Everybody loves Horace the smiling pig. Well, fortunately for Horace, I occasionally start a painting and it just doesn't work out. Such was the case when I tried to enlarge the quick study, see below, that I painted of the Lieutenant River, from the back of the Florence Griswold Museum. The painting just wasn't working out, so one day, in frustration, I decided to paint a pig. I had painted plenty of other animals, but never a pig. I turned the landscape painting upside down and using diazinon purple paint, drew the outline of the pig.
As I gazed at the outlined pig, an idea came to me. When I worked with children in art classes, I noticed that the older students were always so hesitant about making mistakes when they drew. I realized that I could use this failed painting experience to teach a group of sixth grade students a lesson about mistakes.
I shared my outlined pig painting with the students and explained what I had done. I told them that they could name the pig when I had finished the painting. It was pretty funny watching them turn their heads sideways to try to see the pig. Someone shouted, "Oh, I see an ear!"
A few weeks later, I presented the completed painting to them. They were thrilled and decided to name him Horace after a character in The Ranger's Apprentice, a book we were reading in class. I am happy to say that Horace went on to win a "Best of Show" award and became a dear friend to me and the students in my class, and I decided Horace would become a part of my private collection of paintings.
That was a few years ago. Since then, I have had so many people inquire about purchasing Horace, that I had some giclee prints made. Last week, I received yet another inquiry regarding Horace and decided that I would offer to paint another pig painting - Horace #2. While the design will be the same, there is no way that it will be exactly like the original Horace - I add too many layers of paint to make that possible. Unfortunately, I do not have photos of the original Horace outline with the landscape underneath it, but I will be posting photos of Horace #2 painting as I paint it. Check back and watch my progress.