Monday, March 11, 2013

Early spring at the farm


Yesterday at the farm was the warmest day so far this year. The four draft horses were out in the barnyard soaking up the sun and munching their hay. Patches of snow still lingered in the shadows, but everywhere else the ground had thawed into mud and manure under their big hooves.


The horses looked up when they heard a commotion coming from the pond.  They walked to the water's edge to see what was wrong. 

Two Canada geese were loudly squawking and flapping from the middle of the water. The geese had landed in the center of the pond, not realizing it was still covered with a thin layer of ice. They tried to walk on the surface of the ice, but it was rotten and they broke through. They couldn't swim out and they couldn't take off and fly either. So they fussed and flapped until they finally broke a passage through the ice and made it to the shore. 


Turk the and the other horses quietly watched this drama unfold. Then he went back to digesting his hay and dozing in the sunshine. 

11 comments:

Tom Hart said...

What a great story, and I LOVE that second sketch, especially. It's gorgeous in its simplicity.

If you were so inclined this story, expanded somewhat, would make a nice children's book. As if you don't have enough ideas and things to do already! :^)

Iliya said...

James hello! This is Iliya from the Repin Academy, I am not sure if you remember me but I commented on your blog a while ago when you had a post on academic drawing. I didn't know how else to contact you. I wanted to know if you could suggest some painters/paintings with candle light and candle lit figures outside of the real obvious examples. I'm pretty sure that you can come up with more than I can when it comes to 19th century work as well as 20th century illustration.

Iliya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex Ferree said...

Beautiful simple drawing, James. As a fellow illustrator and watercolor painter, I am curious. How were you able to keep the paper wet without freezing (assuming it was still a little cold)? What would you recommend to do for painting on days like that?

Marta said...

Love the hair under the chin of the second painting - and the eyelash. It's just right!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Marta. Yes, they've still got their winter fur and look pretty scraggly.

Alex, it was well above freezing. I don't do much watercolor painting when it's colder than freezing. I've heard of people using vodka for water, but I would just switch to oil.

Iliya, I can't think of anyone except the obvious ones, like de la Tour and N.C. Wyeth. I'll think about it and report back here if I find any good ones.

Thanks, Tom. There's always a story going on at the farm, some little drama that we couldn't have anticipated. Glad you enjoy them, and I really appreciate your frequent and kind comments.

Rich said...

Really loved this drama described of Canada geese landing away on some sort of "contaminated runway" ;and how in the end you achieved to sketch that witnessing horse, looking at it all...

Erika Baird said...

Oh, I do love that second sketch very much. It captures so much 'horseyness' for lack of a better word.

Jean At Home said...

What a delightful story. Thanks. It brightened my night.

David J Teter said...

I'm tellin' ya James, do a watercolor book next and be sure to include all these great anecdotes.
Just what I've seen here on the blog you have enough.
I especially love those little postage stamp size ones you did sittin' in the train station.
... oh yeah and include some of Janettes too, like the ones you each did of the house, and the mower I think it was? Yeah, thats it! two Gurney's for the price of one!

OK it's settled, where do I stand in line?

Anneliese Mak said...

A lovely story to go with lovely paintings. They both complement each other so well!