Monday, July 7, 2008

My NAN auction donation piece

He's done at last! More pix can be viewed on my website here. Proxy bidding has begun---more info on bidding can be found on the NAN site.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Triumph and tragedy

Today epitomized the highs and lows of horse racing. The high of course was Big Brown's dramatic victory in the Kentucky Derby despite his inexperience, his quarter-crack prone feet, and his far outside post. I have been watching and rooting for that colt since one of my racing forum buddies, a bloodstock agent, arranged his sale to IEAH after his impressive maiden win at Saratoga last year. Naturally, I was shrieking with delight when Big Brown swept around the turn and easily accelerated away from the field. What a thrill!

And then my excitement vanished when the cameras panned to a shot of the filly, Eight Belles, down on the track. Going into the race, I honestly didn't think she had a chance, but I was pleasantly surprised to see her run a game second to Big Brown nonetheless. I was utterly shocked to see that she had fallen as she galloped out after the race, nearly a quarter-mile beyond the finish line. In my 25 years watching horse racing, I have never seen anything quite like it, and sadly, it doesn't entirely surprise me. I could go on at great length about the evils of breeding for speed and precosity at the expense of soundness because that is exactly what doomed Eight Belles---a hulking 17 hand frame on legs too fragile to support it thanks to the unsoundness issues rampant in her sire line. I can only hope breeders will start to wake up and take notice of the damage they are doing to the breed and to the sport...

Nothing could be done to save Eight Belles today, and the breeding industry isn't going to change overnight, but something can be done right now to help other Thoroughbreds in need. I am working on a portrait model of Eight Belles already, a Classic Kelso model, and I will have her for sale on ebay within the week to benefit a TB rescue or research fund. I haven't decided which one yet, but I'll post details here as soon as the model is finished.

Friday, March 21, 2008

So much for spring!

After one of the snowiest winters on record here, we've had a lovely reprieve for the last week or so---temps above freezing, rain rather than snow, and even some sunshine.

Until today.

It's snowing again. And blowing. It's really pretty nasty for the second day of spring. Mother Nature does like her little joke. Hopefully the forecast of sun and a little warm up for tomorrow will hold. I'm ready for green grass and flowers already! :-)

As some of you probably know, I came down with a weird viral condition in February called Bell's Palsy. Long story short, a virus attacked the main facial nerve on the right side of face, causing temporary paralysis on that side. My mouth was slack on the right, my cheek and forehead were completely immobile, my eye watered constantly, my sense of taste was off, and many sounds seemed overly loud in my right ear. After about two weeks, my eye was mostly normal again, allowing me to go back to work as well as start painting again. Nothing like two weeks of forced inactivity to get a girl's creative juices flowing! So lately, I've been painting like mad, finishing up a lot of pieces that were nearly done before the Bell's hit and starting a few new ones, too. The following are all commissions:

I'm now six weeks out from the onset of Bell's, and I'm doing quite well. My eye still doesn't close all the way, but it's much better than it was. My hearing and sense of taste seem to have returned to normal, and I'm able to wiggle my right eyebrow a bit now. I noticed last night that I can move my cheek a smidge, too. My mouth is still mostly unmoving on the right side, but hopefully this progress will continue. I feel fine, and I look normal unless I smile, so I'm grateful that of all the weird things a person can catch that I didn't get anything worse. :-)

I hope you guys are all doing well and having a warmer start to spring than me! I'm hoping to post here more regularly now that I'm nearly normal again (as normal as I ever get, anyway)---lots of projects in the offing---spring cleaning (I've actually reached a point where I have too many horses), my NAN auction piece, and several china restoration projects. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hobby hibernation

Seeing as we're in negative digits today with the wind chill, hibernating seems like a good idea! I did a fair amount of travelling over the holidays and then was under the weather for a bit, so I have been out of the loop hobby-wise for a while. But I am finally poking my head out and trying to catch up on orders. I have about 600 emails that need to be sorted and/or deleted (mostly deleted), and I need to do some major updates on my webpage. I am hoping to get alot of that done before the weekend so I can devote my days off to some prepping and painting. I hope to have a couple of minis for sale soon, too, including a trove of G1 Stablemates sculpted by the brilliant Maureen Love.

In other news, I have been asked to donate to the NAN auction this year, and I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to do so. The theme is "Kentucky," and given my obsession with Thoroughbreds, I can't think of anything more fitting for my first NAN piece. I will be donating a uniquely customized Valor resin with a new neck and new attitude (resculpted by my buddy, Tiffany Purdy) and painted up as a portrait of the late, great Puchilingui.

Puchi passed away last Saturday, Jan. 19th, at the age of 24 of an apparent heart attack. As a fan of colorful Thoroughbreds, he has long been a favorite of mine, and I am sorry he is gone. He leaves behind a legacy of athletic and loudly marked offspring who excel in show rings around the world.