Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's a bug hunt! Game over man!

In case you're wondering what that little blue arrow is pointing at....no, it's not a blob of snot...it's a wad of baby praying mantids clinging together as they hatch from their egg sac! Hubby purchased quite a few egg sacs, and together they're expected to hatch out about 1200-1500 of the little guys to deal with the grotesque earwig problem this year, in an eco-friendly way. Haven't seen much of the mantids, but the earwigs sure have vanished. Chomp!

Speaking of "game over man," it's that time of year again---publication of The Boat time! "Team Boat" has been madly working to bring the Summer issue together for publication this month and it's shaping up very nicely. One would think we'd run out of topics or information for a 150+ publication twice a year, but wonderfully I end up having to chop stuff out to save it for the next issue. Who knew that "realistic equine sculpture" could have so many relevant tangents of information? I mean, really, there's only so much a working artist can read every six months!

Suffice to say, I've had my Mazzy Star albums on a loop in my iTunes program throughout all this. They lend a vibe that really allows my brain to concentrate while still eased by cool tunage. I'm also a sucker for a good hypnotic melancholy, haunting tune, I admit. Anyway, as soon as The Boat is published, it's back to work in the studio, though, since I've got lots of paintjobs needing attention and sculptures in the works. For instance, besides that Arabian mare I mentioned in a previous post, I'm also working on that little foal's Mom! Here she is in her armature glory, as she currently sits on my work table (Boat readers may recognize her from the article I wrote about sculpting her kidlet)....
Lynn Fraley was kind enough to lend me a picture book on Haflingers because despite my pile of reference photos, I just couldn't find one of a Haflinger mare's hiney directly from the back, and if you know anything about Haflingers, the structure of their hefty hinders is rather important. Those babies gotta "have back." However, this feature can be very easy to get wrong if you don't know exactly how they're structured, because they're similar to a draft horse's hinder, but not quite, and then you add in the broodmare factor, and well...it's a delicate balance of bulk, curves and angles to make it look right. Ultimately, my goal is to make her rather "broodmareish," with the expression, belly and the slack musculature thing going on, which is something you don't often find in sculpture, with artists tending to choose a young "fit showhorse" type of mare. I don't know, though, I like the "patina" a mare develops as she ages. I think it lends to her appeal, especially for sculpture, or maybe I'm just able to identify with that type just a little bit too much now! So we'll see how she turns out. Sculptures so often take on a life of their own, one you just have to follow rather than fight.

So until this Summer's Boat has left dock, I'll sign out for now and hopefully have some images of completed paintjobs and in-progress images of the various sculptures coming down the pike soon. I've got more "minis" in the works and I've started on Stormwatch's base for his bronze edition that I hope (fingers crossed) to get started early next year. I'm really excited about the prospect of producing in bronze. Something new to explore and experience. Happily, my Uncle Mike and his fabulous wife, Mary Teresa (Hello there, you two!), live very close to the foundry I've chosen so what could be better?....family and new horizons, a golden combo!

"A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large." ~Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

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