Monday, June 4, 2007

A long and busy weekend

I promised a picture of Raku aka Racki(pronounced Rocky)and his beloved bike. I cannot use the word bike, ride, trail, ready or harness without him having a fit. He loves his bike and has been amazingly repectful of its wheels and me when we are on the road. The dog/bike attachment is called a "Springer" and its about the best way to take your dog out for a run and feel pretty good about not losing your dog but still giving him a great way to exercise. Racki weighs close to 80 lbs and has not pulled me off balance to date. He has tried chasing a few squirrels and made some pretty sharp turns but it hasn't effected the bike at all. He loves it and its made him a more obedient dog. I like how he can be right by my side, so its more like him and me sharing the ride as a team. There are other dog/bike attachments that they call springers but the dog has to follow behind the bike. What fun is that? This one is made in Norway and used all over Europe and now the USA.

It was a busy weekend so I did not get any painting done. Mostly time spent in the garden and in rearranging space in the house and studio. This morning I cleaned off the crusted, dried paint from my palette and I'm ready to go. I have 8 small chicken paintings started. I'll post the pics once I feel good about the progress I'm making. In the meantime..... here are a few graphite drawings I've been working on this spring.
1) Rodeo Flow
This is from the Holmen High School Rodeo Finals from last September. It was pouring rain with everyone huddled in tents and under umbrellas to avoid the soaking. Not a good day to be out with a camera but I did get some good pictures, especially of the roughstock. There was this high tower stand right above the horses which was a perfect perch for taking pics of the broncs as they milled around in their pen. The drawing is approx. 7" by 11" and is one of my entries into the AAEA American Academy of Equine Art Fall Showcase in Lexington, Kentucky.
2) Sunlight on Feathers
This is another graphite on Fabriano Artistico rag paper and another entry into the AAEA Fall Showcase. Its almost square in shape, about 11" by 12" in size. The horse is a Gypsy Drum stallion I saw at the Midwest Horse Fair this spring in Madison, Wisconsin. What a great shot with all that lovely light on his feathers. This stallion was quite the character. His has his long, thick mustache and an attitude. What you don't see in the picture are the other two handlers, one having a whip in hand. He was kicking out at the hose and the water and not being the nicest boy. He is over 16.2 hands and a lot of horse to deal with.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Once in a blue moon

Hey, tonight we will have a blue moon. A blue moon is a second full moon in the same month. Ever hear Nanci Griffith "Once in a Blue Moon" song? I've been digging for it all day long and can't get my hands on it. Seems it needs to be played today of all days. I'm hoping I don't forget there will be a blue moon tonight as the moon rising time approaches. Enjoy the moon!

Starting over again

Here's to new ideas, fresh starts and a dog on a bike. Who's the dog? And what's that got to do with wwindhorses and making the paint stick? Beats me but I think it might work. Its been a real long dry spell in the paint for me. Oh, I've still been an artist but settled on grey pencils and colored pencils and pencils of all sorts. Add to that bags of soft wooly fleece thats been spun and woven and knit and stored away from the dozens of moths, filling way too much space in my closet and studio. Shelves of colored glistening glass packed upright in wooden frames waiting to be cut and soldered into window delights. But no paint, no real paint that was retired many decades ago into a safe place. I used to think of myself as a painter. I went to college thinking I was a painter and I left college thinking I was a painter. I loved it and breathed it and obsessed with it. I was told by my professors that I would be a hell of a painter someday. I knew how to move the paint around. All I knew is that it was a large part of my identity and I enjoyed it but the smell of the turp was starting to do me in. Then something happened and the paints were sealed up in the old metal tackle box and left for dead. I got cancer, most likely caused by all the fumes of paint, ink and solvents. Too many badly vented studios, university art rooms with air conditioning but no open windows and no venting fans and little awareness of what could cause Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in a young person. Many, many years ago and I'm still here and still wondering about how to make the paint stick. I've tried bringing the paint out over the years but my heart wasn't allowed to get back into it. Each time I tried, I pretended, I thought I could jump back in and recapture what I had once felt about the paint. No luck...I crawled back to the graphites, the wax pencils, the oil based pencils and the spinning wheel. This blog is to start over one more time with the paint and this time see it through and become a painter again. One more time...

Now about the dog and the bike. The dog is Racki alias Raku, a almost 2 year old Samoyed dog. I bought myself a bike, a girls bike, something I thought I would never be caught dead on. But I went to the sheriff's bike auction one fine spring day and the first bike I saw was the one I bid on and I won. Its a GT and has a good brand of shifter, gears and brakes. I had no idea what kind of bike I was bidding on but I lucked out. Even the tires were new. Since then I found something called a "Springer". Its a bike attachment for dogs. Its made in Norway but can be purchased over here for under 50 dollars. It allows the dog to run by your side as you bike, the large spring absorbs most of the shock from potential squirrel chases so you don't get knocked off the bike by the dog. Its great and Racki and I have logged lots and lots of miles together. He loves it. If he sees me touch the bike without him around he gets very upset. As far as he is concerned, this is his bike. Biking with your dog comes somewhat close to riding your horse. You've got this great companion to talk to and explore the fields and woods with. Your a team, you look out for each other and its fun. Soon to come, pics of Racki and me and the bike.