Sunday, June 30, 2013

Running Horse

I originally painted Running Horse Print for a homework assignment. I'd been studying Paul Cezanne and Georges Seurat, and I did paintings in each of their styles, and then my (absolutely wonderful) art teacher told me to make a painting combining their styles.

Now, if you know anything about those two artists, you know there styles were rather different. Paul Cezanne liked making thick layers of paint with paint knives and small paintbrushes. he liked to simply things into more basic shapes, and he worked very slowly. 

Georges Seurat was the father of pointilism, which is painting with little dots rather than normal brushstrokes. Think half-tone color printing, but with paint.

So I pulled out my paints and a canvas board and thought, "what on earth am I going to paint?!?"

I soon figured it out.

I used to ride a wonderful Arabian horse, Cody. Unfortunately, his family moved away a few years ago, so I haven't been able to see him. But, I've drawn and painted him several times in the years since I last saw him. I even painted an old model horse of mine to look like him, which was pretty fun. I decided it'd be fun to paint a picture of Cody again.

(This is an charcoal, ink, and pastel drawing of Cody)

I basically grabbed a paint knife and red, black, brown, and blue paint and just covered the entire canvas in a thick layer of paint. When that was dry, I painted in the horse. That was the Cezanne part. Then I started adding Seurat dots with a tiny paintbrush. I put white light-things in the background, and red, brown, and black dots on the ground for texture. Then I gave Cody his white and gray "freckles". Finally, I used the edge of the paint knife to give texture to his mane.

Cody was a very special horse for me, because he was one of the first horses I really felt connected to. My family joked that I didn't need a boyfriend because I had Cody, and in a way that was true. When I rode him, I didn't need anyone to tell me I was special or strong; I just had to look down and see his gray coat, or bury my hands in his white mane, or look ahead and see his ears pointed forward, and I knew I was where I belonged. 

This is the point where my mom tears up and says she's sorry he moved away, and I tell her it's okay. And it is. I mean I miss 'im, but I just have to think of the times he threw me, or when he stepped on my foot and crushed my toe, and I don't miss him so much ;P 

I'm just kidding! But seriously, that horse could be a pain in the butt sometimes. (Quite literally--I got pretty sore sometimes. Like that one time when I fell so hard I broke my helmet...)

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