” Holding The Reins ” – A New Painting

There’s a very strong cultural connection here on St. Croix between young men and horses. Some of it reflects poorly in the treatment of the animals at the hands of boys who see it as a way to express domination.

But the other side of that is the deep respect and care that’s shown mutually between the species.

” Holding The Reins “ 11 X 14 oil on stretch canvas

( I’ve shot this photo numerous times but it still looks hazy- hmm…)

It surprised me to see very few if any young women here interested in horses. The horse culture in the states is very much female-centric but here it’s quite the opposite. Saddles are a liability in terms of theft so riding is bare bones, bareback.

Seems reins, bridle and butt is all that’s required.

Here’s a local newspaper headline that seemed to miss the point.

I mean, wouldn’t you HOPE that’s what he’d do?

For Cloud lovers- she didn’t miss a point although I missed a sock.

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23 Responses to “” Holding The Reins ” – A New Painting”

  1. Donald Diddams Says:

    In many ways I think the West Indian cultural traditions are stronger and reach farther back than what most of us from the continent are used to. This is a lovely painting Bonnie, showing in the gestures the mutual respect between man and his horse. The brushstrokes are so full of color, I look forward to seeing it in person! Seems like you are building up a nice supply of new paintings for your fans to see!!

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Don- I’m glad you picked up on the body language between the two subjects. It was important to get it right in order to convey that sense of respect.
      I am indeed adding to the coffers of paintings with a show in mind when season returns.

  2. sam Says:

    I love how you use broken color to show value.

    And I, we, love Cloud!

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Sam- this one was more color saturated than what I usually do so I’m glad you think it worked well. You who use color fearlessly.
      Cloud is the absence of color but somehow, it looks good on her!

  3. Sharon Crute Says:

    Most artists who foray into equine pictorials usually do a poor job due to not being familiar with the subject. Not so here. I believe you can draw and paint anything Bonnie.
    At the risk of repeating myself…wonderful brushwork.

  4. Jala Pfaff Says:

    Hi Bonnie,
    I remember this painting (unless you’ve changed it?) and it’s very lovely and natural-looking (the guy’s pose).
    Cloud is unbelievably cute. How big is she now? She looks teeny still. A living doll.
    Sex offenders neglecting…sounds about right.

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Hi Jala- you have one fine memory there. I did do this before but nixed the previous attempts. They just didn’t work. So I tried it again because I was determined to get the right relationship between horse and rider. Seems you and Don both felt that I did.
      I’m glad I did it again if that was the result.

      Cloud is a deceiving 20 lbs. Because she’s so long and short at the same time, depending on the angle I get her from, she either looks teeny or elongated. But damn cute no matter.

  5. CarolKing Says:

    Bonnie, I love this painting. I can see the man’s face and the horse moving in the light! I remember the night we saw all the horses at the beach and we stopped to watch them go into the ocean with all the kids riding and dogs running around. So much fun. I was never a horse person (well to ride them) but the sure are beautiful. Just like that Cloud!

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Right Carol- I remember you watched that at the days’ end with the late afternoon golden glow of sun on the water. These animals are so majestic and worthy of better care than most of them get. So when I see a man being respectful of his horse, I take notice.
      When I’m not taking notice of Cloud, that is, which is most of the time.

  6. lesliepaints Says:

    What a total turn around! I agree with you, Bonnie that the horse lovers, here, are mostly women. Lovely impressionistic painting of man and horse. I’ve been waiting for the finish on this one! Wonder what the horse has heard or is seeing?

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Thanks Leslie- I did this one over from the beginning. Sometimes, you feel like you’re on to the right start and it all goes wrong. But yet, the subject still calls to you.
      I’m glad I didn’t give it up altogether. I’m pretty happy with the way it came out.

  7. Marian Fortunati Says:

    Oh…… another Cloud fix!!! I love it..

    I so wish I could push myself to create lose and lovely figurative pieces like yours… They are always so expressive and alive!!! So thanks for the double delight… A BonnieLuria painting and a Cloud photo!!

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Marian- your California coastline paintings are expressive and free enough for any characters in my paintings to move right into.
      I’m glad you get a tickle out of Cloud- sounds like you can use a few lighter moments these days.

  8. planetross Says:

    What’s Cloud doing with the sock? That’s a Windsock!!! hee hee!

  9. wrjones Says:

    Another of the Bonnie strong appealing paintings. Seems odd that saddles would be stolen on an island. Where are they going to use them without being caught?

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Nice to hear from you Bill. Nevermind where do the saddles go? How about the horses themselves that get stolen and somehow go missing on an island!
      It’s an odd practice but if it’s anything of value, best to keep it close.

  10. Melinda Says:

    Yes, horse and rider seem to be one. You’ve really painted with great mastery in this. I love the energy in the background and the calm demeanor of the main subjects. Really well done.

    I know what you mean about photographing work and having some haziness. Sometimes I have to keep moving the painting around the yard to get the light angle just right. Do you think it’s the strong light? Years ago, a professor instructed us to photograph only on cloudy days. Yeah, right! Like that happens a lot in the desert or in your region!

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Melinda- ( sorry for the delay- our internet was down due to a lightning strike on the tower ). I did this piece a few times which seems to be my learning process. Or I’m my own harshest critic. But I know when it clicks for me and this one did it. I really liked his shirt ( how to paint white that’s not white ) and his pants.
      Not sure about the lighting. My friend here is a pro photographer who advised me to use morning, Northern light but without setting up an entire photo studio outslde, I find that laying it on the ground and shooting it from above seems to work well.
      And some days you just want to get it up on the blog and not fuss over the shot.

  11. Artswebshow Says:

    this is fantastic.
    I like the style of the painting.
    Lol. i like the humour at the end

    • Bonnie Luria Says:

      Thanks Ksverny- without trying, my style seems to have evolved. Maybe it’s like dancing or handwriting. Which ending were you referring to- the newspaper headline or the doggie and sock?
      Glad you liked it all.

  12. Jala Pfaff Says:

    Here I am, just visitin’, hopin’ to see a new post (hint hint). :D

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