Sunday, December 29, 2013

Highlights of 2013

In 2013 we have experimented with watercolour, acrylic on Masonite and of course kept going with our standard Oil paint.
Our subjects were flowers, landscapes, still life, portraits and now we are in the world of Horses, and feel at last we have found our niche.

In Summer we decided to work on the idea of looking for places we hadn't explored before it was a perfect weekend sunny and warm, so we went to the Caledon Equestrian Centre in Palgrave.

Palgrave is a small village about 20 minute drive from here we found there an event for horse jumping and decided to pay a visit for an hour.

We arrived around 10 am and parked the car walking up,to where there seemed a lot of activity. It was probably one of the best couple of hours spent, we watched many events of all age groups and plenty of close up's of horses and riders.

Palgrave, maybe a painting one day!
Palgrave is situated in beautiful countryside so plenty of photo's were taken.We found taking pictures of fast moving horse and riders over the jumps quite a challenge. A moving target is hard to catch at the right time, of course there we're a number of pro's with huge lens that must have got some super shots so we were very busy with a new learning curve that day, I had taken some hilarious shots headless riders double images backsides of horses, John being a pro had more luck than I did that day. We came home quite excited about our new experience over a few weeks we purchased thermos flasks and took picnics arriving early and finding out more about "Eventing" we got so involved I was almost tempted to buy a suitable outfit leggings and high boots and feel part,of the  scene.

Come Autumn we found there was an opportunity to see more of the area Headwaters were having a Tour
Winsong Farm
of Horse farms so we made a date to visit  2 Horse farms close to our area. Our first stop was Winsong they have a lovely horse farm which includes two Portuguese White horses Zelador and Zelosa  the names come from Portugal they were born on the last alphabet Z a tradition when a horse is born they name it from the Alphabet letter of the day had the most difficult time picking out the names.

The horses are well loved by the owners Winnie and Bill at the moment they are training them to do many tricks which takes time and patience but they are having a lot of success. We were at their Christmas Party giving us and visitors a good show.
We have found horse  people are more than pleased to show and talk about their chosen breed and why they love them.

We also visited Onice Farm,  intrigued  by the name we found a lovely Farm not far along tucked away in a very hilly area Ideal for this type of horse, They have Icelandic ponies no higher than 14 hands high energy sturdy and long living !
We arrived early and they were moving some of the horses to another field for the day.Although a busy
Two of the ponies
family they were able to give us a run down of the horses history. Coming from such a small country Iceland are particular about these little horses who have lived in the area for a thousands of years built to stand very hard conditions and free of disease.
They  are beginning to become popular in North America.
We have since met the Family Brian, Wendy and Sydney  recently , I managed to paint a couple of pictures and we delivered them they were very happy with them and took us on a tour of their outside family. They have quite a herd and know every single one of them by name (all named with Icelandic names!)
A great dedicated family who travel a lot to with their horses to the States showing and getting to know like minded interest in the Icelandic breed.
We are looking forward to meeting them again to take winter scene photo's for painting too. Mainly because they are different and not well known YET but soon will be.

Our small travels through horse country was amazing Summer and autumn went by in a flash, the countryside
away from highways is full of incredible scenery, Hills and dales views to take your breath away.
We realize how lucky we are to live near to such great countryside. We will be out and about making the most of our trips with plenty of photographs for painting and meeting such interesting people

2013 was a taste of what we would like to do more of, so 2014 is something to look forward to.

Our best wishes to all for 2014
Babs & John

Saturday, December 21, 2013

House in the Woods

House in the woods, oil on 11x14 board
This was a commission finished a few weeks ago. It was quite a challenge painting from an old 4x6 photo, but as I got into it I began to enjoy the process, trying to paint as fast and loose as possible.

The dappled shadows were the big challenge!

The client was delighted which made my day and from the fee we made a donation to North Halton Kitten Rescue:


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Icelandic Ponies in Action

Oneice farm posted a video of the ponies in Iceland, not only do we see these wonderful creatures galloping through the fields but we get a glimpse of the landscape of Iceland,
Check it out here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


"Fenja" oil on 11x14 board
Fenja is a special Icelandic pony at Onice Farm

She is 26 years old, a Mom, Grandmother and Great-grandmother. She was the first pony at Onice farm. A special horse for the family.

I chose to paint her mainly because of the challenge, a lovely colour on a background of snow, certainly a good time of year, almost Christmas like.

Fenja gave me a few problems concentrating on her top coat of the season. The fur tended to vary with reflections from the snow and then a lot of snow covering her coat a real challenge to work on and make it look  real. Quite a few brushes were tried with not very much success,but, eventually at a distance the picture seemed to work!              


Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Morning at Onice Farm

Keeping an eye on us!
The painting by Babs we delivered

We had a great experience on Saturday morning, we met up with Brian,Wendy and Sydney at Onice Farm to deliver some paintings, we had an invitation for coffee and  being it was a cold morning that was welcome and gave us a little time to get to know our new friends .

Afterwords we were taken to see the rest of the family about 11 very furry horses in a paddock near the house. We were thrilled to have such close contact to pet them and get to know their Icelandic names. John was able to take a few shots while I took advantage of some close petting, they have their winter coats on so the snow just stayed on their fur they are very inquisitive and enjoyed the attention !  We had the time to to see the rest of the herd in their winter quarters all came to greet us again they were eager to see who we were and if there were some treats in the offing.

Our tour of the stables and Arena was stunning. We could see how much these horses mean to this family, they know each horse by name amazing to us, as there are so many in the herd.

There is a video here so you can see the herd in action

All in all a good way to start the festivities. Thanks Guys we learned a lot and enjoyed every moment.
Now we have to get some of that winter clothing, Maybe Santa will get us for Christmas?

Onice farm is on Facebook here: