Sunday, December 20, 2009

I finished something! :)

Aaaaaaaaaand I'm having project completion introspection... Soooooo I just uploaded this album and am waiting to hear back from his owner...

Thing is, as I took these photos, I sorta have to laugh. I mean you can see the detail in real life if you look close in good light... but it was hard to get the camera to take pictures that showed the details well. And again I start to wonder, "is it worth it?".

I mean that quite sincerely - as an open question to other artists. I really really enjoy striving for crazy little details but sometimes I wonder if I'm really the only one who notices in real life?

I'm not trying to garner oohs and ahhs here -> I REALLY wonder this! lol! These two photos are the ones that sorta show the detail best, and even the album view doesn't let me zoom in enough to show it.
You'll have to click on these to see the hairs of which I wonder about..

and this one

At some point I just gotta wonder if it's worth it to collectors. As my eyes get older and it's harder for ME to see little hairs, I wonder if collectors find that hyper-tiny details aren't worth it? Who else has eyes that are aging here and have no idea what I'm talking about with "hairs". lol!


Braymere said...

From an artistic perspective--totally worth it. Oh my gawd, that paintjob is amazing! I love, love, love that kind of detail. SO much more realistic than a typical airbrushed dapple grey.

From a business persepective, however--Probably it's not worth it. I can't imagine how many hours you put into all those itty bitty hairs. Could you have charged just as much for similar, but less detailed paintwork? I'm guessing the answer is yes.

I struggle with some of these same issues with my own work, and I always end up on the not worth it side. Tack is fairly utilitarian. Most of my customers actually want to use it and they want it to be (relatively) easy to use. I try to keep that in mind every time I'm tempted to wander off into an absolutely crazy level of detail.

Just my ramblings, for whatever they're worth. The Indian Silver really is amazing.

DrSteggy said...

I think that the issue is that there are many different types of buyers and showers withing the live show market and we don't necessarily acknowledge that.

There are a small number of people who are hyper competitive and love those eensy hairs both as collectors and judges. I am one of those people, and I love the detail you have on those legs--FWIW, I always see things better in person than on camera lot of times--the camera just is not an eyeball at the end of the day.

Then, there are MOST people who really do treat this as a hobby/fun and are not as hardcore as some of us--there is nothing wrong with either thing, really, but these groups get frustrated with each other when group one is judging group two, or vice versa and they just do not see the merits of a given piece that the other group does.

I'd like to think that it might be time to split shows into levels as USEq does, but I also know that the A level would probably not fly well for model horses as the economics are different--I can;t make a living showing other people's models the way I could showing actual horses (in theory!) I don't think I could talk someone into performance showing their horse in a way that would cover my expenses just to show--on that end, the market just doesn't exist. People with that sort of money and dedication probably are doing the real deal.

I appreciate what you've done there, even though Indian Silver doesn't particularly flip my switch. I'd love to find more people who would take commissions with that degree of detail to take care of the blanks I have that DO flip my switch :P

Field of Dolls Studio said...

I could see the "hairs" with my aging eyes, on the computer moniter and would probably drool over the horse in person as well. I see things so many people don't see because of the prepping I have done. I can see right through a great paint job to a bad prep job (and sometimes even in photos) and it can instantly ruin a piece for me.
I can very much appreciate the detail and the amount of work that went into the piece to get the amount of realism you did but most judges don't look that closely when judging. Usually judging is done from about a foot away, not a couple of inches and not with a magnifying glass (unless it is a teeny model being looked at, lol).
I guess it comes down to doing what makes you happy as an artist. If you want to make tiny hairs, you should make tiny hairs. If you have a customer that wants that level of realism, that is great!
For myself I usually see my horses waaaaay up on the shelf where they are safer and then for a little bit at a show a few times a year. There is just not much of a chance to really appreciate the extra, finer details.

Tracy Eilers said...

I think its totally worth it, and I think there are folks that will compensate you for the extra time to be able to add such fine work to their collections. Hold your work to your own higher standards- the feeling of regret isn't worth it in the long run. I try to think about what I want my work to be "known for", and that keeps me moving forward. I think this level of detail might have you reaching out for additional buyer markets- those outside of the model horse world- if models are to be a reliable source of living expenses.

Morgen said...

I appreciate this guys. I'm trying to decide on finding a colors where I can blend a *LITTLE* bit of detail in with something you can see from a few feet away. A true scale fleabitten horse just doesn't look any different from one spritzed with fleabites from several feet away...

Like I said, it's an important honest thing I've got to ask myself right now. What can appeal near or far and not take months to create at the same time.

Course right now EVERYONE wants fleabites - lol! ;)

Mrs Field, ;) it's really great to know there ARE customers like you out there actually. When I work on these horses they get tucked away in a cabinet that is not well lit. It gives me an appreciation for what it looks like in a dim room, or a darker show hall. When I work, I have blinding lights everywhere. Putting stuff away at night, makes me wonder... and hearing that occasionally some less extreme detailed horses might very well find homes too is honestly a relief. :)

Mrs Rossi, did you see the discussion on Blab in the Arena "Why do we strive for realism".. which also prompted my thoughts here. It's had some interesting points about the need for conventions where a more rounded appeal can be found outside of just BF. I think it's overdue for us, considering the diverse interest/engagement levels we have.

Carol H. said...

Gorgeous work, Morgen! I know exactly what you mean about questioning how much detail to put in. It's my natural style to be as detailed as I can possibly be, but the countless hours that I put in on my pieces don't translate into monetary reward, so I constantly ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" Yet I'm compelled to strive for the look that I want.

I guess you have to ask yourself if it's worth it to compromise your ideal of what you want the piece to look like, or if you can accept the less "realistic" look and live with that.

Anonymous said...

Well Morgen, I see the hairs. If the hobby is all about realistic, you win the case, hands down. I would want those hairs! You are the artist, you sign your name to your work, your opinion about what is perfection is what really matters.
You are a brillant artist. I wish there was a paint slot open with you............

Anonymous said...

As someone who is fortunate enough to own three pieces of yours, the detail is totally worth it to me. The blending between the white and brown patches on Escher is amazing. The white creeping up the legs on Artist is amazing. WHat is surprising to me is that people wouldn't pay extra for that.

Janice K

It's like the difference between a flawless gem and an included gem. Most people wouldn't notice except the flawless gem is so much brighter when it comes right down to it.

I am not and probably never will be someone who shows except vicariously, but I do appreciate the detail nonetheless. I think that the cash strapped nature of the model horse industry is a shame because it is difficult for artists such as you to make a living. But I think it comes down to doing what you believe is right in your gut.

Anonymous said...

lol! I wish I could afford to get a horse painted by an artist who could do what you do! I have no horses who are as realistic as this one, not even close! Wonderful work you do! Do it if you feel like it, don't worry about what others think.

You're the one doing the painting. If you feel it's worth it, and with your talent I think that's a big YES, then you should do it.

When you fall out of love with painting tiny, realistic details, you should probably stop.