Saturday, May 29, 2010


Iaret in progress

Lil Pumpkin in progress

Pandora internet radio has been keeping me company as of late in the upper studio. Tuning into stations that have been programed to my liking has been extremely meditative. I have found that my thinking is clearer and my work much more focused when I listen to Pandora. Throughout Iaret's production (Morgen Kilbourn) I had it on, but now my time with her is coming to a close. There is very little left to paint. I anticipate finish and full studio shots later this week. I have been doing more painting and less pastel work these days. The painting is slowly calling me back to illustration. I keep the calling in the distance.....for now. I can't deny a strong urning to be neck deep in a juicy illustration of animals going about their day. The pull is showing up on my horses.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Wrap Up

Proud Arabian Mare
currently at auction

The wrap up before school ends for summer is a frantic time. The weeks seem to speed up and the days are a blur. That has been the case here in the household and studio this month. As fast as I try to get things in gear for the summer months the faster I seem to keep falling behind. It is always at this point in time when unexpected jobs come in.

This past weekend I was treated to a china painting commission with hydrangeas. These are one of my favorite flowers to look at, enjoy and paint. I was very satisfied with the way this box came out as I was going for a soft watercolor feel. It was commissioned to present and hold pearls as a gift. The new owner was very happy and that always makes me happy too.

China painted box

The long hours spent with the PAM came to a conclusion this past Sunday as well. It is with heavy heart I will let her go. I've enjoyed the process of learning with this one. Some pieces just teach you more than you can ever expect. These photos are the few that I just love. Her hairing came out as I had envisioned along her neck. That was most definitely my favorite place to paint.

Face detail on PAM

Hairing detail on PAM

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inspiration for The Newbies

Commissioned Mini Crusher

I've held off from the blog for a few days because I have been very focused. My focus has been divided between dappling a Mini Crusher, doing some extreme yoga, and of receiving some rather nasty letters through MHSP.

I wanted to share some snippet of these nasty letters because in my awareness of how utterly horrible people in the MH industry can be I realized what a wonderful opportunity this could turn into to talk to newbies. I hope sharing just a little bit of what I received gives you encouragement if you are feeling down for whatever reason in this industry. I hope it makes you pick up that paint brush or chalk again, especially if you've put it down after a terrible crit from someone nasty. I hope that it gives you insight to the realization that no matter what stage you are at someone (who is less in mind and ability than you and driven by jealousy and unhappiness in their own small lives) will always be there to put you down at every stage no matter how nice you are. Know that putting people down makes them feel better, but the high is time sensitive and the feelings of success wear off quickly for them. So be prepared cause they'll be back and don't let them knock you down! Ever!

It's really odd but when I receive such letters I get fired up to work. In a way it is frightening to think that I make someone (or some people) out there (a woman or women) get all excited about me. I'm on their minds. They wake and think of nasty things to send me throughout the day. They can't wait to read my Tweets, my blog and any other media from me they can get their paws on and then try to jab me.


And so they send their hate. But what happens when you do art for over 20 years and expose yourself to REAL art critics like mean art directors in the real world of Simon and Schuster, Henry Holt, Scholastic, Time Warner and etc and sundry? Know what happens? Well the very first time an art director screams at you for wasting their time and tells you suck beyond all sucking you cry in front of them, but as you find your legs which carry you to the door and to the subway you somehow find your sanity (and your big gal panties) and you get busy doing what you love. Yep, you just do it and get tough and you get hardened and you just keep working and moving in the directions your art and inspirations are pulling you. In the process you'll undoubtedly be told you're an ego manic. That's good. It means you'll get to your goal one day cause you have extreme focus and extreme focus IS a good thing. Eventually you get to where you are meant to be.

When you get a nasty letter from an anonymous coward who doesn't have the frigging balls or respect, for that matter, to leave their real name or send it through their real email address and have to run such crits through a client like MHSP (and risk THAT site owner's existence) you just sit back and know that your art is effecting people. They may be spewing nasty words but know that the work IS on their minds and that is great advertising. That is the ultimate goal of marketing exects who spend billions to get people to remember their products, their goods. If you can get them to just STOP for 2 seconds and look at your product your advertising campaign has been successful, but if you can get them to think of you all day.....GOLDMINE! And that is the truth my friends, not just a frightening ego talking. Although I can tell you to be a successful artist in the real world you do have to grow balls and build up an ego that could frighten a giant in order to help you walk through that directors doors and plop your work in front of them.

"You should do what others have suggested and back off for a while to improve your work, or even step away from model horses all together and shift your focus to the mud, where art is subjective and you don't even have to be good at it."

Isn't that just a trip? I laughed so hard at the end of this sentence because it's rather obvious that this person has never EVER touched a mound of clay. Clay is, without a doubt, the most finicky medium to work in and I'm not even going to mention how difficult it is to put a lump on the wheel and try to pull up a pot.

Just a little some of my junk

"'re way out of your league, and it's frightening to think that your ego puts you up there with the other big name artists. Perhaps a reality check is in need?"

Newbies....when you are told this take heart in knowing that even a more seasoned newbie like myself has been accused of being an ego maniac and of being a crappy artist. Take heed in knowing that people who buy from you do so because your art has struck a cord with them. It spoke to them and you effected someone in a positive way. Cause, after all, art, even our equine art, is about effecting people's lives.

So spread the joy and enjoy your art no matter what stage you are at and no matter what anyone has to say. Always search for truth and answers and never be afraid to explore any art that is tugging at you. Clay tugged at me and I'm so thrilled I listened because mud fills the gaps 2D and 3D art leave behind. Be open to art and above all be true to your work and your work WILL be true to you. That, I can promise.

Now, go make something AMAZING.