Horse Painting

Horse Painting

So I haven't been doing a lot of photography lately(though I do have new stuff from Ireland last year that I will post soon). I have, however, been working on painting quite a bit in the last two years. Unfortunately, I have been in a bit of a frustrating slump in the last month or so - basically hating everything I worked on. Finally, I made something that I'm halfway happy with. 

I decided to try my hand at a horse painting - a subject I love to photograph. The above photo shows the current state of my painting. I'm pretty surprised I like it, as I don't normally like painting with reds and oranges. Here's a few work in progress photographs:

Day 1

Day 1

Day 1. First I painted the background with acrylic paint. A lot of purple and tan. After that dried, I spent some time studying it while turning it upside down, 90 degrees, etc. I've been trying to exercise the ability to see shapes or picture in my abstract backgrounds - ideas that I want to bring forward into the final painting. I did see the partial image of a horse's jaw and mane hidden in the background, and decided that's what the painting would be(sorry, I didn't take a photo of this step - not sure if anyone else would've seen the horse or not). Next up browns and tans, trying to bring the horse to life. The jaw(mandible?) is wrong here, but sometimes I need to step back, photograph the work, to figure out what's not working. I ended the day here. Don't feel I'm out of the slump yet, but much happier than I'd been for a while with my paintings. 

Day 2. I had two goals on day two. I wanted to fix the proportion issues, and I wanted to brighten the painting(I just wasn't in the mood for browns and dark purples). Here's how I ended day two. I felt it was better... but still not happy with it, and still not feeling out of the "I hate everything I've done" slump.

Horse in oil 36x36

Day 3. I decided that part of my "I hate everything I've done" slump was that I just wasn't liking the look of acrylic paint. I missed the richness of oils. I really try to like acrylic - you can do some amazing things with it. One of my favorite things with acrylic is dripping paint - and I've yet to find a way to satisfactorily mimic that in oil. So I keep trying to like acrylic... and just keep coming back to oil.  

Anyway, due to my frustration with several of the paintings I've been working on, I decided to just play with this one a bit, and see what happened. First off, I used oil sticks with the lovely yellow, and some blue. I was starting to like it. Then I got my regular oils out, and put a glove on, and decided to "finger paint" - meaning I didn't use a brush, just my hands and occasionally a palate knife. I started with the background, greens, oranges, some cold wax, and even sand for texture. Didn't really like it, so I scraped most off at one point and started over. Then I moved to the horse. I used that gorgeous red color - a color I have previously avoided in paintings, as I normally don't like it. Here, this time, it spoke to me - made me happy! Some purples, blues, yellows, and greens later - I'm liking the horse, so I go back to the background. Finally, I'm done, as the paints too wet to do any more without making a mess. But, at this point I decided the edges were all to "sterile"... I don't know how else to describe it - I wanted it to be more free and less "perfect" so I just kinda smeared it with my hands - outward from the horse. Finally! I like something I'm working on, again. It's a nice feeling! I haven't decided if I'm done yet. Time will tell!

Animal Art - Learning to draw

Charcoal drawing from my final project in Drawing II

Last year for my New Years Resolution, I decided that I wanted to learn how to paint. My local University does offer painting classes, but to take painting, you first have to take Drawing I and Drawing II. For some reason the idea of drawing classes worried me way more then painting classes. I tend to like abstract paintings (like Rothko!) so I didn't really feel I needed to learn to draw first....

I was seriously apprehensive, but being that I was determined to learn to paint, I decided to push through learning to draw. Anyway, after two semesters of drawing, I think I've learned quite a bit, and turns out I like drawing... a lot! 

Charcoal drawing from my final project in Drawing II

The messier the drawing material the more I liked to. Charcoal, pastels, ink, mixed media. I love it all. I think I'm also starting to develop a style in my drawings. Dark, heavy and expressive! My professor referred to it as "unapologetically confident".

Even though it's such a different a medium then photography, I still chose wildlife and animals as my subject(not really a surprise!). I love the fact that you could make up anything you want in a drawing (I even created a half alligator/half salmon creature for one drawing!) - so different from my photography where I'm entirely dependent on things outside my control. And the act of getting my hands dirty and covered with media was very appealing. I do believe that any artistic endeavor can improve creativity, and hopefully improve my primary creative outlet - photography. 

So while I wasn't able to learn painting last year, with two semesters of drawing instead, I'm now all set to learn painting this year in 2015. 

So how are you all doing this year? Did you get your goals accomplished in 2014? Or at least make good progress towards them?

Are you learning anything new and fun? And perhaps surprising yourself?  Let me know in the comments! 

Cheetah in Charcoal

So this winter was a little more brutal then recent winters... There really wasn't much for the wildlife photograph to photograph. So what is a wildlife photographer to do? Learn to draw! This is my first time posting a drawing in public - so go easy on me!

Have any of you taken up other art forms?

My Art Will be in Soho tonight!

I've recently added my artwork to

 - a new website and online gallery that is launching today. Here's their description from their website:

"Our goal is to be the very best place to sell, discover, and buy amazing art. Anywhere."

As part of their launch, Crated is throwing a kick-off gallery event in "the center of the art world - Soho, New York City". Art from

 hundreds of emerging artists from Crated in a huge display of photography, digital art, and paintings. Art will be on display both digitally and in print for purchase.

And the exciting news for me is that my art will be included in the Gallery launch in Soho. I'm super excited and wish I could be there for it!

Here's the relevant info if you're in NY and want to stop by and check it out. If you do, I would love to hear about it!


  • May 20 12:00 - 6:00pm (open public gallery)
  • May 21 12:00 - 6:00pm (open public gallery)
  • May 21 7:00 - 10:00pm (event party - RSVP required)


Soho Arthouse

138 Sullivan St,

NY 10012.

The first 200 guests for the event party will be given $25 credit for art on Crated.

The "Inside Passage"

Emerald Lake, Yukon

I'm back from the Inside Passage of North America. I had an amazing time there and took a lot of photographs(of course!). Spent time editing and now I'm adding a new gallery to my site. Introducing Inside Passage. Photographs were taken in Alaska, and Seattle of the United States, and British Columbia, and the Yukon of Canada. Hope you enjoy.