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.


Anonymous said...

It almost looks like her head and neck are a slightly smaller scale from the rest of her body - like the head and neck belong to a different horse. But I'm not sure if that is true or the fact that it looks that way is caused by the camera angle. Her back is a hair longer than I like to see, but not necessarily incorrect. Just my thoughts! Very interesting to see the transformations she has gone through.

prmoon said...

I agree with the previous post but have more concerns with her back and loin area ....She's way too narrow in the flank...
I raced, bred and trained TBs for many years as did my friend [who's not a model person]and we both felt the same...not a filly we would buy
I love your sculptures and own several but this one's not there yet....wish I could be more help....I have tons of photos, LMK if I CAN help

Danielle Feldman said...

She is looking lovely. I can already see her pert expression coming through. It may be the lighting, but it looks like her rib cage has gotten smaller through the process. I would like to see well sprung ribs on this girl with a little more depth throughout the underline. I think you are capturing the feminine look well!

Xebeche said...

Thanks a ton! It's funny, but I have gotten several comments that her waist needs to be smaller as a filly does she need a bit more thickness there to support future foal making? Pics/links to pics are ALWAYS a great thing :)Very helpful comments here, thanks for taking the time to post them to my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Here's the best side shot of Zenyatta I could find...

Hope the link comes through.

Anonymous said...

I see that the link didn't go through the first time, so trying again:

Bridget said...

I guess her back looks a tad long and she is a bit wasp waisted, however there are a lot of mares that can be very thin and narrow in that area. For instance, here's Royal Delta (only days after she won the BC Ladies' Classic):

Awesome Feather last year after she won the Juvy Fillies:

So perhaps not as narrow as your sculpture, but not as hulking as Zenyatta. I guess it depends on what type you're going for.

Xebeche said...

Thanks for your insights Bridget. Out of those two horses the one I prefer, personally, is Awesome Feather. She could pass for an Appendix QH, though. The first one is all thoroughbred looking to me. Hopefully I will end up with something between those two.

No Stone Unturned said...

I admire your work so much! There is no possible way I could ever accomplish that, so it feels wierd offering an opinion. I think one eissue that is bugging you is that her hind quarters are a little "beefy" as you would say and her rib cage does not match that. But great work and I can't wait to see the finished product!