My latest commission is a portrait of a Rocky Mountain horse named Chief. He has a beautiful dual colored mane and he is such a sweet horse. I’m in Seattle, but have family in Ohio and travel back to visit (don’t know when the next visit will be at this point though!). I got to meet my client who lives in Ohio in person last year and spend a lovely morning with her and a mutual friend taking reference photographs. Horses are tough to photograph and horse people KNOW their horses so you have to get it right! It’s quite the experience to soak in this amazing bond. I hope these two have many many years to enjoy each others remarkably warm company.
Date of Delivery
This painting was due to be completed for Bobbie’s birthday. I was dismayed that it was my very first and hopefully last commission that wasn’t finished on time. I have a clause in my contract in the “Date of Delivery” section that states, “This completion date shall be extended in the event of delays caused by events beyond the control of the Artist.”
My husband and I suffered nasty bout of illness in early March, followed by the challenging transition to working-and-schooling from home.
Being sick while caring for a 4-year-old was really difficult. My husband and I were both sick for the entire month of March, and we took turns resting while we did our best to keep Isaac fed and out of trouble. I wasn’t able to venture into the studio for the entire month and it threw a big wrench in the works for my paintings schedule.
Once we finally recovered, I got back to painting and I have never been so thankful for my health, the sunshine and wonderful clients! Bobbie was so kind and forgiving and I’m very grateful. Wishing you all a very healthy spring. 💛
Animals hold a special place in our hearts. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who has everything, a portrait of their dearly loved animal is bound to be something they will cherish. I recently finished this portrait painting of an American Quarter Horse and shipped it off to Tennessee. It was commissioned as a Christmas gift for a much appreciated CEO from her work colleagues.
Layer by Layer
My paintings are created with a traditional fat over lean technique to ensure that they will last for hundreds of years. By using layers and glazing, the paintings have a rich depth that you don’t get with just one layer of paint. Adding more and more oil to each additional layer helps the paintings dry more evenly and they are also much less likely to crack (even after hundreds of years!). Paintings on metal made using this technique still survive in pristine condition from the 1500’s.
Thank you to Kady and Trey who helped organized the commission! Go to my Pet Portrait commissions gallery to see more work.
She cried when we gave it to her and she was speechless. She loved it!!!!
Quarter Horse Portrait in progress, oil on copper
No matter your style, or your talent as an artist, the tools you use to make your artwork must also be up to the task.
An inventory of fresh brushes with nice, crisp points is essential, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. I go through several brushes even in these little paintings, and occasionally my worn brushes find new life when I need something finer than what I can buy. For instance, to get the fine detail in Chex’s eye, I trimmed a fraying brush down to a single hair.
The completed painting,Quarter Horse (Chex My Cal Bar) – July 2016, oil on copper, 4″ x 4″
It’s hard to get a sense of how small this painting is, using my brush for reference in the in-progress image above, there’s already plenty of detail too fine for stock brushes.
This painting features my mother in law’s stallion, Chex. Chex My Cal Bar is a registered quarter horse with an excellent pedigree. A stallion for the first seventeen years of his life, he sired several foals. He was amazingly talented and athletic in his younger years, especially in his element “cutting” cows. He was gentle enough to put children or inexperienced riders on his back, and still is. Now retired, he spends his days with his daughter April and his longtime buddy Romeo, a miniature horse.