Thursday, October 30, 2008

Elin Pendleton - "High Summer", 24 x 30 Oil Finished

I know many of you have been waiting for this one, and I'm pleased to present it to you in its finished state. Called "High Summer", it is a 24 x 30 oil. And I am very pleased to call this one of my own. In line with the series I'm working on, the horses are in there, but not so obvious to the viewer on first impact. First, the structure and sense of place come to you.

Howard Pyle, the recognized "Father of American Illustration", used to say to his students at the Brandywine School in Delaware, "Thirty minutes, thirty yards." What he meant by that is the design structure of the painting needs to be done early enough in the painting process that it holds up throughout, and strongly enough to catch the viewer's eye from across the room, drawing him or her to the surface where details and brushwork and subtle colorations can continue to interest. I am striving for that goal, and with this series am truly seeing it happen. Below is a closeup of the focal point, which is NOT the strongest color, contrast or texture in the work. But doesn't your eye go there only after the first "oh my" when you see the painting? If it did happen that way, then I was successful.
Sorry about the glare on the smaller image--it's after dark now and my lighting isn't the best.

Congratulations to Dawn Burdine of College Station, Texas, on acquiring "Sunrise Aspens" directly from me after a lovely tea here in the studio today. She and her husband are out visiting family, and came by to see the studio. What a wonderful world of artists we are!

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have a fascination with the way the network of veins in a thin-skinned horse will stand out like the lines on a roadmap, so when I get the chance to photograph them, I usually do. I'm getting ready for a five-day show next week so am working away printing photos and generating new images in Photoshop. This is one I came up with last night, made by layering two photos together--one of a "veiny" horse belly I took last summer, and one of some German statice in it's dried and lacy winter mode. I like the way the two work together and am pleased with this image. Of course it's sparked many ideas for other combinations, but as always I'm running against time constraints so will have to hold some of those thoughts until after my show season, likely in the new year when things settle down for me timewise.
If anyone viewing/reading this is going to be in the Edmonton (Canada) area next week, I'll have an art booth in the Western Gallery area of the Canadian Finals Rodeo show. I'll be displaying my work along with other artists from Wednesday November 5th to Sunday the 9th. To see some of my other photos, check my personal blog . Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Elaine Hurst's artwork in the AAEA show

I am not very good at writing timely posts to blogs, and sites. But I was excited to have two pieces accepted this year into the AAEA show. One, a small, 8x8" oil of a foal, and one pastel of a horse show scene.

I'm also working on a project called: "Virginia's Finest Equines". It is a series of paintings, so far, all oils, of peoples' horse from around Virginia. I advertised for people to send me photos of their horses, ponies, or mules/donkeys, and why they consider them "special". So far there are about 12 paintings. I am planning on exhibiting them as a group, with short text about each animal next to the painting. Not only has it been interesting to see the different animals, but it has been a great exercise to "keeping going", as well as capturing likenesses.

I am posting pictures of the two paintings which got into the AAEA show.

Hi to all you EAGers. I'm not very good at correspondence, I will try to do better!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Elin Pendleton, Shagya Arabians and Backlit Landscapes

This morning's sun had not yet washed the valley, and I have a grin bright enough to cast some shadows anyway! This is yours truly, on *KS Rubin this morning, famous enough to have his OWN web page! Not often does one get to ride such a quality horse; I am still pinching myself. What a rush to have this power and grace under me as the sun later came to warm the hills. Then it was on the scooter to run errands and home to chores, after this amazing ride-at-first-light experience.

But I've digressed... back to painting! Since resuming a more stringent riding schedule, the paintings have been easier to produce, and this backlit landscape is no different. Getting to the easel is exciting and I'm loving every moment of it.

This 24 x 30 oil is at the stage where it is time to think about getting those horses under the trees, and leaving that bit of warm to capture the eye tells me that regardless of my source material for the horses, they must have dappled sunlight on them! Unlike the earlier misty morning, this painting has sunlight to contrast with the darks of the trunks, and I need to keep that in mind as I paint it.

What's happened since yesterday is the detailing out of the trees, the "flutter pattern" of leaves on so many levels, from deep shadow to light. This breakup of the larger shapes creates visual exitement without creating unrest in the viewer. There is no clash of color here, just a "flitter" of leaves in the trees and grass blades in the foreground. In doing this, I try to be harmonious with the earlier, larger layers, so the contrast is not overwhelming in each area. I will have another complete pass on these areas to further to tone down and pull out details, leaving alone other areas. Sometimes I'll use a glaze with resin gel, and others paint mixtures of three or more colors. That's what I call the refinement stage. Lots to do yet!

This painting, when finished, might begin its show career as an entry into the Women Artists of the West show in Denver in 2009. It may or may not get in. Quality there is very high!

Saturday I head to the Art Expo in Pasadena to meet with friend David R. Becker, who's teaching classes. And I'm also going to get some hands-on with the slow drying Golden Acrylics. Ought to be an interesting day. Hmmmm, I wonder if I should post whatever I do in the workshop? Gadfry!

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elin Pendleton - The 24 x 30 is Continuing

Now that I have that structure in place, I can continue to cover the canvas with big color shapes to define the values and hues of this morning light scene. I'm painting it with large brushes and enjoying the simplicity that mixing colors using the Color System is giving me. The tree trunks won't stay that dark, but their inherent value is low, and that provides a wonderful contrast to the light and more pure hues--almost like stained glass!

The horses (yet to come) will be in the shade on the lower left. They'll be lazing around--I have my source material at hand--two photos of horses in sunlight in a pasture setting, so I'll have to reduce the values of them to get them to "read right" in the shade of the big trees. That's for later.

I'm so pleased that many of you have written about the value you find in having these paintings come to you in stages. When I was doing the daily paintings, each day's painting was completed so swiftly that I didn't have time to reflect, to plan, or to revise. The work done during that time was "OK", but I can see a much greater value for me as an artist to have time to let the painting get into me, so it can come out so much differently from the inspiration of being there, or seeing the source material. It truly DOES make a difference! I'm not decrying the earlier work, for each one was a stepping stone to this painting and the ones to come. That is as it should be.

This one is going to have a grand feel to it--it is already there, and revising and refining it will be with the intent of keeping that feel. The painting has to hold up from across the room. That will bring the viewer in closer to see the warts on the horses' noses, heh heh!

News! TOMORROW MORNING, I ride the Shagya Arabian stallion on an endurance conditioning ride, beginning at 6:30. Yes, I'll have my new camera... the Canon A590IS, and it is going with me. I'll be sure to share some images with you, as I'm so looking forward to the adventure.

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elin Pendleton - Finished the 24 x 36 and now a new one

Here's the painting, about as finished as it is going to get at this point. I made it slightly larger so if you click on it, you'll see more details.

I didn't realize how important breaking up the blue areas was until something said to put in the pine bough on the lower right. The balance of the painting is profoundly affected when that branch is not there (use a finger over it to see what I mean).

This canvas is available pre-show season for $1200, and that price will escalate as it is shipped and shown around the country.

Now I'm off on another canvas, this one 24 x 30, and the subject is in line with the recent landscapes with added horses, rather than horses in a supporting landscape.
Here's the first lay-in, but I got carried away and started blocking in the colors before I remembered to photograph it!
This painting is coming from source material provided by artist Judi Evans, and is from Fay's Farm in Dawsonville. I've walked these pastures and already have a "sense of place" that is part of these new paintings. Tomorrow, more of the canvas covered and more great color.

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

'A Horse Painting a Day'

I am on day #3 of a horse (or dog or cat or other animal) a day painting. This is what I did today. You can see work in progress pics and read about my 'models'. If you'd like to nominate a furry (or feathered) friend to be considered as a 'top model' or want to follow along to see upcoming 'painting a day' postings sign up on my blog at

Monday, October 20, 2008

Concentration by Catherin McMillan

After years of solely using pastel, Ive rediscovered the joy of water colour. The feel of a paint brush again is amazing and Im having such a ball with both the watercolour and equine art that Im producing using this great medium

Concentration is 11" x 15" and for sale. Please contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this piece.

Email Catherin: Website:

Elin Pendleton 95% Finished Horses in Mountain Landscape

I had a heck of a time photographing this one in the studio tonight. I'm due for a new camera, and will be going out to look for a Canon Powershot A590 IS tomorrow. I dropped my earlier model of this handy camera while in Arizona, and I miss it.

So what's new tonight? Details, all those details. The brushwork is still very visible, and one of the brumby horses (Apache horses) is in--the second and third one will come into the field tomorrow.

I added the broken pattern of light on the central trunk to both make it more interesting, and also to cut that dark shape into interesting values. The trio on the left stay dark in value, but have been connected to one another with the tracery of branches. This also cuts the strength of the blue water over there, too. I had to wait for these layers to dry a bit before adding the tremendous noodly-details of pine boughs and twigs on the right side, too. Compare this stage of the painting with the one from yesterday, and you'll see the entire canvas has changed. I've embellished and made more interesting each area, so the eye has many places to "play".

Working on these larger canvases is SO satisfying right now. I cannot explain the completeness I have in me when something just goes right, but these three canvases (yes, there are three now--the third 24 x 30 is coming to you later this week--in stages!) are deeply soul satisfying both to create and to enjoy. The hiatus I took from the daily paintings has come full circle now, and my work has gone to a new level of maturity. I'm very pleased with each one of these canvases' sense of place. At least two of them will be entered in the Women Artists of the West show at the Saks Gallery in Denver this January. And I'll probably send at least one to the Spring show for the American Academy of Equine Art. I'll have to consider shipping costs on these bigger canvases, though.

Other news, I went on a four-hour ride using one of my neighbor's endurance horses (Arab/Thoroughbred)--we covered about 12 miles but because of the terrain, would translate in endurance miles to 36 miles. Carolyn Hock is a top endurance rider, and I'm fortunate that she's my neighbor! I'm sore today, but excited to ride with her again. Her training regimen is VERY demanding, and yet I really enjoyed it. I'm hoping she might put me on her Shagya Arabian stallion Reuben next time! Here's what he looks like (not exactly him, but close):

And I bring my Chiron HERE next weekend! Life is exciting!

Tomorrow this painting will come to you finished, and then you can see the third one begin. I'm already to start on the fourth in the series!

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Welcome Impact" new drawing by Sheona Hamilton-Grant

Here is the finished version of my highland show pony.

A great drawing to produce...I loved using the soluble graphite: never thought I would be able to produce work with a paint brush...!

The trick to this technique seems to be nothing more than layering. Dry "normal" graphite was used as a base layer, I then added a layer of the soluble graphite which I  worked with a "barely" wet brush. This layering was repeated until the finished effect achieved.

Pencil used: Prismacolor water soluble graphite (dark) on Strathmore 400 series Bristol Board Vellum 2-ply.

"Welcome Impact"

Graphite on paper, 21x27 cm

P.S: Hope you like the title. Symbolises both how I feel about discovering this medium and hopefully how the viewer will react when seeing this lovely pony showing off...!

Curious to see how this drawing was created? The "making of" can be seen over on my studio blog Black on Grey on White.

Thank you for watching.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can It Get Any Better Than This??

This is one of the nicest days weather wise .......the fall colors are a blaze and the sun is shinning. I just ate my lunch by the garden fish pond, listing to the running water and the rustling of the leaves as the squirrels and Corgi play in the woods. I am delaying going up to the studio..because some hornets took up house-keeping in the studio while I had the deck sliding-doors open to let in the warm fresh air. Good excuse, huh?

But I do have to post that this watercolor is done...........12 x 12" on watercolor was fun painting it and I had a neat photo as reference from a Peruvian Horse Farm in Texas. JyW Coyote Creek Ranch. They breed the beautiful Peruvian Paso Horse on their farm.... and this is a painting of Three Peruvian Paso Horses.. full of 'brio' !!! Love doing portraits like this! I am calling it "Trio Brio"...neat huh?
I guess I have to get to work today. My sister arrives this week and I will be having fun and visiting with her over the next weeks.....But it won't be all playtime...I am sure I will get some work done!!! Not!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Photo of horses in a western landscape.

We drove to Fairfield, Mt today to have lunch at Shorty's, our favorite place to eat. We always bring the camera with us. Today, the wind was blowing, the clouds were hanging low, and it was a very blustery day as Winnie the Pooh would say.

Weather conditions created some deep, rich, fall color on the landscape and I loved the way the dark color of the horses set it all off.

I've uploaded this photo to my Red Bubble site, and it can be ordered there in various sizes and pricing options, right down to a greeting card! Click the photos below to see my prints and cards.

Donna Ridgway
Email Me if you have questions, or want to inquire about purchasing a painting or photo.

Remember, you can find horse art , Western art, Mule and Donkey art
wildlife art, cow art, animal paintings, and my reference photos for sale on my website.