Friday, May 30, 2014

A Bevy of Burros

I haven't done any mustang paintings in awhile, so recently I visited the online adoption gallery of available horses on the Bureau of Land Management's website. I go through a lot of photos to find the few that 'speak' to me. I look for lighting, for emotion, movement, color, something that will work well in the formats I like to paint in. I went through all the horses, saving a few aside, and then.....there were burros! Lots and lots of burros. Unfortunately most had their photos taken in flat light (either a cloudy day or after the sun went down, so no shadows, nothing to suggest form). That is fine for potential burro adopters, but not so great for me, the painter.  I did find a few, though. Their cute furry burro faces lend themselves well to paintings, don't you agree?

The first, a jenny. Photo reference for this and the next one are courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management. Their description of her is "#4558 - 6 yr old gray jenny, captured 10/2011, from outside an HMA, California". Outside of an HMA-Herd Management Area means technically she is not protected by the Wild Horse and Burro Act, but she has found her way to a facility anyway. I am not sure exactly how that works, though. 

The second painting, this time a jack. His description is "#3952 - 4 yr old gray gelded jack, captured 11/2010, from Cibola-Trigo HMA, Arizona".  Both these, and many other burros, are available for adoption throughout the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro program

Both of these paintings are 8X8 in soft pastel and are not currently for sale, I am building up inventory for a show at the end of July. After the show any that are not sold will be made available here and elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Painted Andres!

We have shipped out a bunch of Andres in the last 6 weeks, and some painted ones are showing up here and there, how exciting for me as the sculptor to see him brought to life! The following silver bay was painted and photographed by Tammy Myrold:

Dramatic sooty bay painted and photographed by Sara Gifford:

An ethereal star dappled gray by Mindy Berg:

Andre is available for ordering until April 30th 2014. Sales info on his webpage here

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Andre in Primer

Sometimes I can skip the primer step if I feel confident that I have gotten every little imperfection sorted out to my satisfaction, but will all of Andre's feathers I felt I had better not skip it. The other advantage of primer is it makes it far easier to get decent photos, since a white object is really hard to photograph. One of the drawbacks is I now have to wait a few days for the primer to completely set before I can resume work on him, so it looks like his release is going to be in February as opposed to my optimistic estimation of January. I struggle with my model horse photography, and am going to try to get more photos together, but so far, after two photo sessions, I have a small handful of ones that show him pretty well:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Andre coming soon, and Tiny ending soon!

As it turns out we are having a non-winter here. In fact there is almost no snow, so instead of skiing we resumed riding. There are flies out now, so wrong for January in the Colorado mountains. Perhaps February will bring much needed moisture. Speaking of February, and I can hardly believe it has almost been a year, Tiny's edition closes on FEBRUARY 12TH! His webpage with ordering information is here.

A few photos from the gobs of awesome ones people sent me of their painted Tinys:

 Painted by Tammy Myrold

 Painted by Billie Campbell

 Painted by Jaime Baker

 Painted by Stephanie Michaud

 Painted by Lauren Hoeffer

Painted by Mindy Berg

And, yes, Andre is coming soon! I don't have an exact release date or price set just yet, but it is going to be before Tiny's edition closes, so best to get those Tiny orders in ASAP to avoid being stuck behind the Andre orders.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Heavy Drafter-O-Rama!

Fall is such a busy time for us, with country living comes extra preparations for the coming winter, and at 7200 feet in Colorado it can be quite a winter! Somehow we lucked out on firewood with both neighbors giving us some, and Todd only had to split it, so that helped a lot. 

This summer we spent less time playing and more time working, with most of the work being in the form of brush clearing and fence building. We only have 3 acres, but parts of it are pretty wild with two creek crossings with steep banks. The brush clearing project has been going on for several summers, in fact, and is ongoing. But the fence is done! Hurray! That means that for the first time in several winters the horses can just be turned out and not stuck in their corral. A major life improvement for them.

In the spring:

I am shoving more brush into the burning pile:


Todd building braces:



Wayne and Sonya helped us for a day, what great friends!



Release day! They were so happy!

Now for what you actually want to see!

In the studio a lot of progress has been made on Andre the drafter. I dare say he is one of my all time favorites, there is something so endearing about him with his expressive face, flying feathers, and plethora of wrinkles! I do not know when he will be released, I am a painfully slow sculptor and often need to set things aside to give my brain a break. But it won't be terribly long, sometime in the next few months certainly. Here are a few pics of how he looks currently:


Now being that most model horse people know a lot about breeds of horses, there are probably still a few of you thinking to yourselves that his legs are too short, or his neck is too short, or, wait, his eyes are too small, aren't they?  Andre isn't meant to depict a specific breed, but more the typical body type of several European heavy draft breeds. Here are photos of a few of these "hay fueled  tractors":

Not hairy enough in the feather department? Try this one:

Or this one:

Are they really that fleshy? This guy says yes:

Are their butts really that big? Really? Ask these well endowed individuals:


Also apparent in the photos is the relative smallness of the eyes. Horse eyes only get so big, so when an average horse is 15 hands and maybe 1200 lbs, these guys can be 16 or more hands high (heavy draft breeds aren't as tall as the leggy drafts, like Shires or modern Percherons), and 2000+ pounds, with about the same size eye as the 15 hand horse.  

I pulled these photos out of my reference folder, and don't know who all the photographers are. When using photos for sculpture reference it isn't as important than if you were doing paintings from them and need permission. I do know that many of them were from Ton van der Weerden's Flicker  A few were from equine photographer Lothar Lenz's Flicker  I am not sure about the rest, but if you want more heavy draft goodness check out this Tumbler: Hell Yeah Heavy Horses!

I love these heavy drafters and plan to do more of them, in either sculpture or painting form, in the near future.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Andre resurrected, "Hairy" painting to eBay

The original pastel painting "Hairy" has been listed to eBay:

"Hairy" is a 9 X 12 on Pastelmat professional pastel cardstock. Pastels used were NuPastel, Unison, Mount Vision, and Sennelier. 

Auction ends Monday September 16th

All of this painting put me back in the mood to sculpt, and for some reason I was compelled to pull Andre out of the closet. Remember Andre? I started him years ago, then another artist released a resin in the same pose (it happens) so I set him aside. Here is how he looked the last time he was on this blog:

 Putting him on the sculpting stand and looking him over I realized that with a few adjustments he could be cantering. And who doesn't love a big chunky cantering draft horse? No one, we all love cantering draft horses. The butt wrinkle possibilities alone are mind boggling!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kiger painting listed to eBay

I have just listed the original pastel painting "Kiger" to eBay. You can view the listing here. The photo reference for this painting came from the Bureau of Land Management's Burns Oregon facility. For those who aren't familiar with Kigers they are a distinct breed or type of mustang from the Steens Mountain region in Oregon, with bloodlines tracing back to the original Spanish horses. Many of them are dun with primitive markings. This particular horse was adopted and is loved, his new owner telling me that her veterinarian said he has some of the best conformation he has ever seen. He was allowed to remain a stallion to make more pretty horses in the future. I wish they all had such happy endings.