Monday, May 13, 2013

Lei's Story

This is a large "story" portrait that I've been working on.  Lei is a matriarch into her 30's now, but just as classy as ever, teaching youngsters (both human and horse) the ways of the world.  A diverse and impressive resume, she performed in harness, western pleasure,  Arabian costume class, jumped and made a couple of gorgeous and talented babies... to name a few highlights.

It always seems to me that these great animals need their whole story told.  Not just a "floating head" portrait, but one anchored in their past and present accomplishments and tied together by the history and personal associations of their owners.  Lei is a perfect subject.

In Lei's head portrait I hoped to show the depth and wisdom of her past reflected in that inscrutable, intelligent gaze.  The goal of the background is to show recognizable images and symbols that are meaningful but don't compete too much with the main study.  It's a challenging process, with an often long evolution, but so rewarding to paint.  This is the third one I've created, each have been great learning experiences for me as a painter and as a person allowed to learn the backstories of inspiring animals and their people.  I hope to do many more.

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