Thursday, August 14, 2014

Horse Resting 2014



For as long as I can remember, I've carried an image of a horse, or horses, resting.  There has always been a fascination for me of seeing a horse rising from the ground, and conversely, watching as they first drop their knees, then their hind ends as they take their bodies down.  They are large beings, and just the fact of getting up or down requires a lot of energy and activity.  They can sleep standing--their knees lock--so laying down for them is a sign of being either very secure, or sick.  The other wonder to watch is when, after returning from a hot and sweaty ride, they drop down and then roll, turning side to side, legs waving in the air like a big bug.  Supposedly, a horse that can roll all the way over and back is the sign of a good horse.

When I did this image, I know I had in mind a painting of several horses resting in a pasture, so I went online to see if I could track it down, a favorite from my childhood. What's interesting is my use of a tree to define the horse, clearly having been impressed by the tree in this painting.
I also came across this Chinese painting of two horses resting, one on the ground, which I thought captured the same quality of peace that my horse has.
And lastly, I found an image of one of my favorite artists, Deborah Butterfield.  Both horses are made of wood:  cottonwood trees in my case and sticks and mud in hers.


1 comment:

  1. I have been lucky to have horses in my life for many years and find your observations wonderful and right on. When horses wave their legs in the air like a bug it can look random and jerky- so different from the grace and agility we see when they are standing upright whether still or moving. I believe they are creatures of the air element so when horses lie on the ground it has the feel of a rare and sacred event, even a Visitation.
    I have always loved Deborah Butterfield's amazing work so thanks for sharing this oh-so-wonderful piece of hers!
    Also I love your work and this image!! Your use of trees seems perfect because trees hold wind and wind is the horse but here the horse contains the wind and there is peace in that.

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