I've hardly told you yet about our impromptu horse painting session. The O.H. R.A.T.S. club (Old Hudson River Art and Truth Society) convened recently to paint horses and donkeys at the Southlands Foundation farm in Rhinebeck, New York.
Garin Baker, Susan Daly Voss, Kevin Ferrara, and my wife Jeanette wanted to try to walk in the hoofprints of some of our equine-painting heroes, especially Heinrich von Zügel and Sir Alfred Munnings. (Thanks, Christoph for finding this amazing photo of Mr. Von Z and his students.)
The farmer, Lenny Miller, posed with Turk, a prize Belgian gelding, while the stableboy Cody held two donkeys. Here's Kev painting Joy. Our session lasted an hour and a half, with breaks for Turk to walk around and blow off steam.
Garin got so interested in Lenny as a subject that he wants to come back and do his portrait -- never mind Turk!
The experience was challenging and electrifying— especially with the guinea hens screaming in our ears. Someone once said that painting live animals is the Mount Everest of plein air painting. I agree, and I feel like I barely got past base camp.