I’ve been having fun using a variety of photo effects on some of my iPad drawings using the Camera Awesome app on my iPad. I thought it would be interesting to do the same with a selection of my Mongolia photos. Here’s five I did this morning to see what I could come up with. I like it. So much of what one sees in Mongolia has an iconic, storybook quality that the images really lend themselves to “special effects”.
There’s a certain rhythm to creating paintings. I usually have a number of them underway at various stages of completion. Of course, most of them are hanging around unfinished. Then I get to the final sitting on one of them and pretty soon, Ta Da!, it’s done!
I finished one yesterday and one this morning. First, my latest Mongol Horse series painting:
I shot the reference for this one on my camping trip in Mongolia this last July. We had pulled into a soum center, which is the American equivalent of a county seat. My guide went over to some trucks filled with horses and chatted with the men, who were taking a break in the shade since it was a warm day at the northern edge of the Gobi. I stayed in the car, but got some good photos. My goal in this piece was to capture the wonderful quality of light that is one of the things I love about Mongolia.
This is a typical Mongol horse who is being taken on a “Naadam (festival) tour” for the horse race events. He’s a winner since he’s wearing a blue scarf called a khadak. He’s not spiffy looking compared to a thoroughbred, but he can also run 20 miles or more without stopping. I also always like seeing the bi-colored manes, which adds a bit of flash.
I grew up with the redwood forests of northern California and have never been a “desert person”. But I love the Gobi (which means “desert” in Mongolian). This scene was also from my 2010 camping trip. The air was incredibly clear, almost crystalline. And it was obvious why Mongols call their country “The Land of Blue Skies”. This is a small piece that I’ve done for myself to start to understand how to paint an amazing part of the world.