So this was a really challenging piece for me to make, I never ever make environments or backgrounds and almost never animals (even though animals is one of my biggest passions and i currently have 8 pets) I'm also very bad at working towards a deadline so this is as finished as i could get the piece even if i probably would want to spend maybe 5 hours more on it since i'm such a perfectionist.
So I guess I should tell you the background behind this piece. This is me and my old horse Zebulon (or Zeb as we called him) that I had for a couple of years, unfortunately I couldn't keep him for reasons I feel more comfortable keeping to myself.
I didn't have anywhere where I could practice jumping or dressage with him unless I paid every time to use the space (it was owned by a nearby stable) therefore I always rode in the forest. Although I did sometimes pay to use it and the time I had Zeb i was able to do a lot of progress with him. For example when i started to ride him he could only jump about 20 cm, and towards the end of our time together he could almost jump 1 meter! (I'm still very proud of him so I had to mention this)
The time I had him was very hard for me. Right before I got him I had to change school because of the bullying I had to deal with there. The new school wasn't very great either and i only managed to make one friend that had to switch to another class after only half a year which left me very lonely. Later I did make friends with a girl who i could ride with, but she made me feel very insecure about myself as a person, my looks and my riding and horse care abilities. Let's just say that it was a very toxic friendship.
It's also worth noting that my parents got divorced at about the same time as all of this was going on. Zeb was the only thing that really kept me going and motivated to do anything.
The feeling I was going for in this piece is calm, because despite everything that was happening in my life at this time being with Zeb and riding him was like a sort of safe space where I could just let go of everything and feel calm and relaxed.
I am aware that everything looks very flat colorwise aside from Zeb and me, it looks kinda wonky looking at it now but the thought behind it was that everything aside from Zeb was kinda dull and forgettable during that time so therefore i wanted the colors to represent that.
I guess i should also address why there's fireflies in the piece, since i always rode in forests and i tend to have a decently vivid imagination i always used to pretend that the light that shone through the trees was fireflies.