Saturday, 25 July 2015

Archie Goes Home, and the Perils of Inclement Weather.

Part way up the route northwards, I arranged for Archie's owner to collect him from where I stopped off to photograph some horses and stay over.
Archie is part of the family that have the very precious Princess Rosie (see the link at the end of the paragraph), and watched our antics photographing her in a car park with great bemusement.
He of course, was excellent to work with, and took no time at all to photograph, which nearly balanced out Rosie!

Because Archie's coat is so wiry, I worked mostly in line from the very start with very little solid colour, as sometimes pastels can be limiting when trying to work a lot of 'hair' strokes on top of fixed block colour. It's given the piece a slightly different feel, but I like it.
More importantly, so did Val, although she did cry again, she was quick to reassure people present it was because she liked the portrait.

Thankfully, I was also forgiven for getting so engrossed in photographing horses that I completely forgot to look out for her arrival and she had to wait in the pub up the road.

This is a picture of the finished framed up artwork, and I'm distraught that the wholesalers no longer supply this brilliant hockey stick veneer moulding, which was just the best for small dogs!

I then whizzed on up to Scotland to photograph more horses the next morning where we woke up to horrendous weather. One poor client had spent the early morning removing sheep from what was now a totally submerged field, and a local village, Alyth, was completely flooded with cars being swept away! I was very lucky as the rain stopped for the hour I needed, and the photos have all worked out really well.

I headed down south of Edinburgh, and by now the rain had turned to wind. It's not usually a problem with horses, and sometimes it helps to perk them up a bit, however I'll sign off with some photos of why Shetland ponies and wind don't mix well! :-D

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mayhem, Madness and Moving Pictures.

Time for a quick update, I think.

The last week has been a whirlwind of travelling, photographing, delivering and collecting via ferries, trains, helpful clients and friends acting as my personal taxis and driving a left hand drive lorry van round the UK. Narrow English lanes with thick hedges and cats eyes made me scream, I can still hear the tortuous noise of continually driving over them.

I've driven 3,500 km, and still have over 1300 photos to go through, despite having already selected and deleted about 500 non starters!

I started the trip landing at Newhaven, to avoid the horrific queues and delays at Calais, but still had to have the truck checked out for unwanted passengers. Luckily, there were none.

My first stop was to longstanding clients who I hadn't met before, so it was great to put faces to names. Not only did I have their new horse to meet, I also got to see Monty, a previous victim of my pastels! 
His people had also had the lovely thought to bring along his portrait, so that I could see both the horse and the picture together. 

Well that was too good a photo opportunity to miss, so here's the result. Not entirely sure Monty was convinced by the whole faffing about, but he took it like a man!

I've collected some of my older work from Scotland, including the first head portrait I ever did. It's too awful to post, but suffice to say I'm very thankful to anyone who commissioned me on the basis of it, and allowed me to start my career!

The one below was also added to the trip, my first ever attempt at a jumping portrait. Fortunately I had a bit more of a clue what I was doing by then, although there's plenty in it makes me wince still. It wasn't a commission, it was just me and my horse of a lifetime, the fabulous Mutty.

I've had a wonderful time catching up with old friends, and meeting new clients, and just want to say a huge heartfelt thanks to everyone for their excellent hospitality, accommodating my hectic schedule and forgiving my overly optimistic journey times.