I've done more animal art than I thought, as I look through the color slide pictures that I've been transcribing to digital. If I had enough references to work from, I could put together a passable horse...or unicorn. Cats were easier, as I could always visit my friends' cats and do sketches of the real thing. I also had (and still have) a book on "How to Draw Cats." Even if it doesn't really say this, I think the first line of text in this book should be, "First, find a cat." Well, you won't find a cat perched on a unicorn, for various reasons, so this all came from my imagination.
The colors in this picture are almost completely restored, or re-painted, in Photoshop, which didn't exist when this picture was painted and photographed in poor light. Fortunately I clearly remember making it. I wanted to evoke my memories of the hazy greenness of summer in the hills of western Massachusetts, where I once spent a turbulent semester in art school. This was in "Tanglewood," the arts center where the Boston Symphony plays their summer concerts. That was an age ago. Now, in the unimaginable 21st century, I could restore the old colors to this little painting. My Tanglewood season was in 1972. I painted this unicorn picture in 1980, and named it "Friends of Tanglewood" after the Symphony's fund-raising organization.
"Friends of Tanglewood" is acrylic on illustration board, 7" x 11", August 1980.