Sunday, November 15, 2009

Myr gets to use his new bankie!

Most of you know by now that I have a really special little Arabian named Myrlyn. He's really not little height wise - he's 15.2 (tall for an Arab), but is very very narrow. So narrow in fact, that the 72" winter rug I got him last season was basically a tent on him. It was bad. And, now that I have my own place that he can be turned out in, I really needed a winter turnout rug that fit him. He likes to run around a lot (which is beautiful to watch), but because the tummy straps and underleg straps hung down so far, I was terrified he'd catch a leg in them and seriously hurt himself. Yes, I am a paranoid momma.

I'm a bit of a bargain shopper when it comes to horse stuff - not because I won't spend the money (I have no problems at all in that department! ;P) but because I just don't have it to spend. But obviously this was a very needed item. So, a friend and I were looking at rugs for our horses (in fact, Liesl's just posted photos on her blog about Leg's and how she's pretty in pink in her new winter rug! After searching on craig's list and not really finding anything I went to check on ebay. Low and behold, there was this SMASHING navy and white plaid designer blanket for a rediculously low price. It was tiny at 62" but I knew Myr was narrow enough he may just fit. So, I grabbed my measuring rope and ran out to the barn. Low and behold Myr measured at exactly 62". It was my sign that I was supposed to buy it (My shopping self really doesn't need much encouragement). Well, I put the bid in and kept my fingers crossed for the next few hours (which was how much time was left in the auction) that no one else would want it. It was so nice that I couldn't imagine being the only one wanting to buy it. But I think the small size saved me.

So, anyway, we have our second big snow storm here in Colorado very much underway. We got at least a foot overnight here in Evergreen anyway. So after going out to the barn this morning to make sure all of Myr's needs were met, I started snapping some photos!

This next photo I absolutely love and think came out so nice with the dark background of the barn's interior faded out and the snow lightly falling around him. I think the hay is a cute touch too. :D

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Makin' Progress!

So jumper guy is making some headway in my studios over here! He has been patiently waiting for my attention to go back to him after it wandered to painting for most of the month. I'm happy to say that my mind is happily balanced between the two right now, and the work is diverting my stress into a healthy outlet.

The stress is coming from a loan hurtle in the guise of "seasoned funds" in our bank account. To veer off topic a bit, our loan broker told us that we would need closing costs and earnest money to show in our account for 2 months. No prob. We have it. But when it came down to get the loan, suddenly he's trying to tell us we need to show the earnest money twice over. Um, that's money we don't have. It's like, person, the earnest money has CLEARED THE BANK ACCOUNT and you still want to show that the funds are available to be drawn for the closing costs PLUS that again??? Sigh. I am finding out there are numerous stupid, non-logical rules about the mortgage world that people of any intelligence would be shaking their heads over. It's enough to leave me wanting to pull my hair out. Especially since the closing is supposed to be the 30th (of September - that this month, as in 6 days away). We are only 2/3 packed (we held off packing everything until we got the final approval otherwise we will have to unpack EVERYTHING), we have not called the moving company (since we don't know if there will be a move now or not), we have not called utility companies, etc. Hence the reason I have some stress. I know that things will work out, it is just a question of how long it will take to "season" fundage and close. I have been waiting a long long time and frankly, I am just sick of waiting any longer.

Sigh. Okay! Now that that is of my chest I can move on back to news on the jumper! He is nearly complete! I am sculpting the other half of the tail and then I will work on the head and give this guy some "gelding gear". After that, I want to add some butt dimples and some neck wrinkles. He will have shoes, but they will come after I have a solid cast to work with. This is so I can make sure all the feet are level.

I have decided to do a "Performance Horse Series" of resins. This guy will be the first of that series. Next up is a floaty stock horse hunter pleasure, and then a reiner, and then possibly a western pleasure horse. I am thinking I'll include the Park Trot Morgan Stallion I've been promising Linda in this group too. If you've got an idea for a really obvious perfomance position, I'd love to hear about it and see photos!

If all goes according to plan, I will have him done by the end of next week and start taking orders on him. I had planned to no longer take pre-orders on pieces, but because my rotocaster is not here yet I will wait until the next release to sell already cast batches. I will probably be selling a small quantity to start of these guys and hold off on selling the rest until some are cast. Say 30-35 pieces. Orders will be posted to my mailing list first, so if you are not a member you might want to join up!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pictures, pictures, and MORE pictures!

I just decided to one big (and image intensive!) studio progress share here. Believe it or not, but there are yet more things in the works that just aren't photo'd. Yes. I have been a busy beaver.

First, sculptural updates! The jumper boy is coming along quite nicely as you can see below! I've just got to finish up his legs, face, ears, and "hair" at this point. Oh, and his manly parts. Though he's a gelding so he won't be too manly. Poor guy. If his left hind hoof looks slightly different than the others, it's because it's the only one that's got a shoe on it yet!

And I've decided to post a few photos of some finish work pieces I'm working on now. There are LOTS more of these guys on my shelves than the ones posted, but I had these out and looking good enough for some quick photos.

First is a lovely (and a mite squished) group shot:

The horse on the upper left is an Eberl "Vincent" with a custom mane and tail by his owner. He's really something to see in person with a ridiculous amount of fleabites! I should have him finished tomorrow at the latest. Horse #2 is this guy:

A Williams "Venator" resin who is giving me hell trying to photograph him. He's really a beautiful shade of dark dark dark dappled mahogany bay. If I get the body color perfect in a photo, the white becomes unbearably bright and contrasty. But you can at least get an idea of how cool he's coming out. He's actually one of my own that I will plan on selling when complete.

Moving on brings us to this lovely lady:

A McDermott "Persuasion" painted to a really pretty golden dappled liver chestnut. You may be able to see in the larger photo that her skin has been "oiled" too! She's another one for the sales table.

I didn't take a solo shot of the Bitty Bosco, but he's a simplistic red dun in his first layers. He's just kind of been hanging out on my table for a while, and he's someone I really need to finish to get another example of a "dun" for my very pathetic and near empty dun and grulla gallery of my website. Yet another sales piece when I ever finish him. My own horses tend to stick around in various phases of completion for quite a while before I ever come back to them.

The Dinky Duke is last on that photo, but he's really something to see in person. He's definitely not a "boring" bay! His coat has a lot of depth and richness to it. He's being done as a custom order and I should have him completed by the end of the week!

Because I felt like taking a photo of her, she got added to the group! This is mini Scarlett also in a dapple bay, only a very dark golden bay. She will be a collaboration between Sheila Anderson-Bishop and myself. Once I ever finish the body color, she'll go into Sheila's hands for white markings. She's off to the sales listings after the two of us do our 'thang'. :D

As I mentioned, there are lots of horses that got left out of my little photo shoot today, but I will be sure to not leave them too neglected for too long. You'll see them up here at some point!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Identifying the Visitor

Okay, I'm not usually a bug person, but when I find a caterpillar that is over 3" long in my yard, I want to know what it is! So, after a little bit of research, I am 99% sure it is a tobacco hornworm. I found info on him on wikipedia:
Now, what's interesting is there are no tomatoe or tabacco fields near us. No crops of any kind, really. There are fields yes, but it's all cows and livestock. So, I'm wondering how this little guy wondered upon our doorstep.

Apparently, the moth that it becomes has a wingspan of 4-5". YIKES. Now that is a serious moth! Like it's caterpillar form, I've never seen a moth of that size. It'd be rather unique around here, so I know if I see a moth of that scale, it will be our green friend all grown up!

The Biggest Caterpillar I Have Ever Seen

LOOK at what was creeping under my front door tonight!! Is this "little" thing cool or what?! Hubby Matt was outside playing with the dog when he spotted this guy. He came running in and yelled to come out that second. Well, I came running, and quickly went back inside to grab the camera! This guy is HUGE at 3" long. Easily the largest caterpillar I've ever seen. We tucked him inside a bush in the yard to keep him safe. I'd just love to see what kind of butterfly this guy grows up to be!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Jumper Photos

I'm definitely in productive mode over her in my little studio! I have 4 or 5 horses I plan to have complete by the end of September paint-wise and of course I want the jumper that I have been working on to be finished by that deadline as well.

You can see more pictures of the jumper below and the progress that's been made on him! We are only about midway here. The neck and the shoulders are pretty much done muscle wise and have been smoothed. When the rest of the horse gets to their level, I will then add wrinkles and possibly veining. The left side of the head is more finished than the right side, but it's still only blocked in. The butt muscles on the left side are at the same stage as the neck and shoulders. I think my next move will be to finish the chest and front legs, then move on to the right butt muscles. Everything is measured and proportionate at least (except the right back leg) so that hard part is out of the way.

I am thinking about mane options for him, though it's probably a bit premature. At first, I wanted braids to really make him a snazzy jumper. But then I got to thinking about versatility and thought maybe a short loose mane was better so he could do x-country. If he is popular enough, I may do two versions of him - one with braids and the other sans braids. You will probably see a poll come up in the very near future! :D

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lofty Goals

Here's the latest piece I'm working on sculpturally in the studio! I'm really excited and putting lots of energy into this piece. The dynamic pose is completely feeding my need to do something different from a standing horse, and with the twisting he's doing his best to stand out from the other jumpers in the crowd of the resin world. He's already got a presence in person, and I'm only really finished with blocking out the position and the muscling in the left side of the shoulder neck, and upper front leg. Needless to say, that makes me one happy camper!

The other thing that makes me pretty happy about this piece is that he's turning out to not be near as much of a challenge to get correct as I originally thought. Though I've probably just jinxed myself now. I really struggled with Darcy's stretched out back legs so we'll see how this guy's posterior goes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Latest Sculpture Progress Pics

I know, it's been forever since I've written, right? Well, I'm going to attempt to be more faithful at "blogging" from now on. This is a great way to share what's going on in my studio! The website can be for the finished pieces and the blog will be there to show you how they got there!

First on that list of projects to be shared will be the sculpture I'm working on right now. He's a traditional scale Gypsy Vanner/hairy draft type horse. Gelded. He'll be "large traditional" only because of the draft part, but he's to scale with my other normal trad. horses.

I wanted to do a drafter that was a little different. In the photos I was looking through to get inspired, most of them were of nice rounded and collected trotting drafters being ridden on the flat. I loved it and thought, how cool would it be to make a draft horse with performance in mind?! And sooo many people want a *hairy* drafter and there's a serious lack of correct quality pieces of them. So I'm trying to "fill the gap" again. Not only will this big guy be correct when he is finished, he'll be very performance friendly - even with the big hair! And by performance, I mean more than just a harness horse.

He's still got a long way to go here, but you can get a pretty good idea of where's he's going from these shots. Photos are an excellent way to look at the same piece with a new eye. For example, in person, I've been staring at that left shoulder for a while, knowing something wasn't quite right. When I looked at the photo, I cringed because I could finally see just how off it was! The point of shoulder and in particular the elbow are WAY to high and need to be dropped. This of course, moves the rest of the leg's proportions...which stinks to have to redo, but really needs to happen so it will. The right shoulder has been bothering me too. I think I need to widen the muscles above the elbow back a little. It looked okay in person, but now that I'm seeing them with those new eyes, it looks a mite too small and disproportional to the rest of the piece.

As usual, the head and ears, mane and tail, are the very last things to get finished. They are really just roughed in here and will have lots of work done to them at the end. I'm hoping to have him finished within the next couple of weeks. As the sculpting is my full time job now, I shouldn't have a problem with that goal. And as always, critiques and comments are ALWAYS welcome and most appreciated! Please e-mail them to me at the new e-mail: jenn @ aspenleafstudiosllc . com (without the spaces).

Photos (click on them to open the full picture - a lot of them got cropped because of format issues on the blog):