Friday, January 21, 2011
With the unfortunate passing of the Realistic Equine Sculpture Society, publication of the organization's newsletter The Boat has ended. The last issue was sent to members this past week.
Like so many readers, I eagerly looked forward to each issue. Twice a year we were treated to 200+ pages of in-depth information on everything remotely related to the business of realistic equine art. I benefited immensely from what others wrote, and I was flattered to be asked to contribute articles of my own.
When my friend Sarah (the tireless Boat editor) asked if I would do a regular column, she suggested that I write something more advanced that the usual "this gene does this" type of series. I jumped at the chance to explore a topic that I had only touched on briefly in previous seminars and articles, which was how the different patterns interact with one another. It's pretty esoteric stuff for real horse people, but for us as artists there aren't many aspects of horse color that are more useful. We need to know which interesting aspect of a reference can be realistically combined with a different pattern, because all of us do that a lot. Can this face marking go with that blanket pattern? If I decide to use grey as a background color instead of bay, what changes about the spots on my leopard? All of these are important questions for us, and I thought it would be fun to look at them from an artist's point of view.
I decided to start with the appaloosa patterns. I had not written extensively about them before, and there was a lot of ongoing research into them. There was a lot of potential for new discoveries. I also, as it turned out, had become the rather unexpected owner of a very loud appaloosa of my own.
Four installments of the series "Hoist the Colors" were published. A fifth is partially completed. Since the position of RESS was that the copyrights remained with the authors, I can republish the articles however I see fit. I decided to upload them to the website. The links for each one are:
Part 1 - Pattern Interaction Overview
Part 2 - Appaloosa Pattern Basics
Part 3 - Base Color Interaction
Part 4 - Appaloosa Dilution
I probably will not get to the (almost finished) fifth part until after the first volume of the Color Book is published. Right now that is tentatively scheduled to coincide with Bring Out Your Chinas Convention in May. So if the blog is quiet in the upcoming months, know that I am just working on that - and the studio backlog.
Once the first book is out, I do plan to split this blog off with a separate one devoted to horse color. I have been told that publishing tends to flush out missing information (that is, you will get a lot of corrections!), which has been part of my motivation in writing. I want to make that easier, so a blog seems logical. I just don't want the subject of horse color, which by its very nature is likely to generate a bit more two-way conversation, to overwhelm the studio chatter here. So watch for that later this year!
In the meantime, I'll still be posting the goings-on here at the studio. I am not sure there will be a lot of new information since I am focusing so much on the books. But little by little I am trying to wrap up stalled projects, and as those are finished I will try to post pictures at the very least.
at 2:58 PM
Monday, January 10, 2011
The first time I saw Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig's Vixen, there was something about her expression and posture that reminded me of my own spunky little mare. We were fortunate enough to get snow over Christmas and I was able to take a few shots of Sprinkles playing in it. The above picture reminded me very much of the pose on Vixen. Perhaps Vixen is tossing up her tail after dodging a few snowballs thrown in her direction. That was what Sprinkles was doing with my husband - or at least what she was doing before she decided to steal the snowballs and eat them.
That was a few weeks ago, and today we are snowed in once again. It's a good day to work on reorganizing the studio, since potential power outages make me leery of throwing anything valuable in the kiln. (I always worry about color loss when refiring things.) When vital tools - and their duplicates, purchased during previous periods of hiding - go missing, it's time to impose some kind of order on things.
In the meantime, I hope my fellow southerners are enjoying our unusually snowy winter. It's a good opportunity to spend time in a studio - even if it's only cleaning one.
at 10:17 AM