Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"In the Dandelion Field" by Kristin Jurist Haakenson

"In the Dandelion Field" by Kristin Jurist Haakenson
acrylic on canvas
12" x 24"
Available at Proctor Art Gallery, Tacoma, WA (contact)

We saw this beautiful white horse outside of Wisdom, Montana. I was nervous about painting her, since I didn't want her painting to end up looking like 1980s-era white unicorn poster...but she was too pretty not to put on canvas! The yellow accents have some iridescent gold paint mixed in to give them a subtle shimmer (yep, still using that gold paint...I love the color tint it produces even more than the shimmery effect).

I'm trying to take more liberties with my painting. Although I used a lot of texture on the first main background layer for this piece, I didn't use nearly as much paint as I usually do for the remaining layers. The rest of the background was created by literally scraping paint onto the surface with palette knives. I rotated this knife method with doing color washes with a brush, and I think this created a lot more depth to the color than otherwise. The horse itself is a bit translucent in places - I wanted her to blend in a bit with the background. To give her a similar depth, I painted her using multiple layers of thin washes in varying shades of blue, yellow, green, and white (some palette knife scraping was involved as well).

Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shoreword blow,
Now the salt tides seaward flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
-Matthew Arnold, The Foresaken Merman

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