Monday, December 13, 2010

Making sculpting fun again

Its been a really, REALLY long time since I last posted anything. I am going to try and post more regularly, to keep people updated on whats going on not only in my life, but what I've been working on. I am trying desperately to get back into doing SOMETHING... however, the cards have no exactly been in my favor down to even having a place to paint. Now I have one more impending move in my future, and this one I hope will be the last for a long while. As of this moment, this season... I am just trying to start having fun again with creation.

The two dolls I did blew up royally because I grossly underestimated how long they would take to assemble. I had such high hopes... but now I think that instead of assembled I will just have to refund those who wanted them, and offer them unpainted. Anapay actually was damaged in one of my moves, so he will require some finessing before he can be offered again. They were the last things I was working on before my life got turned upside down, and while I do hope to get them offered and out there, those interested will definitely be getting them with some assembly required. I do have Hiamovi available, unpainted, and unassembled.

This was my first tackle back into sculpting. It actually is intended for a christmas gift, and I can't decide on whether to finish it in bronze or in a salt/pepper color. Originally he was supposed to be an ornament, but now I am thinking of putting him in a shadow box. I also have been toying with the idea of pouring a mold for it before it gets boxed up, with the intent of it being the first in my Mutz Art line (those of you who have been following this probably know what I'm talking about). Basically, Mutz Art is a line of dog-related art that I am putting together a new site for. I want it to be offering ALL types of dog related art, whose profits benefit shelters across the country. Hopefully as I get my stuff together I can start working on that again. My next little portrait piece will be a pointer, then a shepherd. After that I will be taking requests.

I'll be posting more photos of him as I get him in primer and then decide how to finish him. Any thoughts would be appreciated... !

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The warrior, nearing completion! I just need to finish assembling his hips and legs and he'll be ready to head to MVS on Monday. I will be sure to take LOTS of photos of his joints so that you can see exactly what they look like. More pics...

His arms/hands are designed so that either can hold reins OR an object like a bow, hatchet, spear, etc. One more round in the oven and all the glossy parts of him should matte down the rest of the way like his face has.

Enapay is already up on my site for preorder:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An unusual encounter

Yesterday I was in the car, about 5 miles from the studio, when I noticed something very high up in the trees. A HUGE something... and from the distance I was, and the patterning... I thought "my god... its a bald eagle!" We have had 2 or 3 bald eagle sightings in the area (along the CT river) and I was all fired up. I pulled to the side of the road and grabbed my camera, wandering into the pasture I parked next to in order to get the shot.

As I zoomed in, I realized that it wasn't a bald eagle. Bummer! But, it WAS the biggest red-tail hawk I have ever seen. This guy was HUGE... with a wingspan of 5' easily.

I was merrily snapping away... when suddenly he turned and spotted me...standing out in the pasture...

And took off, flying towards me VERY quickly.

It was at this point that I freaked out and ran like a screaming little girl back to the car. I've never felt like 'prey' before, and while I doubt that he was actually considering a swoop at me, I sure as heck wasn't going to chance it! All I knew for sure was that this guy didn't want his picture taken and I better get out of his line of vision.

I'm sure in his mind... he's grumbling "Dang papparatzi!"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hiamovi-- the Chief

"Hiamovi" is a Cheyenne name meaning "high chief." With age and wisdom in every line on his face, this nobile soul looks on with a mile-long gaze and a gentle smile. I photoshopped the face of the actual piece into the above photo so you can see what he looks like in regalia. Hey, I know they look freaky without hair!

Here are the pics of the actual Hiamovi prototype, from the shoulders up:

I have a bit of smoothing left to do on his face, and will finish his torso tomorrow. The bust of the brave, "Enapay," will be finished by Tuesday afternoon or so and I will share photos of him as well. I plan on getting both pieces available for preorder as soon as Friday. :-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Banded manes

Its amazing to me how much we can learn as artists once we really apply ourselves to a problem. Today I tackled something I used to dread like crazy: banded manes. I have been working intermittently on a piece for myself (a portrait of Legs), and I wanted her to have a banded mane... so decided that today was the day that I figured out once and for all how to do it in a way that looks in scale.

I've done quite a few horses in the past with banded manes, and tend to dread doing them because they involved sculpting each little band individually. Root, band, ponytail. Root, band, ponytail. It was incredibly time consuming, and while they always looked nice finished, that they never were truly in scale always bugged me.

A great example is the banded mane on Secret Weapon (2007), where the bands are just a little too fat:

If I hadn't said anything, you wouldn't have noticed, right? The problem is that I noticed, alot. When I band a real horse, I do 75-80 bands down the neck. For reference, here's a pic of a real banded mane:

I think on SW he has around 25. Thats less than half of what you see on a real horse, and so scale is a huge issue to me when everything else is so painstakingly done. Today I sat down with this challenge grinding away in my head... and with my epoxy and sculpting tools in hand, developed a technique that produces a far FAR superior look. I still have some cleaning up to do in the hair and on the horse itself, but just had to share. Finally! Tiny bands!

AND, using the same technique, I also can do tiny SM scale braids. Check out this customized Working Girl I am in progress on:

I am really happy with how it is turning out. My next problem-solving day will be how to streamline the process of doing traditional sized braids. I have a horse coming up in the queue who will be braided, and she's got a LONG neck!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My brother's wedding and more

For those of you who read my yahoogroup posts, you know that things have been pretty crazy here lately. This post is kind of like an update with fun photos to share the happy things now that life is (hopefully) returning to normal.

First... here are some photos from my brother's wedding, of myself and my brothers & sister. From left to right: Caitlin (younger sister), Kyle (oldest brother), Kip (groom and also older brother) and me. I don't think we've had a group shot of us since we were little! It's cool to have one of us all together, especially with all of us looking so nice, LOL.

Greg has also gotten a "new" car to replace our poor Mazda3 that was in the wreck. He has this strange love for old diesel Mercedes, ever since he had one before we were married. So, when a friend of a friend had one for sale... Greg was so excited he could hardly stand it. And here it is... in all its vintage glory: a 1980 Mercedes SD. I've never seen $500 car make a man so happy.

My mom is doing better, and was actually MUCH better halfway through Monday afternoon after the condition (transient global amnesia) ran its course. We knew she was feeling alright when she requested her laptop so she could research what happened and check her email.

Yea... things are back to normal around here! :-)

I'll have model horse pics soon to share, probably tomorrow. Time to get this hijacked blog back on track with plastic ponies propaganda!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Browser colors!

I've been doing a lot of webdesign recently, and as I check my work on different computers... something caught my attention. I never realized how much DIFFERENT the color is depending on what you use to surf the web. Beyond just differences that you see between monitors... the web browser you use makes a HUGE difference on what you see in front of you.

Here is a striking example of how different colors can be. The site is one I am working for the Connecticut Appaloosa Association. On the same computer screen, the page was opened in two different browsers. The page in the back was opened with Safari. The page in the front was opened with Firefox. Viewed in Firefox, the colors are MUCH more vibrant than Safari, to the point of being two totally different color palates. The page was designed with the colors seen in Firefox.

This is VERY problematic for viewing artwork online. The colors that I see on my screen could be totally different than the colors you see on yours! I think this is why some people no longer buy horses without seeing them in person. I can understand this completely; there is so much variation on our screens that its hard to tell what you are really getting.

For those of you who use Safari-- I would also download Firefox as well. That way you will be able to compare pictures of anything you are purchasing!

Saturday, January 2, 2010