This painting spans my life. Starting when I was seven or eight I would read to horses under the big oak tree in the pasture with the pond my father made. At the bottom my cousin and I set up a jump with tree limbs and I don’t remember what. He taught me to jump by cupping his hand for my foot as I mounted and whacking the horse’s butt in front of the jump. It was the first time I remember blacking out.
In my childhood there were always horses. Gift horses, bought horses, small or large in various assortments of accomplishments or attributes. Most were without known talent in the horse resume world but they all had what I wanted: a different viewpoint and no where much to go.
I rode them bareback, with saddles and bridles or halters. They were out all the time, I don’t remember cleaning their hooves or putting saddle pads on. Henry Havilick the farrier came twice a year. He introduced me to Mounds bars and recited “Under The Spreading Chestnut Tree The Village Smithy Stands.” We had a big tree – there were many above two and three hundred years old – under which he would stand.
And now, what about now?
When Paula saw it in my studio as I was finishing it she said, “oh that looks like us – you and Bimala and Chandrika with your heads down and me giving directions to you!” I hadn’t seen exactly that but I am always pleased when a painting sparks a story. I love to feel my hands making the shapes, choosing the colors, in this case I used mostly sponges to paint. I have a love/hate thing with brushes. They often leave me feeling removed from the work of painting. I like the feel in my hands of both the creative idea and the laying of the paint.
This painting is on canvas mounted and framed, it is about 45″ x 38″ it looks lovely on the wall. Might it look good on yours?