I went a few times and it was a lot of fun. I did a lot of things there, like watch a polo match, that I was never able to do before. I was able to see John Henry and Cigar, were stabled there. (John Henry was a naughty biting horse so there was extra fencing around his paddock.) Some racing greats like Man O’ War are buried there. There are breeds from around the world there so you can see them in person. My personal fave is the Akhal Take. I want one.

The American Saddlebred Association is headquartered there and that brings us to today’s sketch. This was originally intended to be posted on Independence Day but didn’t, and it was the next one in my sketch book, so I am posting it today.

American Saddlebreds, aka Saddle Horses, were bred to essentially be gaited riding horses. They are a true American breed and they have a long history for gentle temperament, used as mounts in battle, performance in the show ring, as well as just pleasure riding.

Chocolate Palomino Saddle horse with rider with red white and blue banners for a national holiday.  Horse is doing an gaited pace.
American Saddle Horse Sketch in my Pentalic Watecolor Sketchbook

Mixed media Tempest

As mentioned in my last post, I have a homemade sketchbook in which I have been creating mixed media/collage spreads, and I have been trying to finish it for a while. Sometimes, I spend so much time on things I think matters, that I forget about the things I used to enjoy doing. It took me a while to get the hang of the whole collage thing, too. It’s smart to keep up the practice, at least weekly.

I have a large amount of 4×6 collage art because of my cat project that I started several years ago. I’d like to keep doing the postcards because I get a ton of ideas which led to creating larger works from those 4×6 pieces. Whenever you feel like you are getting stale, play in a sketchbook or do some postcard sized work. It really helps.

For instance, this page from my sketchbook has elements in it that surprise me. I look at the page and realized that I created some patterns that I can use in design work. This page was all intuitive work, placing things and not thinking about it, or at least, not planning. Just going with the flow. Sometimes when you go with the moment and don’t get hung up about perfection, creativity just happens. This isn’t meant to be a masterpiece, just sketchbook play to see how far I can go with it. Looking at this, I can almost hear Richard Dreyfus and Robert Shaw singing “Spanish Ladies” or something from John Williams and “Jaws” just a little ominously playing in the background.

(Like right now, I can’t get that Tango music out of my head, you know, the one from “True Lies?” …with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis…. Por Una Cabeza. I now have it as an ear worm because “Discovery of Witches” closed Season 3 with Por Una Cabeza. I am sure that will turn up in something I have created LOL….Harry, Helen, let’s not get distracted…….)

I guess there are worse things that could be an ear worm. Por Una Cabeza is pretty bad ass.

pale aqua background with collaged ephemera enhanced with gel and paint pens.  A few sharks, fish and a clipping from an old painting magazine.
Mixed Media – Tempest Sketchbook page

Mixed Media/Collage

Well, it turns out that the Inchie challenge was only 11 days, not 12. I was surprised when I pulled up emails Saturday morning and there was no prompt. Well that was a bummer because the Inchie challenge was fun. I’ll probably keep 2×2 squares with me to work on when I am out of the house. They would make cool thumbnail squares and I have plenty of art that I haven’t posted yet.

That being said…

Several years ago, before Teesha Moore had her stroke, I was a member of Teesha’s Artstronauts Club. I really miss that club. It was chock full of mixed media collage (MM/Collage) goodness. I started a few mixed media collage sketchbooks that I still have to finish. Some morphed into my Zombie doll Sketchbooks and my creepy portrait sketchbooks that I did finish. I never really thought of myself as a collage artist until I took a few of Carla Sonheim’s classes and things started to click. I have been playing with patterns, lettering and other techniques that gave me the skills I need to finish some of these unfinished sketchbooks.

Most of my MM/ collage sketchbooks are home made and hand stitched so that they would could be a specific shape or size and they have a theme. Most have a limited amount of pages which makes the project easy to finish.

This sketchbook is a mixture of cut collage from pretty much anything; some collage is home made from paint drips and such. I used Teesha Moore’s “Amazing 16 Page Journal” format. It’s a full sheet of 30 x 22 hot or cold press Fabriano watercolor paper that’s cut into 3 10×22 pieces and are folded into pages and stitched to create the 16 page sketchbook. On my mixed media pages I use paint markers and gel pens, fortune cookie fortunes, cut out lettering and quotes, basically a miss mosh of pieces assembled to make a whole page.

This has been in my “to do” pile a long time and I and finally posting some of these pages. The page size is 8×10 and the excess wasn’t trimmed, it is a flap that became a design of it’s own on one side and on the other it was part of a full page spread. I had a ton of chihuahuas from a 365 desk calendar that I save and used in various art projects. Lots of paint marker embellishments.

8x10 Mixed media collage sketchbook page using various bits and scraps of collage.  Chihuahuas, old ticket stubs, embellishments with paint markers. The Chihuahua heads were added to "bodies."
Pages 2/3 Mixed media collage
8x10 Mixed media collage sketchbook page with lavender background  using various bits and scraps of collage.  Chihuahuas,  embellishments with paint markers.
Page/Flap 1 Mixed Media Collage

World Watercolor month

There is a challenge going on called World Watercolor Month. There is a list of prompts and all that but you aren’t required to use the list. I haven’t done this challenge in previous years but since I am in the middle of working on a project that is a mix of watercolor and gouache, I figured I would post these for the Watercolor month.

I like to do self inflicted challenges. They are good for keeping me in the creative mode. The latest is going back to my roots and creating some horses. I used to draw and paint horses all of the time when I was young. I had a little handbag I would carry with me that had my “herd” in it. I can’t believe I shlepped my tiny Breyer stablemates and other horses around with me and they are still Live Show Quality to this day. The reason why I stopped drawing horses and segued into plein air and other art is because I didn’t want to be pigeon holed doing one thing. I never regretted that decision and the many, many years of painting plein air and sketching on location has made me a much more diverse and versatile artist.

I am not sure I’ll be posting horses every day. These take a while, but I will be posting something with watercolor, even if I am out “guerrilla” sketching.

Today’s horse is a Morgan. The first one I did in my sketchbook. I picked the Morgan Horse since it is the first breed of horse that was created in the United States. The Morgan Horse breed came from one stallion, “Figure,” or “Justin Morgan’s horse. From that one stallion, we have horses like the Standardbred, American Saddlebred and other American breeds. You can read a story about this horse in a book by Marguerite Henry called “Justin Morgan had a Horse.” It’s a children’s book with wonderful illustrations by Wesley Dennis. I still have my original book.

Horse Morgan Bay Watercolor Mixed Media

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! The day is finally here. Just when you think you won’t get everything finished on time, it all falls in place.

Played with the brush markers this morning and decided to do a tree. It feels good to play with the materials for the fun of it. It’s not perfect, but trees are not perfect, are they? And they are beautiful for all their imperfections.

I also added today and yesterday’s carved stamps below.

I wish everyone a very Merry and loving Christmas. Hug people today just because you can. Love everyone. That’s what today is about.

Simple Wreath

Today I made two loaves of cranberry bread, a holiday cake, carved my stamp, did chores, and made a lasagna for tomorrow evening. John made his sauce, I added the ground sausage after it was finished for the lasagna.

I finally sat down to do my holiday sketch and with a tad of holiday stress, decided that I needed to play with traditional art supplies for therapy. It was very soothing.

One of the December prompts is wreath and although I carved one as a stamp, I wanted to do another for the challenge. I used brush pens, charcoal pencil and paint pens for this wreath.

The stamp today is an abstract design that I did spontaneously. I like experimenting with random designs.

Skates

Ellie dreams of being an Olympic figure skater. She practices every day and loves skating in the snow. The creek near her house freezes over in the winter and it is her favorite place to skate. She and her friends create a rink and a track on the frozen creek and they do pretend Olympic Winter Games all season long. Winter is fun where Ellie lives.

Today’s carved stamp is an abstract design and I carved it without a sketch. I drew in pencil right on the stamp.