The finished painting: “Hot Shoe.”
I originally thought the title would be, “For a Good Time, Call Ed.” This is a reference to common graffiti found on a public bathroom wall. For equestrians, the title is a double entendre meaning “no hoof, no horse.” Ed is a master farrier. I rely on him to not only keep my horse sound, but to maximize my horse’s movement. He helps me to understand the structure of the foot, how the approach he will use translates to my horse’s comfort and way of travel, and how to solve the occasional problem that arises in the pasture or in training. A farrier can make all the difference between an enjoyable ride and a disaster. In fact, I found Ed as a result of a disaster from a previous “hoof expert.”)
It is interesting the comments I received while this painting was a work in progress. It ran the gamut from “leave the smoke out; the composition is strong without it,” all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum, “approach it as an abstract painting, make the subject the smoke.” My vision was to include all the drama of the hot shoe touching the prepared hoof, while still retaining a realistic narrative. That is the approach I followed.