While visiting the Kentucky Horse Park this past month, I saw a wonderful Parade of Breeds which featured several of the different breeds of horses that live at the park. One of the most beautiful was the appaloosa.
This breed has been around for longer than most. In America, there beginnings are chiefly as a horse of the Native American tribe the Nez Perce. Most Appaloosas are identified by their colorful, spotted coat, striped hooves, mottled skin (most prounounced around their eyes and muzzle) and white sclera around the eye, like a human's eye. Appaloosas can have brown, blue or hazel eyes, and an individual horse may have eyes of two different colors.
I fell in love with the appaloosa we saw. The rider was so awesome. She worked the horse as if it were an extension of herself. They were excellent. And, I decided to work up a painting of the horse as a gift to my friend who had watched my house and animals while we were away. She really loves horses so I thought this would be a perfect thank you for her.
As I didn't bring my acrylic paints with me, I used my mom's oils. If you aren't used to painting with oils it is a bit tricky. It is just completely backwards to working with acrylics. So while I liked where the painting was going, I got frustrated working in with oils. As I was leaving the house after painting, my mom asked how it had been going. I said not so great and didn't she want to go work on piece and fix it for me.
When I got home she said she thought the painting was well on its way but that she had tightened it up a bit. And boy did she. It really looked great after Mom came in and eased the form along. When you are working in a studio that is not your own, with paints you are not familiar with, different brushes, etc. it's just not the same as sitting at your usual space with all your good old things. So it was so wonderful to have Mom's help. We worked on it a couple more times each and I think it turned out to be very lovely. And my friend was crazy about.