My commissioned oil portraits are rich with color and nuance. I allow the soul of the horse to shine through in the art. A client once told me that she felt that the painting hanging on the wall was "like having the horse in the room with me." I've had the experience, when painting a highly opinionated mare, of feeling as if she was trying to grab a carrot from my pocket when I turned my back on the painting.... I decided at that moment that I had achieved my goal and the painting was finished!
THREE STAGES to a PAINTING
First, I travel to meet my subject. This not only for a photo session for visual reference, but to also get to know the personality of the horse I will be painting. When I paint a horse, I capture more than what the horse simply looks like. During the time I spend taking the photos, I get a feeling for what his personality is like, how he moves, what catches his attention. I also learn about how you, his human partner, feel about your horse and how you relate to each other. I find that this meeting is crucial to the integrity of the portrait, so I choose to only work from my own photographs.
Second, you and I will choose the pose from the photos. I'll often merging pieces of many separate photographs: a gesture from one, a look in the eye from another. I normally bring together all the elements and create 1-3 Photoshop layouts for composition. You'll get to view these and approve one prior to the beginning of the actual artwork.
Third, it's into the studio! Please be patient from this point on: I honor delivery deadlines whenever possible, but due to the popularity of my artwork, and my travel schedule, my waiting list usually runs from 6 months to over a year. Once work on your painting has commenced, you can request to receive emailed progress photos of your portrait.
Oil paintings must cure completely for 3-6 months prior to varnishing and delivery.
Contact me to commission your masterpiece. Do it now. Your horse deserves the honor of one of these magical paintings.
I often paint on location near my home in San Diego, taking advantage of Southern California's fabulous weather and light, which lends itself to painting outdoors. The beautiful local scenery is often my subject, but I regularly set up my easel, sketch pad or iPad at horse shows, too, in order to capture horses in paint – it's a a lot different than photographing them! Mountains and trees usually hold still for a morning's painting session, but painting a horse in motion is a exercise in concentration and learning to take mental snapshots. During these plein air sessions, I get a greater understanding of light, atmosphere and gesture. While these impressionist field studies are for sale, their main purpose is to bring visual information back to the studio as reference for my larger works.
Many of those larger works can be found in the gallery Horse Paintings. These paintings are of scenes that I've observed at shows and around the barn. While they are sometimes of a specific horse, more often they are painted as vignettes of equine work and play. These are of everything from a gallop across a field to “landscapes with horses” to the award ceremonies after a competition.
These images evolve from ink or digital sketches done from life. Some become actual paintings in acrylic and oil paint: others are completely digital works of art. Whatever medium they are finished in, Loose Horses are all about gesture and the fleeting moment. They are either charged with vibrant color, or elegantly monochromatic. Due to their nature, there are a limited number of original pieces, but the images are available as prints on metal, canvas or paper. Many of the designs can also be found on a range of licensed products such as mugs, greeting cards, home decor, wrapping paper and more.
I love ribbons. I love the curly edges of rosettes, and their shimmery bright colors. My “Ribbons and Rosettes” series looks at the nature of rewards. While they are physical renditions of horse show award ribbons and trophies, there is a deeper side to them as well: is the competition about the result, the silk ribbon, or is there more? Healing and spiritual symbols appear in some paintings; in others, I rely on the human response to the actual colors of the silk. My “Stripes and Patterns” series is often filled with humorous juxtapositions of fabric, fruit and other objects.
In all these galleries, you'll find paintings that are available for sale. Enjoy!