Tuesday, March 19, 2013

& We're off!

2013 started off with me hitting the ground running here & it doesn't look like the pace is going to let up! :)

I've just gotten back (last Fri) from the week long Academy of Equine Art workshop I taught in Aiken, SC.    It's a wonderful location and I highly recommend it if you have a horsie event there you're considering.    The horse barns are sort of clustered together on what (to me) are the equivalent of city streets.. clay sand but still a sandy little urban horsie community - fascinating! :)  Having a local resident to show us the track (wet & damp on Tues or nicer below that on Friday at dawn)... & it's well known (dare I say infamous) 'Track Kitchen' .  My wonderful hostess Wendy also secured for us an ideal live models for hands on study;  two horses everyone could see flex & bend and actually touch in order to study the limbs of.  These wonderful subjects were at a lovely traditional Aiken barn owned by her friend Lesli.  Having Wendy to get us these was a big factor in making it worthwhile.  My advice is (always actually) definitely go with a local guide if you do travel there!

I really really enjoyed having such an eager group to work with and a diverse one!  I learn so much myself every time I get to work one on one with students.  In the future I do think I'm going to limit classes to no more than 6.   To cover so much material (and I didn't quite get everything and not as thoroughly as I'd hoped.. even in a whole week)... takes just so much time and one on one with each student. That's my preferred approach anyhow.  For some aspects of biomechanics or the sculpting itself, sure, straight lecture is fine, but there are other points for which just being able to see what everyone is doing and point out key things is absolutely the only way I can work.   I know I overwhelmed everyone with TONS of info.. hope they will ultimately be more inspired than intimidated in the long run.  Casting was an area where there were the most questions and of course it's got an infinite # of answers really (if you can dream it, you could probably figure out a way to do it).  Well, I could go on and on.. it was a whole week after all!  I'm still a tad overwhelmed/coming off that buzz though myself. :)

My photographic skills for the group weren't great.  It's a small miracle I remembered to take a group shot in the end!  (I don't feel comfortable typing full names here but this is, left to right Lisa, Donna and Lynda!) :)  There were several leg sculpting exercises, then 1 day on a small overall horse shape to learn some armature aspects (sans tails, yes..) and proportion concepts.. then the last couple of days were spent on the busts and adding in the more fun details.  So that's what's up with this.  Again there were some field trips and lots of additional show and tell topics to round off a course that covers things most workshops typically don't that I know of (and answers questions I get all the time).  Since a few students there had taken other more traditional start-to-finish horse sculpting workshops I was glad to provide new and different information and even get everyone the chance to experiment with new materials.

And of course here is our adorable studio cottage dog (studio dogs are a must!). She is celebrating the end of all that windbag blonde lady's lecturing and all that excruciatingly boring art stuff here in her romp! ;)

Since this is a studio blog I need to update on the studio scene here:  Swimming mare is having her seaweed cast literally probably as I type here.  She herself will get cast just as soon as my materials arrive in stock here.  Then there is some more clean up.. then she will be released!

I don't plan to dawdle too much on getting this edition out there as I have an added challenge that we finally found our house!  After moving down here to central North Carolina from New England 3 years ago the "plan" was for us to save and eventually buy our farm homestead.. was of course off to a very rough start for the first year, year and a half really.  Eventually we got rolling and found our rolling pastures & acreage just a couple weeks ago when we were only looking very casually.  The work buildings are a bonus, we were figuring there was no way around having to build 2 (his and hers) workshops so how ideal is this?!

 As you can see it has an ideal studio for me (half the front building on the window side), where I can expand someday to working on larger scale sculptures.  I really miss that.  In college and even high school I would embark on life sized heads now & then but truly you need planning and proper materials and (learned the hard way) doing this in your kitchen is impractical and most people don't approve of that. ;)

[removed pics since it won't be our house after all - see April 5th post]

Not safe for horses of course but it comes with a lovely historic barn - I'm in love with the older barn styles down here so this is just icing on the cake for us.  It does keep hay dry though we observed, bonus!

So there's hope for horses again in my future.. all that acreage was the whole reason we chose this part of the state/country really (maybe in a few years, I do want to rescue a geriatric horse - I can justify it by the need to have a studio model for hands on lessons for students!).

MEANWHILE --> today/next...  I have another fine bone China Kipling coming up for auction.  I've also got news and detailed explanations for my group coming tonight on how the last 7 CMGs being offered up for customer designs will go...

(this guy is going up tonight on 'My Auction Barn'!)

And in keeping with what everyone does when buying homes/moving, I'll be going through my possessions in the coming month & seeing what I sell.. so additional sales items to come too!

Whew!  This doesn't even cover the half of it but it's been over a month since I last posted so it was time! ;)  Hopefully my next post will be before it's summer.. !  Cheers and here's to warm & cozies (or cool and comfortables), where ever you are!
A quick PS too -->  didn't mention but there is a small group probably wondering "what about our trophy medallion???!" or on shipped items!  Yesterday I got a large truckload full out to the post office.. and then went home and dove into that trophy medallion  pretty avidly. :D  So your shipped items are on their way & I do hope to have great things to share in the trophy dept in the coming days.   It's been VERY busy here as you can see! :D  All the best gang!
Man, one more PPS... (hrmph... if I updated more often I wouldn't be throwing together this hodgepodge all at once).  I also have 3 pieces that were accepted (I'm humbled by this huge honor) into the AAEA Spring Invitational.  Details on that are here; http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/aaea-spring-invitational-show-opens-two-locations-april and I know some if not all will be at the Georgetown location.  When I'm more sure of what's where I'll update if I can. :)  I'm hoping my large & quite heavy box made it there safe & sound in the meantime.  Shipping art is a skill I'd rather not have to learn to be honest. ;)  OK, truly - all the best again!