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. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

mini Marwari released!

The official release date of the mini Marwari was August 7th, but I only now have time to update the blog. All his ordering info is here on his webpage, but to sum it up he's available for a year and is $75.00 ppd within the US, $65.00 for raw casts. Here's a few pics:

I had a heck of a time getting good photos of him, I swear white resin is the hardest thing to photograph ever! I can't wait to see some painted up, with the first raw castings getting shipped this week sometime, yay!  You can't see by my wonderful photos (!) that he has tiny veins on his face, rump, belly, shoulder, and tiny whisker bumps on his muzzle and eyebrows. He's very detailed, one of my most detailed minis to date. 

In non-model horse news my painting of a roan mustang awaiting adoption won the People's Choice Award at the La Plata County fair this past weekend:

This painting along with three other mustang paintings are now available as fine art giclee prints in my Etsy shop. A portion of all proceeds benefits our local mustang herd in Spring Creek Basin. There are now a total of 7 different mustang portraits, with more to come.

Also now available as a print is the draft horse portrait "Hairy". Since he isn't a mustang he isn't in my Etsy shop, for now I am trying to keep the mustangs as a separate thing. "Hairy" is available in 9 X 12 for $35.00 + $5.25 shipping ($8.25 overseas) and 11 X 14 for $50.00, shipping the same. 

I want a Hairy!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back in the studio!

After several trips back to back we are finally home with no immediate plans to go anywhere. I love the feeling of no plans as it lets me mentally relax enough to get back into 'studio mode' which means work will continue on the nearly completed Marwari sculpture. I am hoping to begin selling him in the next few weeks, so those with outstanding orders on other resins may want to consider paying them off so your order won't get caught with the typical casting backlog that happens when we release a new horse. Here is how he looks today with red epoxy hair and a back lengthening surgery (for some reason the molding process shortened his back):

This shows how his tail will be positioned:

There is a lot of interest in this new guy since he is large stablemate scale, will be my last stablemate scale offering at the $75.00 price point, and Marwaris come in a large variety of horse colors. Here are a few to whet your appetite (photos courtesy of Manu Sharma Photography):

Sabino pinto:


Liver chestnut:

I have looked through thousands of photos and never saw an Appaloosa, roan, or dun. There are lots of bays, blacks, and grays with some chestnuts, buckskins, and palominos and the double dilutes. All the pinto patterns exist. 
I hope to have him ready in the next two weeks. The current shipping list can be seen here, as always. Keep in mind that there is usually a two month backlog after a new release.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A visit with Susan Bensema Young and Skyhorse Saddlery

Living in southwestern Colorado I rarely get visits from model horse hobbyists, we are a bit off the beaten path and usually the only reason someone would be here while traveling is they specifically wanted to visit Durango. Such was the case with Susan Bensema Young and her husband George. Susan is a Colorado native being from Boulder where she met her husband who was soon hired by Penn State and off to the east they went. On this Colorado trip they decided to spend some time in the Durango area so I had the pleasure of a visit and then a field trip to Skyhorse Saddlery. What a fun filled few days I have had!

When Susan was at our place we had a show and tell, Susan pretty much covered my dining room table (not small!) with her AMAZING tack, and some equally amazing tack by others as well. It was major eye candy, wow, WOW! You can imagine what a heady experience it was for me to show her the three saddles I have made and have her actually like them and have lots to say about them. I am not really a tack maker, but I do love doing it and it's on my "someday I am getting back to that" list.

Here is Susan and I with my mare Jypsi:

On Susan's wish list for her Durango trip was a visit to Skyhorse Saddlery, and as luck would have it I knew them a little bit as they were friends of and aunt and uncle of mine when they lived in Northern California. I arranged for a visit to their place and Lisa graciously took several hours out of her day to show us their gorgeous home and saddle making shop. Their home is adobe and upon entering we were overwhelmed with handcrafted masterworks everywhere we looked. This is in their living room:

At first glance I thought the large panels with the horses were wood carvings, but as Lisa told us about their place I learned that she had actually done the carving in leather. Wow. They also have several skulls like the elk in this photo that were leather covered and carved by Lisa. All the furniture was made by the Skyhorses, sometimes in collaboration with furniture makers and ceramicists. I LOVE places like this that were not put together by designers and a large pocketbook, but by the creativity, passion, and skills of those who's home this truly is. Inspiring!

Here is Susan checking out a fancy display saddle in the dining area:

In the saddle shop Susan brought out her stuff and I think Lisa was as impressed with her work as Susan was with Lisa's. It was fun to see them trading ideas back and forth. Lisa kept called her husband Loren over to see Susan's stuff, he was working in the shop refurbishing and older saddle of theirs that someone had ridden the tar out of. It was obvious by the wear that the owner of that saddle loved it and it's seen thousands of miles.

Thank you again Lisa for the inspiring and memorable visit, and to Susan for visiting me and blowing my mind with her amazing and delightful tack in miniature. Two amazing ladies indeed, it was a pleasure to be a small part of your meeting :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Marwari anyone?

It's finally starting to feel like spring around here, with that comes a much more challenging to-do list. Winter has it's drawbacks, but there is quite a bit more 'free' time to pursue other things like the pastel painting. That will have to be set aside for awhile while I try to figure out how to squeeze more time out of a day. Here's the last one, I will probably have prints made at some point:

Speaking of prints, all the current orders are shipping today! Yay! They turned out gorgeous, and are on heavy archival paper. Fine Print was very patient with me and all my beginner issues. This also means I now have prints on hand for quick shipment. To see what's available visit my Etsy shop. Since I am taking delivery of the prints and doing the shipping I decided to go ahead and sign and number each print, with the edition sizes being set at 200. 

On to other news, I am going to be releasing at least one more mini in the next few months, and possibly another in the fall. Minis work out better for me in several ways, so that is where my focus is going to be for awhile. There may be a shrinky of an older edition, too, but I have not yet decided. While shrinkies of older popular editions are well liked, people seem to LOVE new sculpts! Here is my current project, a Marwari, and I am totally open to comments as usual:


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Akhal Teke sheen

For a challenge I thought I'd try an Akhal Teke with their infamous metallic sheen. This is a 9 X 12 on Wallis Professional sanded pastel paper. Photo reference provided by Heather Abounader:

$100.00 + $10.00 s&h


Tiny has been shipping for a few weeks now, and a few painted ones are popping up. I am especially fond of pintos, and here is a really nice one by Tammy Myrold:


More information on purchasing unpainted Tinys is available here on his webpage.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Belgian painting

Here's my latest painting, a Belgian draft horse: 

Pastel on Uart professional heavyweight sanded  paper 8 X 10. 


I was able to send out my first donation today from the sales of mustang prints, it felt really good. This time the donation went to our local mustang group that helps with the Spring Creek Basin Mustangs. Next time I am considering donating to Canon City's prison training program where inmates train mustangs for adoption. What a great thing, to allow prisoners to help both themselves and the horses. 

The mustang paintings now have their own shop on Etsy. Called "The Mustang Project" all the mustang paintings and related items will be put in the store as they are ready to sell. A portion of all proceeds from this shop are donated. I'll probably be setting up another shop for the non-mustang paintings at some point, but for now my focus is really on the wild ones :)

With the recent completion of the "Tiny" project I find myself in need of the next sculpting venture. I am struggling a bit as to what to do next. Admittedly I am recently a little out of touch with the model horse world, since the mustang painting craze took over my mind. I'm considering repositioning and finishing Andre the large Traditional scale heavy drafter, but has the economy improved enough that he would be a decent seller for me? Should I stick with Stablemates? If so, what should be next? I have been adding to my Akhal Teke reference file, and have no problem finding inspiration there. What about another mustang, since I'm so into them right now? So many breeds, so many. If you have an idea for me please let me know in the comments section.