Lippezan Haven—Watercolor on Canvas (Reference: Screenshot from Nature: Legendary White Stallions, 2013, Cinematographer Michael Schlamberger)
I first read about the White Stallions of Lippiza and the Spanish Riding School of Vienna in a book by Eva Ibbotson when I was a child. These horses have fascinated me ever since! I was fortunate to experience a live performance during their tour to America several years ago. Their performance is like a stately dance, and their “Airs Above the Ground” is breathtaking! They are amazing creatures, and their long history, which spans hundreds of years, includes a dramatic World War II rescue by the U.S. military from Hitler’s invading forces.
Nature produced a documentary called Legendary White Stallions that extensively details life at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. The documentary shows the way these horses are raised and trained, from birth to retirement. One of the best parts in the film is seeing these wonderful creatures in their pastures on the mountains of Lippiza. In these mountains, the horses seem to exude a sense of joy and contentment that is delightful to witness. It looks like a heaven for horses! In this screenshot, the horse was looking directly at the cameraman with a sense of curiosity and trust.
This painting challenged my painting skills in many ways. First, because the screenshot was dark and didn’t produce a detailed enough photo; second, because I’m still in the experimental stages for painting on canvas with watercolors, and it takes extra time and focus. A side note: I used about two tubes alone of Genuine Kingman Green Turquoise for shades in the trees, so it could be considered a “semi-precious” painting for more than one reason! 😀 I’m looking forward to painting more of these glorious white horses in the future, but for now have begun work on another ocean painting on canvas.
For more information about the fine horses of the Spanish Riding School, here’s a link to their website: http://www.spanishridingschoollive.com/