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Art Show: Horses: The Equine Show

Heading Home

by Lee Smith

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Art: Heading Home by Artist Lee Smith
I loved horses as a child and read every "horse" book and watched every TV show that had a horse in it. I BEGGED my parents for a horse, we lived in the country. "If you still want one when you are 12, we will get you one, they promised." Well I did and they didn't. I continued to love horses from afar. I'm 53 now and gave up the dream of having a horse, long ago. I rarely think about it because it seems so, I love and idolize horses by painting them. In this painting I've used the mare as a background for the foal. The use of rim light accentuates his shape, the funny stub of his tail, his short mane sticking up like a kid with a cowlick in a buzz cut. I played with shapes of light on the grasses and foliage, used huge brushes to dash in loose strokes in oil, shadow on the foal, playing up reflected lights. It's late afternoon, and the pair is heading home where someone who loves them, waits in the stable with a treat of oats. In this and other of my work, I try to insert myself as an unseen viewer observing this moment close in. When using a photo reference, it's important to note the slightest change of light that's barely noticable and exaggerate. I use color temperature versus real life "natural" color. I chop in strokes and no blending. Oddly, I find this gives a heightened sense of reality. I try to imagine the sunlight, and always exaggerate it's effects using red orange yellow then white to show warmth. Detail is not so important as creating visual sensations that evoke memories, feelings or a sense of being right there.


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