Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mustang A Day Challenge Guest Artist Week Today: Karen Mclain

The horse, in painted from life; studies that add life  By Karen McLain
All rights to Karen Mclain's work is copyrigted and used by permission.
Please contact her diretly for use or purchase.

"Wild Run"
by Karen Mclain
Please conctact Karen through her Email a the bttom of this story for
avilability of paintings.

"Lunch With A View"
by Karen Mclain
“How do you get them to stand still?” is the question I hear most frequently.  Since my models are horses that is understandable. The idea for painting horses from life came after I began landscape painting en Plein air.   When I realized how much more I could see and experience painting landscapes from life, I wanted to translate that into my equine paintings.

Unlike people who can be posed, or domestic horses that can at least be tied-up, painting wild horses is altogether different.  Capturing the essence of the horse before it moves or the light changes is the core challenge.  My visual and emotional attraction of wild horses interacting in desert sunlight, or the contrast of water reflections is quickly expressed in a breath of time.

"Mare Foal and Yearling"
by Karen Mclain
The quest to paint Mustangs started in 2009, with the Onaqui herd. I was profoundly touched by watching this herd interact, and knew I would paint them. Since that time, I have sought out wild horses wherever I can find them.  Along with the Onaqui herd, the Spring Creek herd, and bands on public and private land are among my models. This summer I will travel to the Sand Wash Basin HMA to paint that beloved herd.

"Sorrel Refletions"
by Karen Mclain
These studies add valuable information to the paintings I complete in the studio.  The quick oil sketches combined with photo reference add a depth of life and feel that is not available from photos alone.

Painting the horse from life is part of the powerful process of bringing life to a commissioned painting.  Painting from life, expresses life in my final work that I would not be able to get any other way.  Every horse that I paint from life, adds life to the horses I paint in the studio.

These paintings are a soul-searching quest into each horse's spirit and relationship with the herd. They are an intimate glimpse at the powerful, yet peaceful existence of wild horses in their natural environment. I hope you feel as if you have experienced the freedom of these quiet symbols from our nation’s past. 

Karen McLain lives in Arizona with her horses, dogs and cats. Between teaching and working on commissions, she can be found looking for more Mustangs to paint.

Contact information:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for including me in your guest bloggers!