Friday, July 29, 2011

When I grow up...

I'm only an hour old here but when I grow up I'm going to become a life sized Friesian foal! .. stay tuned to watch some welding action! (Ok, so seriously though, that's all I'm sharing for now.. this project is going to obviously take a little longer) :)

Adding on b/c I just checked my mail and see that the NSS member gallery from yesterday's post is now up - these are the images I ran with;

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Joined the National Sculpture Society yesterday

Images above are exceptionally large if you click on them!

There are an infinite # of guilds and associations an artist can join and the annual due fees can significantly add up. Granted the dues don’t quite compare to annual dues for belonging to a horse association per say, however an artist who is even remotely diverse in their media or subject matter will find they could easily spend thousands on annual fees.

That said, I’m very excited to have found the National Sculpture Society. Currently I belong to; ARTS North Carolina, International Equine Artists Group and formerly I belonged to the Realistic Equine Sculpture Society (RESS) briefly before they closed shop. I feel like I’m forgetting something big here! Anyhow, there are of course many professional bulletin boards and groups I’ve joined too. Maybe that’s it – maybe all my lurking on these sculpting & art forums(I don’t have time to gab believe it or not!) – after years of being really active on some horse boards I’ve learned it was just time I didn’t have anymore when I was boarding horses.

Anyhow, these have basically “job” and “contest” listings very often. And after a while you start to see the same “Call to Artist” postings on most of these forums. One of the things that prompted me to join the National Sculpture Society was that their bulletin was one of the most comprehensive in its call to artist listings – and also the most advanced. Sure I won’t get some animal entry listings there – this is why as a horse sculptor I’m so glad there are horse artist societies! I’m sad to report that often when I get my ARTS North Carolina newsletter the competitions and bid deadlines are literally the same day as or expired. I haven’t found anywhere on their website/members info that shows me these listings earlier… it takes a while to pour over and research competitions and you could enter willy nilly all over as well but those costs add up quite fast too. Nevermind that often you have to physically mail out material too so you need to prepare it - not just filling out a form. So a day is usually just not enough time!

Speaking of costs, with my NSS membership fee aside from their hefty bulletin I also will get a magazine that I like quite a bit and am excited about getting regularly! I like these things but I stopped subscribing to magazines regularly years ago and I’m still swamped in back issues (mostly horse ones and mostly used for reference material of course!).

There are others that I’m considering joining. I have to confess I am a skeptic. I remember with horse registries how for a while (maybe still) there were so many springing up overnight that would call your horse all kinds of elite new terms, and provide grading and more. And yet they really didn’t offer the same reputability as the big associations in any way and many are gone now – not even lasting a decade. Some require teaching or taking workshops or competing in some way that isn’t quite a fit too. Basically I’m not ready for those I think. We’ll see. Just some random thoughts on the matter here! :)

Anyhow, so for some competitions I was compiling better photos of my works for some competitions and this gallery now, and here are my final choices. I think I know which ones I’ll be putting on my NSS associate member gallery (I get 3). It was hard to leave out some of my other works. But exhausting just picking out the images and photographing retakes of a couple. Some, like the Johann on that green marble base are gone to private collections now and I've had to make my own display copies again. All of these are available to order in bronze at this time although I'm going to do riders for the top two ("Deputed Duke" and "Hazel"). It will significantly increase the bronze cost (double it) and add quite a bit more time to the process. I hope to get a chance to sculpt those this winter and I don't have a date set for casting them. If a buyer came along interested in them in bronze that would speed me up a bit I suppose - lol! :) Meanwhile, I'm happy to plug along with my display copies. Mango is likely to be the first to be cast in bronze due to his smaller size and thus ease in shipping to the juried shows.

Wow, I could really go on but I must get going here!!! Anyhow, hope all are staying cool out there!! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

YAY! I cast something else! :D

It's a major triumph for me over the elements to cast something - the humidity being what it is here.

Many folks who were in Lexington last week may remember this... gal??? ;) (fellow? I will not say!!!) :D

Anyhow, it's a clay medallion I got a chance this week to touch up. I need to (fix a few tiny bubbles I spotted in these pics) add some facial veins and check to see if any areas need smoothing up tonight when I can work with a lamp and see details best.

My favorite story from last week's viewing of him was this little kid who was mischievously trailing mom and really wasn't having the best time. Yes, I put the clay medallion within reach of kids (it's a good "letting go" to realize you can do it all over again should something get ruined - imo it frees your artistic soul up tremendously to realize you should just do it and not invest too much emotion into the consequences!). Sooooo this little boy was watching mom and then when she looked the other way he suddenly poked it and exclaims "OH! It's made of clay!"... hahaha - I was so chuckling to myself picturing a big finger dent in this one's eyeball or something. I waited for mom to blanch and drag him out of there. I didn't want to embarrass her - it's a temptation and truly, it was a quicky fix (t'was a nostril smush,not an eye). Truly the act of transporting is where the damage risk is most anyhow.OR (and this has happened - because I'm a klutz)... me simply dropping the finished clay and having it land face down. SMUSH!

(as you can see the nostril is just fine now - but you can enlarge to see bits of clay and hair trapped in the resin - this is another of the many reasons why I don't do final production molding typically...!)

Anyhow, but here is my molding and it's just curing up outside before I bring it in and wrap it up tonight.

Can you feel the heat??? 94°F (34°C) Humidity: 52% Heat Index: 104°F and it's only going up out there... mind you yesterday the humidity was 70+++ percent at it's very lowest so today is parched by comparison!... ;) I really should've photographed the clear resin kicking this time - it really looks so neat. If I do another (maybe very soon if I don't like this casting!), I'll try to remember that..

Sooooo I'm not certain of my plans for this medallion for now but I had to share the happy result (just in case any particular mom out there was worried too - hahaha!). Gotta be brave to do this. Someone said to me a while back (in regard to sales things) "I don't know how you artists do it, you must have nerves of steel". I never thought much about it about producing the art, or being crushed if anyone didn't like it (we all have our likes and dislikes). .. sales wise though, gads, I could use steel there (or someone else to do it - lol!). But gambling with invested time like this? Meh - no biggie! (poke on little guy - it's all just an idea subject to change anyhow!!!) ;)
Addendum!!! Adding on an hour later:
So I decided to use my less preferred resin - the slower cure one - and take advantage of the desert-like conditions here (ha!) and do one more since the rain is holding off and humidity keeps dropping. You can see the bubbles in this series - pin hole (very frustrating) bubbles... this is why I've learned the fast cure is better. You try to give it as little time as possible to collect water molecules after it leaves the container. ANYhow... sooooo for those who wonder how it works, here is resin kicking over. I really think it looks SO cool! (I wore a painter's respirator mask - not a dusk mask but one of those ones with the big screw on filter cartridges.. wore it the whole time I poured & photographed this - I really would like to avoid getting asthma soooo just fyi!).


and then I went inside because my face was sweating off.. with Smooth On 305 that whole curing sequence here took like 10min to take place and it still was taking a while. If you click on some of those you can see the bubbles taking over too. This didn't happen with the first one (which was Smooth On 300 - fast cure and that takes only 2-3minutes but was just too tricky for me to photograph).

I'll pick the best of these two though probably - both seem to be good enough to make into a master & wrap up. :) YAY I'm so tickled that mother nature went easy on me today! :D

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Something I haven't shared in a while...

This small (~4" x 4" tall so far) bust will hopefully become a trophy or standalone bust (I'm working on the options to have it be either), quite soon. I'm just balancing up the other side of his face. In order to do so I take photos of one side and reverse them... so why not share today quickly.

I didn't bring him to Lexington to share because, well, there was only so much I was going to risk bringing & having get smushed in this clay state! ;) (I had brought a medallion and a Criollo sculpture that each only had a day or two invested into them... and they sustained a little damage of course. I use soft clay so it's unavoidable nearly if you travel with them).

Little larger than life here! Click to really enlarge! :)

Next (after the off side gets these facial details,) I've got some neat (equally greco-roman style) ideas for the base - perhaps I can get to them this weekend. It's exceptionally humid here and I have some other works molded and ready for resin casting but the weather is .. not cooperating to say the least. (85% humidity when I woke up - it's almost down to 60% now but moisture is not your friend in resin casting). :/ Anyhow, hope everyone is staying cool!!! :)
& Later.. still waiting on something soooooo I'll share my mock up sketch here as well;

I'm thinking little horse shoe wreaths & chariot images around the first or second base. I'm getting help from my most skilled fellow here on both parts of the base (the upper disk[s] that I'll sculpt more on and then drilling the marble or granite bottom sections.). The dotted box around him is showing where I'll be doing my first rubber mold (and then I'd like to do some veins since this is like 1:8 scale and I really think the lots of little capillary neck veins will look appropriate ... but I'm not willing to mess up what I've done in the clay just to find out!) ;)

Also, I remembered when I last shared him here; Halloween of last year! Easy enough to remember! ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some real pictures quickly...

Something a customer said to me today reminded me to go get (& share!) these photos.... speaking of big foals! Soooo here is "Little Man" Mango [Jam] as he was not such a little man anymore... at 5 months nearly the same height as mom,

And then a few weeks later he was weaned (yes a little early, for his mom's health actually),

And while I'm sharing - Mango with his first girlfriend, "Baby Sondae" (yup! the same one I sculpted bucking almost a decade ago there). He's telling her how much he loves her. We didn't keep them together long but he was already a gelding by then (for quite some time actually - just to be clear!). He still worshiped the ground she walked on. His very own Ginger (from Black Beauty - not South Park). ;)

Editing to add this in.. If I recall correctly she was like a whole year older - or at least 6 months or something... anyhow, he ultimately grew to only 16.2hh (or 17.3+hh when pumped up).. No but seriously, he was a bigun at first!

Just for fun I had to share those. You can see though how that lanky TB build really comes into play pretty quick with those babies though, huh. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pausing to go "awwww"! :)

(click to see bigger)
I'm juggling a lot of email replying right now (in case you're waiting on one - sorry!) ... aand then next gearing up for some long overdue projects I'd put off until after the madness in Lexington.. and now I must face the music & hop to it! :)

Still though .. I just had to share this MUG!

Anja Schmidt of Germany sent me a photo of her Little Man Mango all painted up (painted by her). I'm a huge fan of baby bay too so just it made me go awwww (and I just had to post while I have a coffee break here - yawn!- Man! BF takes so much out of you!!!).. :D

The next batch of Little Man Mango's have been mailed (up to #19) but I've got some more figuring before my list is up to date (amongst those emails to-do are confirmations of paying off - coming soon guys - promise!!).

Anyhow, tx Anja!

Edit add on:
I would be SO remiss if I didn't mention somewhere again how super clean/easy to prep these castings have been! Barry Moore of Bearcast LLC is just doing an amazing job. I still am not certain (see previous post here on the blog) of where all the seams are to be honest. Aaaaaaaand yes, I painted that one so that's saying something. They just disappear in many spots. Impressive! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

One big little inspiration today...! :)

Today's inspiration: Patrick!! :)

I've just returned from nearly a week of horsie immersion at Breyerfest which is held at the Kentucky Horse Park every July. This actually isn't what inspires me so much as seeing vast amounts of artwork at the park. And so many accomplishments of all types .. well just period! :D There's something just so wonderfully rejuvenating about seeing great things done, be it a trick rider or a canvas that's amazingly detailed!

More reports over time I guess. It was so great to see so many folks but I regret there being so little time to visit long enough! :( At least next year will be a few more days with NAN. This year I also tried to get some sleep... since last year it became unfun being so overtired. It's cruel when that energy of youth fades & we require things like square meals and sleep. Hrmph...

Back to this topic though! So on my facebook page I try to share whenever I find something that grabs me & inspires me with a little "today's inspiration" link usually... Today I'm going to share a real big (little) ;) inspiration to me that's lighting a fire under my fanny...!

Patrick the miniature horse (and his wonderful owners) were SO extremely helpful to me at the Kentucky Horse Park, they get a whole blog post of inspiration due to their humoring me (us really, Maggie Bennett was with me snapping away too!). Sarah had Patrick hold the pose of my mini pony sculpture "Kipling" so that I could get a bunch of shots of his muzzle and eyes (so nice and tidy too!) from all angles. Thus far to date the mini photos I have cover the eyes up with hair so this is a real gem for me. AND I just need to leave the bags and boxes here packed for a half a day while I go off and sculpt this for a little bit.... ;) My favorite kind of inspiration...

Thank you Patrick and Sarah (and Jessica too!!) Please visit/friend them on FB by clicking here

Clearly I'm not meant to be a photographer and that's JUST fine. The details show up here, at least on my screen (no no worries - proportionally I know this photo isn't so helpful!) ;)... somehow I'd set my camera settings wrong but the monochromatic views as a result are very intensely contrasty - perfect for sculpting! Just gotta go do it... On that note, enough typing too! :D

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just About Horses write up :)

I was extremely flattered when Michele asked me to do this interview! I've been meaning to post it as I know at least one of the owners of some of these horses probably doesn't get this magazine. Off to share this with them now! :)
(and now we know why I spent all that time a few months back trying to take a photograph of myself... how funny that the pony and foal are vastly different looking now of course but I wanted something newer there to share!)

I believe that should enlarge enough for you to read it if you click on it.

And I giggle to see my name next to Van Gogh!

So not much else I'm willing to share at the moment but pretty exciting I thought!
PS - I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot of you next week!