Recently, I had the unique opportunity to do a painting for someone based on the lyrics of a beautiful song called, "Remember Wild Horses" by Birds of Chicago." I have never done something like this, but I was really excited about the challenge! Here is the song and lyrics below...
Remember Wild Horses
First daughter of a Knight of Columbus
Friend to moonbeams and painters’ brushes
There was not a single one among us
Who thought she’d be alone
Now she loves her nieces and all her nephews
Green tea and the good view
Of the butterfly weeds and the coneflowers
Out back behind her home
Remember wild horses running
Oh! With the morning in their eyes
Ears pinned back on free land
Under free blue skies
You don’t have to wipe away your tears
Go on and let ‘em fall
You're just remembering wild horses is all
Down at the Whirlaway I saw an old buddy
Kind of laughing in his beer I said man what’s so funny
He looked up at me like he wanted to punch me
He said nothing’s funny not a damn things’s funny
I loved her so long I believed that she loved me
I promised her she promised me
Remember wild horses….
Well his mind was bright but his body played tricks
Would not be long before it flat out quit
Chopsticks in a bag of old leather
Alone in his room with the ghost of past summers
He can see her now he can see her now
Sunlight through her camisole
One hand over her eye to block the sun
Waiting by the window for her only one
Remember wild horses ...
I started with painting the girl who this painting was for first. Then, I formed a circular frame around her head to frame her face. Painting the horses in motion helped to show the wild nature of the horses. I chose pink as the color for the horses and painted them in an ombre effect where each one was getting lighter and lighter as they went around the circle.
A coneflower was incorporated into the painting to go with the lyrics, and I also added a butterfly to give the background some life.
A little detail that I decided to add into the painting was the suggestion of forget-me-not flowers on her shirt. I used this flower in particular because of its symbolism.
The last part was adding copper leaf to the top of what I had painted. I'm not going to lie, I was terrified to do this part because once I applied the copper leaf, there was no going back. I have used gold leaf before in my work, but only in little bits. I have never used copper leafing and never used it in such large masses. I really felt like the painting needed another layer and some texture added to it and this seemed like the perfect solution. As soon as I started laying the leaf down, the feelings of being terrified slowly turned to giddiness! It is always good to take risks here and there because that is when pure magic happens. After I finished applying the copper leaf, I realized that I never added stars in the sky and I was so excited that I could make it look like the copper leaf was dispersing into stars in the night sky! In the end, it all came together as it should and I was very pleased.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any inquiries about a commissioned painting you are dreaming up.