December 31, 2023

2023 Studio Year in Review

2023 started off with a new website. I switched hosts and built a new site with WordPress. As with all websites, there is always more to do. Still, a year later, I am relatively pleased with the new site. I am now able to sell directly from the site, which has been convenient to sell the occasional pieces from my own collection. Look for more to come in 2024!

Model Horse University was launched this year, and I was happy to contribute in a small way as a sponsor. I am excited for exciting things to come!

In February, I attended Cocoa and Ponies, a local model horse swap meet. In addition to catching up with friends, I love the free table they've started! I always bring little somethings to give away and take away a few somethings. I also spend the downtime working on hair-by-hair white markings. As with most of my performance horses and props, this steer is probably still in progress, and only a small bit was actually accomplished at the swap meet, but Beefcakes is coming along. In catching up with my friend, Sarah, we had the grand idea to paint a cow each month to get our respective herds painted. That didn't happen, but at least one cow is further along, ha!

In May, I flew to Ireland to meet up with my daughter as she completed her semester study abroad. We had a quick week visiting IrelandMilanLake ComoBarcelona, and Madrid. It wasn't a studio-related trip, but as always I took pictures of all things equineart, and more to post here on the blog.

My creative time during the first half of the year was entirely spent working on Tootsers. I started her in January and made the conscious decision not to participate in NaMoPaiMo's International Model Horse Painting Month. I had some serious FoMo, but knew I needed to focus on my Best Customs Contest (BCC) project. I also had to fight the urge to sign up for several painting workshops from other artists! As tempting as it was, I knew I didn't have the time to spare.

In July, I attended BreyerFest for the 4th time. This included judging at the Resin Renaissance Live show, selling and shopping at the CHIN, showing at BreyerFest Live for the 1st time, learning how to carve leather, and enjoying all the horses, booths, and general merriment at the KY Horse Park. It concluded with the announcement of the BreyerFest Best Customs Contest winners on Saturday night (as I drove home on Sunday). What an amazing way to end the weekend by having Tootsers win the honor of Most Extreme Custom!

In August, I judged the novice division at Fun in The Sun. I love that our region has so many opportunities for novices to participate in the hobby. I really enjoy sharing what I've learned over the years with them.

Still on a high from BreyerFest, I also took new performance show photos and entered the Breyer photo show, Resin Futurity. Rhinestone Romeo won overall performance champion and Mind Your Biscuits was awarded reserve. In addition to Breyer sending rosettes and Premier Club models, I also received the above-pictured amazing prize package from generous donors. Just wow!

Rhinestone Romeo

Mind Your Biscuits

In September, I judged OF performance at the newest Breyer photo show, BreyerFest Online Open (fondly known as BOO). I have really enjoyed having so many opportunities to judge. It gives me a chance to enjoy the work of others. There is no end to the talent in this hobby. 

Amanda Reed, Sarah Hartman, and me

In October, I attended Briar Feast on Briar Patch with Robin and Shira Roberts at their home (who just so happen to live in the same town!). In addition to swooning over their collections, shopping, and eating, we played the best model horse card game. Word is not many copies of the game were made, which is such a shame. It was So Much Fun!

I made my first model horse-related Facebook Marketplace purchase this fall. I bought a Breyer truck and trailer complete with a plastic barn, models, and some play-quality tack. The models have already become fodder in the body box. I may someday get around to painting the truck and trailer. Anyone else remember a series on airbrushing a Breyer truck from Clint Voris way back when in a hobby magazine? Sometimes ideas take years to percolate. :) I am still on the hunt for an affordably priced barn! 

At some point this fall, I also organized the basement room that has become my studio storage and airbrushing space. This involved buying more totes with drawers, and yet I still can't find everything!

Also, sometime this fall, I slowly started construction on my next BCC piece. No teasers until after the deadline has passed. Let's just say this is the biggest project I've ever undertaken!

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

November 30, 2023

National Museum of American History: Carts & Carriages

On our family trip to DC earlier this year, we spent a good portion of the day at the National Museum of American History. There is so much to see! And all the museums in DC have free entry, so win-win.
Took lots of pictures of the carts and carriages on display, enjoy!

November 29, 2023

Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski Statue

Earlier this year, the family made a trip to Washington DC. I was hyper-focused on Tootsers sculpting at the time. We walked past this sculpture and I was immediately captured by the artist's rendering of the legs (as you can tell by my selected photography!). I googled it afterward and learned that it is the

Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski Statue

According to Wikipedia, it is a bronze equestrian statue, by Kazimierz Chodziński. It is located at Freedom Plaza, 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. It shows a mounted figure of General Casimir Pulaski. It was authorized on February 27, 1903, and dedicated on May 11, 1910. While it doesn't replace the study of live horses, I think you can learn a lot by studying the work of other artists.

October 1, 2023



Our final tour of Europe ended in Madrid. We, of course, visited the Museo Nacional del Prado. I only got a few pictures before we learned this is simply not allowed. Shame, as there were so, so many amazing paintings and sculptures. 

Federico de Madrazo, 1835

We also went to a Flamenco show. You may recall that I majored in dance,
so this was a must-do while we were in Spain!

So good, check out the video below!

The next day, we spent the morning wandering the old district of Madrid.

We made a quick stop by the cathedral.

tiny horse!

We also managed to fit in a tour of the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Most of this was restricted from photography as well,
but a few areas were allowed.

I learned Spanish as a young missionary for my church in my 20's.
One of the highlights was buying these beautiful little pottery bowls
from a shop vendor, conducting the entire transaction in
my very rusty Spanish! 

And thus concluded our European adventure. 
Audrey and I flew back to Dublin for the night,
then flew home the next day.