lantairvlea: (lantair look)
So Sunday we added dirt to the arena, We also ripped up our rock-hard footing. It looked like broken up concrete for several passes, but it improved as we went. Monday I had my first lessons in it. Sunny was a bit zoomy with Olivia, but they worked through it nicely. I think we have the footing to blame as Ruby was cantering around too!

Today I worked Tru-D and I think I need to build some more structure. We've been a bit haphazard in her sporadic sessions and I don't want to be leaving holes. It was so nice working her around and not having to dodge any wet spots, though! I long lined her before doing one round hooked to the tire and then had to call it quits because it started raining. I detacked her in her stall.

This evening I had another lesson using Chewy and Kash. Kash was a bit zoomy too and Chewy was a little extra forward, but I'm not sure if that was the footing or the student gripping as she trotted. It's going to be a nice change for sure! I'm hoping with the drag we can keep it maintained so that the moisture doesn't get concentrated like it did before. Our arena isn't huge, about 75'x85' but it is decent sized so long as you aren't losing over 200 square feet to nasty slop. I'm excited! Hopefully my students are able to manage the extra spring in the horses' step!

In other news I managed to finally sell my big desk. It went for $350, which is half of what I initially listed it for almost two years ago. It wasn't hurting anything languishing in the little house, but I really didn't want to stare at it for another 10 years or more before one of the boys is ready for a nice desk.

It was a beastly thing. The new owners had a short bed pickup and, as they put it, we had to play tetris to get it all to fit. It was an L-shaped desk that we kept in the corner of the room and it was almost six feet on both sides plus it had a hutch. I got it when my parents moved and it came with me when Chris and I were married less than a year later. It was my combination computer, writing, and art desk for years before I was able to acquire a separate art desk. When we built the "addition" I got a smaller computer desk and the beast was left in the little house, retired and gathering dust.

The windfall of the desk's sale will go towards a flat file to store paper similar to one of these. I will have a place to store my large sheets of paper without having to roll them or shove them behind/under the bed! It will also take up a third of the space as the desk so winning all around!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
After we lost Zetahra I was looking for things I could have made to remember her by. I settled on a ceramic pendant that used a few of her hairs to burn a pattern onto the piece. I usually just wore it on Sunday and Tristan liked the look of it. A couple months ago he got into my jewelry box and pulled it out as I was finishing lessons and Chris was trying to clean up. Tristan claimed that Kelhan broke it, but either way it was broken.

The lady who did the original piece had retired and turned her studio over to someone else. I contacted him and he said he'd be able to replace it. I also contacted a lady in the state draft horse group who does something similar.

A few weeks ago I received the replacement pendant(s!) from the first studio. Not only did he replace the pendant, but he sent two more plus the leather necklaces to hang them!

This week he emailed me asking how they arrived and sent a link for the video showing the process, which was pretty cool.



I mailed a hand-written "thank you" today including a sketch of Z.



I also sent Christina one, but failed to take a picture of the drawing before I sealed the envalope.

Here are the resulting pendants:



The round ones are from Dancing Fire Pottery and the tear-dropped shaped one is from Christina at FlyingMane Pottery.



The backs of the Dancing Fire pieces have "Z" stamped on them.

They all have their unique design and it didn't take much hair at all. The nice thing is that you don't have to have particularly long hair or a great amount of it to do these unlike the braided horsehair jewelry you see. They are also pretty sturdy, though I wouldn't recommend trusting them to a four year-old...

Overall I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

Sketchdump

Aug. 24th, 2016 12:02 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I don't know quite how that would translate into German.



Click for much, much larger version that you might actually be able to see.

All of the sketches except for one page (because Kelhan had fun and scribbled all over it) from my current small sketchbook dating October to present that I take to church with me on Sundays. A lot of these are Sunday sketches (especially the life drawings of people sitting around, standing, fancy lady shoes, etc.), though I do occasionally sketch in it other times as well. I like having a small, inconspicuous sketchbook to doodle and take notes in, especially since it helps keep me awake, heh. I use ink only so I don't have to worry about smudging and I use both sides of the paper so you do see some interference from drawings on the other side of the page on these and I can't quite be bothered with REALLY cleaning it up, thus you see paper edges and it's really haphazardly smooshed together as I tried to not let it get too horribly large.

The upper left has a sketch of Iren and several of Sray. Sray and trying to figure out her clothing is a recurring theme as she appears there, middle-left with some tunics, center top-ish and leaking over to the right. The puzzle is getting it to work with her Human form and also her natural form, which has residual flight membranes going from her elbow to the base of her ribcage. There's some sketches of full-blooded Clamon in there, Meilah, her cousin just to the right of Sray sitting on the stool, a random Brehtsohln with an itchy spot, and me figuring out their feet as they are roughly based on sugar gliders (yes, fantasy marsupials!) and the fusion of the second and third digit as a "grooming comb" is something that I finally picked up on this past year and another one of those little details that you don't always think about.

Middle left are some sketches figuring out things on the big Fjord painting, including tack and clothing. Random dragons. Kallon looking grumpy because that's what he does, Rirhe pops up a couple times, a Guenitha, and Maibenti Roek showed up the other night in the lower middle right (black and red sketches).

I have my first art class today that I need to scuttle off for. I have everything together, just need to load up and go.

I need to sketch more and share here. I know I've said that before, but I really need to just DO it.

I did manage to download the updated scanner software and hope to see some improvement in my slide film scanning. I just, once again, need the time to sit down and load up the film carriers and do it! Fingers crossed it works well, if not I might be looking at buying some different scanning software that definitely has the film presets for slide film (which I know one of their products does have and they had it in the past, which is the frustrating part!!!).

time to be off, enjoy!

Zeichnen

Aug. 20th, 2016 05:23 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Some sketches. I should sit down and scan things so they come out better.



The sketch on the right is pretty much what I usually look like when I go grocery shopping. I'm too lazy to change my clothes so I often run all of my erands in breeches, half chaps, and my big hat because why expose my hat hair?

I feel a bit rusty art wise, but hoping to remedy that with the fall classes and just making myself pick up a pen and start aketching at random. I ended up doodling Mai last night because it's been forever and I was drawing a blank. It's one of those things where the more you do it the more it comes.

I'm not entirely happy with my scanning software. I've been slowly working through the film from the driving clinic the end of January and I've run into the slide film. The negatives have been scanning in great and they give you a lot of film-type specific options, which can really help in getting the color just right, but it is lacking that option on the positive side. I' e been fussing with one frame and haven't been able to get it satisfacory for scanning. There might be an update for the software to look into and my old version had the slide film settings, which really helped them pop. These are just looking dingy and the slides themselves are NOT dingy looking so I know the scanner is just not quite picking up the colors like it could. Really, it's probably the software over the scanner as I've scanned plenty of slide film over the eleven years I've had this scanner (good, Epson workbeast).

I will eventually share some of the pictures ... I just take forever to process things.

FERTIG!

May. 17th, 2016 09:25 pm
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)


Of course when I get the high-quality scan back I'll be posting a much better quality image and detail shots (these all have been taken with my phone).

Progress and Details )

I am very happy it is finished and pleased with the results. There are things that I could do still, but that's okay. I definitely learned how to paint better and maybe ... MAYBE I might be able to paint in acrylic productively without going nuts. I mean, I managed to make it through an 18x36" commissioned painting without going nuts so I guess I'm saying I might break out the acrylics for pleasure instead of just compulsory. Maybe.

Tomorrow to the printers so that it can be scanned and made into posters.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I've been painting like mad.

The white dun was finished.



And then I painted MOAR!
Eleven more progress shots )

The only things I have left are halters for the horses and the harnesses for the grey and white dun. I'll be finishing it tomorrow if it is the last thing I do! Between lessons I should have the time for it, but if not I'll be staying up late because it is going to the printers WEDNESDAY so it can be processed and I don't have to worry about it anymore.

It's been a big project and I should have charged way more, but lesson learned for next time, right?
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
I was able to put between five and six hours on the painting today. I feel better about my progress, but will probably have to paint Saturday, Sunday and Monday to finish it.

Cowboy #2 now has pants!



Lots of progress shots under here )
The whole thing again. Note I tidied up around the white dun and cowboy #2, which made the white dun slightly more tolerable.



Tomorrow is the last day for the private school horsemanship classes until Fall. I don't know what I am going to do with my Fridays! Well... probably fill them with lessons, but maybe not?
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
Click on pictures for more detail.

Well, I didn't make my goal of having this beast finished by the end of April, but I am getting there. I started work on the fire pit and tidied up around it and the cooking stuff.



And then I didn't take any pictures as I got the fire pit done, painted the steaks, and started in on the cooking cowboy's pants. I'm pretty pleased with how the wood and fire turned out.



I'll get more details later, but I managed to finish the cook's pants to my satisfaction, sketched the other cowboy's legs in, and slapped some paint on the white dun because I had a bit of a whitish color left over and it made me feel more accomplished that way.



I'm realizing that it really hasn't taken all that much time to paint, it's just finding the blocks of time to do it in. The three hours today felt pretty luxurious! I won't have time tomorrow and Saturday is also full. I'm conflicted about Sunday, but that may be the only way I'll be able to get it done in reasonable time. That said I was surprised to realize that I started painting/sketching on the surface March 15th so I've been actively working on it for two months, which really isn't bad at all. Six weeks was probably a bit too ambitious a goal, but I tried!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Not sure if that would be the proper word for hitching post, but I try!

The initial plan was to finish up the cooking area, but brain said "no" and I ended up sketching back in the remaining elements of the painting so they weren't ill-defined blobs. Obviously I misjudged some of the areas as I was painting the grass and will have some filling in to do afterwards, but it could have been worse and I saved the green paint so I should be able to avoid the pain of remixing the paint (curse you acrylics...).



No, the saddle isn't going to be purple, it's just the color I ended up sketching with. Once I finished sketching them in I started in on the barrels and hitching post.



For simplicity's sake (and unity!) they are the same reddish brown.



I also tucked up the grazing Fjord's neck as once I got the breastplate sketched I realized I made it's neck attachment way too low. I also fussed with the right hind leg which has been bothering me.

The barrel the waving man is sitting on will look less lopsided once the guys legs are painted in. It was bothering me, but I kept telling myself I didn't need to paint something no one would ever see ... says the lady who painted the whole horse and is covering half of it with a saddle ....

Probably won't have time to paint again until Monday. I guess I could do it Sunday, but being a paid commission I'm not really keen on that. I am done Saturday at 2pm, but after seven hours straight of lessons I don't know how into painting I will be.

In other news Kash came up sore in his right loin Tuesday. Kristin's coming out tomorrow for him and he's been getting a gram of bute the last couple days. He's not lame per se, but he is moving stiff behind and thinking a lot more about what to do when pivoting on his haunch or forehand. Charm-N turned up lame this morning. Fine last night and started out good, but as I was focusing on another student the one riding her called over saying he thought Charm-N was limping and so she was. My best guess is she stepped on something. She's wanting to point her toe and I couldn't find any heat in her leg. I have some bute tabs soaking for both of them now.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I'm trying to get this painting done before the end of the month, which means I can't feel guilty about time in the studio. I have also been officially paid for the work (haven't deposited the check yet, but I have it) so now is the time to really get cracking!

Click for larger image.



How the whole thing looks right now.



Details of the back of the wagon. I plan on putting a couple more items in there, just not 100% sure what. I think the cups and the plates ended up reading pretty well, but the real test will be when I go to sit down again tomorrow and decide if they look better or worse.



I'm pretty proud of this little dutch oven. I still should put some coals on top of it, but it turned out better than initially expected.

Goals for tomorrow: finish off the cooking area (rocks, fire, and all) and put a couple more things in the wagon. If I get really ambitious I should tackle another horse or try to get the saddle and headgear on the brown dun.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)


This is how Rolo looks when she flops on the patio. She is very athletic and has a surprising amount of endurance for a bulldog. Chris took her for a walk around the house this morning and she only flopped twice. Once when he first put the leash on in the house and the second time in the yard. She jumped up like a bolt when Chris opened the little yard gate, however.

In the evening between 8 and 9 she tends to get a bit hyper before crashing for the night. She plays fetch pretty well and gets about five good runs in before she starts slowing down.

We continue to be grateful she is a sturdier dog as little men like to lay and roll on her. We try to keep this to a minimum, but don't stress too much now that she weighs almost as much as Tristan.

As of next week all of my broken toe students will be back, yay!

I worked on the painting some more this morning/afternoon. More work on the wagon. I'm hoping to finish the main wagon part next time I sit down with it, which might not be until Monday. The good news is the art classes are off the next two weeks so the three hours I would have spent doing that can be redirected to finishing the painting. Fingers crossed I can bang it out by the end of the month.



Now it's getting the other wheels to look as good as the first one...

By surface area the painting is about 75% or more done, but the devil is in the details and at this point a lot of it is details!

I pestered Tru-D today with the 13" Western saddle. I even slid the blanket off of her head as well as tossing it up her neck and sliding it off of her rump. The saddle was tossed on from both sides before I cinched it up. We did a brief walk before I checked the cinch and sent her out on the lunge line in all three gears. She cruised around about how she has been going so next time I might get out the 14" which had a back cinch to introduce something new to the equation. She's already had the surcingle with breastplaye and crupper sonl I don't think a back cinch will be much of an issue, but it's good to introduce all of the things!

I need to call Tom and see if he had the billets on my surcingle done yet (Cinnamon busted one of them and since Bud already popped one that I had repaired I figure replacing all of the billets with thicker leather would be the best option). I'd like to do some more ground driving with Tru-D but don't feel comfortable doing it with the saddle just yet.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
I had started with the intention of working on the chuckwagon, but as I mixed the paint a good color for the brown dun showed up so I went for it.



I started out just defining the overall shape after having run over it while doing the background. I actually sketched lightly with some watered down paint first, but didn't take a picture then.
more pictures of pictured )
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
More progress on the painting. Other than a couple of touch-ups on the grass I think I can say the background is done. I haven't planned on doing detail in the grass, but that might change. We'll see.



I did the trees and the distant field. This was actually the second iteration on the trees as they were a bit dark to start and they needed a little bit of depth to them.



And then I did a third layer on the trees to make them actually work.



The painting then spent some time upside down so I could do the lower part of the grass without driving myself nuts.

I did run out of the green I was using and had to remix it, which was annoying. I was smart enough to leave enough on the pallette so I could compare as I was mixing. My second batch of green was much larger and I had plenty left over.

I also poked around one of my artmaking books to see how other people do this acrylic thing and the one artist I had a step-by-step for didn't really work back to front consistently, tending to focus on the subject first. So I shrugged and continued on my way.



I think there are a couple little spots in the grass that will need more, but I was wise and mixed A LOT of paint and have plenty more of that lovely green stored in a 35mm film container (obviously minus the film). I'm hoping it keeps the paint fresh for a week or so.

Now we're at the tricky part where I have to do details and decide which spot to tackle first. My initial instinct is to paint a little bit on all of them, but without a good way to keep my colors I fear I am going to have to tackle it one subject at a time. I know with oils I could just throw some seran wrap over it and it'd be good for weeks, but I don't think I could trust the acrylics to not dry into hard little bits of plastic. The good news is I have very few colors I am working with so unity isn't too much of a problem. I still just have one shade of red and yellow. I do have two blues and picked up two shades of green raw umber and burnt sienna plus a shade of purple.

Onward!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Ug, grammar fails me (those with better German than I can feel free to correct any mishaps in my titles).

I worked more on the painting today. I am finished with the snow and itbturned out fairly well, I think, though I still had my moments of doubt.



And then I tried to start on some of the lower areas on the mountain that are more grassy and I think I am going to have to repaint those sections (again, the first round was pretty grotesque, we won't speak of it...), but I am going to let it "rest" and do the middle-background trees first and am probably hoping in vain that it will settle and look less horrible once there are more colors and context in the painting to help it settle in.



I am getting along okay with the acrylics. They still aren't very natural for me to work with, but used in mostly large blocks of color this way with a little dry brushing and such here and there it isn't so bad. I am enjoying having an "excuse" to have studio time, though even getting paid for it I still have some vague guilt. I was having thoughts today that I could do this art thing for a living, but I think it would be way too sporadic and now would not be the time to try and build a new business venture.

Granted business with lessons is almost too good. I've cut the discount I offer on books of four lessons in half (was $20 savings, now $10) and am seriously considering raising the prices on my private lessons for new clients. I currently have a $10 difference between a group and a private lesson and am thinking about making it $15. I had a new student start last week, another one came out today to watch a lesson and ask questions (they're starting Saturday), and a new one starting Friday, plus another new set of siblings starting Saturday afternoon on top of all that. Oh, and an email I need to get back on asking about lessons too!

I am close to scheduling 30 lessons a week. Holy crap.

If I keep this up I should be able to pay off my credit cards fairly quickly...

I also measured Tru-D and Chewy today. Tru-D is a tick under 15 hands (14.3 and a half hands) and about 960lbs. Chewy has gone from skinny to Very Fleshy. I did too well getting her fattened back up and she measures at 1260. Of course two years ago she was less than 900, which was way too skinny. A couple weeks ago I dropped her pellets by 6lbs (she was getting 18!). I'm going to check her again next month and see if she is making progress towards a good weight (ideally about 1000lbs, maybe towards 1100). Her shoulder blades are disappearing and her tailhead is sunken into her butt as well as the gutter developing down her back. Hard to believe I was worried about her being too skinny for a while there!

Die Berge

Mar. 19th, 2016 09:53 pm
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
Thursday I got the base color done on the mountains. Or as I called it: Mountains Phase One.



The paint has been consistently drying darker, which has been a bit annoying, but since this was just the base layer for the mountain I made do. I also failed to mix enough paint so the bottom left ended up looking a bit wishy-washy, but that will be remedied in another layer.
Painting progress and a Fjord shirt )

Tru-D had walk number two off property today. Just down to the stopsign at the corner and back. She was much more terrified of the neon pink yard sale signs than she was the semi truck that drove by. She is a funny creature. She eventually got over it after walking back and forth multiple times and we walked back home just fine. The more she does it the better she will get.

I pestered Cinnamon again this week and she was much better about moving off of the far side whip aid, though she still thought kicking at it might be a good answer for a bit. She shall learn.

I also played with the buttons on Tru-D this week and she was very confused about being asked to move her hip towards me. This seems to me more of an issue with sensitive horses who are very respectful of your personal space. They find it hard to teust moving towards a person despite the stimulus being on the opposite side.

Hoping ro finish the mountains this week for sure (need snow and some light grey rocky bits) and get the rest of the middle/background done. The ground is just going to be flat. I can add in blades of grass later if desired, but I think it will be fine keeping it simpler.

Wendy said one of the sponsors wanted to donate the original to the silent auction that will be going on during the evaluation. Part of me is REALLY curious to find out what it sells for. Of course I have to get it done first!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Wendy asked if getting the poster painting done by the time she has to go to the NFHR meeting the beginning of April was within the realm of possibility. She wanted to be able to show it off since it is the artwork to be used in promoting the August Fjord horse evaluation in Montana she is coordinating/running. I told her the beginning of May would be more realistic, but I would put in my best efforts.

The smaller surface still isn't in yet so the decision was made for me as to the size of the piece: 18x36 inches it is! (~46x91cm). The 12x24 would have been a pansy size anyway... or at least I'll tell myself that. I'll have to find something to do with the smaller surface when it finally comes in. I had gessoed it over the weekend and got the thumbnail printed out and gridded yesterday before getting it sketched out.


The thumbnail drawing is on a regular letter sized copy paper (8.5x11") for size reference.


I was able to get the sketch roughed out. I didn't do too much detail, mostly just getting proportional relationships down because I know I'll be painting over most of it anyway. I am trying to be careful in my treatment of the acrylics. We have not gotten along well in the past so I am trying to be careful to respect the paint's properties.



Flat sky color. She wanted it somewhat reminiscent of a block print so no super fancy gradations here. I also really need to pick up some ultramarine or cobalt because pthalo is driving me a little nuts, though I think I managed to get what I wanted out of it.



Did I mention I currently only have three colors of paint? White and black don't count as colors, but you can say I have five paints to work with right now. Can you tell I wasn't quite ready to dive into the full painting just yet?

I added some clouds and then realized the three or four smudges of clouds just wasn't doing it. I also made the shadow color WAY too dark so I modified and added more clouds and lightened up the shadows.



And I think I am done with the sky. I might consider the painting 10% done at this point, but probably not. It's hard to force myself to be flat and blocky, especially when the paint was still a little wet, but I think I managed okay.

Next up is the mountains. I am debating if I should pick up more paint Friday when I have a chunk of free time or if I should wait until the other surface is in. If I go sooner than that I may just hit Michael's despite its terrible prices because it is 10 minutes away instead of 40.

Wendy at least understands that it will probably not be finished by the 1st, but I will give it a good shot! I need to do some sketches of the people and figure out how to dress them. Being several inches tall instead of just one or two makes a big difference in details. I also need to mess more with the tack design for the horses. So many things to do! The background is only going to keep me busy for so long.

GESSO!

Mar. 14th, 2016 09:47 pm
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I acquired one of the two surfaces I am considering for the poster painting last week. I put three layers on it and the texture is intriguing. I could sand it smooth, but I kindof like the little bit of grit. I do think I am over using a sponge brush, though. Yes, there are no bristles to get stuck in it, but the sponge fell off and towards the end I was having to hold it in to the handle, which was annoying. I just need to get a good, wide brush to gesso with.

I did realize that I have a TON of gesso leftover from college. I had acquired a tub that was, I think, a gallon and I'm barely an inch below the brim. I apparently need to use more gesso. I do have some awesome medium that has some good grit in it that I paint on whatever and have an awesome pastel surface. Maybe I'll do that with whatever surface I don't use for the poster.

Granted, the decision may be made for me as Wendy asked if I can try to get it done before the member meeting the first of April and since I don't have the other surface, going to town on the one I have will be required. I have a couple hours tomorrow and Wednesday I should throw at it. I might be able to get the background done this week ...maybe? That might be wishful thinking because it was the 18x36" hardbord that came in and not the 12x24...

I need to print out my digital thumbail and grid it and then put a grid on the big surface and sketch it out.

I will be smart. I'll paint from back to front. Horses last, even though they will be the fun part. Mix HUGE quantities of paint because I only have a handful of acrylics (should get some more... don't quite want to for a single project...) and I really don't want to have to mix the same color more than once!

FORWARD!
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Acrylic Fjord painting progress.



The foal turned out way more painterly than initially intended. I'm debating if I want to repaint the mare, try to smooth out the foal, or just let it be the way it is. I will be adding some sort of ground line and debating on being a bad painter and redoing the background. Not sure. If all else fails I can always paint over everything because that is the glory of paint!

Rolo is a strange little dog. She's about 32 pounds and dense as a brick.



Also don't believe the people who say bulldogs are dumb. They are not. They're just a bit muleish and have to know what's in it for them and then decide if it's worth the effort.

Sometimes she comes great. Other times she stares at you like "and why should I do that?" Food isn't always enough to inspire her either.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)


Finished my example for the complimentary colors project using oil pastels. This is 12x18" I think, canson paper. The boys wanted to hang out in the little house so I finished it off (or at least decided to call it finished) while the boys played and occasionally scribbled themselves.

I still have that colored pencil piece sitting on my desk. One horse, cart, and driver is completely, another needs more work on the horse and harness and the third group everything but the cart needs work on. I just hope it isn't another year before I have time to finish the silly thing.

Edit: I did 20 squats with Kelhan on my shoulders today and my legs have been feeling it all day. I must be the least fit, supposedly fit person ever.
lantairvlea: (lantair look)
Behind cut because there's a fair chunk. Click for full images. Also other random stuff while I have the moment to upload it.

Sketchiness )

And I did a bunch of stuff today (rode three client horses!), but have no time to share it because I uploaded pretty pictures instead.

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