I love art, but I can't even draw a stick figure.
Local artist Pat Gluckin loves horses, especially creating art of them.
My appreciation of art and photography recently converged when Gluckin contacted me asking for permission to paint one of my photographs.
The subject of the photo was harness racing at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. When choosing a photo to paint, Gluckin looks for "character, feeling, action, a uniqueness or even a surprise," as she mentioned in an email. The photo selected "managed to get a good grouping of horses that I knew would not stay a group for much longer. It was a perfect shot at a perfect time," said Gluckin.
She went on to say, "I loved the various expressions on the drivers. Some drivers looked so relaxed they could have been on a Sunday drive down a country road but for their horses with their looks of determination and the speed by the way their manes and tails flew out above and behind them."
Gluckin has been creating pastels for a year and a half with limited formal training. Using books, YouTube videos and a lot of trial and error, she has advanced far beyond stick figures. Gluckin has taken a couple of classes at the Elkhart Art League to "get the most out of my pastels and maybe some new techniques," she said.
The painting took about 20 hours to complete. In contrast, the photo was taken at 1/2000 of a second. "Every horse in the painting took about five layers of pastels … all in varying colors and shades. Everything else in the painting took anywhere from three to five or even more layers of color," she said.
Gluckin was working under a deadline (at least we have that in common), as she painted with urgency to enter the pastel in a competition at the Elkhart Art League.
If the painting is a winner, it could be featured as artwork in the EAL calendar.
Good thing I haven't been asked to be a judge. I would have to fess up to a conflict of interest and let it be known, my objectivity couldn't be guaranteed.
Here's to hoping the month of July is represented by harness racing at the fair in the next EAL calendar.