Updated: May 5, 2022
Rowan & Her Horse Roanus.
I grew up with horses and some of my earliest memories are of foals being born and the scent of hay as I played in the bales. Although I have had great adventures on horseback, the moments that stand out are not of riding, but of working around these beautiful animals. The gentle moments of connection as I rubbed my mare down after a ride or visited or her in the field, while she grazed. It is that feeling of human/horse cohesion that I remember so fondly, where you can sense her needs and she yours, moving together in concert to achieve a goal.
I wanted this painting to convey something of that experience... After a long day in the saddle, a moment of thanks is given as the setting sun illuminates the scene with a beautiful back-lit glow.
This painting is quite small: 8 x 10 inches and I plan to frame it with something rich that draws one in for a more intimate inspection. I have begun working with a new surface: Ampersand Gesso Board. It offers a hard surface with a smooth, slightly pebbled texture which allows me to put more detail into the paintings while keeping them relatively small. With canvas, the weave of the fabric can become distracting in smaller paintings and it can be very difficult to work in the detail over that texture.
Below is an early study for this piece. It is totally different compositionally but it has the same vibe.
Early concept drawing of Rowan and her Warhorse.
I will post the finished painting once it is complete. I still have work to do on Rowan's face, which looks too young and girlish, and I will be continuing to add details to her armor and the horse's barding.
You can find this post also on my Pateon page: