Wednesday, March 31, 2021

NaMoPaiMo showcase - Melanie Miller

If you were reading this blog in February, you are already familiar with Melanie Miller's NaMoPaiMo horse. He was featured prominently in an article about base coats and got a post of his own a week later.

He did not, however, make it into the final collage.
That happens. It's okay.
Mel kept on painting.
And painting.
And painting.
And now - finally! - her NaMoPaiMo horse is done.
She writes: "Aconcagua" is a custom Altynai with roached mane and braided and taped tail, all ready for polo! He's got a lot of competitive spirit, shown in his new flicked back ears and resculpted tensed nose and mouth. 
Aconcagua is painted in oils and acrylics in a rich chestnut with insane sabino influenced manchado markings. This paint job is based off of a real horse, and no liberties were taken to spice him up - this is a completely realistic pattern! 
I think we can all agree that this was never going to be a twenty eight day paint job. Mel was right to take the time she needed to get done.
He is worth every extra minute.
Aconcagua may not be part of the official collage, but he is a proud member of the NaMoPaiMo class of 2021. Congratulations, Mel. You are a winner!
Aconcagua is currently up for auction. Please visit the Mel Miller Equine Art Facebook page for more details.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The unprepable dream

Nine days into February, Heather Bullach announced that she would be teaching a five week oil painting workshop on Zoom. 

"Darn it," I thought as I read the announcement. "If it was any month but this one, I would be all over that."

And that was that until ten days ago, when Heather announced a second class. This time my schedule was open, so I signed up immediately.
As you would expect, each participant is expected to start the class with a fully prepped and primed model. I went downstairs and looked at my unpainted shelf. Nothing on there is one hundred percent ready for paint, but a few are close.
I chose this instead.
This cute little Myrtle resin was a gift from a dear friend. I love her so much, but oh, the prepping issues! All Eberls are bad, but this is truly next level. It may even be unprepable, but I am bound and determined to give it my best shot.
Yesterday was Bondo day.
I filled millions of tiny pinholes. Then I sanded and filled them again. 
Today, I concentrated on her hair.
I decided the mane and tail truly were unsalvageable, so I ground them partway down with my dremel and sculpted new hair over the top.
This is as good as I could get it in one day. There are a few areas that need to be revisited, but that's a project for tomorrow.
In the right light, she almost looks okay.
The workshop starts April 15, so that's how long I have to get her finished. Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need every minute.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Please, buy me a coffee

I love blogging, but it doesn't pay well, at least not the way I do it.
Mostly, I'm okay with that, but every now and then, I look at that pageview counter and think that surely there must be a way to change some of those clicks into dollars.
Blogspot offers a built in solution, but that involves placing ads for random products onto my blog. I just can't.
Patreon is another option.
I've had several people suggest this to me over the years, but the timing never felt right. 
Last summer, several artists and the Mares in Black podcast launched Patreon accounts. The reaction was mixed, but overall, better than I'd expected. I set up a Braymere Custom Saddlery Patreon account, but never did anything with it. As much as I'd like to get paid for my work, I still wanted to keep the blog public.
Last week, I was reading a new post on Christine Sutcliffe's Last Alliance Studios blog. She mentioned that she had added a Ko-Fi button to her blog's sidebar. This allows readers to easily donate a small sum of money  - "buying a coffee" - as a thank you for the post.
I immediately bought her two coffees.
Then I added a Ko-Fi button to my own blog. I hope all of my fellow hobby bloggers will follow suit. 
Writing is work and producing content on a regular basis is hard. I (mostly) don't mind doing it, but if the Braymere blog is important to you, please consider buying me an occasional cup of coffee.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Weird props

On December 30, 2019, my best friend, Carol, and I flew to Brussels, Belgium to celebrate the beginning of a new year.
Clearly, we had no idea what was coming.
Fortunately, ignorance is bliss. There were no premonitions of impending doom, and we had a wonderful time in Belgium.
To commemorate our trip, I bought a 1:9ish scale model of Brussels' most famous statue - the Manneken Pis.
Carol is not a model horse hobbyist, but she knows me really well. 

"How exactly are you going to work this into a performance entry?" she asked.

"I don't know," I told her truthfully. "I'll think of something."


Anne Field is holding another photo show, and one of the classes is called Weird Props
This seemed like the perfect opportunity to show off my Belgian souvenir!  I asked Ryan  to print a pedestal and pond, which I painted to match the statue.
It's not at all like the real thing, but details, shmetails.
Then I built a scene around it. This is Hawkward, successfully completing a despooking clinic's final exam.
Thank you, Anne, for allowing me to show off one of the weirder props in my collection. I had a lot of fun building this entry!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Prize ponies

Last month I participated in the Breyer Boot Camp Open Show. My horses did well, and this week I received my prizes. These included not one, not two but three BreyerFest Special Run Peppers.

This is a nice color on a popular vintage mold, but I surely don't need three of them. These retailed for $65. I'd be happy to let them go for $50. Send an email to, if you're interested!
Dun Up Purdy was champion of the Western Performance section. His prize was web special Goji pony.
I never knew that I wanted an Appaloosa Fjord, but this guy is really cute. He can stay.
The fifth horse in the box was the Premier Collection, Altynai. He was Theodore's prize for being the Overall Reserve Performance Champion.
Altynai was sculpted by Heather Puleo, and his finishwork was designed by Amanda Brock.
He is really handsome.
Mine has a nicely painted face...
and the best Breyer dapples I have ever seen.
Altynai stays, too. Thank you, Erin Corbett and Breyer. This was a really fun show!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday favorites

For the last several years of her life, Lucy lived in the White Barn.
With its arena facing sitting area, this barn is my favorite part of Kenlyn.
Despite its somewhat "rustic" appearance, this is really a nice barn. It's cool in the summer, warm in the winter and each horse has its own run.
With the exception of Santana, who prefers the field, the White Barn is home to all my favorite horses. Current occupants include Stealth, Scarlett, Thunder, Guaranteed, Delilah, Mikey and Mozelle
Perhaps the most notable feature of the White Barn is its extremely narrow center aisle. It's wide enough for a horse, but barely. Since all the runs also have gates, this area is mostly used by people.
Scarlett and Lucy's stalls faced each other, and they had a true frenemy relationship.
They liked each other, but not always.
My favorite set of Lucy and Scarlett photos were taken before I actually started riding Lucy. Mary Jo had found herself in possession of an extra large carrot and decided to see if she could recreate the famous spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp.
Lucy was enthusiastic.
This is (probably) my last Lucy post. Tomorrow, I'll be back to model horses.