Monday, January 19, 2009

Facing off

This image is from a drawing done on site at the Litchfield, California BLM. I made the eight-hour drive to this satellite facility only to discover that the staff left early and not a soul was onsite even though I had made it there well within business hours. Under the watchful gaze of the security camera, I had the place to myself. Despite the smaller size of this facility, mustangs packed every available corral. I strode to the outer corrals and found a wild bunch that reacted to my approach by snorting, pawing and posing most elegantly for me. I stood my ground by taking a dusty seat and drawing them. This image is of one of the pack leaders in the wild outer corral bunch. Original drawing transferred to zinc plate. Etching, drypoint and softground.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

The original drawing of this nibbling colt was composed during my first visit to a BLM horse management facility in Burns, Oregon. His surroundings in captivity, a treeless valley in eastern Oregon, seemed bleaker still that it was early spring, gray and drizzling. After this initial experience I visited three other BLM facilities just for the privilege of being close enough to draw these so recently wild, always majestic animals.


Red Horse grazing -etching

I like the simple, graceful shapes that form this horse. This little etching was created using a few different techniques. The horse was developed in dry point (cross-hashing the plate with a sharp tool), which gives it a velvety appearance when burnished. Soft ground (pressing a cloth to the ground then etching) was used to give the background texture.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sniffing the air

Another BLM drawing turned etching. Though most of the horses I draw at the BLM have been in captivity for months, the instinct to worry and react remains strong. This proud young horse braces himself against the wind while checking the air for possible signs of predators. The other horse nips a scratch on his leg. Etching, drypoint. Printed on Arches buff paper. Edition of 15.