Today, I have a new watercolor painting on Arches 300lb Hot Press that is making me very happy. I'm celebrating because long ago, I used to paint T-tiny things, a couple of inches square. I did it because I couldn't bring myself to paint anything larger - it was like I had to keep my need to paint a secret. Thankfully,that was a very long time ago, and in the years since, I have been getting my paintings larger and my voice has been getting stronger. Now I have finally managed to paint something the full size of the watercolor board, minus a couple inches for matting - 20 x 27".
Let me begin telling you about this painting by saying that I've never been out West and I'm not a Western painter, so to speak, but here in Eastern Ontario where I live, there is a vibrant Western community of people who love Quarter Horses and Paints, and who enjoy the Spirit of the West. There are Western horse shows, rodeos, and Western Games. Western tack and clothing is available, and although I rode English sometimes, the tack I usually used was my big comfy Western saddle and I was more comfortable in my well worn jeans and Western boots than in my neat breeches and elegant long black boots (although I loved them too!). I have a ton of wonderful memories that come from those days riding through the woods and fields and going to watch the Western Games. As a result, my paintings with a Western spirit will always have an Eastern pasture and woodland setting. They're about my memories here at home.
And speaking of memories; Remember what it was like, coming home from a ride on a blustery, cold March day, desperate for a steaming hot coffee, but knowing your horse had to be cared for first? The barn never looked so good, and when you had a buddy with you, that coffee was just a bit closer. "I'LL START HAY, YOU START COFFEE". Wonderful memories!