Friday, December 30, 2011

Thoroughbred body types

I'm learning a lot while working on my thoroughbred filly. One of those things is how varied the body types are even within horses of the same grading, age, and sex. I made this little animation of 4 year old G1 fillies to hopefully show what I mean (click to start):

Photos courtesy of Jessica Morgan

I picked these 5 fillies as they are very different from each other but are all 4 year olds and rated G1, the best of the best. If you look at one body part at a time the differences start to jump out at you. Necks...shoulders...legs...overall balance, etc. Of course the one vital part you can't see in the photos is the heart, the mystical properties of which can be poured into a less than perfect body resulting in a consistent winner. Interesting, isn't it?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Progress on the fily

Here is the newest pic of the thoroughbred filly:

She is finally starting to look like a racehorse and not just a thoroughbred. It has to be one of the most difficult subjects in equine art-dom. Not only should the sculpture be immediately recognizable as a specific breed, but a very specialized type within that breed.

I haven't done much with the off side yet, both off legs need to be reworked. At some point I focus on just one side, and when I am satisfied with it I take photos and flip them on my computer and use that as reference for the opposite side. The head is hard to judge from this angle, at some point I will get photos of just her head from the side. You can see all my scratch marks on her neck that are my way of taking notes as I work.

I feel her neck is a tad too long. Everyone keeps telling me 'longer neck, longer neck'. Is this what everyone was wanting? What I did was move the near shoulder back, which made the back look shorter and the neck longer. What I am learning with this girl is that what looks right to me might not be how a racehorse really looks. They don't look like 'normal' horses at all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


It's easy to think of sculpture as something that spontaneously appears, without the long hours put in by an artist to create it. I find myself feeling that way about the work of others, it is hard to keep in mind that someone actually created it out of raw materials that didn't look anything like the finished product. Even with my own work I often forget how many months of effort (oftentimes tedious, sometimes fun and playful) has gone into each individual sculpture. Every new sculpture brings to my mind the question of "why is this taking so long?"and "shouldn't I be faster at this by now?". From asking around it seems like sculptors fall into the categories of  fast sculptors and terribly slow sculptors. I am, unfortunately, the terribly slow variety.

 I have been taking lots of photos as work progresses on the Thoroughbred. It is helpful to be able to look back and see that things are moving in the right direction, sort of like documenting a remodeling project so that you can see how far you have come on the days when you feel little is being accomplished, despite all your hard work.

Here is the filly as of today:


I'm happy with the direction she is heading in, but there are still little things that bug me and have yet to put my finger on them. The neck still needs a few tweaks, something in both shoulders still feels a bit off to me, some more refining needs to happen on her behind, and I haven't really started on the face yet. She needs some facial 'zazz-ification' to make her truely look like the kick butt filly I imagine her to be.

Here she was as of 4 days ago. You can see that at that time I was happy with the shoulder and had it muscled out, then changed my mind and reworked it again for the most recent photos:

Here she was at the end of November. Her head was higher with a beefier hind end and shoulder, too beefy for a racing filly. The high head made her windpipe seem pinched to me, and visually made her neck appear too short:


This is from mid-November. She has a super beefy shoulder, and the arch in her neck makes her feel a tad less feminine. Her off front leg appears to be hanging more than reaching. I like this version of her hind end, though, and should have kept it how it was:


As always, your comments are appreciated and make this blog more meaningful. It always helps to have 'fresh eyes' look over a work in progress, and can make a positive impact while a sculpture is still in progress. She's coming along pretty well, but without your insights she can't be all that she can be, right now she is pure potential.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


It's been a few months since the last blog update, where did the time go? Well, I've been busy for certain sculpting the new Thoroughbred filly with an intensity of focus I have not had in years. Motivation has come from many directions, and every once in awhile inspiration comes from the piece itself and it seems to fly from my fingers with a strong will to exist outside of my mind and on it's own. Here are a few sneak peeks:

There is still quite a bit of work to do on her, so I can't say at this time when she will be complete. I'm hoping for the first part of the new year, which should be do-able as long as she keeps being a good girl :) I want to thank Bridget Corcoran for her fantastic thoroughbred photos, which have helped immensely with the relatively quick progress this piece has made. One of the things I do with photos to aid in sculpting is to make collages of areas, for example a collage of all heads, one of all hooves, or this one of leg up shoulders:

The actual collage is much bigger with more photos, but even from this small snippet you can see how anatomical details will begin to jump out at you when you have lots of similar horse parts all together. I make the with Photoshop, and they grow larger as I find and add more photos. I zoom in and move around as needed to see what I need. This shoulder collage has shoulders from the side as shown, as well as from the front and back. If I need the 'other side' for a future sculpt I can flip the image. I almost never use magazine clippings now, I find having images on my computer to be far more useful, and they take up less physical space :)

Before I go back to work I have one last thing to share, another tip of sorts. I forgot where I got this, it could have come from a sculpting forum, a horse training forum, somewhere on a hobby board. It doesn't really matter when it came from, but I repeat it to myself as I sculpt to keep me focused, I think it should be the First Commandment of Life:

"Clarify thy intent"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn Splendor

Aspens along Hwy 550 with Engineer Mountain in the background

Looking toward Yankee Boy Basin west of Silverton

Molas Lake with the Grenadier Range along Hwy 550
              American Basin with fresh snow, along the Alpine Loop 4WD trail west of Silverton

It seems like only a few moments stolen here and there, quiet places, warm sun and gentle breezes, the frozen remains of summer's wildflowers, and September has come and gone. In the blink of an eye.

Most of September was spent in the studio, reaching deep into the well for inspiration and solace. Andre has come around and is now back on trac...tor? That is what he tells me, "I am a tractor, not a horse"

A thoroughbred race filly is also in the works, and is providing much joy as she is so young and full of energy and spirit. Her and Andre are quite opposite :) Sorry there are no photos yet, she isn't far enough a long to share just yet.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Little Lonestar released!

Here is all his pertinent info:

It's's's "Little" Lonestar! Finally, a mini version of the ever-popular stockhorse gelding Lonestar. The traditional scale version was scanned by the latest in digital technology, then 3D printed in stablemate scale. Sarah has refined the print and added more definition to the musculature. "Little Lonestar" is available for an entire year, until August 15th 2012.

Visit the Little Lonestar webpage here

Price: $75.00
RAW* castings: $65.00 each
Shipping: free within the US
Overseas shipping: please add $10.00 for one casting, and $2.50 for each additional casting shipped in the same box. Canadian shipping is $2.50 for 1-3 castings. Please note that full or partial payment is due within 30 days (see below)

Payments: you can make payments however you'd like after paying an initial order deposit. If you are going to be making payments a $15 deposit per casting is due within 30 days. On larger orders this initial deposit can be lowered, please inquire. Your order will go into the shipping queue when paid for in full. My PayPal email is Shipping address for checks and money orders: Sarah Rose, 1158 Bear Creek Rd, Bayfield CO 81122.

There can be a wait of several weeks to several months before we will have your order ready to ship once paid for in full. The casting schedule is dynamic and effected by how many orders we get, how many orders are ahead of your order, and other factors.

*RAW castings are for people comfortable with prepping only! They have a belly gate, vents on the hooves and tail tips, and require extra work and experience to prep. For those who are comfortable with that you can save a few bucks, and get your casting faster since I won't need to clean the casting up before shipping.

Note that I am now asking for a small deposit to be paid on orders that are going to be paid in installments. This amount can be lowered for larger orders. Also I am not doing the quantity discounts for this edition. I struggled with the need to raise my prices (if any of you have shipped packages recently at the post office you know how expensive it is getting!), but just couldn't bring myself to charge $80.oo per casting. So, to offset the increasing costs of doing business I elected not to give a buy one/get one for less discount. It takes us just as much time and materials to make the second one as the first anyhow I hope you understand and that it doesn't effect your buying choices. I still offer time payments for as long as you need :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Before and......after?

It's no secret that I haven't sculpted anything for over a year, since the reining horse. Life, or is it entropy, or both...has a way of wearing you down and distracting you from who you think you are. I *was* Sarah Rose, the equine sculptor. Lately I'm Sarah Rose, what is it I am again? Health issues with myself, my husband, and most notably one of my best friend's husband's lung cancer have been like a big distraction bomb in my life. I totally lost focus on my art, and have been somewhat adrift for over a year. It's not that I never think of new sculptures, or that I never feel inspired, it's...well, it's hard to put a finger on.

Lately I've been trying to fit something creative into each day, whether that is taking a few photos, trying a new recipe, or honing my digital art skills. Slowly I've been warming up to the idea of sculpting again. So, I unearthed ol' Andre from the closet, started back in '07 before the economic downturn. I thought "hey, he is almost finished, I can get him done and feel like I accomplished *something* this year." It sounds so naive now.

Sculpting doesn't always come easily. From looking at finished sculptures, mine and other artist's, it may seem that the sculpture almost made itself. That rarely happens for me, it's more of a battle that is waged month after month. Little voices in my head saying "I hate bases, we are never doing another horse with a #$%^&*@ base again!" or "they (hobbyists) won't like him because hos breed is too vague, I need to settle on a breed, I need to settle on a type" or "what in the world have I done?". Lately it is the last thought going through my head, that and "I've completely lost my mojo".

The above photo shows Andre in 2007, when I must have still had some mojo. He is full of vitality and pleasing to the eye. He isn't very breed specific, and he will need a base.

This is poor Andre currently, after deciding to force him into a more typey-type of heavy European draft horse. That meant he had to have his legs and neck shortened, and his body biggened. Somewhere in his time in the closet he lost his eye and ears. I think I over-shortened his left rear leg. I don't like him at all at this point...barf....

These feelings, and this 'ugly duckling' phase are nothing new, almost every sculpture I have ever done goes through this period where I don't see how I can salvage it, that I should just start something new. I think it is a big part of why I am so slow, I go through this over and over. Typically I only share photos of what I consider 'good' phases along that way. I thought I'd post something completely honest, about how much of a struggle it can be along the way. Hopefully Andre and I make it to the end :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little Lonestar coming soon!

Coming soon...."Little" Lonestar! Finally, a mini version of the ever-popular stockhorse gelding Lonestar. The traditional scale version was scanned by the latest in digital technology, then 3D printed in stablemate scale. The 3D print is done in a brittle gray resin, so we molded it and cast up a copy in the white urethane we use for everything, Smooth Cast 300. I then spent weeks sanding off the 'steps' that are left behind from the printing process, along with refining the print and adding more definition to the musculature. "Little Lonestar" will be available soon, sales information will be made available to members of my announcement list first

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winners at NAN!

The North American Model Horse Shower's Association national show was held last weekend in Tuscon, Arizona. I could not attend, but was able to be there vicariously through other people's photos. Here are some of the artist resin champions and reserve champions, from artist Sommer Prosser:

Champion Quarter Horse
"Pecos Gold"
owned by and painted by Sommer Prosser

Champion Other Pure/Part/Grade Spanish
owned and painted by Sommer Prosser

2011 Champion Breed

Champion Workmanship Mini Dilute
owned and painted by Sommer Prosser

Champion Paint and Reserve Champion Workmanship mini Paint
owned by Lisa Winkworth and painted by Sommer Prosser

Elixir - a double winner!

Reserve Champion Paint
owned and painted by Sommer Prosser

Burleseque - Reserve Champ Breed

Champion Workmanship mini Bay/Chesnut
owned by Lisa Winkworth and painted by Sommer Prosser

Namir - Champ. Mini Workmanship Bay/Chestnut

Champion Part Arabian
"Desert Sheik's Treasure"
owned by Valerie McEntee and painted by Sommer Prosser

2011 Part Arabian Champion Desert Sheik's Treasure

Reserve Champion Appaloosa
"Shez Innitowinnit"
owned by Karen Jensen and painted by Sommer Prosser

NAN 2011 Res. Champ Appaloosa

Reserve Champion Other pure/Part/Grade Light
"Live Wire"
owned by Lisa Winkworth and painted by Sommer Prosser

Live Wire - Reserve Champ Breed

Reserve Champion TWH
"Party Line"
owned and painted by Sommer Prosser

Reserve Champion mini Arabian
owned by Karen Jensen and painted by Sommer Prosser

Ma-Ajmala, Mini Arab Res. Champ 2011

Reserve Champion Mustang
"Signal Fire"
owned and painted by Sommer Prosser

Signal Fire - Reserve Champ Mustang (Breed)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

They've taken over my life!

I've noticed that most of my blog posts are about horses, the real ones, and related equine activities and less and less about my sculpting and model horses. It hasn't been intentional, but almost without me noticing I have been exploring other interests in my life and just plain dealing with life in general. I can feel my creative urge to sculpt returning, but slowly, while my obsession with the beauty of horses has not changed at all. In fact, my 'real' life has become more and more entrenched with horses to the point where I sometimes feel they have taken over our lives and our purpose in life is just to serve them. "Our" herd of four, innocent as they appear dozing in the shade of the barn, are becoming adept escape artists and our lack of reliable equine containment systems (good fence!) is starting to assert itself on the top of our priority list. Well maybe not the absolute top, but close.

How can I be angry when they are so pretty?

With the riding season getting under way I can't help but remember of how little I could do last year when I had a bout of sciatica. I couldn't ride any real distance until late August. This year my back is holding together, knock on wood. I've ridden 145 miles so far, and hope to get 500 in by November. A few pack trips would be great too, maybe even some trailer camping in new to us areas like the South San Juans or the Lizard Head Wilderness. In the midst of my strong desire to do as much trail riding and back country stuff as possible this season is the reality of one of my friend Cindy's husband Jerry battling lung cancer. It is through incredibly good fortune that we picked this lovely area of the state to move to, and that they happened to live right up the road. They were exactly the right people we needed to know at the right time in our lives, as adults entering into horse ownership and back country activities. While I knew some stuff, having grown up in a rural area and having ridden horses from age 9 to my 20's, there was a lot left to learn (and still is). There is nothing so helpful as becoming friends with people who know horses, really know them, to help guide you along the way. Not the common 'order barking' horse experts found almost anywhere there are horses, but people that truly have an understanding of horses from countless hours and countless horses.

Jerry is off the chemo and feeling well enough to do a little riding, and we are planning a back country pack trip next week. It is hard to focus on sculpting when something like this comes up, and if he wants to go camping then we are going camping, it is more important than anything else this summer. We don't know how much longer we will have him for, and time is of the essence. Chances are we will still learn a thing or two from him along the way :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cedar Mesa trip

We got back yesterday from spending a week on Cedar Mesa, west of Blanding. We really like it up there, not a lot of people on the top and you can see a lot of things from the canyon rims that you might not see from the canyon floors, like these ruins nestled under a big rock on top of a peninsula:

Or these ledge ruins, which I thought were not possible to get to but maybe they crawled along the ledge from an access around the corner of the rock to the left:

We stumbled upon this metate on the mesa, notice the grinding stone is a river rock probably carried there from many miles away:

Once of the amazing things about the desert is how you can usually find water if you know what to look for. The cow trails led us to this pothole on a ledge:

I thought it was interesting how the roots of this old juniper lifted up the rocks when it fell over:

Some of the Claret cup cacti were blooming:

We moved after 4 days to White Canyon west of Fry Canyon. There are a few crossings along the highway, we parked at Soldier Crossing. You can ride a little more than 4 miles upstream, and at least 7 miles downstream from this point. We only turned around as it was getting late. I don't think this canyon sees much horse use, but it was actually pretty nice, about 50/50 sand and cobble stone, nothing very scary. The only real downfall of this canyon from what we saw is that it is close to the highway, which runs along it's southern edge, and you do hear cars from time to time. There were several interesting side canyons and slots, this one is in Long Canyon:

This was interesting, not sure how it happened (natural or human placed?):

A big piece of petrified wood:

A big log balanced on a rock:

It was a nice trip, not as long as we wanted but the weather changed. Today at home it snowed all morning! Hard to believe a few days ago I was having lunch on a big rock in the sun :)

Monday, April 18, 2011


I think spring has arrived...but it seems to change it's mind every hour or so.  I am almost afraid to say it, but we are just about caught up with our casting backlog!!!! Which gives me some breathing room to start thinking about other things like sculpting and riding my's been a long time since I have felt a creative urge, but it is coming back, slowly but surely. There will soon be a new mini, hopefully in May. I'm still keeping the details secret, and as always all sales information will be made available to my announcement list first at

An army of Jezebels that were shipped last month:

Rose Studios also now has a fan page on Facebook.  Lots of people are still sending me personal friend requests, but the easiest and fastest way to get the studio tidbits is to 'like' the fan page. I post pics of work in progress, castings being shipped out, some digital sculpting pics, and other miscellaneous stuff that seems to small to post here, and since they don't relate to sales I don't want to clog up my announcement list with them.

I recently received my personal copy of my reiner painted by Carol Williams, and wow, is he a stunner! Thanks Carol for yet another outstanding paint job!