You can now find my new collection of pen and ink drawings on mugs, tees, phone cases and other assorted objects! Just follow the link to the Loose Horses by Terri Miller store on Zazzle.
A little back story: When I’m in the studio, I paint exclusively in oils. But when I travel, especially to other countries, I pack lightly, carrying, at most, my miniature watercolor kit. This allows me to sit at ringside at whatever show Axel is judging without drawing a crowd (set up a plein air easel for an oil painting at a horse show, and you’ll be able to count the seconds until folks want to see what you’re doing!)
This summer I decided to pare it down even more. On our trip to the CDIs at Pompadour and Vierzon in France, I carried paper and permanent markers, and not much else. Without even a cup of watercolor water to spill, I found myself sketching from inside the announcer’s booth, or leaning on the rail of the schooling ring. But my drawings felt measured and too careful.
So I started drawing with my left hand.
Just so you know, I have been right-handed all my life. I’ve never pretended to be ambidextrous. Before this, the closest I’ve ever come to doing art with my left hand was to wipe up spills with it. So maybe it was the relaxed atmosphere of the French shows, or maybe it had to do with having a lovely glass of French wine at lunch, or someone saying, “I double-dog-dare you,” but I decided to switch hands.
This was not instantly easy. At first I had to turn my sketch book upside down so the binding was on the right, just to fool my eyes. Then I had to fight my right hand’s urge to grab the pen in order to ‘splain to the left hand how it was done. After that there was the Internal Critic, who was having a hard time relinquishing control of the whole artwork-creating thing. But after three days and about a gazillion attempts, the horses on paper became recognizable. They made me giggle, because they were so gestural, so sketchy, so…. Loose.
And there you have it!