the confluence of my dreams, experiences, and passions arise to my stream of consciousness from time to time. Showing my Dream Horse watercolor paintings at the Equine Art in the Park, Denver and the Montrose Center for the Arts Pop-Up Show have brought new energy to this creative direction.
In their new incarnation, the Dream Horses are mixed media, not quite bas-relief, but definitely semi-sculptural.
I start with my handwoven fabric, shaping with colorful wire, sewing, and pressing. Legs are created with rare and precious beads. Manes and tails are formed with natural fibers, novelty yarns, and sizing. The horses are then finished with more wire and beads.
The mixed media Dream Horses come in three sizes: large (above); medium & small (see below.) Fill out the information on the purchase link to receive photographs and details of available sizes, materials, and colors. Custom horses can be created with your horse’s hair and/or your sentimental jewels, fabrics, etc.
To order please visit purchase link. All details will be handled securely through email.
Montrose Center for the Arts and Weehawken Creative Arts present a “POP-UP GALLERY” May 19 – May 31, 2018 at the Montrose Field House, corner of Rio Grande and Colorado Ave. Join me for the Opening Reception, May 19 from 2-4 pm. Light snacks and refreshments provided, and sales will be open! Commission proceeds benefit the Center.
I am showing three of my Dream Horses, “Carousel,” “Spanish Walk,” and “Walk Like An Egyptian.”
Unlike my equine portraits and pastoral compositions, Dream Horses arise from a deeper, mysterious place- the confluence of my experiences, emotions, and energy. Dream Horses are part nocturnal dreams and part dream goals; part whimsey, part wistfulness, and part triumph. The process of mastery and harmony with the horse is a long dedicated journey traveled by luminaries Xenophon, de la Guérinière, Podhajsky, and mere mortals, such as myself. Dreams Horses are elusive, unpredictable, free spirits. During the artistic process, I release control to the emergence of the horse, which evolves from old world cultures, shared traditions, modern design, and playful exploration, synthesized with my experiences, (the sensation of fluid power, connection, and engagement upon his back) and profound feelings of awe and gratitude for everything the horse gives. Dream Horses represent idealized beauty, power, grace, generosity, and wisdom.
“Spanish Walk” copyright Cheri Isgreen 2015
Dream Horse #2 “Walk Like an Egyptian” 14″x10″ $350
Paintings selected by juror, Sheri Farabaugh for 21th Annual Colorado Visions Exhibition of Art
May 1-31, 2018
Opening Reception May 10, 5:30-7:30
Westminster City Hall; 4800 W. 92nd Ave; Westminster, CO
Below is a short background to the paintings, “No Hoof; No Horse” and “Orchid’s Glow.”
No Hoof; No Horse
tells the story of skill and craft behind the farrier’s art of hot shoeing. A farrier carefully trims each hoof, then shapes each horseshoe to ensure comfort, balance, and performance. Skilled work by talented farriers enhance the movement of sport horses, provide therapy for rehab horses, and prolong soundness for pleasure horses. The painting captures the drama when a hot shoe is placed on a horse’s hoof to test for fit. This painting spotlights the incredible trust horses place in their human partners.
is a study in light. Light reveals color and form. The backlit forms of the orchids give the illusion of a glow from within each flower. This semi-abstract composition puts the emphasis on design first and subject matter second. Deep rich color give the painting harmony. Strong movement and contrast provide interest.
I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a beautiful 8 year old chestnut warmblood gelding. Commissions require extra care, because we all have unique perspectives based on our experiences. I wanted my vision to capture the horse’s sweet generous nature and the owner’s expectations.
I took extra care with the pencil study, being careful with Willy’s anatomy, his stunning drop-dead-gorgeous-good-looks and conformation, as well as his sunny personality. I took extra time drawing his face, as the face and especially the eyes are the window to the spirit.
When the pencil study was complete, I did a value map. I would recommend this step to anyone who wants to ensure success with a studied composition. This process is not suitable for alla prima quick painting, but it works out many of the compositional problems that could crop up in a larger studio work. My process is to find 3 values- dark, medium, and light. I combine close values from the pencil study into larger connected shapes. When I get to the painting stage, I keep the values accurate, and add a variety of color within the value shapes. This variety of color enlivens the painting’s surface and the subject of the painting. I also like to create lost-and-found edges at this point. Where the sunlight touches the edge of the horse’s body, I have allowed the shapes to merge with the background- (horse’s left front leg and hoof.)
The next step is the underpainting. The underpainting sets the tone/temperature for the completed work, as this glaze will glow from within. I have a warm golden wash in a variety of tones and tints- (hansa yellow, gamboge, raw sienna, burnt sienna). I masked the areas of white- blaze and socks, and left those white areas in shadow blank- no underpainting. For this portrait, I want a warm painting with distinct blue shadows on the horse’s socks and nose, so I saved those shapes for later painting.
After the underpainting was dry, I painted the background. I wanted a very soft, light background that wouldn’t compete with the horse. I used both blues for contrast and yellows for harmony. When the background was dry, I built up shapes, added color, and worked from light to dark, using my value map. As the body was taking shape, I switched to a smaller brush to complete the face. The face slowed the process down, as stated before, an artist must capture the soul here. When the horse was complete, I added energy in the foreground with lively brushstroke and splattered color. I wanted to convey the energy of a joyful gallop and the impression of a flowery meadow.
This work will be previewed at my Open House Sept 29, 2017 5-7 PM at Backstreet Street Bagels & Gallery. To purchase a painting or commission a work, use this link: purchase painting
You are invited to an art reception featuring my watercolor paintings celebrating horses, gardens, and travel. The reception begins at 5:30 PM. I will give a gallery talk about my inspirations, techniques, and processes beginning at 6:00 PM. Along with my watercolor paintings, I am offering a wide selection of prints, notecards, and tiny paintings. Live music and refreshments are planned. This event is part of the Gunnison Colorado First Friday Artwork, with many venues in downtown Gunnison participating with art, spirits, music, and food. For more information, please call Anne at 970-641-6111.
“Passionate Pursuits” runs through the end of June. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:30 PM and Saturdays 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.
“For a Good Time, Call Ed” copyright C Isgreen 2015 $500
Conversano Mima White Horse Vale Ranch, Goldendale, WA Lipizzan Stallion
5″ x 7″ prints, framed in oak, taken from my Mexico sketch journal, pencil & ink. $25 each
All images copyright Cheri Isgreen 2014
“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel”exhibition of new work by Cheri Isgreen. Running through Sept 30, 2016 at the Blue Pig Gallery, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday – 10 am – 5:00 pm
“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” features new works by Cheri Isgreen.
Horses highlights my deep connection with horses, especially my special relationship with Monarch, who I have raised and trained from green colt to seasoned show, clinic, trail, and special events horse.
“Ebony and Ivory” is my newest watercolor. It depicts a Lipizzan and a warmblood in joyful camaraderie. These horse create their own “liberty pas de deux.” Look closely at how suspension enhances the beauty of horses’ movement. Light on living forms creates a unending variety of interesting and harmonious shapes. The white horse is defined by shadows, in contrast to the highlights defining form in the black horse.
Flowers, like Horses focuses on my interest of how light defines living forms. Unlike Horses, (which I paint in a narrative style), Flowers are painted in a looser style that explores pure design and composition.
Travel samples a collection of entries from my travel sketch journals in a variety of media, including pencil, ink, watercolor, and collage. Works are presented as 5″ x 7″ framed prints from Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Mexico trips.
“Three Passions: Horses, Flowers, Travel” opens tomorrow at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade, Colorado, running through September 30, 2016
“Three Passions” features new works inspired by my love of horses, flowers, and travel. All the horse and flower paintings are executed in watercolors, and explore the effects of light on living forms. While the horse paintings are narrative in nature, the flower compositions are pure design. They focus on movement, space, color, pattern, rhythm, and line. My travel pieces are framed 5″ x 7″ prints from my sketch journals. They represent a wide range of work including pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, watercolor & ink; Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Utah.
I have one more piece on my easel, a narrative equine painting which will be titled, “Ebony & Ivory.” This is the study for “Ebony & Ivory.” (Note difference in style between equine & floral compositions.)
“Cosmos” will be one of the featured works for my upcoming show at the Blue Pig Gallery running Sept 1-30, 2016. For more information about this show, visit the following link:
Horses! Total synesthesia: pure poetry in motion; my original raison d’être for painting in watercolor. “Noble” evolved from the contour line studies and sketch classes I have been giving this summer. Using saturated color and pure water with a large mop brush- value, color, and form developed from the contour lines based on the pencil study for this work.
“Noble” will be one of the featured works for my upcoming show at the Blue Pig Gallery running Sept 1-30, 2016. For more information about this show, visit the following link: