STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING – Equus II

I wanted a companion piece to “Circus Horse” so I researched other equine forms that might be found on cave walls. Jean Clottes’s “Cave Art” book provided me with this magnificent horse. This horse from the Reseau Clastres Cave in France is 89 cm. in length faces a narrow entrance to a larger chamber named Chamber of Paintings. This horse is made up of 49 lines. Scientists claim that the artist began with the forehead before drawing the mane, the dorsal line and tail, the hind leg, belly line, front leg and finally the chest. They have established this sequence, beyond a doubt, from the way in which the lines overlap each other. The artist was either sitting or crouching, as the horse’s mane is only 1.22 metres from the ground. Interestingly enough, if one stands at a distance anywhere else in the cave, the horse appears deformed but seen from where the artist sat, the proportions are correct. The conclusion: what mattered most to the artist was the image itself and not how it would be seen by others.” Art for art’s sake as it were.

This painting began by texturing the printmaking paper and covering the horse image with a thin rice paper veil which I serrated at the edges. To create the cave “veins” a textural rubber stamp was used on the dry printmaking paper. This painting was a mixture of color tonalities such as Red Ochre, Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacrodone Gold, Raw Umber Chestnut, Payne’s Grey and Raw Umber topped, superimposed or layered with Interference Oxide Red and Interference Gold Coarse colors. Transparent Red Iron Oxide paint and a lighter rice paper were used to create the serrated edge side bars. I put the image of the horse on the base and covered the horse image with a thin rice paper veil by mistake but it worked out quite nicely. I then serrated the rice paper edges. The framed painting measures 23 x 30.

(1) Cave Art by Jean Clottes p. 204-205

Back