Waiting By The Emerald Gate

Waiting By The Emerald Gate- 36″ x 24″ oil on canvas by Greg Newbold

When I snapped the shot of this palomino horse on one of my outings, I did not think much of it. Mostly because there was another horse nose to tail standing right behind this one. The photo sat on my computer forgotten for a long time. While digging around for subjects, you never know what might strike you in those old files. I loved the lighting on the front horse as well as the swishing tail and figured I would just paint out the other horse. As I refined the composition, I realized that it reminded me a lot of one my favorite Andrew Wyeth compositions. Below is his “Young Bull” from 1960. I have always admired this piece and consider it a near perfect composition in which all the rules regarding tangents and lines are fabulously broken.

In retrospect, this may be one of the reasons why I was drawn to this particular scene. I only make the comparison to point out that as artists, we are all molded by our influences and many of those become so ingrained as to be rendered subconscious. My composition is divided differently and relies on repetition of pattern much more heavily than the Wyeth. I enjoy the series of parallel lines running through the corrugated siding as well as the gate and also the repetition of triangular shapes that repeat through the shadows and beams. The sunshine on the back of the horse also creates a a nice triangle of light. If I had created this composition intentionally as an homage to Wyeth, I think it would feel a lot more forced. I am glad I did not make the connection until after I was nearly finished with the painting.


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