Sunday 20 May 2012

A winged lion and a pony tale

Here's a glimpse of the first big painting, not quite finished.

And here is the second, completed. There is a rather shameful story to tell with this second painting, but I feel I need to own up here. A couple of years ago I was approached about a commission to paint a  winged lion. At the time, I was very busy, and said I'd have a think about it, and let the person know when I had a bit more time. A few months passed, and when I had a gap in my painting schedule, I found I had lost the email, and couldn't even remember the name of the person who had contacted me. So that was that. However, the idea rattled around in the back of my head all the while, becoming this, and finally I realised that I had to 'give birth ' to it, and get it down on paper. So here it is, a tricky one to paint - there were some wobbly moments when I thought it was never going to come out as I had envisaged, but finally, I think, it came together. 

And if I have painted your winged lion, please accept my sincerest apologies for losing your email :(

I have taken the plunge this week, and started work with my baby pony, Sandpiper. Not so much of a baby now - 5 years old, and overdue to be started under saddle. I bought her at weaning, a rather wild little foal, bred by Wendy Bridges, of Holmedown Stud. (she is Dartmoor x Highland pony)
She got hairier and hairier

and then she got leggier and leggier.......
Until she became the bossiest 2 year old ever!

However, a new baby brother and the job of permanent babysitter at 3 years old mellowed her a great deal!
And last summer, at 4 years we backed her briefly, but I had no time to do more, and as Highland ponies are slow to mature, and she hadn't quite made the height I hoped for, I left it at that.

A week ago, I re-backed her, and began teaching her to long rein. And this weekend she had her first solo ride out.  She took to it like a pro :)


Terra said...

I am impressed with your darling pony, and the winged lion painting. Perhaps 'tis Aslan of the Narnia Chronicles.

JGG said...

Beautiful - your winged lion is just beautiful. But what is so amazing, is that I just finished a sketch of a winged lion. And now I'm wondering how many people in the world were painting winged lions at the same time we were!

ChrisJ said...

Such a beautiful pony. I don't know much about ponies, but after reading a number of blogs about the Dartmoor ponies, I wish I had had the chance to know one!

Bovey Belle said...

Lovely paintings, as always.

I really enjoyed reading about Sandpiper from foal to Grown Up. Shes a lovely sort - perhaps a late developer as she still looks a bit croup-high (in the photo where she's plaited). A shame she took her height from the Dartmoor side as you were obviously hoping she followed the Highland.

Kath said...

that painting was well worth the wait!
I was thinking Aslan too :-)
How lovely to see Piper coming along. I have a special love of Highlands, my highland was the sweetest most calm and patient pony imaginable.

Danielle Barlow said...

So many winged lions - yes, it is rather Aslan like :)

BB, you are right, she is still a bit croup high - currently about 12.3hh in front, and 13hh behind. I have been very anxious about her carrying me, but have to say she is built like a tank, and I don't feel at all underhorsed once on.

Kath - she too is calm and kind, but in a feisty way - so desperate to get out and about and be involved in things. (most of all she wants to go out with the boys when they are ridden!)

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

WOW! I love your Winged Lion! What a wonderful creative imagination you have!

Love the piece on Piper. Looking at the photos of her growing have been neat. Hope she continues on in her progress riding. She is such a beautiful bay color.

Valerianna said...

Wow, that Winged Lion painting is magical! Love it! And the pony, well, she's stunning... happy riding!

Tammie Lee said...

I Love your Winged Lion piece! I wonder if the woman will notice this and contact you.

loved seeing all your pony and horse photos, such wonderful animals.

Your other painting is a joy to see too.

Debra Keirce said...

I the winged lion!

Yarrow said...

Piper looks amazing Danielle. How big is she now? Love your paintings as always :D

Yarrow said...

Sorry, just saw the previous comment about her height :D

Flora said...

What beautiful animals !!!Your art is gorgeous too!!!

Amber said...

I like your paintings. That winged lion is very cool. Also, your pony is adorable.

Dartford Warbler said...

Piper looks a lovely sturdy pony and hopefully has another year of growing to do, at least.... I`m convinced that Foresters are not fully grown until they are six/seven ad most of the native breeds are slow developers.. Have fun with her. My Freddie is five this summer and croup high again.

I hope that the Winged Lion person sees your beautiful painting and gets in touch!

The Equestrian Vagabond said...

just love your work!
- The Equestrian Vagabond


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