Saturday, June 25, 2016


In recent weeks, our trails have been buried under a sea of wheat grass.
The grass is so high, I often feel like Brenda riding her Breyer across an un-mowed lawn. 
Scarlett is a Saddlebred. She's a nice, tall mare with a high head set...
but even she is swallowed by the grass.
It's slightly better down along the riverbed,
only slightly! 
 My allergies will be a lot happier when most of this grass goes away, but at least now I have the perfect photo documentation for trail ride entries with out of scale grass!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Donkey kong-a

While attending the Classic Classic earlier this year, I noticed an interesting donkey on Teresa Fedak's show table.
At first glance, this little guy looked like a Hagen Renaker Harry, but a side by side comparison revealed several significant differences.
I was immediately smitten, and took several pictures of him, including this one with a whole conga line of Adelaides and Harrys. 
 Since then, I've been on the lookout for my own little not-quite-Harry. It took a while, but I finally found one. He arrived while I was in California, and today is the first day I've really played with him.
Of course in my case, playing equals photography.
Side by side.
Eventually, he's going to need his own mama... 
but for now, this one will do.
I could play with these cuties all day but BreyerFest is coming and some people want bridles. I guess I should get back to work!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pastels, mountains

Sue's sculpting workshop wasn't the only event on Models in the Mountains' Friday schedule. Barrie Getz also led a discussion on painting with pastels.
I missed this because I was still pushing clay with Ryan, but I'm sure it was wonderful. 
The workshops lasted well into the evening.
Then, as the day drew to a close, a group of us headed out on a moonlit hike. 
We followed the same trail as last year, but it looked a lot different after nightfall. 
Fortunately, the moon was almost full, and it wasn't nearly as dark and spooky as it looks in my pictures.
The lights of Los Angeles glittered below us as we stood at the summit.
What a beautiful night!
The mountain part of Models in the Mountains is just as amazing as the model part. Thank you again, Corina, for sharing the mountains with us!

Sculpting with Sue

Sue Sifton may have been a little late for her sculpting workshop at last weekend's Models in the Mountains, but once there, she started the class straightaway. The first order of business was building an armature.
These were made from three pieces of wire, joined together with two sections of alternating twists.
Sue measured and bent the wires to correspond with various joints. Then she fleshed out the body and neck with aluminum foil. 
Between each step, the armature was carefully checked against the reference. Ideally, this would be a real horse or a non-distorted side view photo. Since we didn't have either on hand, we used other models.
That looks good!
The last step was to wrap the entire armature with fine wire. This gives the clay something to stick to.
Voila! One armature ready for clay!
Sue spent the rest of the workshop making armatures...
and offering advice to the serious sculptors...
and encouragement to the beginners.
Slowly but surely, horses...
and dragons came into being.
While I was waiting for my armature, I decided to try my hand at sculpting a medallion. 
photo by Corina Roberts
It turned out much better than I'd expected, but I was still a little nervous when Sue came over for a critique.
I shouldn't have been. She was so nice and so encouraging. For a moment there, I actually felt like a real sculptor!
In addition to the critique, she also gave me a Flash sized amature.
Here it is with a little clay. 
Despite evidence to the contrary, Ryan insists he has no artistic ability. He resisted the clay for a long time, but eventually he also took the plunge.
He made a dog...
and a fire hydrant and some weird little medallion thing.
Most importantly, he had a lot of fun.
We all did.
photo by Corina Roberts.
If you ever have a chance to attend one of Sue's workshops, don't hesitate. Sue is a wonderfully knowledgeable and positive teacher. I truly can't say enough good things about this experience.
Thanks you again, Corina and Sue. Thank you! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The waiting game

Models in the Mountains is more than just a live show. It's three full days of hobby awesomeness, with a strong emphasis on sharing, teaching and doing. Friday's main event was a sculpting workshop by Sue Sifton. I am a huge fan of Sue's work, so this was a must-attend for me.
Sue Sifton with Jennifer and Ryan Buxton, photo by Corina Roberts
The workshop was scheduled to start at ten. We arrived close to ten thirty, but that was still earlier than Sue! While we were waiting, everyone introduced themselves and shared their project ponies.
Here's Corina admiring Barrie's giant D'arry Jone Frank resin.
He's actually big enough to be Foalzilla's dad!
This is Judy with her equally enormous, in-progress jumper...
as well as a few other finished pieces.
So cool!
My favorite project ponies were this wonderful quartet from sculptor, Clarissa Quinn.
I love, love, love this little BLM burro and look forward to owning a couple when she's released in resin.
After a while, Corina set up a table full of Siftons.
Most of these were Breyers,
but there were also a few resins in the mix. 
We spent some time discussing and admiring these, and then--finally!--Sue arrived. She brought with her...
a whole...
of stuff...
and within minutes...
photo by Corina Roberts
the workshop was underway!