Monday, February 1, 2010

Diving In...

The hinder of the Classic Swaps I've customized into a haughty WB stallion

This week has started with a bang -- if I can keep January's momentum up, I think you'll be very happy with what comes outta the studio this year! My aim is to offer pieces to a variety of niche markets, and I'm well on my way...the tiles (giftware), the clinky Brownies (ceramic), Haffie mare and Foal (blank resin), CM Taboo (finished resin) and....two customized pieces. Yep -- you heard that right! I'm diving back in!

I don't offer custom pieces much anymore. I think the last one was Gentle Jim, a customized Stone "Standardbred" into a pintaloosa gelding (back in 2005 or 2006 -- I forget...doh!). Now I don't know if you remember my mention of a CMed Swaps into a jaunty WB stallion a while back (above), but I want to get that puppy done asap. He's been peering at me far too long and I'm ready to paint him. And that nifty custom-made dressage bridle made by Corinne Ensor needs to live outside of its box! From day one, he was destined to be some kind of light fleabit grey and I'm looking forward to starting him soon. It's been years since I've painted a fleabit grey (I think 15 years?), and this time I'm gonna do it without the toothbrush!

But I thought you'd be interested in another custom I started, just for kicks -- a PAM. Now if my memory serves, I don't think I've ever offered a customized Arabian to the public before. So not only will this piece be rare (being a custom), but a first, too. I figure why not get crazy? But she won't be an extreme CM, like many of my previous customized Arabians. I want her to be recognizable as a PAM, staying faithful to Maureen's beautiful style and to keep that "PAMiness" we all love so much. This is both a challenge and a delight -- Maureen was so talented and it's quite a delicate balance between me and keeping her present in the piece, too.

Both of these pieces are a real full-circle for me. I started sculpting with customs, which got progressively more extreme until I moved to original sculptures, and then customs became more rare. So now that I'm diving back in, I deliberately want to avoid an extreme custom because, otherwise, what's the point? If I don't get to "collaborate" with Maureen and create a recognizable
hybrid between us, there's little reason for me to customize this PAM at all. So I'm making moderate modifications to make her different and fix the mold casting issues, but I'm going to work hard to keep as much of her appealing head as possible and as much of her old foundation look as possible. As for her expression, she's going to be a bit pugnacious, something quite different than the original mold's expression. And for her color, I envision her as some sort of odd grey, but we'll see. It feels comforting, though, workin' on a good ol' PAM. Kinda like "going home." And to be re-exploring the subtleties of Maureen's great gift at my current stage of awareness is wonderful. So if I can do a smidgen of justice to her, I'll be happy!

The first layers of epoxy on Ms. Pammy.

As for selling them, I aim to have either one of them done by March or April for Auction Barn, with the other a couple of months later. Anyway, I'll be able to start resculpting on Ms Haffie's leg's tomorrow! I also began to resculpt a bit of the foal's chest area, and it's looking loads better. Everything seems to finally be clicking into place. So -- in theory -- both should be in the clean-up-for-molding process come Friday. Keep your fingers and toes crossed!

And speaking of diving in, I want to make a little plug for my long-time good buddy, Tina. She's started her own business from scratch and I couldn't be more proud of her! Especially since she has a three year old in tow, to boot! Her business is Prairie Medical and may she rock the medical world! Looks like both of us are off to a great start in 2010!

"Our old experiences, memories and fears guide us down the present path. It's not so much that you are the artist; you are the conduit." ~ Nick Bantock

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