|Quartz of Croila, aged 2 or 3, with owner Bill Begg-Lorimer|
|Nora of Croila and Bill|
Sadly, Bill passed away not long after my visit, and his pony herd was dispersed. Quartz proved to be a well-regarded stallion here for over a decade before being exported back to Europe last year. I'm still trying to track down Nora.
Though I only spent an afternoon with Quartz and Nora, it solidified my already growing interest in Highland Ponies. I couldn't have the real thing, but I was interested in at least procuring some model versions. Frustratingly, the hobby was decidedly lacking in HP models, so I was pretty thrilled to find the Beswick Mountain and Moorland series Highland at BreyerFest that July. He's not the most detailed piece, but beggars can't be choosers, and the M&M Beswicks are some of their nicest molds.
Since then, a handful of resin Highland Ponies have hit the market, but for the most part, they are sadly lacking in correct anatomy, conformation, and type (or all three). However, Donna Chaney's curio scale Highland Pony, like most of her native breed resins, stands head-and-shoulders above the competition, and I was quite delighted when my friend Carra M. asked me to paint two of these resins for her.
The first pony had been painted by Sheri Rhodes but had suffered some damage to the legs. He also had white markings which are not acceptable for purebred Highland Ponies, so fixing his cracks provided a good reason to add some shading to his points. The lovely dappling is all Sheri's work.
|Glenfinnan Chibera champed at his first show!|
|Lassair of Lonmay|
Working on Carra's AA resins inspired me to pull my own AA Haflinger off the shelf. It's the same mold as the Highland, but with slightly different hair. I decided it was high time I painted him---he's been kicking around my studio for years---and besides that, I hadn't painted anything for myself in ages. I thought he'd make a nice portrait of Quartz.
|Dunharrow Quartz of Croila|
Several years ago, Carra visited the Brownbread Highland Pony Centre, a farm that is home to a couple of very rare silver dapple Highlands. The color traces back to ponies from the Scottish island of Rhum, and Brownbread is working hard to preserve the beautiful color. Naturally, one of the Eberl ponies had to be silver.
|Brownbread Bell Heather|
And the other is a classic grulla.
|Coventry Skye Blue|