Monday, September 29, 2008

Papercutting Done and Rain Is Pouring Down

What a grey day! My studio is cozy and dry... and I am glad to say that the latest cutting is done.
It is a scene that depicts what the American Saddllebred is bred to do...go on pleasure rides with style! The idea for this cutting came during my Kentucky trip and the Show of Breeds at the Kentucky Horse Park. The image measures 8 1/2" x 10" and is cut from one piece of paper. A labor of love. It is already up on my
Kyle is supposed to kiss us today in Downeast Maine with high winds and rain. The rain is coming down now...the winds come later tonight, I guess. I just finished taking down our summer awning that shades our back deck. Six years ago today we moved into our cottage here in Morrill. A few days later we had a big storm with high winds and rain. The awning that was on the house when we bought it, ripped and shredding ..I don't want a rerun of that, thank you. So down comes the awning today before the storm. The slant of the sun is lower now anyway so we don't really need the awning to shade the we need the sun to spill into the living room to warm the house on cooler days.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I had the good fortune to be able to attend an old-style community pasture cattle sorting on Wednesday of this past week. It was a perfect fall day and I had a great time gathering images of the cowboys (and cowgirls, as in this shot) doing what they do best. I'm a city girl and a dressage rider, but somewhere in my heart the little girl that wanted to be a cowboy when she grew up still lives on, and comes out in this type of photography. 
Due to a fortunate connection with a respected working cowhorse/cutting horse trainer in this area, I've had a number of good working cowhorse photo ops in the past year, with, I hope, many more to come.
No photo art website yet (I'm starting to sound like a broken record with this statement, might have to do something about it one of these days when I can't be out getting more shots) but you can check my blog and sort through the archives to see a fair number of shots of various sorts. Thanks for looking. I'm always happy to reply to emails: 

Here in Morrill the tree colors are starting to change.....the red maple leaves and the yellow birch..and my favourite of all... the larch or tamarack trees. Today is promising rain...I am working in the studio...finished this watercolor and am working on the papercut. There is another watercolor almost done, drying before I go into it with more detail and color.
The papercut is of a Saddlebred. I think this is the first cutting of a Saddlebred, under saddle, that I have done. I have done cuttings of them being driven. I should get it done soon, if I don't get sidetracked,which seems to be the problem these days. I have too many ideas going and need more hours.
The above watercolor [ sized 8 x 12 1/2" ] is of a scene behind scenes at Keeneland race track seen last summer. I was so taken with the guys who are the real care givers to the race horses....the grooms and exercise riders. This is a sort of study for a bigger work that I plan on doing at some point.
Now back to the cutting...............
But first....
Here is a shot of my gardens with the last of seen from my studio!

Monday, September 22, 2008

dressage sculpture chosen for trophy

I was recently asked to create a perpetual trophy from one of my wire sculptures. The horse and rider are created from a single strand of copper wire, which is then nickel-plated, resulting in a shiny chrome-like finish.

The event was a dressage competition, so I designed the base in an oval shape with a rim, painted black to resemble a top hat!

I attached the sculpture to the base with several tiny eye-hook screws... a very challenging endeavour! ...but the end result was quite stunning. I thought I would share it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Side-Saddle Watercolor

It has been a while since my last post...The Skyline Farm art exhibit went off well last week. It is always so gratifying to see the works all hung and then stand back and take in all the beautiful artwork that is year's Maine artists sent for the show "Fertile Ground". The work was mostly landscapes.....but all off Maine. My co-curator for this show, Karen Pettengill, and I hung it all in record time. I guess we have had enough practise over the years...and have always worked well together. We have worked together in a green house, as grooms for a four-in-hand driver and now this! I managed to get works shipped out last week and then my husband and our Corgi and I headed over to New Hampshire to see my brother and his family. It was a long week for me...but fun and I survived it!!!Today I finished this watercolor and then I attacked my studio mess.....I feel like I deserve a break now, so I am headed out to mow lawn. This grass must stop growing soon...??!! but I think I I like mowing over shovelling snow! "Kentucky Side Saddle" is 15 x 10" and is a watercolor on watercolor board. The rider looked so comfortable on her horse, as she sat talking to folks. I HAD to paint her. The watercolor is more about her than her horse, though he was a handsome fellow.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Elin Pendleton - Misty Landscape Finished 24 x 36 oil

It's finished. Just exactly what I wanted it to be, with enough detail to keep the viewer interested in all areas of the image. And yet with a focal point that sneaks up on you--because of the mist and the closeness of values in that area. This 24 x 36 oil is available for $1200 although right now I don't want to sell it.

How fun to finally pull one off that really says my art is going somewhere. I'm on a roll, expanding my thinking and yet paying homage to those who have gone before. In this case, it is Lanford Monroe, an East Coast artist who passed away at the young age of 50, and who was a stellar painter of the woods and Rockies--her husband printed a book of her work, called Homefields, and you can find it on line. I regret not knowing her while she was alive, but that is as it must be. Her ability to both tell a story and paint beautiful landscapes will live on forever because of his labor of love.

On another note, I was honored to receive Best in Show at the Maloof Foundation opening last night. As they were naming artists' names, I celebrated each one, for I know their work and it is an honor to be hanging with them. Then first place, going to my friend Pat Ford, and finally the wait for the highest honor.... and the judge called my name! Here is the painting--it is one I did while at the Santa Rosa Plateau, near the Vernal Pools, and is an 8 x 10 oil.

The judge said it had that extra "spark" she seeks in plein air work, and I'm hoping she was refering to the color!!

Tonight I was at the Riverside Art Museum plein air painting while a great event was going on--Several of the best restaurants and wineries in the Riverside area brought out samples of their fare and we had music and painters while folks enjoyed the cuisine and libation. I painted two 12 x 16 canvases in the three hours, and you'll see one of them tomorrow. The music was great!

You can see my entire blog here.

Order the new Color System Flash Cards HERE.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Going Green

After working on detailed commissions all summer I wanted to loosen up and have some fun so I painted this more abstract equine acrylic painting the other day. I played with the colors to arrive at the newest addition to my Cafe Press Shop so equestrians can endorse recycling and 'Green' environmental efforts too. This just puts a horsey spin on it. A horsey spin is always a good thing unless the 'spin' is part of a spook and bolt but we won't think about that!

I do believe if horses could talk they would say that they most definitely are all for 'going green'--going into the green pastures with lots of green grass is top priority in the minds of all horses! Horses even start off their riding careers green in which horsey spins are more likely! Oops, there I went spinning off in that directions again!

You can see more horsey gifts, t-shirts, and equine and farm animal decor here and my more serious equine art here.
Sue Steiner

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Collection by Catherin McMillan



Catherin McMillan

10" x 14" pastel on canson pastel paper

I love paint horses and especially those depicted in such a classic dressage pose.

This original work is for sale if you are interested in purchasing this piece the email me at

to see more of my work visit my website