I have a nice selection of affordable original oil paintings available in my Fox Studio Etsy shop, including this one. You can get the details and purchase it here. It’s of a domestic Mongol horse foal I saw on one of my trips to Mongolia. He was having a bit of trouble balancing, but was finally able to scratch that itch.
I also offer a variety of animal-themed coloring pages, available for immediate download and only $1.99. Here’s one example:
I saw this wonderful cheetah on an art workshop/safari in Kenya in October of 2004. Cheetahs have always been one of my favorite big cats and it was a thrill to see them going about their business in the wild. You can download this big cat here.
“Almost There” oil on canvasboard 12×18″ (price on request)
For the first three weeks of November I was at the easel every weekday painting the pieces that I showed the color comps of on Sept. 22 here. I finally decided not to use them for the original purpose and will be entering them in some upcoming juried exhibitions. I’m pleased and proud of them so I want to debut them here on my blog. The one above is from reference I shot at a naadam in Erdenet Soum in 2015. I got to ride in the chase car for two of the races so I got fantastic reference as we drove alongside the horses and riders.
In Mongolia the sweat of a winning horse is thought to be auspicious, so the trainer scrapes it off. The traditional tool for this was the bill of a Dalmation pelican, an endangered species, so now the scrapers are made of wood, often with nice carving on them. One always knows the trainers by the scraper in their belt or sash. I was really struck by the colors of this two-year old, who had already raced. Very pretty.
And here you can see one of the trainers at the same event with his scraper tucked into his sash. This would be his personal riding horse. He (they are almost always stallions or geldings) has a traditional saddle that is well-worn and a common type of bridle knotted from hand-braided rope.
I’ve also kept up with Inktober52, not missing a week so far. Four drawings to go. You can see all of them on my Instagram feed here.
Above is last week’s Inktober52 art. From the Instagram post: “I went out to take some new garden photos for ideas and there was our 11 year old tuxedo furball, Alexander A Really Great Cat, snoozing away under a day lily. Added a couple of Icelandic poppies for color. I’ve been experimenting with combining Cretacolor Aquamonolith pencils with pen and ink and that’s what I did here also using a Pilot Kakuno fountain pen.” You can see all my Instagram52 pieces here.
While Covid-19 is out of control in much of the country, here in Humboldt County, California we’re still doing ok. Bars, museums and other indoor only businesses have had to reclose, but the zoo is still open by appointment, along with hair salons, acupuncture and massage services (used both of those this past week) and other businesses. We did pass 200 cases this week, largely from people traveling out of the area and bringing it back.
The garden continues on its merry way this summer. Did the big blueberry picking a couple of days ago. Peas are almost ready to start picking. Two rows of garlic are harvested with more today and the rest within the next couple of weeks. We’ve been noshing radishes and raspberries along with the first of the native blackberries we’ve allowed to stay on one area of the property.
At this end of Long Border is a spiraea which is almost done, two verbascums, one pink ‘Southern Charm’ and one apricot ‘Clementine’ (slated to be relocated because it clashes with everyone else), a ‘Splish Splash’ geranium, my favorite hardy geranium. Every flower is different proportions of white and lavender. It’s self-crossed with the ‘Johnson’s Blue’ geranium (which is a deep solid lavender) so I’ve got quite a variety of variations.
In other art news, next week I’ll be hanging a show of my wildlife and animal paintings at the Arcata Holistic Health Center just north of the Arcata Coop at 940 9th St. No opening reception and the center is only open by appointment, but a lot of the art can be seen through the windows. The theme will be images that “create a peaceful and calm feeling”. Here’s one of the pieces that will be in the show…a domestic Mongol horse I saw, well, in Mongolia. The writing is “bichig” the Mongolia vertical script, which the Chinggis Khan adopted from the Uigher people, who were settled and understood administration, (yes, the same ones the Chinese are committing genocide against) because the Mongols had no written language. It’s used all the time today for fine art and advertising and is taught in the schools. I haven’t learned it but paid a Mongolian calligrapher to write out words for me. With my sign painter’s brush lettering background it was easy to transfer an outline and letter in the word “Peaceful”, which is the name of the painting.
There’s still *time to get this lovely, and low maintenance, horse for someone special! “Scratch This Itch” is an original 10×12″ oil on canvasboard, available now in my Etsy shop. I saw this foal in Mongolia some years ago. He had to work on the coordination a bit but he finally got that spot. He’s waiting for you here along with a variety of other original, affordable oil paintings. (*Delivery in continental US only, order by Dec. 17; subject to prior sale)
I’ve been back home in California for a week now after eight great weeks in Mongolia . I’ve downloaded and started to categorize over 9000 images. All my journal and sketchbook drawings, along with the watercolors I did, have been scanned or photographed. Now it’s time to share both the WildArt Mongolia Expedition 2014 and then some of the other special places and experiences I had. You can find general information on the Expedition here.
The Expeditiion’s first stop this year was the Steppe Nomads Eco Camp, located in the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, which is about two hours east of Ulaanbaatar. This is my third time there and, as expected, it was a great starting point.
Next time, we’ll be heading up into the Han Hentii Mountains, on our way to Binder Aimag and the International Crane Festival.
The next morning we drove on to Altay, the capital of Gobi Altai Aimag. It’s a small city with all the services one might need, including an airport with regular flights to and from Ulaanbaatar.
We were treated to lunch at the home of an artist friend of Tugsoyun’s. More than lunch, really, a multi-course feast. Two hours later, we made our goodbyes and, after a short stop at a local temple, were on our way east again.
I’ve been working on some smaller pieces of domestic Mongol animals, just focusing on my subject and not worrying about a background other than colors. I loved the gesture of this Mongol horse foal who is finally gaining the coordination needed to raise one leg to scratch an itch.
The best cashmere in the world comes from the goats of Mongolia. They come in a riot of colors, shapes, sizes and horn style, but the undercoat is pretty much the same on all of them. I was particularly taken with the bold black and white pattern of this fellow.
I saw these lovely foals in the same group of horses that this painting came from. They were very unsure of a strange person and stayed close to the adults, but were still curious about me.
I started this painting with my new step of doing a pencil drawing at the final size first, tracing it and then doing a graphite transfer to the RayMar canvas board. My purpose was to solve any drawing problems, get the correct placement in the space and indicate the basic value pattern.
Once the drawing was transferred to the board, which had been previously toned with a wash of raw sienna to knock back the white, I re-stated the drawing with a brush, refining and correcting as I worked. This step was also done with raw sienna.
The next step was to indicate the shapes of the shadows in a dark value. I mixed a warm brownish-purple for this.
Then I started to lay in color, bringing up the shadows to a higher key since the foals were in really nice morning light.
The finished painting “Mongol Horse Foals” 14×18″ oil
Here’s the reference photo. I punched up the intensity of the color, as you can see, and left out all the other horses since the painting was about these two and their connection with each other.
And now we come to the last leg of a wonderful two-week tour and a look at one last ecosytem, the mountain forest, which is the southermost extension of the boreal forest that circles the northern part of the Earth.
The Jalman Meadows ger camp, run on a seasonal basis by Nomadic Journeys, was set up high on a bluff overlooking the Tuul Gol.
While there is wildlife around, it’s the activities one can do here that are the main attraction and we took advantage of all of them!