Monday, July 30, 2007

Ok, that went well so lets try it...

I wrote this in notepad yesterday too and just saved it:

Had some fun in photoshop looking at Hazel in mirror image. I made some light in the last post of brain damage but in reality humans do find mirror images to be foreign. This be why we find our faces in photos to be so terribly ooooddd.. Those of us with more asymmetry probably find our faces more foreign than those more symmetrically perfect peeps do. So cognitive theories aside, what this means for me is to flip the image gives me a "new view". Very simple trick. Some sculptors use mirrors in the studio, I've always taken a picture and flipped it in photo shop. Someday when I have a bigger studio I'll probably do the mirror thing too. I'm really crammed in there right now though.

same as one above it but fiddled with..

mirrored & fiddled with

mirrored & fiddled with too (by now I'm almost done making these changes and I'm very pleased with her in real life too!)

What I've done with all this flipping and fiddling is that I've been assessing how much weight on the hind end she ought to be carrying basically. In working with the bazillion refs of horses who are tearing along with magnificent efforts in speed sports, I want to achieve a reasonable amount of digging in BUT, in light of other recent works out too, I'd long ago decided I'd better make her moving more forward (already up to speed) than at the first stages of launching off. The sculptor of the work I'm most concerned about has given me a recent critique on Hazel here in this pose and I know she knows they're not the same. Buyers feel differently about that sort of thing however and striving to make a very unique horse is always important. Just so long as it isn't so unique that it's utterly unrealistic mind you. Um ya.. because that comes easily enough (wonky gait thing).

Anyhow, so some regular and reversed views and plays with her legs and flexing more through stifle down... and then the subtraction effects to see the extent of the changes.

By the time this is up I'll have embarked on some of these - but fwiw the process..

Then I fiddled with Rocky a bit. Yeeeeeeees that's the real horse's name and probably not the one I'll choose for this sculpture. It's not a totally direct portrait, the real horse has a longer neck back thing going on and he's very tubular - looks to have saddlebred influence over his Lippett-ness. I've worked to get more average proportions back instead of those exaggerations in the real horse. I DO however just totally dig his "on" attitude and that's what this work is about. I am betting he'll really come together quick. I'm quite jazzed about him! (I'm also just so tickled to have good fingers again!)

Anyhow, so I started proportioning his hind legs more accurately (measuring you know). The feet are still rather big, yes. Mane and tail are made of masking tape. It really helps to get a "whole picture" by adding parts on. I haven't decided but will probably not make anything all that windswept. He's marching into a halt, ready to spin and march over to whatever he's looking at there. If the mane and tail have much movement it'll be related to that.

Well isn't this amazing. All that uploaded. Could it be Comcast heard my threats of abandonment? Final test coming in a bit when I try to download all the ghastly junk mail that's been building up. ;)

testing testing..

I've been unable to log in easily anywhere/get a reliable internet connect. Sooooo the rarer text only pages come through but complicated actions like posting/getting email are a farce right now. I've stopped swearing, I'm so used to this BS since I've moved to the sticks. Bottom line is I've been incommunicado as of late Sunday morning (around 11am I think is when it started). Waiting for the Comcastic team to figure it out. -snort- Comcast "high speed".. Get this! Comcast fellow yesterday tells me they can come out in 5 days to "take a look at my modem & lines". Since I've lived here they've needed to "take a look" at these many times. coughcoughthisisbullsheetcough! So I tell the man that that's just not acceptable & I'm not tearing up my apartment to dig out the wires that haven't moved - it's clearly outside of the apt building anyhow. No go on the home inspection upheaval or a sooner date -> he tells me I can "upgrade to a business account to get better service, then they can see me usually immediately".

I kid you not. Pay more to make the simple service you want WORK.

What the flock man. Bite me Comcast.

I told the man the only upgrade to "improve my service reliablity" was going to be with a different company's service.

Anyhow, I have spent some of Sunday trying to scour around looking for security vunerabilities but the issue is pretty clearly seen by the lack of lights most of the time on my modem. Being that I live in the sticks, there's a good chance a neighbor somewhere just got cable and is overloading an archaic switchboard at some Comcast box somewhere nearby. That's how they've "fixed" it in the past. I'm done with overturning my house (tiny apartment) to let some new dude trace it back to the wall. What a crock.'

In the meantime yesterday some very scattered strong but haphazard T-storms popped up around the state. I relied on friends to let me know if they were approaching the barn. It's only a few miles away but I can look out my window and see a sunny sky and over only valley they're getting slammed with fire and brimstone practically. Most afternoons this summer have been spent making hourly checks on the radar. (*@$#&@# comcastic.

Anyhow, for the time being I'm typing this and will save it until Comcast's relay feels like letting me through. A photo would be far too much to pass through the wimpy connection I've got at this moment.
____ That was yesterday's deal, now for today's situation if I can get this online______

I noticed that I started getting full bars on my modem late this afternoon, but not much more luck getting signals out to the world. I called Comcast again to ask this time if the signal was stronger (or was it my firewall updating/blocking). Comcast signal still really crazy weak/patchy.

So the guy I'm talking to today tells me the funniest thing: he uses DSL.

Now that is Comcastic. hahaha! You go you corporate giant there with your call centers around the world where your employees are required to make up fake Americanized names while they read from a useless script. Clearly you score big points with your workers too, his English was perfect and thus he had no problems being perfectly candid...

Anyhow, I'm so tickled to have a box to type in right now. Ok, lets see if all these strange foreign bars on the modem are worth anything now!
--------that is all until I can share these fun photos..-------

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fortunately I'm an Ambi-turner...

Anyone watch Zoolander? Ben's character is not an ambi-turner. Anyhow, I am. I did a little wiki search on ambidexterity and came up with an awful discouraging article about how ambidextrous people are dain bramaged ;) in development - essentially it proposes that the process of choosing handedness damages the child if pushed prematurely.


Ah hell with em! Besides, I'm not truly ambidextrous in many if not most aspects (I can switch but it gives me a headache to). I am lefty about many typical things associated with that dominant hemisphere (writing, geometric problems verses algebraic ones, etc), and I'm a righty about most others related to functioning in a righty dominated world (baseball - I'll get clocked if I try to bat lefty, can't use those lefty scissors without risking cutting off a finger, etc). Sattler proposes that the right-dominant society has messed with my head, or that I was just a righty waiting to come through later (at least by puberty) however. (hmmm.. Perhaps I shouldn't disclose all of this. Perhaps I'm more brain damaged than most lefties.) ;) Bottom line is that when I was a kid in school learning to write letters I actaully was told by the teacher that I could not switch hands when I got tired (I know, WTF?!). Anyhow, so my siblings encouraged me to stick with the left hand since "it's cooler". Thus how I became a semi-ambi-primarily-lefty. I've been just fine, thank you Dr. Sattler since the Cheese Wiz incident (old Night Court fans? no? right.. I'm so outdated ...). ;) Sincerely tho, you should read that paper (link again) - while some of the highlights of the papers come across as fairly Hitleresque there are some interesting points in it.
"This also explains why during the period of time in which the cerebral hemispheric dominance normally begins to manifest itself through hand preference, the correct handedness of many children cannot be reliably determined and how then the correct handedness of these children may be unintentionally converted. Based on the experiences of real case studies, children, who have suffered cerebral damage and who have difficulty in school, may experience a gradual reduction in the resulting impairments until the age of puberty is reached. At this time, the early disabilities are compensated for, often disappear completely, or only surface in the form of unexpectedly flipping letters or numbers when writing quickly."
I've done that once. I was writing on a white board and was confronted rather rudely by a superior who was essentially challenging the data given to me by his PhD colleagues. I definitely wasn't qualified, however, to contradict him, despite that his statement essentially was saying my presentation was worthless. The next few letters I wrote down were flipped. It was kinda fascinating/horrifying to me. Spacial relationships to lefties however are very conceptual tho, so the shape in different orientations or reversed isn't always new.

But hell, don't we all feel a little brain damaged at times when we don't "see" what everyone else is seeing. (or feel special when see something we feel like no one else notices) ;)

Anyhow, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that if I'd been left alone by my early teacher there that I would've gone on to be more right handed. As I've said, there's a LOT I can not do so well with my left hand, especially once I've learned to do it with my right. The ability to do so, however, with either hand when doing a very new task doesn't really seem like brain damage. Rather it's a somewhat beneficial "state of mind" to be so flexible to learn to hold, say, riding crops in either hand or driving reins in one or the other.. Having the option to choose sides doesn't feel "detrimental", it feels more symmetrical. I wish to hell I could switch hands/sides when pitching manure (I tend to have no aim and it's so messy as to be pointless, throwing poop towards the water buckets instead of the wheelbarrow ya know.. So I fail the ambi-tosser test there and as a result I'm just developing a Popeye arm on one side). ;)

Oh, so the point of all that babble/introspection? I sculpt primarily with my right hand for details, I draw and paint primarily with my left. So with a maimed right hand this past week, I've been giving it a rest from sculpting & have been playing a tad in the painting studio where I can just use my left for the most part. Ta da! I had a point here.. really. :)

One pic for fun too.. This is a base coat and probably the most interesting of the work I've done of late (the rest have been small fine layer updates in oils). Mind you that's acrylics and I plan to completely change the shade. I'm thinking a very light dun or very sandy bay.

Strange but true.

Moral: Parents, don't force your kids to write with one hand or another I guess.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The three musketteerettes..

More from "Boarding fun and games"...

This is the mischievous trio late this past spring (May maybe?). The filly to the left (the appy - some might recognize her as the inspiration for a pattern I painted on one of my sculptures), came in as an runty lil gal last summer. Filly's owner disappeared that fall until just last week - when I finally got her to sign the fillies papers and a bill of sale to me. & until just last week I wasn't sure the woman was still alive, hence why I said so little about the filly who seemed to be becoming my next new unridable horse. ;) Her friends: The bay mare in the middle has been boarding here for 2 years, she's a fun older lady who is pretty sweet and doesn't seem to have realized she's not a four year old anymore, lol! The liver chestnut TB came in this past winter and it's funny to look at this pic b/c she's finally filled in, has a bit of a hay belly. She's also calmed down a ton... until she saw a calf that got loose running around and did this;

For perspective, that's a 16 foot gate (the longest they make really). A very large monster truck driving through would have done about the same amount of damage. Only the cow-phobic liver TB mare was injured in this story. The appy filly got a minor cut on her chin. The dark bay TB there seemed to have had the sense (age appropriate wisdom I believe) to stay away from the overly melodramatic liver chestnut one in her crashing and she merely came out later (probably ran around good tho, she was tired).

So that happened on Saturday and interfered with my Harry Potter devoted weekend. Having been unable to swing the Breyerfest trip this year I was greatly looking forward to my alternate option - and the nice weather and book reading seemed just like the thing. I really was put upon (such a meanie eh?) to have to spend it repairing fences wiht my gimpy hand (boyfriend did the posts and boards mostly to be honest). And dealing with wild mares. In all honesty it's not funny at all - the mare clearly came very close to killing herself, it's a miracle she isn't hurt more from how she appears to have run headlong into the fence and flipping over/landing mostly on it.

This is what happens when OTTBs don't have algebra and aerobics classes daily to keep their body and minds preoccupied. (the OT stands for off the track). Not all OTTBs or TBs really need this, but that mare does. She's a hot one! Owner is on some mandatory training exercises out of the arena with her trainer now -- and he spent yesterday taking the horse around the farm and demonstrating to her that no farm animals will eat her. Think good thoughts for the owner and her mare. She's not an eventing aspiring owner but she's basically got a horse that want's that kind of training (sans the actual fences tho mind you -- I don't think she ought to jump personally, lol!). I suppose most barn managers might have thrown them out too but frankly I like owners that are willing to care properly for their horses and not view them as objects for amusement but individuals. Bottom line is at least the owner knows she needs professional help here. You'd be surprised at how many people wouldn't, even after their horse has a near death experience.

Anyhow, filly also seems to have found a good placement with that trainer. I do not normally take on charity cases but every once in a while a horse with talent crosses my path and I get pretty adamant about the animal getting into the hands of a professional or very skilled rider. I've also seen what happens when barn managers take a horse in lieu of board and try to sell it as quickly as possible. I just can't live with that on my conscience. This is by far my most expensive charity case yet -- all the same, the horse's prospects to date around here have been bleak (bad market where horses are being considered disposable/worthless unless perfect; so who's going to take a very alpha minded unbroke gal seriously?) .. Anyhow, sooooo she looks like she'll be going to a polo pony trainer and he'll either keep her for his wife or son or sell her once he's put some real miles of experience on her. Cross your fingers for this filly - she needs a trainer who isn't afraid to get a horse moving and likes an agile "game" girl. And the polo fellow was telling me he far prefers mares for their heart - that's definitely what this gal has; brains and loyalty when she trusts ya. We have almost NO western speed event trainers around here except some big show barns where they don't turn out (ok, ok, and there's lots of other rumors of course but bottom line is turnout is a rare commodity in CT). This little lady has just learned over the past year how to live normally with other horses, I think it would be a shame to tuck her back in a stall away from the light of day.

Trots off to check if her coggins is done now. Btw, I'm typing w/o vetwrap today! woot!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

It's been really hard to sculpt or type..

Last week I got a very bad rope burn on my right hand when a friend's horse lunged at the farrier, (who was holding my donkey), running btwn myself and the boarder's horse I was leading. Pretty interesting stuff I suppose (wild 'when animals attack' behavior). The attacking horse has been out to pasture and is incredibly mellow usually, but he's become obsessively attached to my new donkey apparently (attacking horse is also currently in the process of getting placed elsewhere fwiw). Anyhow, I foolishly held the rope too long hoping to thwart the attack. Dumb dumb dumb. Everything has been a real pita since then. Really gross looking too so I'll spare the details. My hand's ok to use wrapped in vet-wrap but that doesn't make for easy typing or sculpting. At least I'm a lefty half the time.

Anyhow, so here's some updated pics. I'm just going to share rather than go into futher explanations on what's happened to them in the past week. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Haircut time! :)

It's hot. Hazel needed a haircut. ;)

I needed to be able to refine her neck easier and have some room to play with those ears. ;) She's enjoying her roaching. Notice the tail keeps wringing around as well (that's to allow me room to work with bigger files and dremel to the hind end of course).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Primered, gallery, more of the same.. ;)

Full gallery of her in progress status here;

She leeeeeeeeeeeeans a lot more now since previous pics. It's interesting how it takes away a lot of the distortion on the right side. Of course the extended left leg will always look short when seen to the right and loooong in photos to the left. Not much you can do about that except measure excessively every bone from the shoulder to the coffin bone. ;)

I'm starting to see shapes that fit the feeling; for example her mouth shape. It doesn't show b/c the lighting is laughable around there but I've found the perfect "pucker" of effort. Other stuff hasn't fit into place yet, for example the ears are still not coming to me. I have raging debates with myself about the breath of her neck in a few spots. Her feet, well.. ya. See, there's a LOT left for the leg refinements. All the same, helpful to see these.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Many pics, few words - lol!

That could be a really bad thing but in my own head, today, I don't believe it is. I'm excited at what I see here - like when you have a puzzle that starts to come together and finding the remaining pieces is a cinch. I'm slowly moving away from anatomical accuracy mode into the fun stuff!!! So without further discussion I'm just posting these for my own archival purposes and rushing back into the studio.

ps; Note to people who create malware. YOU SUCK. May your karma treat you appropriately.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Testing 1, 2, 3...

I have had the worlds slowest internet today and with putting up an ebay auction tonight I figured I'd better test photo uploading here. ;)

Nothing much to say beyond the last post really, nitpicking a lot of details you might or might not identify at this point with Hazel. Of course the photo really sucks so it's mostly for my own curiousity later on I'm even posting it.

And then we have what the skeleton has been shaping up into. ;) He's a Lippit Morgan at my farm who I've just realized I need to share a picture of from my references I've shot so far.. anyhow, here he is with some fun photoshopping.

Oh right- he's 1:11th scale so that probably fits him into the hobby category of "Classic". You can see a large traditional's nose above him in the corner.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Primer again.. interesting.. happier. :)

I have much to do today packing and shipping but wanted to make a quickie post at least.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

No one would believe me..

If I sculpted this gaskin!

Click on the magnifying glass to enlarge it too. (8-o

Anyhow, just another link from the "foals are so helpful but darn I wish they wouldn't cross canter so much" archive. lol! ;)