Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse"

"Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse", 6" x 8" oil on board, 2008
Not For Sale

One goal of mine for the new year was to do some art that would push my comfort zone a bit. I have been putting it off long enough. Today I decided to shake it up.
I have not painted a still life in years. That was a good start, but I wanted to step outside of the box even further and go with a little girl subject.
Our daughter Erin will be five on Tuesday, so I decided to paint a still life of one of her stuffed animals as a present for her. The victim was a horse that her Grandparents gave her when she was little. I got a bunch of good hugs and kisses, and she says she really likes it.
There are a lot of blogging artists, that I really admire, painting still lives these days. I was inspired to try my brush on a few.
Some of my favorites right now are: J Matt Miller, Jason Waskey, Carol Marine, Qiang Huang, Aaron Lifferth, Duane Keiser, Michael Naples, and Simon Andrews.


Elizabeth said...

Beautiful, rather unusual colors - a wonderful present.

Anonymous said...

sweet piece! has a great real feel. thanks for the link btw :)

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Elizabeth. I thought these colors were a good change from what I usually paint with, even though they are mixed using the same limited palette.
Enjoy your stay in the big apple.
I feel the same way about air travel. Uneventful is good.
Thanks for checking in.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for the visit Simon and for the comments.

Mike said...

It is surprising to most that still lifes can be so instructive . . . . . .and tantalizing. Cool stuff, Frank! It's a good thing to be outta da box for while. When you get back in, the box is much bigger with more room to move. ;-)

Frank Gardner said...

Yeah Mike, I sure learned something from this one. I'll have to try a couple more and see how they go.
Thanks for stopping by

Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

Frank! This is so out of the box! i had to scroll up/down i wasn't sure i was on the right blog at first, i was pleasantly surprised to see that i was! I love the dreamy sweet colors, your love for your daughter shows through for sure. the brushstrokes seem broader than your other paintings and i feel it really lends to the softness of this piece. wonderful still life!

Stacey Peterson said...

This IS different for you - I read most blogs through a feed reader so when this image came up I had to stare at it a couple of seconds while wondering, "Whose blog is this again??" I like it!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Christine and Stacey.
That is one thing that I had hoped would happen. Step so far away from what I would normally paint that it would cause a double take. Here on the blog at least.
I saw a few more things in her room that could be fodder for more still lives.

Christine - lots of love went into it, but I got a LOT back in hugs and kisses. She is still all smiles about it. Nothing beats that.

Thanks to both of you for your comments!

Jennifer Thermes said...

This seems to be the theme floating about lately... pushing the comfort zone... and a good one! This is really nice, Frank. I love that it's simple but has depth. Bet your daughter is thrilled!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Jennifer. Yes, I think pushing the comfort zone is a good thing. I don't know if I am ready to get back in the box just yet.

Bill Sharp said...

It's a fun painting, Frank. It doesn't look, to me, like you were all that uncomfortable. Great work.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Bill, thanks. I hope to do a few more still lives soon. Stay tuned.

Unknown said...

Really beautiful Frank! I really love this one, the colours really "pop" and it has a real vitality to it.

Ambera said...

Awww, Frank my heart just melted. It's silly to say, but what a touching piece! You're a good Dad!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Eric, it's nice to know that you think the colors work. They are not my usual choices.
And thanks for the birthday wishes for Erin!
We had a long day, party prep, party, playing, eating, playing, playing. Two of us are tired, one is not. Can you guess who?

Hi Ambera, Not silly at all. Thanks. :)
I try to do the best I can.
It's always good to hear from you.

Frank A. said...

"I got a bunch of good hugs and kisses, and she says she really likes it."

I think that the little painting outside the box was a total success by any criteria, Frank.
There was love on the limited palette. Great title !

"Happy Birthday, Erin

Stay well.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Frank A.
Thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, I mixed in a little love with all of my colors.

The title comes from an old Disney sing along that Erin and I are quite fond of singing. " A Cowboy Needs a Horse".

And thanks for the Happy Birthday. She is thrilled that she is getting well wishes from my blogging friends.

Barbara Pask said...

Hey Frank, A still life, fun huh? I was pleased to see this. I bet your daughter did love it, it's really sweet. Barb

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Barb. I thought I would try a few.
Now all of Erin's cousins want to "commission" paintings. The pay is good, and I don't think I need to pay tax on hugs and kisses !)

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

This is a nice painting. I like seeing the detail shots and the step by step process. I push the comfort zone because I can't help it. I'm intimidated by most of my subject matter until the painting is finished!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Mary.