All along, this painting was called “Monty & Friends” because, well, that’s Monty there with his horse friends Jackie (left) and Eddie (right). This is a zoomed and cropped portion of a much larger image that a Swissy friend had posted to an online forum. I wanted to paint it.
I was living in Maine at the time and not painting at all, but I went out to find stretcher bars and canvas, and I stretched and primed the canvas, put down a sketch, and started the underpainting.
That’s about as far as it got. I was doing my internship in herbalism and working at a natural pharmacy, and my life was otherwise occupied on that course. Eventually, I got a new job with a nutritionist, moved back to Somerville, and the canvas was forgotten and cast aside and eventually it was destroyed out of sheer negligence. Eh, I thought, I was never going to finish it, anyway.
A few months ago, the image reappeared on another list that I’m on. Hey, it’s Monty and his big friends! I stretched a new canvas, knowing that I would actually finish the painting, this time.
I had kind of a tunnel vision on this one, and I didn’t post periodic updates. When it was almost done, I did send a pic to Kim, the woman who belongs to these magnificent animals. She commented on Monty’s expression and shared the backstory: Monty was always a little frightened of the horses, and here in this image, she had put him in a sit/stay. With the horses looming over him (gentle as they are!), his expression best illustrates his dilemma.
I then thought that maybe I should call it simply “Stay,” but really… Monty is just a very, very good boy.