Carole has a report today too!
"After more pigments I have her body pretty much where I want. I can do touch ups when spotted. I added acrylics today. Mane and tail French Vanilla and watered down white on socks. Just a base for m & t as they get more colors."
"One big problem is getting accurate pictures. I played with camera settings and they are so varied. Deleted nearly all and kept 2. You can see the differences."
Thank you Carole! She's looking beautiful, in both pictures! I dare say you are going to be the first of us to cross the finish line!
Just me today, & not much to say at that! I am happy to report that Nocturno's oils dried in 24 hours, so he got a couple coats of Testor's Dull Cote today! Unfortunately for him, I spent my free time writing a tutorial on mixing oils instead of moving forward on him!
Boy am I ever pleased with him so far though! Hopefully tomorrow he'll get some love. I still have his oil session report to type up too though. We'll see which project gets my time tomorrow!
I hope everyone is having a great NaMoPaiMo so far! Keep painting all!
Back in January I finally had to mix a new batch of oils since the last mix, the one I used in part for last NaMoPaiMo actually, had finally dried out. I had mixed it in Dec of 2016 & it lasted until Nov of 2017, so it certainly keeps!
This round I actually took the time to take pictures of how I mix a bay/red pallet so I could share it with you!
What you'll need:
* Pallet paper (not wax paper as it is too thin) I like Artist's Touch brand best.
* A pallet knife
* Paper napkins or towels
* Oil paint in colors of:
- Van Gogh Burnt Sienna
- Master's Touch Burnt Sienna
- Master's Touch Burnt Umber
- Van Gogh Raw Sienna
- Master's Touch Raw Sienna
- Master's Touch Naples Yellow
- Master's Touch Lamp Black
- Master's Touch Titanium White
* Pearl Ex powder in colors of:
- Aztec Gold
- Super Copper
- Antique Bronze
- Carbon Black
- Micro Pearl (I prefer Pearl White but I'm having a hard time getting it)
* An apron, if you're smart, which I usually am not.
Now, you do not have to run out & buy the same colors in different brands. I use two different brands, Van Gogh from Pat Catans & Master's Touch, the Hobby Lobby house brand, because the tint varies from company to company. Since I have them both around I have the liberty to use both when mixing batches. I would warn against Winton brand oils though: In my experience, they have a very lurid color which I did not like in the least. It may work fine for you though! Everyone is different!
When painting in oils, or at least how I do, you start with the body color (the middle, medium shade of your color) & move out from there adding the highlights (the lightest color of your horse), & then the shading (the darkest color besides any black points). So you are going to need to mix at least three colors. Since I paint many colors on a regular basis I mix oils in bulk so I don't have to spend a chunk of my time mixing paint every time I need it. I also mix several different shades at a once so I can move up & down the 'scale' of color to do different shades & colors. What is body for one horse may be shading for a lighter horse. What is body for another could be highlight for the darker colored horse. It all depends on what base color you put down & what three shades of oils you put over them.
For this batch, I mixed five colors. For need to call them something I named them, as seen in the picture below.
To start, fold a sheet of pallet paper in half. Once the paint is mixed you will fold the paper over to store it, so you will only be mixing it on one half & the crease.
As I said, I mix bulk batches. If you don't plan to paint a herd of horses over the next year you won't need anything near as much as I am doing here! It really takes very little oil to paint a whole Trad scale horse. That said, better to have too much than too little, & it does save very well.
Starting with the Red mix: I used both brands of Burnt Umber,
Mix it up thoroughly with the pallet knife.
Now add Pearl Ex. The main purpose of Pearl Ex it to add a gleam to your finishwork. The effect of adding several different colors of Pearl Ex to your mix is akin to looking at a furry creature's coat in the sunlight: have you ever noticed the prism kind of glow they have? Same thing when your finishwork is in sunlight. It also has the extremely helpful benefit of making your oils dry much faster! I do not use any driers at all in my paint. Honestly they scare me! They can be dangerous. So I pour in the Pearl Ex to just short of making mud out of my paint. Depending on the colors (some oil colors dry slower than others), & the weather at the moment, my oiled horses are usually dry to the touch in an easy one to two days.
With the tip of the pallet knife, dip out a bit of Pearl Ex; in this case Gold. Don't make a mess with it like I did though! Go easy on adding Pearl Ex, it likes to pouf everywhere while you're mixing if you add too much all at once.
To this Red mix I also added Copper, Bronze, & Black Pearl Ex.
For a finished mix of this. Much more luminous, isn't it?
From here on out I didn't take as many pictures, but it's pretty much the same deal. The same technique was used for the other mixes, just different colors used. Make sure to wipe the pallet knife clean with a paper towel when you move on to a new color mix.
Here is the Light Red. Both Burnt Sienna, both Raw Sienna, & Master's Touch Naples Yellow oils. Gold & Micro Pearl Pearl Ex.
The Gold Mix is both Raw Sienna oils, Gold & Micro Pearl Pearl Ex.
Yellow, Master's Touch Naples Yellow oil & Micro Pearl Pearl Ex.
Dark brown, which is mostly used for shading is almost black. Once you blend it in with your body color, it mixes with the body enough that it tones down to a little bit lighter brown than it starts. ...If that made any sense!
It is a mix of Master's Touch Burnt Umber & Carbon Black, with Black & Bronze Pearl Ex.
Then I add a little Master's Touch Carbon Black & Titanium White straight out of the tubes to the pallet. The white is for particularly light areas like mealy muzzles or bright flaxen hair tips. The black is for points, which will look even darker black if there is no Pearl Ex bouncing light.
Once you are happy with your new mix, fold the paper over on itself, write what color this pallet is & the date it was mixed on the back of the paper, & pop it into the freezer. You can put it into a zipplock for further protection, & a tupperware container is a good idea if there's a chance your pallet might get squished in the freezer.
& a great way to store your oil tubes is to hang them with binder clips!
So you don't have to sift through later, here is my loose red/bay color recipe for you:
Van Gough & Master's Touch Burnt Umber oils.
Aztec Gold, Brilliant Copper, Antique Bronze, & Carbon Black Pearl Ex.
Both brands Burnt Sienna oils.
Both brands Raw Sienna oils.
Master's Touch Naples Yellow oils.
Gold & Micro Pearl Pearl Ex.
Both brands Raw Sienna oils.
Gold & Micro Pearl Pearl Ex.
Master's Touch Naples Yellow oil.
Micro Pearl Pearl Ex.
Master's Touch Burnt Umber oil.
Master's Choice Carbon Black oil.
Bronze & Black Pearl Ex.
Master's Touch Titanium White straight from the tube.
Master's Touch Carbon black straight from the tube.
There is no precise measurement for mixing oil color, so trust your eye & mix it to your need & taste.
An interesting note too is that these six colors are my entire stash of oils. From just Burnt Sienna, Raw Senna, Burnt Umber, Naples Yellow, Carbon Black, & Titanium White you can pretty much mix the entire rainbow of the horse world. I do add some Cobalt & Ultramarine Blues to blue-based blacks, but other than that, those are the only colors I ever use.
Hopefully that helps you on your journey in oil paint! If anyone ever has any questions, feel free to drop me a line!
Three CDs of Journey to the Center of the Earth & four episodes of Doctor Who & this is where I am:
He still has layers to go in oil & pastel chalk, but this is a good start! I am cross-eyed, so I will elaborate more later. Until then, here are Carole & Kim with their reports of the day!
"Here we go with around 5 layers. Working creams, black and metallics in there. Have my TOPSA show finished so she gets all my time now. ~ Carole"
"Our first weekend has come and gone already! Mine was actually quite productive, both in painting and household chores. I got multiple horses based. And the house finally cleaned after having the flu for two weeks. Yuck!
I thought I would include my airbrush setup/booth. I like to base my horses using an airbrush, I feel it gives a very smooth layer. I have a Badger Anthem airbrush. I still don’t know much about airbrushing, all of it has been self-taught and lots of watching YouTube tutorials. I would be very curious to know how other people mix their paint for airbrushing. I’m still struggling with that!"
"My setup includes putting down a plastic sheet, newspaper over it, and a box that has been cut open to contain some of the spray. I also like to have paper towels handy for any drippage. It’s not the prettiest setup but it works for now. Also, make sure to wear a respirator of some kind!
Pegasus Furia is based in a warm white and I started some chestnut color on the lower legs. Since she will be similar to a Ferruginous Hawk, I’m thinking her body color will be varnish roan. There are two color morphs in these hawks and I’m leaning towards the lighter color morph. We’ll see if that’s what she wants! I’ll try and find a pic of a ferruginous for the next blog.
"Until next time, happy painting!
Happy NaMoPaiMo all! Check back later for more!
Alright! We have tea...
Ten hours of unabridged listening...
A brand new mix of red/bay oils...
& a prepped, shod, & based horse.
Reference is pulled up. Time to finally dive in!!
Those are the words of my friend Angel who text me this picture today! I invited her to do NaMoPaiMo with me kind of at the last minute. On Tuesday she came by to root through my body boxes for a victim & officially sign up. She found a classic Shire A that called to her & decided she wanted to make him a Gypsy; to take off his mane decorations & swap his braided tail for a Smart Chic Olena tail, also from my hoard. His new do was just started today! Once that's all finished, he'll be headed for a dark liver chestnut with flaxen m&t! It's going to be fun to have someone to paint with this year!
Carole made some progress as well!
"This is my first sealed layer. Used Brown Ocher (body) and a dark grey mix on eyes, hooves, etc)"
Her PAM is going to be flaxen chestnut with a little white when she's finished!
As for me... Still shoes! I wasn't going to finish them until after he was painted, but I decided to go for it. His shoes are made of pounded out 12(?) gauge aluminum florists wire, groove pounded in with a screwdriver & refined with dremel, filed & sanded to a fare-thee-well, studs added with sewing pins sculpted over with epoxy, & toe/side clips & nail heads sculpted on with epoxy. Anything sculpted was filed & sanded to where it's meant to be & painted silver with Precious Metals paint. Then I painted in some dirt with a little acrylic, which made it all pop! These were the only two shoes I detailed; since his weight baring hooves are not detailed on the bottom I cheated & left the aluminum flat. ...Apologies for the fuzzy pictures!
Kim does not yet have anything to report. She hopes to by tomorrow, as do I! I plan to have a serious oil session in the afternoon!
Hope everyone's having a great third day!! Check back tomorrow for more on our NaMoPaiMo journey!!
NaMoPaiMo started today!! Can you feel the spark in the atmosphere? I can! Everyone is so excited & I love that!
Since last I posted I have been joined by yet another friend for NaMoPaiMo, having talked my friend Angel into painting with me! She's joined a bit last minute, but has a great idea for her classic Shire A!
Earlier this week Jennifer, NaMoPaiMo founding mother, asked painters & their victims to take a selfie for a start-of-the-month collage, which we all did. I can't help but share my beautiful friends here! Here are our self portraits, except Carole, who does not like pictures & wished to remain off my blog, which is perfectly fine! *Edit* Carole took a new selfie & gave permission for it to go on my blog! So we all are here now! :)
It's been a slow start for us all on this first day of NaMoPaiMo. Carole has been judging a TOPSA photo show, but is set & ready when the time allows. Angel has been working on an Arab costume, which is looking pretty darn good I think! Kim has been stuck at work; you can bet that her weekend will be full of painting though! & I have been shoeing my chosen pony.
Detailing & fitting Nocturno's new sneakers was the majority of the work done on him today. I'd meant to do it before day one, but other things called. The shoes are still not completely finished, but they are done enough that I won't be endangering my paint work now.
...I'd like to take a moment to mention how much I love my ferrier! Carl is always more than happy to show exactly how different shoes are done!
I did get Nocturno's first few coats of base laid down before quitting for the day at least. That's the first official paint of the month!
Much more to come later! Check back soon for updates & how-tos!
Happy painting everyone!!!
With NaMoPaiMo fast approaching the first day of February, work on prepping chosen models is in full swing! This year I will once again be sharing my blog with my friend Kim Prosek for reports on her project. I am pleased to welcome another of my friends this year as well, Carole Ingram, who will also be sharing her NaMoPaiMo progress with us!
Without further ado, let me hand the screen over to Kim for her pre-NaMoPaoMo post!
My NaMoPaiMo entry for 2018! Maggie Bennett’s Furia, customized into a threatening Pegasus.
She is mostly prepped and primed here. I hope to paint her similar to a Ferruginous Hawk.
Let the madness begin!!
Isn't that Peggy awesome?? Kim did the CMing on her, of course, managing to find a bird figurine the right size for MM wings!
Kudos, my friend, for wrangling wings onto such a small pony!!
& now for a word from my friend Carole on her chosen victim!
I just signed up (Jan. 7th), I'm going to do a PAM in chestnut.
Here is where I am now (Jan. 15th) on this snow globe snowy day here. I do have an issue; balance. I was hoping the apoxie/mane would throw her weight to that side. Nope. Tried to add to hoof. No good. I hate to have to peg front hoof.
Got the mare pegged (Jan. 18th) and worked more on her neck. I had a hoof edge and didn't want to mess up her frog so it turned out to be a trench. I glued it and next day used apoxie to even the hoof wall again. Just trimmed the peg to even all hooves, yay!! Have lots of time to prep so here is where she is now. I added to her ears and cheeks too.
Yay! Glad she is standing steady now Carole! She is such a sweet looking mare! She should look great by the end of Feb!!
As for my NaMoPaiMo horse, I have wanted to do a tutorial on how to paint the basic color bay ever since NaMoPaiMo last year. So when looking for a prospect for this year's NaMoPiaMo, that was on my mind. I found a Nocturno by Kitty Cantrell for a song, & I think he would just rock a deep & dappley bay!
He is second hand, his mold having been released in 2002! (Good Lord, was that really 16 years ago?!?) He had a basic prep job, a coat of white primer, & a layer of airbrushed acrylic. He had also suffered a cracked tail which had been repaired. His great price more than made up for any of this though.
My! I never realized how BIG this sculpt is!! He's quite a hunk!
Even though he was packed really well in a box that was a good size for him, that tail didn't agree & completely broke in shipping (much to the dismay of his seller!). I was fine with this though; I had planned to reinforce it anyway, to prevent just such a brake from happening in the future. So I was not in for any more work than I had already planed to do. It also gives me the excuse to share with you how to reinforce breaks!
Reinforcing Breaks With Wire Or Brass Rod
I have used this technique many times on weak & broken legs, tails, ears, & hair tendrils. It gives the weakened piece much better support than simply gluing it back together does.
You will need:
*A high speed spiral flute cutter bit (I had to look that up! I have no idea what size it is, I've had it forever.) ...Or whatever size & shape bit will work for your project
*A 1/2" sanding drum ...or files & some elbow grease
*A respirator & safety goggles
*Wire cutters & two pairs of pliers in a size hefty enough to cut & bend whatever gauge you are using
*Wire or brass rod in a gauge suitable for your brake (I used brass rod from the hardware store, in 2.38 mm & 1.57mm.)
*Locktite super glue gel control
*Epoxy, I used Aves Fixit, which is a very dense & sturdy epoxy
*Sand paper, my preferred grit being 220
*Any sculpting tools needed to resculpt lost details
Regardless of where the break is, the approach is pretty much standard:
With your chosen bit, mine being the cutter bit, Dremel a groove deep enough to inlay your wire across the break. I often draw a line where I want to Dremel, just to keep myself on track. For this break, with it being such a pressure prone spot, I decided to add three lengths of rod. The more wire you inlay at more locations around the break, the stronger the result.
As you can see, this is dusty work, so be sure to wear dust & eye protection!
Cut your wire & test it for a snug fit. I am using the bigger 3/32 (2.38mm) rod here.
Then with pliers, bend it to fit the contour of where it will be inlayed. Being a nice straight tail, this wasn't too difficult. If you are doing a leg though, it can sometimes take quite a bit of tinkering to get it to flow with the bends & shape of the leg.
If your break has a gap, glue the two pieces together as best you can before you add the wire. Once that is done, lay down a line of super glue in the groove you made, sprinkle a very little bit of baking soda on top, & carefully lay in your rod. Pliers come in handy here to place the rod & to force it down snuggly into the groove. You may wish to wear gloves to keep from getting glue on your fingers.
Add a bit more glue around any gaps between the wire & the resin/plastic, wipe off the excess, & then pack it with baking soda. You can press it down firmly with a paper towel, but be aware that some of it may get glued to the horse (or you). Scrape off any wayward glue/baking soda before it sets well, I used a carbide scraper.
After doing all three rods, the tail was much sturdier but I felt it could use a little more support. Best I could, I Dremeled a groove under the tail as well. I inlayed a length of 1/16 (1.57mm) brass rod the same way as the other three. I used the finer rod just to simplify it considering the awkward place it was needed.
Sometimes the rod winds up being a bit above the level of the sculpture. That is where the sanding drum &/or files come in: grind down any wire that would show above your sculpture until it is level with the surface or even a smidge below it.
Once all the brass rod was laid & ready to go, I mixed some Aves Fixit epoxy & pushed it into any crevices remaining, then resculpted the lost details. I chose Fixit since it is a very dense, hard epoxy once cured. I often use A + B epoxy which is even harder, for the more breakable areas like this. But it is more difficult to work with. Since I needed to sculpt hair here, I opted for the easier-to-use Fixit.
Here is the repair after sanding the entire horse good & hitting him with some primer. The repair still needs sanded & worked a little more before I am totally happy with it, but it is now sturdy enough for me to hold him by the tail!
I have used this technique for many scales, the finest being a LB scale foal, a Spark AR. She was a second, missing a wire in one of her fine little baby legs. I used, I'll guess 32 gauge, steel wire meant for the foundation of frames in a bee hive. Being steel, even as fine as it is, it is sturdy enough to use as reinforcement (works great for tail tendril armatures too!). I have also repaired the leg of a Lrg SM AR, Sherbert Lemmon, with a steel paperclip!
So as long as you can Dremel a groove & find strong enough wire, this technique can be used on many scales & for many weak pieces!
Stay tuned through the end of this month & all of February for many more reports on & tutorials for NaMoPaiMo!
I don't know how, but I managed to forgot this very important part of the last installment of my BF recount! At the campground, the office had a mighty special supervisor! Meet Graven!
Graven is a baby Crow who had fallen out of his nest when he was so little, he was featherless! The Campground owners found him & took him in. With the helpful input of a vet, they raised him to the handsome little guy he is here!
He was a cute, noisy, & hungry little fella. I got to hold him too. :) He will be a part of their family now, as Rachelle said that he will have imprinted on people too much to ever be accepted by wild crows. They plan to let him have free rein once he can fly, but he will always be able to call the office home.
NOW I think I am done with my recount!
For those who don't know exactly what NaMoPaiMo is, it is a month long challenge for anyone, seasoned professional to curious bystander & everyone in between, who cares to join in; To take an unfinished model horse of any scale (prepped & primed is permitted), & in the span of February 1st to February 28th, to paint it with whatever medium & technique you choose.
Last year's victim, er, project, was a hair-prep 'Rastus' AR by Kitty Cantrell with CM work by myself. This year's prospect is in the middle of a transaction, so I will reveal him, & also sign up, once he is in hand, just to be sure!
NaMoPaiMo is not a contest of any sort, merely a fun challenge as well as a chance to learn new techniques from others & the opportunity to share some of your knowledge too. But if you do sign up, you might find a goody in your mail box if you finish your pony within the month!
Please do go over to Jennifer's Braymere Blog to read the official rules regarding it! Sign up is open now through January 31st.
I hope that you will join in the fun! Paint a pony for February!
First post of the new year & last post in my BF series (finally, right?). Amazingly there are no horses involved in this last one. ...You didn't think I'd let all these posts go without adding some nature did you?
In 2016 I went down to BF with my friends Alayna & Laura. We tented at a little camp ground Alayna had stayed at before called Three Springs up in Corinth KY, about 30 min. North of the KHP. It was such a pretty place, nothing fancy & certainly nothing to satisfy the priss & prim, but that's why I liked it so much! They certainly care about their little valley & the nature it holds, so it is not manicured much more than mowing the camping areas. It also holds a good deal of history as well, which I had not learned of until after I had gotten home.
When I knew I would be able to go back down last year I reeeaaally wanted to stay at this campground again. Tenting would have been fine as well, but Dad did not care for that idea. His original thought was to just go down & then find a hotel ...until I pointed out that about 10 to 15,000 people come to BF every year. He then decided that booking a hotel might be a good idea! But, surprise surprise, there was not a room to be had that was not an exorbitant price (remember, this was a mere six days before BF opened). He asked me if the campground had cabins; yup! They sure do!
This is one of the examples where God's hand showed: Dad called to see about reserving a cabin; come to find that they had JUST had a cancelation a few minutes earlier which freed up exactly ONE cabin! *yes*! Good compromise! I got to see my campground & Dad didn't have to sleep in a tent!
This is (a crappy cell phone pic) of our cabin. Nothing real fancy, it had electricity, bunk beds, a little kitchenette (we only used the mini fridge)... It was big though! It was meant to sleep something like 18 people, so Dad & I had plenty of room! There was a second floor, but we didn't use it; neither of us felt like climbing that attic ladder! It also had a nice little balcony with a pretty view of the valley. Even with the space, the thing only cost $50 a day! (My cheapskate heart rejoices!)
I should have gotten more & better pictures, but I didn't. Oh well!
I was smooshed into the far corner to get this pic & still didn't get everything. The kitchenette was to the right along the wall, the bunks where I slept were to the left, I am standing over the table, which was right next to the door, & the door you see part of led out to the balcony.
Here's a pic I found from 2016. It was from where we tented. To the left is the hill where the cabin is (if you went far enough), down that drive is the office/bathhouse/pool. The pond you see in the middle left there is where the froggy choir sings!
This valley is really neat! During the War Of Northern Aggression (aka Civil War), it was a camp for both Confederate & Union troops. Rachelle, one of the owners, said that occasionally they still find relics in the creek that runs through the grounds.
One of the interesting things still remaining is an old stone wall built by slave labor. Now before you go 'politically correct' crazy on me (which, honestly, if you are one of those kind, you probably shouldn't be reading my blog anyway!), he was a kind man who basically just came up with the idea of this wall just so that it would look like he was making his slaves do something. But anyway, it's a very pretty structure & I took many pictures of it.
Ok, probably more pictures than you wanted to see of an old pile of rocks.
Across the little valley from our cabin, up the other side you could follow a trail past a handful of old graves,
Past an old well,
& just beyond the well, the path ended at a little quiet space with benches & a cross.
...Dad put up with me very well, wanting to tramp all over the place.
A few random interesting individuals crossed our paths: this moth (which I have no clue what it is since it's not an Ohio moth!),
& a few bright red mushrooms were a couple.
There was also a very pretty butterfly, but he was having none of the paparazzi, thank you very much. ...Darn him.
One of the things I REALLY wanted to capture while I was there were the frogs singing. According to the owners of the camp ground, they are Chameleon Grey Tree Frogs, & they are only found in two places because of their specific chosen environment. I forget where she said the other place is, but apparently they were 'seeded' at both by a university study in the, 50s? I think? Here is a picture of one of the little guys from last year. Again, taken with cheap crap phone camera, so they are HORRIBLE pictures.
Little froggies, BIG voices!!
Saturday night, I spent a bit of time stalking the little wretches: I wanted to get audio of their very unique song. They must have radar though, because even with my hiding behind a dumpster, & waiting for minutes on end, they would all shut up as soon as I would carefully hit record!! I finally got them though!! Here they are, singing away!
I spent a year trying to describe how they sound kind of like wooden beads being rattled around in a plastic drinking cup. Really cool sound!
Let me say! They make an awesome lullaby if you are tenting right next to them! Plus all those hungry little skeeter eaters keep the vampire bugs controlled!
With it being so late at night I didn't bother actually taking video of the pond. But during daylight I did take a couple pictures of it.
& with that, this ends my BF recount series! Thank you all for reading!
Happy New Year & a Happy Ninth Day Of Christmas all!!
Well. Kinda' went AWAL on my BF recount didn't I?? Let's continue on without further delay!
It is such a thrill for me to see Marwari every chance I have to go to the KHP, & this trip was ever more special since they were practically what BF revolved around this year! Brace yourselves for many Marwari pictures!!
Of course there was the stallion Nazrudin, the man of the hour so to speak, being the celebration horse. Such a handsome boy!
Then there was Mehrunisha, the mare who came with Nazrudin for BF. She was a sweetie.
& let's not forget the KHP residents. I was able to catch two of them; Toufan, the gelding...
& my girl Ghunghuru! She was the first Marwari born in the U.S. I will take her home with me as soon as no one's looking! She is such a lover!
Ugh. I hate trying to take pictures through the Breeds Barn stall doors! Here are a few pics from years past:
Toufan from 2016,
Ghunghuru also from 2016,
& Ashwarya, from 2013.
This year I also got up close to an actual real life Marwari costume! (& the tent pegging spear it was hanging from as well!)
I am by no means a tackmaker, but I made one of these costumes several years ago; it was fun to see a real one in person!
OK! I think that is all the Marwari pics out of the way! Here are the 'other' horses. ;) I didn't get as far out among the stables this year as I would have liked, so there weren't as many real horse pictures taken.
One horse that I really would have liked to have seen again is Harley's Classic O, the last Sugarbush Draft stallion left. ...Next time, O!
(This pic was from 2013. I'm not doing a very good job of remembering to change the years!)
As for model horses, there were plenty to see of course! I did take a few more pics of them.
One of the best parts of room saling at the CHIN this year I think was reading the walls! Whoever did these things, THANK YOU! We both got some good laughs from them!
To end this very picture heavy post, I will leave you with some shots of the diorama contest. Honestly, I don't know HOW they judge these things! There were several that I thought really deserved a prize model!
Whew! Hopefully it won't take me another three months to get the next instalment of my BF trip posted! I still have more to share!
Cheers all & happy Thanksgiving to you!
Apparently along with good loot & great memories I also brought home the BF bug. Not enough to take me out but enough that I haven't felt like editing pictures & composing a blog. I'm back at it now though! So here we go!
One of the best things about any BF is meeting folks! That has been the driving force of every one of my trips to Lexington! This year was no exception on famous folk!
Of course the highlight was being able to meet Francesca Kelly & Bonnie Singh!
As well as their rider from Dundlod, Dalip Kilaniya!
Other folks I was lucky enough to meet were:
Maggie Bennett, who is always a joy to chat with! She was the one who encouraged me to try sculpting in epoxy which is the medium I use to this day! As we talked on Friday she got a text that her house had sold (she is just recently married & moved to a new place). So she was over the moon about that! Congrats Maggie!
Christina Riley, who was manning Maggie's booth while she was teaching her sculpting class. Christina was a doll! We were competitors in the CM Contest, which was fun. She said that she dropped off her entry, saw the competitors & went 'drat!' I said that I stopped in the AG, saw the competitors & went 'drat!'. We both wished each other the best of luck!!
I also got to finally meet Jennifer Buxton! She was in the crowed gathered for the CM Contest announcement. I got to root through her remaining tack, but most of it was specialty stuff (Shannondell halter, saddle seat bridle, W halters, etc.). She said that she made a bunch of small, inexpensive stuff for all the folks who always say that they just want to own a piece of her tack, but everyone wanted the saddles! She said that next time (next time? Are you already planning for next year?? :) ) she'll make saddles & everyone will want smaller, less expensive stuff! ...You can't win Jennifer!
Others folk I met were: Karen Zorn who is a sweetie! Erin Corbett, Candace Liddy, Jessica Fry (couldn't find a link) (I own a CMG sleepy drafter w/kitty by her), Jennifer Scot (who is going to get info on magnetic bases for me!), Becky Benfield, Lauren Hoffer, Kathy Bogucki ... I'm sure I'm missing people!
I did not actually meet them, but I also saw Morgan Kilbourn, Sommer Prosser, Tiffany Purdy, & Bill Duncan as well!
Two people I had wanted to meet were Sue Sudekum (also a founding mother of MEPSA), & my fellow MEPSA board member Elena Lemm, but, alas, it was not meant to be.
Still more BF posts to come! So keep checking back!!
What's a trip to BF without coming back home with some treasures?
My first gem of BF was a Spark AR by & from Maggie Bennett. Spark is a LB QH filly, & is a second, missing the wire in one front leg & not coming with a base (thus explaining her being stuck in an epoxy tub for her photo!). She was $85, a little less than a first casting, & I can fix her anyway! I've been waiting a while for this little girl & her mama, Zap, to be cast. As soon as Zap is out I plan to get her too. :)
Every year Maggie gives out goodies to anyone every time she spots them wearing a name tag. This year they were tiny busts. I managed to collect the set of them over the weekend. :)
Of course I got a Nazaruddin. Who is unfortunately the ugliest non-showable OF in my possession.
But he is signed by Francesca Kelly, Bonnie Singh, & their head rider Dalip Kilaniya, so he is priceless to me!
I also got a couple single day tickets in hopes of snagging the new SM Gypsy mold. Of course I did not get even one, but at least I didn't get that nasty Para Dressage pintaloosa! If anyone would like these guys though, drop me a note. They come with their original packages. $35 each ppd in the US or $60 for both also ppd in the US. MO or check only.
At the CHIN on Friday, I wandered into a room in the 500s & found me some U/P ARs. Got pretty excited when I saw a Fritz for $25! Lol, that didn't last long! It was a tag to a medallion! Fritz was $400! I did get him though as the gal in the room (Corinne, I believe she said her name was?) liked my finished Sundara "SWF Tunukamizaja" & we did a trade! Later this year she is moving to India, where her husband is from, & she said that she needed a Marwari. So there will be a Sundara in India!!!
Corinne, if you read this, I hope you keep in touch! I will show you what I do with Fritz!
Wait 'til you see this next AR though! In the AG, Candace Liddy had a couple boxes of seconds, which I rooted through & found a Credit who is more like a fifth or sixth!! But his price was right: free! I will make him beautiful!
CF came to the CHIN again & I bought another Cob canvas from their room for $20...
& one chance on this OOAK test Cob for a buck. ...I don't think I won him! Not unusual! ;)
But the real treasure, even though I hardly do OFs much anymore, is Masala!!
Just look at this pretty boy!!
He happens to be one of the nicest OFs I have seen in a long time! Definitely LSQ!
This trip to BF was such a blessing, & so many things were just too perfect, that all I can do is thank God for giving me such an awesome adventure! So in honor of Him, I have named my Masala 'SWF Devine Design'.
Loot not pictured is a book about the Indigenous Horse Society of India & postcards given to me by Francesca Kelly & Bonnie Signh, & a book on conformation given to me by Candace Liddy. Thank you all!
Also, not as exciting, two hand held fans for $4 each; I had a couple fans like this for some time, but they were freebees & broke. I liked those fans, so when I saw these at the CHIN I decided to get them.
There were some other horses too that I picked up for friends.
Like this Bennett MM Sierra for my friend & fellow model horse artist Kim Prosek. There's going to be an extra surprise in her box for you too Kim! ;)
& SRs Bollywood Surprise...
& Indu for my friend Liz in exchange for my BF tickets (I didn't want my SR ticket so this worked). Of course the one color of the Surprise that she didn't want was the buckskin! (I think he's pretty!) I'm hoping the fact that her Indu is glossy might ease the pain!
& the last of the loot to mention will be a fitting end to this post:
A tee shirt by Sue Sudekum! A horrible color but well earned & only $15! Bringing my total spent at BF up to $129, which I am pretty proud of!
I came VERY close to buying an U/P Sheza Carnival, & U/P Pipsqueak, as well as the new dapple grey HR Spanish China, but I resisted. *sigh* :/
Stay tuned to my blog as there is still more to come!!
Aside for wanting to go to BF to witness the CM Contest, something else made this BF a particular draw for me. If you know me, you can probably already guess why! I am a Marwari lover & have been for eight years. Longer than most people have even known what a Marwari is & several years before Breyer released their Marwari mold.
If you do any amount of research on these awesome horses, & trust me, I have spent many hours researching them, you are going to encounter two names connected with bringing the breed count back from just 600, & working tirelessly to promote their future: Ms. Francesca Kelly & Kr. Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod (aka Bonnie). They have been instrumental in saving these beautiful horses ever since Ms. Kelly went on a horseback safari in India in 1995 & met Bonnie Singh whose Marwari were the mounts of the safari at Dundlod Fort.
I have followed the endeavors of these two incredible people for many years & was quite excited when Gateway To India was announced last year! That could only mean one thing for the Celebration horse! A Marwari! & the only Marwari in the U.S. belong to Ms. Kelly, which meant that surly she would be there! & by George, that was indeed the case!
With that in mind, as soon as I knew I would be able to attend BF I decided to create a gift for her, since I appreciate all that she has done for this breed. I painted one of my AR releases, 'Sundara' my Marwari stallion, as a portrait of the stallion Gajraj; a handsome black with four white feet & an off kilter white face. He was an incredibly well known stallion & if you pick up any publication including these horses, he is most likely pictured in it.
See pictures of the elegant Gajraj here & here. Both photos are taken by Slawik Equine Photography.
He has my hair-by-hair mapping on his white, deep multi toned eyes, & the details of his natural hooves were the last thing to be done, & I wasn't willing to shirk them.
We arrived at BF in the early afternoon on Fri, I picked up SRs for a friend in exchange for our tickets (I just don't do OFs, so I didn't want the SR ticket anyway), & went over to Maggie Bennett's booth. That was the majority of BF for Fri since we had to leave for the cabin we had reserved before going to the CHIN that evening. But Saturday! Saturday I was DEFINITELY seeing Ms. Kelly's seminar on the Marwari horses at noon!!
Saturday morning Dad & I headed to the KHP a bit earlier than needed since I wanted to be absolutely SURE of finding where she would be talking. If you have ever been to BF, than you know that no one knows where anything is at BF, not even the BF information booth!
Turns out that it wasn't a problem, it really was in the Visitor's Center of the KHP & we found the room, a small theatre of sorts, right off the bat. We had about an hour give or take to kill before noon, so we looked at the dioramas, & then set on a comfy couch in the Visitor's Center & people watched.
About ten minutes before the set time, we went in & got good seats; I wanted to video her talk. As we were sitting there, a few people bustled in & out from the stage, & then the lady of the hour came in with granddaughter in tow. Along the other side of the seats another person I had not expected to see also came in: Bonnie Singh had come from Rajasthan for BF!!!! Not only that, but their top rider from Dundlod Fort, Dalip Kilaniya, had come as well!
Ms. Kelly started her talk, & I did indeed record it, with all my pathetic video camera skill! Evidentially my camera has a time limit set on it at the moment which I did not know of. Right then was not the time to hunt around for a way to change it, so I just recorded it in four parts, starting it up again as soon as it stopped. Not much was missed!
Here is her talk:
After she was finished & as soon as I could get though the people, I waited to catch her & Bonnie's attention. When she notice me standing there we shook hands & I said how long I have studied Marwari & have followed her & Bonnie's endeavors to save the breed. That I appreciate how much they both have done for these horses, & that I wanted to present them with a gift if they had the time (there was another talk coming in soon). As I unwrapped the Sundara she continued talking with the little crowd gathered around them. I freed the Sundara from his bag & old tee shirt (my typical travel packing) & Bonnie got Ms. Kelly's attention. I handed him to her & she seemed flattered to receive him. As she turned him over she realized who he was & said "It's Gajraj!!", that he had passed away a few years ago, & that my portrait of him is spot on. The gift brought a tear to her eye & she gave me a hug! As Bonnie recorded this, she turned to the remaining crowd & said that "this lady has just given me a portrait of my late stallion!" :)
We had to get out of the way for the next speaker, so we went out into the Visitor's Center. She wanted a picture so she found a more picturesque area & as Bonnie took some pictures, I had Dad take a couple on for me too.
It was certainly a special moment in my life!
I asked all three of them to sign my Nazruddin (pronounce naz-roo-DEEN), & we all exchanged business cards. Ms. Kelly is interested in some Sundaras & CM painted Kalahkaaris to benefit the Indigenous Horse Society of India! & Bonnie invited me to Dundlod Fort for a horse safari! (Someone please beam me there!!!)
I don't think anyone can imagine how much this moment meant to me! It was an honor to meet both Ms. Kelly & Bonnie Singh in person!
...Saturday was a really, REALLY, GOOD day!!!
More to come! So check back!!
Hi ho all! I'm sure it will be obvious just by the look & length of this post, but I am home from BF! I have tons to share, so I am going to break this up into several posts over the next week or so. Of course I am going to start with the biggest news of all of it: the Best CM Contest!
If you've read the previous post, you already know that I won my divisiom with my CM G2 Shetland to palomino Shet mare named "SWF 101 Lbs. Of Fun" aka Honey!
Honey rode down to Lexington with nearby friends since I was not going to make it down until Friday & she needed to be at the Artisan's Gallery on Thursday. She was safely set up by my friend Kati, with help from my friend Chunk as I understand it (I'm sure Chesna was in on it too), thank you guys!
We, my Dad & I, were able to leave for KY earlier than I thought on Fri, so we spent several hours at the KHP before going to the CHIN (the hotel where the contest was held for those who do not know). I room saled for a few hours until the AG opened when of course we went over there to see the contestants & me wiwdle poneh!
Here they are:
The Theme division, "Good Things In Small Packages", PP to MM scales (mini scales). Obviously, I was the winner. :)
Drastic CM Division. 'Toady' the huge 8lb Wixom Shetland by Studio Thornrose took top honors here & I am so happy about that!!!
Repaint division. Mel Miller's Clyde won this div!
Fantasy Division. OMGosh! SO cool! In the words of his creator Gretchen Glover: "It's a Chinese Qilin. Close to a Kirin, but with the option of having more than one horn." He won the fantasy division & I was rooting for him! He was AMAZINGLY detailed!
Performance division. The Pony Express swept up the prize for perf! Lauren Hoffer is his creator! I was standing right next to her when she won & had been chit-chatting with her before that!
Here is a ridiculously blurry video of the entrants. ...I really need to learn how to use the video on my camera better. :/
Saturday was the fateful day! Judging was to be in the evening sometime with awards presented at 9:30 pm. I got to the CHIN at about 6 & popped my head into the AG room (which was not open yet) to ask if I may remove the cube from my entry for the judging, so I was let in when no one was in there!!! That is when I took the above vid, when no one was around! After that... I room saled!
I came back at some point a couple times to see what was doing; I REALLY did not want to miss the judging & awards!!! I wound up coming back at 9, & shortly after witnessed Sommer Prosser, Morgan Kilbourn, & one other lady who I did not recognize, judge the entries! Not too long after the participation ribbons were laid out & the atmosphere was tense with anticipation!! The announcement was near & the crowed was waiting!!
It turns out that they, Breyer, had misplaced the prize models & one of the rosettes!!! OMGosh! It was so awful that it was funny! The poor gentleman behind the table made the announcement regarding the delay starting with "Please don't kill me"! Thankfully the crowd was a genial lot & we were all ok with this latest screw up of Breyer's!
At long last, at nearly 11pm, they arrived with the prize models & Stephanie Macejko made the big announcements!
I had wanted to video the whole thing, but my battery was flashing at me, so I only took a vid of the Theme class, below:
I had a few friends in the crowed, could you tell?? :)
Chunk took this great pic of me with Honey & her wins:
& of course I had to take victory shots!!!
I'm kind of disappointed that my pics weren't better. I was so out of it by that time at night! Having been up since six, hiking around the KHP all day & the CHIN all evening, standing for two hours waiting for them to announce the winners, which they did at just short of 11! I suppose it was good that I could still work my camera at all at that point! :P
But! It was a good night!
I have teased a few folks, asking if they could figure out the song that Honey is named after. No one has guessed yet! It is this old show tune, & I thought it fit her quite well!
Welp, I will leave you here! I will get some pics of Masala at some point, & of course there is still loads to tell you! More posts to come!!
I'm having a great time, getting some good loot, meeting some cool folk, and saying hi to Honey!
I got to see her competition and the other competitors as well. Pics below!
Ok, this is taking forever from the fire so I'm leaving it at that. I will post all of them when I get home and can do it from my laptop! Wish her luck! She is judged tonight!
Testing to see if I can take and post pics from my Fire. If I can I will try to post a few things while I'm in KY.
Well, it LOOKS like it should work... As long as I can get into my site (I have complicated passwords) and can get wi-fi, I think you will get some updates! They may be full of typos because it's a misery typing on this thing (and it has frazzling spell check!), but it's better than nothing right? There will be no post alert emails sent though, so just keep checking!
Honey's big weekend starts tonight!! She is already all "safe and sound and set up" at the AG at the CHIN!!
Post soon! ...Hopefully!!
Exciting doings here! All revolving around BF!
On Friday I ventured out to craft stores in search of a clear display cube for Honey during the Best CM Contest. I got the green light from Breyer to use one if I provided it, which I certainly will to at least slow down any unscrupulous visitors to the AG from palming her & walking off. I finally found the perfect one at Hobby Lobby (my all time favorite craft store!). It is for displaying a signed soft ball, but works perfectly for displaying a small pony too! Add a little mirror to the base & it winds up looking quite professional I think!
I also picked up a craft wood trinket box for her to travel in style. I stained it & lined it with foam; wrap her in some fleece & she now literally can withstand being dropped. ...No really, thanks to a friend we have proven that! :P
On Sunday Honey & her accessories were packed into a cardboard box & handed off to my friends Chesna & Chunk to ride down to Lexington on Wednesday. So her journey has technically begun! Once down in Lex, she will be handed off to my friend Kati who will be the one to put her on the table.
I'm so wired about this! I have never picked at or fretted over any entry of any kind as much as this little pony!
& now for some really exciting news: as it turns out, I WILL be able to go down to BF! Not for the whole weekend, but just in time to watch the awards! My Dad actually offered to go down with me, so we are heading for KY on Friday, spending Saturday, & heading home sometime Sunday. I am so excited to be there to watch Honey compete & to meet Francesca Kelly, ambassador of the Marwari breed!
If you see a nutcase wandering around in a well decorated floppy hat &, at the CHIN, most likely carrying around a handful of horses & a for sale sign, that will probably be me! Feel free to stop me & say hey! :)
I will sign off here & leave you with a baby Wood Frog. These little guys have popped up within the past few days & they are adorable! The young'uns are so tiny!
I have anxiously been hoping to see an email from Breyer land in my inbox. Hoping, but not really holding my breath: surly there are going to be some great entries after all?
BUT just a couple hours ago, it happened!
"RE: BreyerFest Best Custom Contest Submission - Finalist"
Congratulations! You have been chosen as 1 of the 3 finalists in the Theme Class."
"I look forward to hearing from you.
I can't believe it! 'Honey' did it!!!
I am not lucky enough to go to BF this year (now I REALLY want to go!), so she is going to be relayed down with friends who will make sure she gets where she's supposed to be & has a safe trip.
If you go to the Artisan's Gallery at the CHIN, please stop by & say hey to SWF 101 Lbs. Of Fun! Take a pic & show me! Maybe I'll put it on my site! :)
...Good things must happen when I buy tickets to the Ohio Light Opera's production of "The Music Man"; I just bought tickets to go see it for a third time. ;)
Though at this very moment there is no guarantee that I will be able to go to BreyerFest much as I am dying to (Marwari!!!), I decided to see if one of my horses could; I submitted entry to the BreyerFest Best Customs Contest.
It took some time for me to decide to go for it with the horse I had in mind; a CM SM. That still kind of worries me seeing that a little guy would be so easy to pocket, but I went for it anyway with my CM SM G2 Shetland Pony mold named SWF 101 Lbs. Of Fun, aka Honey.
Honey's body was a live show championship prize won by my OS Marwari stallion, SWF Sundara, in 2012? I believe? He (at the time) had been painted bronzey-gold with glitter! Since my boy Sundara won him, I wanted to CM something special from it! She is actually based on this glorious Shetland Pony photographed by Slawik Equine Photography.
Below is a picture of Honey in her original glory. She is a 2015 CM who has many live show wins, including NAN top tens, & photo show champs, including 2015 Draft/Pony Reserve at the MEPSA International Championship Show.
Honey got a makeover to add some fuzzies & a paint job with more depth. I think she's even more adorable than she was before!
...& now, we wait.
She was submitted for the new Theme class which this year is 'Good Things In Small Packages', PP to MM scales. I won't be overly surprised if she is not chosen to go to Lexington, but I will be hoping to see an email land in my inbox the beginning of July.
Wish us luck!
Yep, today was indeed a good day!
The long awaited Evelynn did land in my post box today!
Of course in the time waiting I told all my model horse friends about my captured grail! I was challenged by my friend 'Eclectic Equines' to do an unboxing video. I did take on that challenge, but, having never set up to shoot an unboxing video, I didn't set the camera up high enough for the 'action' to be in frame. You can see a nice shot of the box she came in though!
I What can I say? I am a model horse artist, not a cameraman... Hope that it suits you though Eclectic! ;) As I promised in the vid, here are photos of Evelynn.
I have seen Evelynns before at live shows, but I have never been able to turn one over & scrutinize her before. Oooo she's pretty! There are little details on her that I've never been able to see from pictures!
Like a mustache...
& perfect whorls on her chest & belly!
& I love the absolutely correct curve Jennifer Kroll gave her spine.
Yep! I'm in love! :)
As I said in my last post, I have wanted this gal for several years. In that time I had chosen her perfect color & name, just to be ready you know? She is going to be silver bay after the Gypsy stallion Silver bullet (yes, like the WIP Tiny); I thought that his lighter belly color would show her itchy pose well. As for her name, the title of a Civil War era song published in 1863 called Sweet Evelina, you can listen to it here. It's a lovely little song & seems to fit this gal well. It is one of my favorite whistling tunes. :)
There was another thing that made my day a good one: Residing in my county seat is the Ohio Light Opera, & for many years now I have been waiting for them to put on "The Music Man". This is finally the year! At long last I got myself downtown to buy tickets for myself & Mom, aka my best friend, today. Opening night, middle outside seats, an introductory talk about the history of the play before the show & a soiree afterword. I am looking forward to it!
& now for your dose of nature. Remember the Polyphemus cocoon I had in my workroom? Well, after a month of rattling around, so long that I had just about given up on her, she came out!
That was a couple weeks ago. She is now out in the big wide world somewhere doing what moths do. I hope that she will pick one of the trees on the property to begin the next generation!
Woo, quiet on here for a while huh?
So, I think we all know what a 'grail' is; that one (ok, ok, insert your chosen number) model that is at the very top of your Christmas wish list that no one in your poor tortured non-model horse family would be crazy enough to buy for you. The drool-worthy tiny equine that, for one reason or another has eluded you, probably for years now & is undoubtedly increasing in rarity (& price) as you read this.
...We all have them. Some are pipe dreams. Others have a decent chance of joining your herd, someday.
I have to say that I can count on one hand how many grails I've had that I truly have a chance at. I have the 'White Whale' list like Lucius, Indi, & Ahzim, but then there are a few that I expect I will have a good chance at getting someday. My wants might be a little harder to find since my taste leads me to look for U/P ARs so I can paint them myself.
One that I never thought I'd probably find u/p was a Flitwick AR. But I did find my little dude & he is one of my most favorite & very competitive members of my showstring!
Probably the top of my list after Flitwick has been an Evelynn the itchy Gypsy cob. I missed out on her when her mold was open. I just couldn't budget her at that time. I've spent several years gawking at painted Evelynns & even had a few brushes with her that always wound up being near misses: Almost managed to get one in trade for a painted mini AR, but they vanished without another word. Bid on one up for offers, but she went for about $70 more than I was willing to drop on her at that mo. Inquired on one that was pictured in a dispersal ad that said to ask if you were looking for an AR- they might just have it, but never heard a peep from them one way or another.
Then last week...
Yep! Perusing the MH$P, which is a sickness of mine, I spotted an u/p Evelynn up for sale by her sculptress, Jennifer Kroll.
I clicked on that ad so fast! I was only the fourth viewer too! She was listed for less than the one I bid on went for, & I could afford her! I zipped off to email Jen Kroll; by George, she was still available! & even with shipping & insurance she was about $30 less than I would have had to spend on the one for offers, assuming I wasn't outbid again.
Whee! Mine! ;)
Today, Saturday, my Evelynn has hit the homeward trail. Let the waiting begin.
I think Monday is going to be a good day...
Just a quick sneak peak at a future sales piece; A 'Tiny' by Sarah Rose to a silver bay minimum sabino. He is based on the Gypsy Vanner Stallion Silver Bullet.
Ramblings & tutorials of a model horse artist.
Just a 'public service notice' to any of my blog readers; Since there's not really any way to 'follow' a weebly blog, if you shoot me an email (sprucewoodfarmsstudio at gmail dot com) I will add you to my blog announcement list & will send you an email when a new post is added. :)