Tuesday, January 24, 2012

‘Spirit Horse Pass’ Watercolor by Debbie Flood

                   Spirit Horse Pass Large Web view

                   Spirit Horse Pass 15 x 18 Watercolor. $1,400.00

The image above, is my latest completed watercolor Spirit Horse Pass.
There was a lot of unexplained things going on, while I was creating this painting.

As many of you know, I had gone out West during the Summer of 2011. While I was in Arizona, I did as much site seeing and photograph taking as I could. What entranced me most about the place was the outcropping of rocks.

Those rocks held magical shapes and Spirits for me. I could see shapes of hands, some looked like mittens others like bare hands reaching up out of the earth, reaching to be free of their stone encasement. Other shapes took on the look of Tribes, mothers carrying children, wearing drapes of blankets and clothing over their heads, all marching towards the horizon. I felt as if I was walking on sacred ground, and the past of the West was all around me. There is so much History there, and for me, the stones, boulders and rocks were telling me a loud story.

Several weeks ago, I was flipping through my images of riders and horses, and also going through my Arizona trip photos. There was those rocks, and I knew I had to start using them in backgrounds of my paintings.
The boulders in this painting, Spirit Horse Pass, are those of Prescott, Arizona. I had gone to visit the Phippen Museum of Western Art. As I arrived a little early, before they opened, I set off on a landscape adventure. And there was those rocks with the hands and mittens.

Here at the studio, I found the image I wanted from my files, and sketched out the rock's shapes for this painting. I transferred them onto the watercolor paper, along with the rider and horse, reference photo taken at a local horse show. I didn't have a lot of planned out things for this painting, as I got the image transferred and ready to paint. This rider and horse are the same team I had used in the watercolor Moon shine run.

As I started to lay down color onto the front of the horse, I could visualize an Appaloosa. I grew up with Appys and the love and bond I had with them came forward.
So, I had my horse color, and as I painted the horse, the hand print on the shoulder showed up. Wow, I thought, and I continued on that theme.
Then I thought, I would like to keep the background the same colors as the horse and stay along that 'spot' theme. I thought "snow". So I proceeded to lay in rock color here and there, leaving the paper white, where the snow would be. I worked it all, so it would have a pleasing flow.

When a good amount of rocks and snow was built up, I stepped back and took a look at how it was coming along, over all.  Wow! What did I see?! I saw horse head shapes emerging from the rocks and snow. Some looked like race horses with blinkers on, others looked like horse head skulls, others were partial face, nose, arched necks and so on. I was totally amazed and dumb founded at what was happening with this painting! Believe me, none of this was planned.

As I kept working on the rocks, I just painted and let my subconscious take over. I didn't want to "try" to paint horse shapes, I just let "what will be, will be". And sure enough, there was more Horses in the rocks. I then had my title for this painting, Spirit Horse Pass. This painting came from a place that I cannot explain. It was not planned, it was not foreseen.

The rocks and landscape spoke to me, out there in Arizona, and are still speaking to me, through my art.
Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.

So, take a look, and see how many horse heads and pieces you can find, in the rocks and snow. I found around 20. There is no right answer, it's all in what you, as an individual, are open to seeing.

I am now taking names, to be on a waiting list for Professional Limited Edition Prints of 50, for Spirit Horse Pass.
15 x 18 Limited Edition Print $100.00 Hand signed and Numbered by me.
Approximate size 10 x 12 Open Edition Print $45.00 signed by me.
Ships flat and shipping fees are extra. Also there is a Maine Sales Tax, for Maine Residents.
You can email me at debflood@debfloodart.com if you would like a Print or two, or more.

~Debbie Flood


1 comment:

  1. Very like Bev Doolittle's work, Debbie. I love her paintings and I think this one of yours is stunning too. One of your best IMO. Perhaps the horse spirits were guiding your brush as you painted?