Painting Out of Your Comfort Zone

After the Dismount, painting

I pulled out an old sketch this weekend, put it on a spare canvas and tried it out for size. I don’t normally paint on canvas, so this is pretty experimental for me, although it’s probably totally standard for everyone else. I like painting on hard surfaces like masonite. Painting on a canvas feels strange, like running on a trampoline. But sometimes working out of your comfort zone is a way to do the unexpected. Persevering with the unfamiliar can produce interesting results- if you are willing to give up some control.

This sketch came from a day spent in San Francisco’s Cow Palace, at the Grand National Rodeo. It was in the late 80’s. I did a number of drawings of various events, and I apologize for not being more knowlegable about this sort of thing but there was a snaffle-bit event with skidding horses, team-steer roping, and bull-riding. I didn’t really know much about

After the Dismount, drawing

what I was watching, but I was getting it down as fast as I could. Most of the drawings I did that day were nothing to write (or draw) home about but I really like this one of a bull. My notes say “After the Dismount”. Something of an understatement for the rider, I guess, but a worthwhile title. I’m not 100% sure this painting’s done, but it’s close. I did it pretty quickly and consider it a study for a larger painting. And by golly I think I’m going to do the big version on canvas. I think I like running on trampolines after all.

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