Horace the Pig Was a Mistake!

June 12, 2014

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.

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