Monday, June 29, 2009


Well, it sounds like NAN was a big success in Portland! I watched the results as best I could over the weekend (more about that in a minute). I was so thrilled to see the appaloosa Hazel that I painted for Erin Corbett win Reserve in a breed class, and I saw another one of mine, I think it was the roan SM Paso named Enrique, was in the top ten somewhere. I remember going to my first Northwest Congress and being too embarrassed to put one of my models on the table with the others, so I feel like I've come a long way :-)

I want to congratulate everyone for their NAN wins, and I loved seeing all the photos! I wish I could have been there in person, but now I'm kind of glad I didn't go because of what has happened to my computer.

So what have I been doing all weekend? Running tests on my computer and lugging it to the shop! I have an older Mac (pre-Intel), and it's been acting a little funny the last month or so, then it started getting kernel panics. I ran some tests and took it in to the shop after getting an error, but the tech said I could save some money by running even more tests myself. So that's what I'm doing. Right now, it's either a bad firewire port or the logic board. The difference could be a new computer, so I want to make sure I've got the right problem.

In the meantime, I haven't been able to use my computer and have limited access now. I have managed to work on models despite all of this. I'm about halfway done prepping a commission, and I spent some time on the mini-Caprice, the Pixie (I'm just finishing up details on her now), and a couple of others.

Hopefully by next week everything will be resolved and I'll be able to post like a normal person again (with pictures!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Show and an Update

Isn't this filly beautiful? I went to a Baroque horse show last weekend (Andalusians, Gypsy Cobs and Friesians) to take some reference pictures. I was hoping to get some dapple greys and possibly buckskins or duns. There weren't too many horses there, but I was really surprised at the number of Friesians. I don't think I've ever seen one in real life, so it was a treat! They are really elegant.  There were 4 or 5 greys (from a young steel grey to an almost white with a darker mane, kind of a mulberry, I guess), one buckskin, and one palomino, so I got some good reference photos. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the Friesians because I wasn't sure how they'd turn out, but my camera's automatic setting seemed to know what it was doing ;-) I completely missed most of the Gypsy Cobs.

On to updates. I've just started a commission, but did manage to get some time in on these models over the last week. I'm doing endless tweaking with this foal. 

I haven't shown much of this mini-Caprice because I couldn't get a decent picture without a lot of shine. I'm happy with him, he has a really glowing look to his coat.

This is just an airbrushed coat on this bitty Bosco. I may make a base for him because he's really tippy.

I've dirtied up this dinky Duke. Still in the very early stages.
I have put the SM TB mare on ebay, I completely screwed up and made the auction end while NAN is still going to be going on? I actually thought NAN was last weekend! I need to pay more attention to these things 8-/  Anyway, I apologize to anybody who wanted to bid on her but will be hampered by showing at NAN, I meant to schedule it around NAN and Breyerfest.
That's all for this week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whatever Happened To...?

This guy? The PAS that I completely ripped apart numerous times and had been wrestling with for many months? Well, I'm sad to say that I've put him down for a while, and I don't know when I'll get back to him. I also set aside the Percheron medallion I'd been working on, after what should have been a minor adjustment turned into an almost complete re-do.

The reason I've set my sculpture projects aside has to do with a realization I'm coming to as I get older and have been thinking about my art and where it's going. I have a problem, and it's that I want to do it all. I want to be a great model horse painter, a great fine art painter, a great sculptor, a great digital artist, a watercolorist, I want to do it all and be great at all of it. But the fact is, there are only so many hours of the day and I can't do it all. I only have so much time and energy in one day to work, and somethings gotta give. It kills me to say that, but I know it's true. I can't do it all.

Now, I've been painting and drawing for a long time, so that comes naturally to me, and I feel I have the best chance of getting great (or at least really good) at that. Painting a 3D horse sculpture was a stretch for me at first, and I'm still learning techniques and ways to work, but it still feels natural to paint them, and I can see improvements with each piece. Sculpture, on the other hand, is very difficult for me. I struggle with every second of it. I believe that in order for me to get really good at sculpting an entire horse, I'd have to spend at least 4-5 hours a day at it for several years, plus have very easy access to a live horse. That's just how slowly I learn. Digital art is the same way, I love looking at it, would love to do it, but the learning curve is so high that I would never be able to get anywhere with it, without spending 4-5 hours a day at it (or more).

So, I could either spend some time every day with all of these artistic pursuits, and probably never get better at a couple of them, or I could focus more on the things that I'm already pretty good at and really strive to improve in those areas. And that's what I've done, basically. I'm limiting myself right now to painting model horses, and painting flat artwork. I want to get really good at those two things. I'm going to limit any sculpting to the occasional mane/tail customization, maybe an ear turn or head movement or something like that, but nothing major. Maybe in the future I will get to the point where I feel like I've gone as far as I can with painting, and then I will turn my attention to sculpting, but for right now I have to set it aside. It makes me sad every day to know that I have to give something up, but I think that in the end I will get more satisfaction out of the artwork that I am working on, because I can focus on it more and give it more attention.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Update (and a small rant)

First, the updates! Here's the SM mare, she's done now. I will probably put her up on eBay next week. This is definitely my best dapple gray to date. I was looking at my older gray pieces today on my website, and you can really see the progression. I end up approaching each gray differently, because the types of dapples are so different. This one had small, light colored dapples on a medium gray body that was starting to turn lighter around the head and flanks. 

This one is done, but I'm going to re-take the pictures of her. I don't know why my roans are looking so blue in the photos lately. I know they're not that blue in person. She will be for sale very soon, also. Both of the above models have more pictures on my web site in their respective galleries if you're interested.

I've been having problems with the pangare color on this foal. It looked too yellow, so I've tried to cool it down quite a bit. It might be a little too cool, now. 

I put a layer of paint on the legs of this Huck. I've got to do a lot of experimenting with the mane and tail to get a color that I'm happy with.

This is the first layer of dapples on the other side of the Dinky Duke. I think this is going to be a great-looking horse when it's done. 
I also did some work on the Classic shire, Pixie, and a couple of others. I'll be starting a Bitty Bosco soon, but I'm still trying to decide on a color. I wrote down "sooty buckskin" for him, but I'm not sure that's what I'll do.
As for the rant, it's computer-related, more specifically, web site updating-related. It's driving me nuts! I used to use GoLive, which was perfect for me and very easy to use, but now I'm using Dreamweaver, which I hate. I basically went from using a wysiwyg interface with GoLive,  to just opening Dreamweaver in code view and coding everything by hand. It feels that different to me. I've had to learn html and css (not bad things to learn, but I didn't realize I would need to know those things when using Dreamweaver), and now it takes me a really long time to update my website. What used to take 45 minutes now takes several hours. I actually bought a little program to make my image galleries, because it looked like it would be easy for me to use, but it's so limited that I'm now starting to fiddle with the coding and I've decided to start manually making the thumbnails for it, because I don't like the way it handles thumbnails. And for my other, flat artwork website, I've actually gotten a book on javascript. Arggh! Is it just my age, or is software getting harder to use? I want to go back to the days when all I had to do was drag and drop and press a couple of buttons...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekly Update

I don't have a lot to show this week, due to the NAN donation. I do have a couple of SMs that will be ready soon, the TB mare and the ASB. I'll post pictures of those when they're done.

Pixie is coming along really well, I worked on her face and rear and gave her some shading in the white areas (it doesn't look like it's visible in the photos).
It doesn't look like it, but I've actually spend several hours on this guy. 
This Seabiscuit is really taking a long time. I'm doing a lot of glazes on him, so I get done with a glaze in about 10 minutes, then I have to wait a couple of days for it to dry. Maddening!

I got some glare in this photo. I am starting to like this Huck more, his topside is going to be darker, and his mane/tail will be a light reddish color. I found a cool photo reference of this color, and I'll be really excited if he turns out well.
That's it for this week!