Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Autumn Spirit-A Horse's tale

My mother
Anna Sewell (Black Beauty)
Los Alimitos, California......

My earliest fondest memories of horses began with the sources posted above. My mother is an artist. As a child I thought she was the most beautiful mommy and sooo talented. Of all the paintings she completed, by far her horses were my favorite. I would stare at her horse paintings in awe. She would paint them in the Chinese brush style and later on, which would influence my work tremendously, she completed a series of collage and cubist style horses. I loved her paintings! Then I found a book in an old abandoned garage that had black and white pictures of Picasso's horses. I was around 9 or 10 at the time and I remember thinking, "Wow! Picasso was 8 when he painted this!" I tried to paint like that but it would be many years later that I would actually come around to it.

At age 12, I think, I read "Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell. The story touched me so much, I must have read that book a dozen times. I loved her message through this story, how to treat animals and people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. My children make fun of me when I see a new horse movie. I love them. 

At age 14, I spent quite a few months off and on with my cousin in Torrance, California. I met a girl, which I cannot remember her name, but she had two horses. A beautiful Arabian and a buckskin. I was invited quite a few times to go riding and loved it. We would clean the stalls, bathe the horses and comb them. It is incredible to work with horses. They truly were a source of joy and comfort in those days. Later on my sister and I would ride regularly in Long Beach with friends. What great memories. 

Then there was the Los Alimitos Race Track. We went to a couple conventions there when I was a preteen and before the program started we would see horse and rider practice Harness racing. I would just stare in awe. I wish I had a camera then just to have some of those pictures around but I guess my memory will just have to suffice. 

Now here I am painting horses. In my next exhibit on the 19th of May, 2012, I will be including my latest experiences with horses through paintings. I was able to work with people and their horses and look forward to seeing their expression as I reveal these new paintings. The painting posted at the beginning of this blog is an Arabian painted with aged slake limestone, marble and pigment using palette knives. The collage above are some of the paintings completed for the May art show. They include watercolors, tea paintings, and finally aged slake limestone/marble paintings.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Animal Portraits

This year my art shows will be focusing on "The Art of Motion". The first of a series of shows will be paintings and sculptures of dancers and horses. I have to tell you it has been an exciting adventure working with children! They are such awesome models. I began working with the Dance Co in Long Beach, CA about 10 years ago by photographing the children at practice. The funny thing is at first they were little show offs, so cute, and constantly posing. Doing flips, cartwheels, hand stands, the works! This posed a problem because I wanted the photos to be natural. So I just aimed the camera for about 15 minutes until they ignored me and just danced. The pics I got are so much fun to work with and they will be in my first show this year. Now children will eventually ignore you but what about horses? I did not think it would be a problem til I met "Mr Bojangles"! He was a show off!! Every time I pointed the camera he perked up and posed. LMBO! He is adorable. That is ok because the painting came out gorgeous. I have an appointment to meet with an owner of an Arabian in two weeks and I have been told he is quite the poser. I look forward to this next photo shoot.

Some benefits of Watercolors

I watched my mother work with watercolors from an early age and took an active interest in my teen years. There have been times where I felt a bit frustrated working with the medium but love the challenge! As of late, I have been concentrating on portraits and have found that working with faces has truly improved my skill. The nice thing about watercolors is that they do not take up much room in my studio. I can store so many away and they make wonderful gifts. I have been able to make many trades with watercolors and work out quite a few deals for things I need or want. Recently, I was invited to go white water rafting and could not afford it so I made an offer to trade a watercolor portrait for a package deal to go rafting. Fortunately, they agreed and happily so!  So practice with watercolors and begin gifting and dealing away!

I will be teaching watercolor techniques every 4th Friday in Long Beach, CA at the "The Dance Company". If  you are interested please contact me at: 949-667-5946 or email me at fullersylvia@ymail.com