Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Finest Pair

This pastel of a very fine pair of Percheron draft horses will be included in the upcoming invitational art exhibit, The Dog and Pony Show at Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum in North Yarmouth, Maine.
I've always loved horses and these big powerful guys really stood out during a day at Maine's largest and best country fair in Fryeburg, a few years ago. The owner was ground driving them outside the pulling arena and had taken a break so I asked if a few photos were possible. The horses stood quietly as I moved around them taking shots. Alert and attentive their ears swiveled and followed every sound made by the driver who stood behind them out of frame. As a horse owner for many years I have to admit to being completely intimidated by this breeds immense size and power. Their feet were bigger than dinner plates.
Instead of using the bright sunlit scenery of the fairground actually behind the horses I painted a swirling mixture of rich dark hues around them creating a chiaroscuro painting, which is a technique truly mastered by the Flemish painter Rembrandt. The grey horses pop out of the background and the warm terra cotta paper showing through in places makes the cool colors sparkle giving the horses the energy and excitement I felt that day..

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