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.