9in x 11in | 22.85cm x 28cm
Black Prismacolor wax pencil on bristol paper
Collection of Christina Nelson
Hover over the image to zoom in and see the detail or Click to view the full size image in a new tab
First Prize in Graphics
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Members Exhibition 2002, The Broome Street Gallery, New York, NY USA
The President’s Award for Pastels & Graphics
The American Artists Professional League 74th National Exhibition, New York, NY USA
The Lyra Award
The United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society Annual International Exhibition 2005, The Stable Gallery, Kington, Herefordshire UK
Behind the drawing
As a teenager in the Southwestern desert city of El Paso, Texas, I owned quarter horses and a thoroughbred. However, artistically, I preferred the anatomy and spirit of Arabians. As an aside, in addition to the well-known differences, Arabians also have one less vertebra in their back and their skin is black.
On one of my trips to Egypt with Henri, imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon an Arabian horse stable in a village near Giza while Henri was stumbling in the desert looking for the Unfinished Pyramid of Zawyet El Aryan (he found a military camp instead!). I tried to take a few unobtrusive photos, but a gentleman came over and asked me politely what I was doing. I smiled sheepishly and explained I was an artist, loved Arabians, and that I was hoping to get a few source photos for a possible drawing or painting. Then I handed him some postcards of my art. He was the owner of the stable and responded to my work with heart-warming enthusiasm. Generously, he offered to have his men parade his horses for me to photograph. If I remember correctly, the stable housed over 160 horses. We agreed I would return the next day with additional film and with more appropriate attire so I could ride across the desert, as per his suggestion.
His horses were inspired, as was I. My series of “Between the Pyramids” is the first result. The original oil painting is in the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Frank T. James. The miniature wax pencil drawing was purchased by Cotter White.
The owner gave me my choice of mount to ride between the pyramids of Giza and the Step Pyramid of Djoser (thus the title of my piece). Though I dreamed of racing through the desert on one of those magnificent animals, I had not ridden since my teens, and then, only bareback or Western. Not to worry; they had a Western saddle.
Knowing I also wanted my hands free in order to take photographs, plus I only had flat shoes with no riding heels, I suggested a “medium” level horse. The following pictures tell the whole story.