September Foaling 91cm x 61cm Original Oil on Board
by artist d’Arcy Doyle
When it comes to painting horses, d’Arcy used nothing but his memory as he believed to draw a horse one needs only to combine the simple shapes of an orange to make its rump, a banana for its back, a pineapple for the body, and the quarters are a pear, – the rest was easy! Well… maybe for d’Arcy Doyle it was anyway! d’Arcy has always loved horses. The only paintings that he had, of his, in his home are those of his daughters and his racehorses. Horses were his favourite subjects. They were ever since he was a small boy. He painted hid horses from memory for he knows the shapes, tones, contours, angles and textures of a horse’s body in detail. A characteristic of the horses in Doyle’s paintings is that they nearly all have white blazes and white feet. This makes them look more colourful anyway, but the main reason he paints them this way is that his most successful racehorse, Count Henri, had markings of this type. He loved to take them to the track, and when he didn’t have his own horse in a race, he would go to the races anyway. His frequent visits to properties owned by relatives and his fascination with owning, breeding and racing horses all of his life enabled him to capture these wonderful animals in full flight in such a realistic style that records every muscle, the pounding hooves and all pounds of horse flesh as they thunder down a slope, around a track or just in the paddock like these.
The blue mist that d’Arcy has captured in this painting is one of his great skills and traits of some of his best work. The quality of light that Doyle creates in his art makes him one of Australia’s greatest artists. The way he captures the subtly of the soft morning haze reminds some of the great Australian artists of the Heidelberg School in the late 1800’s. Combine the mist with his favourite subject and you have one of Doyle’s great masterpieces. You will see that the artist has signed this painting in the lower right-hand corner. This painting was used as a full study to produce the print “September Foals”