I had a challenging adventure in painting the multi-surfaced table with shelf and backboard for Aspiring Heights Farm. Take a look at my blogposting from June 28th to see the full scope of this project.
On Friday Jo Ann Robertson came to pick it up. She had stopped by the Studio a couple of days earlier to see the four horse and pony portraits I had just painted on top of the table.
She recognized each horse with a smile and appreciation for my capturing the essence of each one.
I do my best portrait work when the photographs provided are full of light and life. Two of the four horses had professional photographs taken back “in their day,” but two were just small amateur snapshots and not very clear for me to see detail, lighting, or body contours.
I was very hesitant to start painting the black horse since that photo had the least clarity. But, like jumping off a cliff, I just started to paint it. Almost as though someone else were guiding my hand, this horse’s hightlights emerged in all the right places.
Though still a dark image, it is believable, and in fact it is one of my favorite portraits…the one I was most afraid to start. I think it was Jo Ann’s favorite, too.
So what does that say about fear of trying the unknown? “Just do it.” Too bad Nike said it first. I’d like to have coined that phrase. Just do it!