Monday, January 31, 2022

The calm before the storm

There's snow and subzero temperatures in the forecast, but not today. Today was warm and sunny, the calm before the storm.

I spent a couple hours with Olive. We did a little groundwork, practiced riding in a group and went for a short off-property walk. It was a pleasant, low key kind of morning, the calm before the storm.
The rest of the day has been spent getting ready for NaMoPaiMo. I have a really ambitious painting plan for my pony, so I want to be able to start right away. Fortunately, he's this close to being done. At this point, I'm mostly picking nits, the calm before the storm.
I'm also spent some time on the adminstrative side of the event. I've talked to Ryan and the rest of the staff about what we need to do tomorrow, saved and edited a multitude of entrant photos and refreshed the NaMoPaiMo Live Stats page at least a dozen times, the calm before the storm.
There's no telling what tomorrow bring, but today has been warm, quiet and productive. The calm before the storm.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Seeing spots

What do you do when NaMoPaiMo is less than thirty six hours away, and you're too tired to finish prepping your model? Gather references, of course! 

I am painting a leopard Appaloosa for this year's NaMoPaiMo. He will be loosely based on Reggie, who was one of my favorite horses at the Don K Ranch. 

The wonderful and funny thing about these first two photos is that I specifically took them as painting references. Even way back then, I knew I wanted to paint this pattern on a model horse.
Since extra angles are always helpful, I went through all my other Don K photos looking for Reggie. 
I think I have just enough information to lay out a realistic Reggie-ish pattern on my model.
Of course, none of these pictures have the kind of close up detail model horse painters' crave. For that, I'm enlisting Ace.
Ace is a leopard Appaloosa who lives at the same barn as Olive. He's turned out in the gelding field during the day, which means I have plenty of access to him and all his spotty details.
While my model will have Reggie's pattern, his hooves,
and hair will be all Ace.
Well, maybe not the tail. While this is a lot more interesting than Reggie's mostly white tail,  I'm not sure I can pull off. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
It's been thirty two and a half years since I took those photos of Reggie, but now - finally! - I am ready to use them. NaMoPaiMo is a day away. I can not wait!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

My NaMoPaiMo sign-up

As of this afternoon, six hundred seventy four people have signed up to paint during this year's NaMoPaiMo. 

In keeping with tradition, I am posting my sign-up here. My name is Jennifer Buxton. I am fifty three years old and live in Aurora, Colorado, USA.
This is my sixth NaMoPaiMo. Despite feeling more and more like a beginner each year, I chose Advanced Amateur as my skill level.
I will be painting a customized Pluto resin.
My goal is to paint him a bay leopard Appaloosa, a color I have tried before, but never completed. He will be a mixed media piece, but mostly acrylic.
Beyond painting, I am looking forward to a month of education, excitement, encouragement and - most of all - community. Just two more days, I can't wait!

Helping hands

About once a week, my friend, Teresa Fedak, comes to the barn and helps me with Olive.

Some times the help is mostly photographic. Other times, I have an actual list of things I want to accomplish.
There were three items on today's agenda: Bike desensitizing,
trying on the new blanket...
and taking my entrant photo for this year's NaMoPaiMo.
Since this year is pretty much all about Olive, I thought it would be fun to include her in the picture.
Olive was cooperative...
but unimpressed.
"You're so weird, Mama."
"We can be weird together."
We tried a couple different poses.
Then I got on her,
and we went through the whole thing again.
"Still weird, Mama."
"Sooooo weird."
I think this one is my favorite...
But really, I like them all.
Thank you for all the help and great photos, Teresa. Olive and I really appreciate you!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Puppers and Pipers

On Wednesday, Angelo, her wife, Tori, and their dogs, Archie and Soot, came over for a visit. 

I didn't take any photos of Angelo and Tori, but I took lots of pictures of the dogs. 
Five dogs in my dining room!
This was mostly a social event, but Angelo did drop off a Breyer Arctic Fox that she had customized to look more like Piper. 
Thank you, Angelo (and Tori!). That was so much fun. Let's do it again real soon.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Proof of life photos

We had a big snowstorm on Tuesday. 

Olive is a fat, fuzzy Wyoming mustang. Intellectually, I know she's fine in the snow, but still, I had to put my eyes on her, just to confirm.
She was fine.
It snowed again today. I worked the morning shift, and I didn't have time to see Olive before I left. Fortunately, my friend, Therese, said she'd send proof of life photos. At 10:30, my phone buzzed. It was Therese, sending Karen, Mary Jo and I pictures of Thunder,
and Olive.
Therese said she seemed content, but I was kind of horrified by Olive's photos. She has a shelter, why doesn't she use it?!
The sun was out when I got off of work, so instead of going home, I headed straight to the barn.
Olive still had a few tiny ice cubes clinging to her mane and tail hair.
Other than that, she was warm and dry.
I gave her some food and brushed her while she ate. So warm, soft and shiny!
Before I left, I ducked into the white barn and took proof of life photos for Karen,
Mary Jo...
and Therese.
It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow, so probably we'll all be able to make it to the barn to see our ponies. If not, I'm sure there will be a whole new round of proof of life photos.