Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A new look for Spring!!!

For those who haven't been to the site in a while, Phaze Studio has a new look for spring! This is new banner for my page. Special thanks to Bridget Corcoran for all her design work!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Remember that Dinky Duke I showed progress pics of a while back? Well, he'll be ready to head home tomorrow (finally)! I had to put him on hold for a while I got some other horses completed, but as of today now he's ready to go. Horray!

These pictures are from today as I finished his blanket. If you click on the images they should blow up nice and big. You can see the dapples now are all blended in as well.
The hardest part about painting mini appies it making sure the spots are in scale. I was feeling bold after tackling the Imp, and so opted for a more intricate pattern. I am pleased with how it came out! Tomorrow I'll post studio pictures of the whole finished piece.
Bitty Bosco is up next, he'll be put up for sale on Monday. He is just STELLAR... he is a dappled liver chestnut. I love how he is coming out! Pics coming soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Vegas".. painted!

This week I got a bit distracted when I got my first box of unpainted "Vegas" medallions. I sculpted him to be a benefit for my show which will be in September (I know...its a long ways away!). I was dying to see what he looked like all painted up, and so you know how it goes... one thing lead to another and before I knew it this guy was looking at me from my table. Overall, I think he cleans up pretty nice!

My show, North East Congress, is the very first show I have ever hosted. Its been an interesting learning experience, and I have enjoyed the planning process quite a bit. However, one thing occurred to me which I wonder about.... in all the shows I've been to, the fund-raising (raffles, silent auctions, etc) usually always happen at the show, or right before the show. And my question with that is, there are a lot of things that have to get ordered or paid for way before then that are not minor expenses... like the showhall and ribbons, which can get pricey. This leads me to believe that perhaps a better way to do it is to space out fundraising in the months preceding, so that you can use that money to pay for show-related things and keeping it from coming out of pocket.

That all being said, I have been pondering the idea of offering some of the painted medallions in the months leading up to the show. I am very grateful that some of my very favorite (and talented) artists have agreed to paint a copy of Vegas for me, and so if some arrive early, I could auction/sell 1 painted copy each month until September, where I would release the rest of the edition, including 15-20 u/p copies.

I'm not sure yet. I'd love to get feedback on this idea. And I'd love to get feedback on my NAN auction donation idea... ! ;-)


I don't think I ever shared photos of "Eleanor", the yawning mule, all finished! Here she is! AND, she qualified in breed/workmanship with 2 firsts on her first time out!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

NAN 2009 Auction Donation!

Ah, the deadline is coming up fast! I was flattered to be asked to donate again, and this year there was no theme like there has been in the past. My head started spinning with ideas. What would this year be? What could I do that would be special? The answer came while I was showing the 8 yr. old next door my studio. She looked wide eyed at all the horses, nearly all resins... "You do this for your JOB?" she asked in disbelief. "Yes, I do, I'm here every day painting and customizing these horses" I replied.

And then it occurred to me... we all started out as that horse-crazy girl (or boy) with Breyer in hand. That is something all of us in the hobby share; the common thread that unites us all.

My idea revolves around this book I had as a child called "The Mud Pony". I wanted to do something really special and different this year, and my love of children's books has been rekindled lately since I've been buying so many for my niece... so I started thinking about books that I remember from when I was little, and how they effected me. The Mud Pony was a story I always loved, and thought it would be perfect since its a story about making a model horse.

I don't know if you've ever read it; its actually a Pawnee legend of a poor native american boy who doesn't have a pony of his own, so he creates one out of clay from the banks of the river. He ends up accidently getting left behind by his tribe, and so the pony comes to life to take care of him... you can read the whole thing here, on the First People site:


The book actually ends a bit differently, not quite as stark and sad.

So, this year what I wanted to do is have a little bit of a diorama (not over the top, basically just a base to tie everything together) and do an original sculpture of a boy, kneeling by the water, mud pony in his hands, wide eyed... and in front of him coming up from the mud is the real pony, materializing in front of him as if coming from his dream. I wanted to customize Mephisto/take him off the base, and then make a new two new bases for him; one with mud swirling around the grounded foot, and then another so that the new owner could show him without all the extras. That way both pieces can be shown separately, but together they embody the story of a young boy's dreams coming to life.

Here he is with the customizing started. Pretty scary when it first starts out! He's had his mane and tail removed and body customized, and now is ready for finessing. I've been tossing around the idea of hairing him... but I don't know if that would actually take away from it, rather than make it different. The boy will have viscose hair. The horse will be sorrel with flaxen mane tail... to mimic the tiny clay pony in the boy's hands which would be mud-colored with a straw mane/tail.

For those who also read the yahoogroup, that is why I was asking about viscose hair vs. sculpted mane/tail earlier. I am curious to get some feedback on his beginnings, and of course will post more pictures as he gets further along. :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just found this...

"A Swedish study of memory recall in rats found that radiation from cell phones affected the rodents' brain power. Researchers at the Division of Neurosurgery, Lund University in Sweden found that rats that were exposed to mobile phone radiation for two hours a week for more than a year had poorer results on a memory test than those that had no contact with mobile phone radiation. In earlier findings from the researchers, microwave radiation from cell phones affected the brain's ability to protect against nerve cell damage. The lead researcher Henrietta Nittby has a cell phone but uses hands-free equipment to avoid holding her phone up to her ear, according to ScienceDaily.com."

Time for me to get a hand's free, I think... before I loose my memory completely!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Today was the first nice day we've had this season... and BOY, was it beautiful out!! It was around 60, and I was able to open up the studio windows and let some much needed fresh air in. I even took the dog-children out for a walk. Poor kids... they were probably expecting a short walk up and down the street, but I was enjoying the day so much that I just kept going. Daisy, the basset hound, was exhausted by the time we got back. We only did about 2 miles, but for a dog with short legs, I bet that seems like an epic journey. I've often thought about fashioning a Radio Flyer so that the other 2 dogs could pull it, and that way when she gets tired I can put her in the wagon and keep on going. Hmm... that would be quite a sight...

The only bad thing about a heat wave is that EVERYTHING turns to muddy goop. The pastures are a mess of muck!! The horses don't seem to mind at all, and Lilly, my draft cross mare, loves splashing in the puddles.
In more "hobby" news, the first show of the season is 1 WEEK away! Oh god, I am not nearly prepared. I wanted to have so much more done... including two horses for myself. But, I've had to put them aside for the time being in order to get some commissions done that want to bring with me to this show. One of these was for Vicky Norris, who got a spotty Hazel. I traded a *brilliant* parade set with Vicky for this piece. I've already gotten the set, and it is just so incredible... I hope Vicky loves her Hazel as much as I love my tack! Here is a progress pic of Ms. Hazel so far. Feel free to click on the images to blow them up big! I am pleased with how she is turning out.

I've also been plugging away on Imp, and just recently got my copy of Bitty Bosco! Its mustang mania over here. Imp is shaping up pretty good, but he has got a LONG way to go.

I've been fussing over him in between other horses, since I'm on a tight schedule this week. I really shouldn't be working on him at all, but I couldn't help myself. He's so darn cute!

Bitty Bosco also is something that I am just tickled with. He is SO much more detailed than the pictures show, he is really something special. If I dare say so, I like him better than big Bosco. My thoughts are mulberry gray for him, and I spent some time today prepping him. I'll post progress pics of him too as he gets his color.

I also have Mr. America (he really needs a new name...) almost worked out. I'll post some pictures of him too next week, along with his sales info. :-D


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

the next few horses/sales

Bambi has arrived safe and sound at her new home, and I know she'll be much loved there. I am so happy with how that sale went!

As I told her new owner, the little mustang foal was such a breath of fresh air to work on, I enjoyed every minute of it. Its been my new-found love of the old Hagans sculpted by M. Love that really made me want to get my hands on some of their plastic counterparts. In china, they have so much more detail... I wanted to take the plastics and perhaps give them some of that back, but in a different way.

It actually inspired me to hunt down some of my other favorite OFs to work on, including a very old PAF who I've been tinkering with (I found one with amazing mold detail), and a very old PAM, whose detail also is just lovely. My plan for them is to customize them very subtley, kind of like the mustang foal, to bring out their natural charm and accentuate their detail. I want to really bring them back to how the artist originally envisioned them, with a little twist of my own to make them special.

Although the PAF is farthest along, I have actually gotten the mustang mare and stallion about 60% ready for paint. They won't be getting the same level of fluff that their baby did, but instead I am redetailing their coats and adding detail to their manes/tails. I've also gotten the little Imp prepped (boy, that was a trip... he is one tiny dude). Admittedly, because of this I am a bit nervous about painting him. I honestly don't think I've ever painted anything this size.

Here is what I have planned for him; I haven't decided on chestnut or bay yet for the base color.

I also will be going to my favorite art store (Jerry's Art A Rama) and getting some new tiny brushes just for him. I need as fine a point as I can get for this one! Its probably an ambitious color, but I think its going to turn out fantastic.

My first show is March 14th, so I'm trying to prepare for that. I have a few pieces I need to finish up before I can try to offer another sales piece. My goal is to start offering something every month, or if its something small, 2 somethings every month. That way it pushes me to keep a better schedule and also forces me to balance the remaining commissions with sales pieces.

So... the next piece I will offer for sale will be around March 16-17th. It will be the Imp, followed shortly after by Mr. America who was *supposed* to be offered back in Feb., but thanks to my poor time management skills he's a month late. Blarg. Ah...He's well worth it though; he's one sexy guy!