Painting project “Green Ponies”

I am returning once more to this theme after a year (see blog dated 10th October 2020), as I work on paintings that form part of my Edinburgn exhibition scheduled for July 2022.

I am now looking at the subject in a different way, more abstractly, and/or an expression of atmosphere.   That atmosphere, the horses so still in the damp green field, was what drew me to the subject.  I want to do more than literally translate the photo into paint.  Here are some of the sketches, very early stages.  I like the final bright green one best, also I also like the black and white one.


Today I decided to work on fairly large sheets of ply (760 x 610 mm) which I had in the workshop.  This is the same size as the more colourful version below, so it will be a set of three paintings!   I used the black and white sketch to make a larger version and tried to get the same runny properties (below top right).  I am not sure if it is successful, the drawing might be wrong, but I quite like it.  I might have another look at it in my next studio session.

I worked very fast on that one, and also on the green one (below right).  It was great to be working on a larger scale.  I think the green one has worked well.  It is so simple and child like but I feel it contains the attitudes of the two ponies and satisfies what I wanted to say.



This is the second thread on this theme.  It is on board and quite large, and has been in progress for quite a time, years in fact.  I decided to place it on an abstract background from another painting.  It is still unfinished (below left), but I think this could be the solution for the subject in this thread.  When I returned next day I was not happy with it after all.  I was not convinced by the abstract background, and I think the assymetrical position of the horses was a problem, so I altered that and then decided that it looked very cliched.  Eventually it became a complete abstract (below right) which still suggests horses.  So far I feel happy about this.  I would like to work more in this way.  Arrived at studio next day and was not happy with it.  I added a lot of pink paint and then the right hand horse started to emerge.  Let’s see what it looks like tomorrow.  I like the strong shapes and colours now.  I made it darker and emphasized the white horse.


Later I scrubbed all of this out and am returning to original photo (cropped) with understanding that the key to this is not a focus on the horses so much as the whole context.