Rachael Rossman's Studio Blog

I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I clean up a lot of messes.

Back to Basics. Kinda. September 5, 2009

Filed under: Art — rachaelrossman @ 10:40 am

So about a hundred years ago, I used to ride horses. That’s me over there. I started out in 4-H like

This is me. A long time ago.

everyone else where I grew up, then I was Rodeo Queen (seriously) and as an adult I spent all my money going to hunter/jumper shows.


Then I moved to an inhospitable part of the country (Montana: good for men and dogs, bad for women and horses) and left my equestrian years behind me.


I had a baby. I had another baby.


And I started to miss it.


That’s when I started up with my artwork again. Every summer, I go to as many horse shows as possible – at first with a baby bundled up in the front pack, then with a nervous and watchful eye over my squirmy toddler, and now with my reasonably well-behaved young children or sometimes even, by myself.  I take my camera and snap photos like crazy, framing each one nearly as I will compose the future painting. I take enough reference photos to last through the winter.


Later, back in my studio, I experience every brush stroke as if I am actually giving my mare Robin a good curry. I can smell the barn (horse people will know what I’m talking about) my memories guide the brush through the shapes I know so well and can almost feel.


I’ve been painting a lot of dogs lately. I paint them because there is endless variety. I paint them because clients want them. But I’m going to start painting some more horses just for me.


7 Responses to “Back to Basics. Kinda.”

  1. Elaine Corwin Says:

    Just to let you know, someone is reading. I applaud the decision to blog. Everyone I talk to says, why don’t you, and I think it is the blank page staring at me that says, no. I read Pioneer Woman and a number of cooking blogs and say to myself, I can’t do that…other blogs, too and I think I set the standards so high for what I want to put on the page that I just tell myself no again. Anyway, here’s the sound of hands clapping not quite in the wilderness.

  2. rachaelrossman Says:

    Thanks Elaine. I know what you mean about setting the bar high; I have perfectionist tendencies too. It’s just that, I have a lot to say and if I don’t write it down it will just rattle around in my head forever and make me crazy.

    And thanks for being my very first blog commenter EVER!

  3. offwhiteliving Says:

    Hey Rachael – like the blog idea…nice to get inside your head a bit too! You’re so good at this – maybe its a marketing thing, but your asthetic rocks.

    PS: I used to be in 4-H too, except I was in sewing and crafts. Every tuesday I trudged to a little mobile home about 2 miles from school. A blue-haired lady who always had the biggest behive this side of the Mississippi tried to teach me to sew an apron (your 4-H right of passage). Needless to say, sewing and I didn’t get along. I had to throw my dreams of being in the 4-H fashion show out the window……. Good thing I cook better than I sew.
    Thanks for sharing your story. Too bad in live in CA, it would be cool to hang with you outside of the ‘well’.

  4. Aunt Pam Says:

    Rachey, good idea! It’s fun to read what your doing, and to hear other responses. I like the fact that your painting horses. I still haven’t framed any of the things you’ve done for me but I will one day. I’m also having fun with my watercolor classes. Autumn is wonderful. The colors here are spectacular. I’m taking lots of pictures. I never get tired of the view. LAP

  5. Nikki Jeske Says:

    Oh I understand that smell of the barn too well. You just brought back so many memories for me. I miss the feel of a horse and the smell of the barn and laying my head against the warm neck of my gelding. It has been years since I’ve gone riding, even longer since I used to do it every week.

    I’m glad you’ve decided to paint for yourself. That’s a very good thing to do. 🙂

  6. […] my 20s I competed in hunters on Robin, the horse I was born to ride. But even at those big shows, despite the steely nerves and the $300 […]

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