Monday, December 28, 2020

2020 in review: NaMoPaiMo and BreyerWest

I spent most of January in Europe. It was the trip of a lifetime, but four weeks is a long time to be away from home. When I finally got back to Colorado, I wanted to curl up and sleep for a week. Unfortunately, there's no rest for the weary, at least not during NaMoPaiMo season.

I love NaMoPaiMo, but it is a lot of work. I tried, but this year, my heart was not in it. 
I painted a Jennifer Scott Zephyrus resin using Melanie Miller's "black without black" formulas. There were no disasters, and he turned out fine.
I also painted a Maggie Bennett Albus for the NaMoPaiMo spinoff event, Minis Painting Minis. He also turned out fine.
Of course for me, administration is a bigger part of NaMoPaiMo than painting. It's also the part with all the drama. None of it was too terrible this year, but because I was so tired and burned out, everything seemed worse than it was. In the end, we painted six hundred ten models. I think most people had a good experience. I certainly, hope so anyway.
But that's getting ahead of things, because before NaMoPaiMo ended, Tiffany Purdy...
and half the model horse hobby rolled into Denver for the first Colorado BreyerWest.
The BreyerWest Live Show was held Friday, which was also the second to last day of NaMoPaiMo. 
Still, it was a decent day. Erin is an excellent show holder, and I enjoyed the show, even if I wasn't terribly invested in it.
And lesson learned: half measures aren't satisfying. Should this scenario happen again, I will either go all in and give this woman a run for her money, or I will skip the show entirely and have a fun social day.
Saturday was BreyerWest Workshop Day and the last day of NaMoPaiMo. Neither Tiffany or I had anything scheduled before noon, so I was able to do a little NaMoPaiMo admin at home before turning off my phone and heading to the National Western Stock Show Center.
 We walked around the grounds, talked and took pictures of horses. 
Then it was back to the BreyerWest area just in time for Maggie Bennett's Head Sculpting class.
photo by Missy Shaw
I enjoyed this workshop so much. I don't think I checked my phone even one time while it was happening.
After the clinic, we went home and I checked in on NaMoPaiMo. It was going fine without me, so I was able to enjoy the next item on our agenda: the BreyerWest swap meet. I had a table and sold just enough things to cover my purchases.
This was a good thing, since I pretty much bought one of everything Nichelle Jones had for sale.
This was a really fun night. For the first time in a long time, I wasn't even a little tired.
Sunday was also a good day. NaMoPaiMo was finally over, and I celebrated by manning a NaMoPaiMo table in the BreyerWest Hobby Information Area.
Officially, Sunday was the last day of BreyerWest, but not everyone left right away. On Monday, I drove Maggie to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where we toured their new Virtual Reality Animal Anatomy Lab.
This was an extremely interesting visit.
It was also highly nostalgic since we visited the same cadaver lab where I took an anatomy class as an undergrad!
BreyerWest's last hurrah was a group dinner at Denver's oldest restaurant, the Buckhorn Exchange.
Like BreyerWest, NaMoPaiMo also stretched past its official ending date. I spent most of the first part of March finalizing the results, making collages and packing and shipping some three hundred and fifty prizes. I didn't mind this part. Somehow, the total hobby immersion of BreyerWest had cured the hobby burnout caused by fatigue and NaMoPaiMo.
Of course, by this time, I knew a lot more about that "mystery virus from Wuhan, China." The first case of COVID-19  was confirmed in the United States on January 21. Within two weeks, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency. The first Colorado cases were confirmed on March 5, and phrases like "global pandemic" and "shelter in place" had become commonplace. I knew - everyone knew - that something big was happening. 

But really, we had no idea.

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