Paintings!

Jun. 24th, 2009 02:33 pm
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
So as mentioned previously, I EXPLODED with art this last semester and, to save you all from having to plow through fifty plus images (that and I'm still cleaning up photos of some of them) I'll do it in portions. The first portion being paintings!

Painting was a little bit of a chore, mostly because we painted still lifes and self portraits, my two least favorite subjects in art. The nice thing was that the last assignment was completely open (I ended up doing two small paintings for it). The good thing is that he basically let us paint however we wanted and apart from being still lifes and a self-portrait, the subject matter was pretty open, which made it more tolerable

Paintings Under Cut )

Once I get all my drawings cleaned up I'll post some of those. I'll probably split it into the Resistance series and everything else.

And a HUGE thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mythos_amante who gave me paint! She deserves a painting ... but I have no idea what of.
lantairvlea: (Default)
My diploma came in the mail today!

I am certifiably graduated!

Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art Education.

From the Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State University.

*Dances.*

Rejoice!

May. 7th, 2009 06:56 am
lantairvlea: (Default)
For all I have to do today is take my paintings up to ASU and drop them off to be graded!

The downside is I really have no idea how I'm doing in the class. We had one critique before, but there were no grades attached as everything wasn't due until the end of the semester. That said I think I'm doing rather well, partially because I've showed up and actually worked every day plus put in a bit of extra time outside of class. The feedback has also been rather positive so I believe I'm doing rather well.

I know I've done well in my Drawing class. It was a blast, I just need to keep up this momentum. It took Renee and I nearly an hour to take down all of my drawings, heh. If you count my trip-tick and the seven-pieces-in-one image as ten individual drawings I completed over 30 pieces this semester. If not, it's still well over twenty. Most of them are 9X12 pastel pieces, but still, that is A LOT of drawings. And it was a blast.

In contrast, I managed to do six paintings this semester. Five assigned plus one. I have two more that are in-progress, which I plan on finishing shortly. I don't think that my rapid-paced, somewhat erratic style with the pastels works well with the oils, but we'll see. I do believe I'm more of an "Alla Prima" painter than anything. I just don't have the patience for glazes. I can do it, but it's not my favorite way to work. I'd rather dive in and throw some paint (or pigment in general) around. I think that's part of the reason why I've shifted away from colored pencils and am into pastels as again, colored pencils require more patience and layering to get the right results. More planning. Same with markers, which can be spontaneous, but you have to be careful as you can't run back over and lighten up an area once you color it in.

And I still have a TON of paper and boards left to work with. I came to this semester expecting a mild explosion and just completely took off. I ended up not using any of the nice watercolor paper that I had purchased, but that Colourfix paper was quite fun to work with and handled both the pastels and the ink well.

I think Friday I'll be taking pictures of everything.

It might take all day.

I'll also be picking up my paintings Friday and they should be graded by then. Hurrah!

Completely unrelated: I was nailed in the face by some weird desert bee thing yesterday. I was leaning over to roll up the window of my car as I was getting ready to head home from a lesson and it zipped through the window. I'd call it a head-on collision and the bug seemed much worse for the wear. It wasn't the classic yellow-and-black, but it's legs were fuzzy and it had a general bee-ish look to it. Perhaps it was just some weird fly, but it sat on the seat towel looking rather dazed. Even as I nudged it off (not with my finger) it half-responded and barely reached out for the new object. It ended up flopping over. Feeling pity for this poor creature whose path I managed to intersect I flipped him back over and he continued to sit there, dazed and his little abdomen pulsing.

I am none the worse for the experience and didn't get stung or anything, just startled by the sudden impact with my skull, like someone threw a little rock at me. I think the bug just hammered his tiny little bug brain against my much more durable cranium.

Time for breakfast and then delivering some paintings!
lantairvlea: (Default)
This is my last Thursday of classes. Technically I'll have to go up next Thursday, but that's just to drop off the two paintings that are sitting in the living room so they can be graded. Today I paint feverishly and draw rabidly as well. Tuesday I have two critiques and then ... bliss.

There shall be a ritual cleaning of, well ... everything. Or at least I'll try. The house needs dusting and scrubbing. Miscellaneous paperwork needs to be destroyed or filed, and the horses themselves shall get a good spring scrubbing as well.

I need to get myself a schedule written up for working horses, namely a certain two-year-old who need some saddle time, Kash (who has been neglected far too long due to school), Panda who needs miles and some good ol' lovin' and hanging out, and Kitt, who also needs a lot of miles as well as ground work and some respect building. I'll probably alternate so that two of them get worked two days, and the other two get worked the other two days during the week and whoever needs some extra work, or a tune-up (like Chewy or Ruby) would get that fifth week-day as well. Of course there's going to be lessons and stuff in there as well, but I'm going to try really hard to get even just a few minutes of work in with them, no excuses. Because I now have none.

The other thing will be getting myself to work on art as well, set up a sacred studio time that shall not be disrupted (except by special occasions or extraneous circumstances).

I ended the training up in Peoria (I was spending four hours getting there, being there, and getting back ... the lesson was one hour), possibly to be resumed when it gets cooler again and I don't loose a whole days' riding my own horses by going up there. I did learn quite a bit and now have some handle on flying changes, which is good and makes me happy. Now I just need to teach the boy how to do it. The next venture will be learning how to drive. I've had a couple basic lessons from a friend, but don't feel competent at all in driving. Ground driving I'm okay, though still need some work and practice (and Kash is wonderfully patient with me ... usually). I have all these horses that know how to drive (Ruby, Panda, Kitt) and don't want that to simply go to waste. I am a member of the ACDS (Arizona Carriage and Driving Society) and would like to do something active with it rather than just reading the newsletter. Plus we have a cart that's been sitting around doing nothing. It needs a job.

In other news. Mom actually came out on Tuesday and worked with her colt, yay! Actually, I ended up doing most of the work. She messed with him the last few minutes after I worked through most of the resistance. Once we get him leading decently we can take him over to the round pen for some more ground work. I already mentioned to her "This would have been much easier had it been done four months ago." She could have gotten away with honestly working with him once a week had this started when she got him rather than trying to cram it into the last two weeks (well, three) before taking him to Utah. He's also being gelded Monday, which might interfere with some training time as he recovers, but it needs to be done before he goes. One: Grandpa doesn't need to worry about all of his mares getting pregnant (he has three) and Two: Grandpa shouldn't have to worry about taking care of a recently gelded colt.

And it sounds like she's here for round two. So I've gotta scootch and help her. (My helping is essentially her birthday/Mother's Day present.)
lantairvlea: (Default)
A week ago Saturday I had a rather exciting encounter. I was watering my parent's horses and felt something cool against my leg. I didn't think too much of it at first as I had accidentally sprayed myself at one point. I looked down, didn't see anything, but didn't feel entirely reassured as the leg with this odd sensation was not the one that had been sprayed. Keep in mind that I was wearing long pants. I look down again and this time raise the pantleg. This revealed something blue-green, plump, and segmented wrapping itself around my leg.

Needless to say I freaked out a bit, lept in the air, shook my leg, shouted quite a bit, and startled Chris soundly, who was standing just a little bit away. Once I managed to recollect myself I went to investigate. It turned out to be a centipede, more than six inches long and a little less than a half-inch thick, blue-green in body with a red-orange head. The centipede scrambled about until it settled in some pine needles and was probably about as traumatized as I was. Chris asked if I wanted him to kill it, I replied "no."

I'm just glad it didn't bite me. I hear those buggers hurt.

I saw him again last Monday, but haven't seen him since. I suppose maybe a chicken (or three) found him and made a good meal out of him. I do believe that what happened was when I overturned the bucket I disturbed it from its resting place and it was merely seeking another cool, dark place to rest at. Unfortunately that cool, dark place happened to be my leg. And yes, it had crawled up inside my pant, not just on it.

In other news the horses received their Spring shots on Wednesday and Panda also had a dose of prostaglandin to jumpstart her heat cycle. We took her over to the stud on Friday and she stayed over until I picked her up on Monday.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but Panda is the quietest mare ever. She can be in full-swing estrous, right ready to ovulate with a stallion giving her all sorts of nickering and nuzzling and all she'll do is lift her tail. That's about it. Most mares would be engaging in all sorts of inviting behavior, even begging for further attetion, but Panda? Just lifting her tail. That's it. I told the stallion owner that the advantage of her essentially silent heats was that she wasn't "mareish" at all. The unfortunate thing about it is that it's nigh unto impossible to tell when she is in heat.

So Panda has been bred and we'll be setting up a vet exam in the beginning of May to check to see if she took. And if all goes well, in about 11 months we'll have a foal running about.

Back-tracking a little, Saturday we had a man come out and look at Jinjer. He brought along a couple, friends who were more experienced horse-people. All three seemed quite impressed with her manners and responsiveness. The man purchased her and we'll be delivering her in the next week or so. She'll be the first horse for a 7 y/o girl who is incurably horse-crazy. It seems like it'll be a good match, but I do plan on asking for first right of refusal if they ever want to sell her. Jinjer is of a size that she won't be easily "grown out of" as is the case for smaller ponies (a tragedy, I think) and she has the attitude and manners that will make her good for less experienced horse people. The man said he was a capable rider, but as a youth he did the riding and his father did most of the work, which is something he's hoping to both remedy and not allow to happen to his daughter.

Until Jinjer's delivered I'll keep using her for lessons and the like. It is kind of nice knowing that I'll get to see the place she's going to.

I can't think of much else terribly notable going on other than the fact that I am not two and a half weeks away from graduation. It's coming up fast!

I've been going to my painting class early and plan on continuing the trend until I get all of my paintings done. I have heard that the fifth painting is optional, but I hear others saying that it is required, which means I'll have to re-check with the professor to be sure which is true and decide whether or not I really need to stress. I'm just shy of finishing my Vanitas and then I need to pound on my Self-Portrait.

To be sure the final painting will be much smaller than all of the others I've done. It has no size requirement, which is wonderful so I'll be doing just a 9X12", much, much smaller than the 34X34" canvases I've been tackling. Heh. I wonder if he'll take into consideration the size of the images we've been working on. I think most of mine have met or exceeded the size requirement, while many other students have done works considerably smaller.

Anyway! Time to get to work!
lantairvlea: (Default)
I'm going to make myself sound a bit like an old coot with a title like that, but it struck me as I went in to work on my paintings yesterday. I left about two hours early so I could put some extra time on my Vanitas still life and also give me the chance to leave about 30 min. early without feeling guilty so I can catch the bus an hour early (not that most people in the class don't vanish 30 minutes early anyway...).

So while I'm painting a guy wanders in. He didn't notice me at first and when I said "good morning" I think I startled him a little bit. We started chatting a bit and talked about art and such. Apparently he was "bored" with one of his classes and took the habit of vanishing and wandering the hallways and rooms of the art school during this period.

I asked him what class he was supposed to be listening to (I assumed it was Art History or something, which also goes on in the building), he replied that he wasn't missing a lecture, but it was a digital printmaking class or something of that sort. From the sounds of it the class is about converting digitally created images to traditional printmaking media. Pretty cool if you ask me, but he expressed some recalcitrance and I queried further, wondering if perhaps the material was just a bit bland and not challenging or perhaps the instructor bad.

No, that wasn't the case, Printmaking was just "difficult" and he hated the work he did in it because he never had any good ideas to go with whatever project.

Being me, I asked if he sketched much outside of class. He said no. I exclaimed "there's your problem!" If you don't develop ideas outside of class, how can you expect to have good ones in class? He noted that he has a hard time getting motivated or being "in the mood" to draw when he doesn't have a deadline to push for. I repeated one of my favorite mantras "you can't improve if you don't do it" both in respects to his drawing and to the class he was avoiding. I also noted that sometimes you just have to slog through and do the mechanical process before the muse actually fires up and does something. You'll never produce anything if you never draw. Can't expect everything to work properly if it sits on the shelf for months or even just weeks on end.

The guy remarked that he had been a bit depressed about his art recently and some of his work is just ugly and he doesn't want to continue with it. I replied with my firm belief that a lot of drawings go through an ugly stage. Paintings too. And sometimes its those works that seem the most painful to produce that turn out the best, ugly duckling and all.

The more we talked the more I saw the picture of someone who probably wasn't going to make it as an art major unless he had a major change in attitude. His focus was Animation, which means he's shoved underneath the umbrella of "intermedia." He wants to do digital animation, which made sense as I mulled over the conversation since he expressed an intense interest in detail and making things look real. It bothered him if it didn't make the viewer wonder if it was real or not. This is something, I admit, I've "grown out of" to an extent. I know I can do it, but it just doesn't engage me like it used to. Sometimes, sure, I will do things that are superbly realistic, but really ... it just doesn't engage me like it used to, just as the art world as a whole lost interest in it at a certain point. Not that I'm going to run around painting black squares or anything, but there are more important things than making something look like a photo.

I guess my meandering point and the impression that this conversation left on me is one of worry about those coming up behind me. Heck, even those of my generation, I've seen it there too. They want the glory, but not the work. They want things to be easy and immediate and don't take pleasure in the sweat and tears that are sometimes required to produce something, be it a drawing or painting, or anything else for that matter. I see it in some of my students with the horses. They want it to be easy and any challenge placed before them is a frustration and they give up (or want to ... in the case of my students I usually push them through it). I don't know if this is just because a lot of young people have been given life on a platter, or perhaps it is just the general culture that is going around in the media and elsewhere. Everyone is entitled to their perfect house, car, and job, no effort required ... HA.

Entitlement is probably one of the biggest problems attitude-wise with people. I've seen it time and time again and it just makes you miserable. People destroy themselves trying to "keep up with the Jones'" and it is one of the reasons why the economy is and has tanked.

Somewhat related, I did manage to finish the other two dollar bill on my Vanitas. I'll probably have to glaze over it to tone down the color a bit, but it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. Now I just have the horseshoe to do and I'm done with it. Awesome. Then I can finish my self-portrait and maybe get to that optional fifth painting.
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
I haven't had the chance to take pictures of the paintings I've done this semester, mostly because only two of them are finished and the other two are not really very close to being done at all. Mayhaps I'll take pictures of them the next week, but the semester is just a month away from being over and that's not too long to wait, is it?

Anyway, here you have the drawings that I have completed in class as of a week ago Wednesday. I'll try to do them in order. Pardon the crappy quality of some of them, at times I didn't have a tripod and I didn't really have control of the lighting in the studio/classroom.

More than a dozen drawings )
Speaking of the series, I have three more drawings finished and should finish the tenth and final image tonight. The packet of ColourFix paper that I purchased was a series of 10 warm colors. I picked up another 10 pack, this time of the cool colors, and will be doing more work like this, but I'm not sure if it'll be considered a part of this series or if it will be slightly different. I plan on creating images that consist of multiple pieces of paper rather than just the individual pieces I have been doing. I'm unsure if that'll mean only doing one piece (which would be HUGE), two, or even more, simply dividing it up a bit.

Oh, and despite the coarseness of the ground on the paper, I'm actually rather happy with the fact that it isn't eating my pastels alive. It makes me a little more relaxed about how I use the pastels as they're not disappearing underneath my fingers. Most of these images were done using primarily the soft pastels even. I don't think I've used much hard pastel as I've been allowing the drawings to be quite loose and allowing the ink lines to be what tightens them up.

Now it is about time to head off to class and work on those paintings. Of course, the subjects for the two remaining paintings are my two least favorite things to do: a still-life and a self-portrait. AG! Granted, it's not nearly so bad. I mean, I have two classes this semester. This is my LAST semester. I am drawing. I am painting. That's it. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Much-deserved, I think and I'm enjoying it rather immensely despite the occasional belly-aching about subject matter in the painting class.
lantairvlea: (Default)
I now have two paintings finished of the four we're doing for the class (a possible fifth, but that one, I think, hinges on how fast we work. My vanitas is still in-progress and part of me really wants to scrap it and start over, but my instructor said I should sludge through it.

It's not like it's a bad painting. It's actually a pretty nice one, if I do say so myself. It's just not in the mode I'm wanting to work right now and I'm having a hard time connecting with it. It doesn't help that it is a still life and ... well ... I have a special dislike of still lifes. It is a rare mood that sets me to want to draw collections of inanimate objects. I think I'll manage, though. I doubt a single painting will ruin the generally happy and relaxed tone of the semester. As well as the excessive productiveness.

I now have eight pieces in my "Resistance" series in Drawing. All about 9X12" pastel works. All but two with pastel-and-ink. I am almost out of paper though, a tragedy that must be rectified. I think I will walk to Utrecht on Tuesday before class.

In equine-related news, we still have Jinjer, the family that had first choice weren't able to take her at the moment and the other family is considering it. I'd really like her to go to one of my students' families, but if not, we'll find a good home for her. In the mean time she's still being used for lessons.

Kitt/Whim/Taffy (Chris has decided he likes the name Taffy) was worked Monday and while she's becoming more responsive longeing she's a little dead to the leg under saddle and she gets a bit annoyed as I ask her to move off. It might not have helped that I was in the roundpen, which is a bit restrictive and she probably doesn't feel like there's anywhere to go, but she should still move off my leg. We'll get her there, though. She's still quite young (four in August).

Panda's doing well. I worked her Friday at the horse park and once I got her warmed up (took a while) she did great with her trot-canter transitions. We're still working on the canter-trot transition. I've started using voice, soft rein, and if she doesn't respond, bending her around into the trot. It seems to be working and she's becoming more responsive.

Kash varied between awesome and jerkish on Friday, which was both exhilarating and infuriating. But such is the boy. Come May he, Panda, and Kitt will be getting a lot more work, which should help him tremendously.

And something entirely unrelated: were having part of a fence done along the part of our property that faces the road. We put in a culvert and threw some dirt over it as a construction entrance to save the concrete on the driveway that we paid a good amount to have put in. Said driveway involved a permit process and depositing X amount of money and going to Phoenix. The "construction entrance" is going to be temporary and just until the guy is done with the fence. We got a notice yesterday from the County stating that we had five days to remove the culvert because it was an "encroachment." Chris was rather irritable and grumpy yesterday dealing with the County people who seem to insist that we need a permit and the "new" driveway needs to have cement or asphalt over it because that's the way things are. Chris tried to explain that it was temporary and would be gone in ten days. They repeated we had five days to file a permit.

It's terribly ridiculous. We're not going to pay thousands of dollars to concrete over a TEMPORARY driveway. Asphalt's even more expensive. We're not going to spend three hours going to and from the permit office, possibly twice, as we file for a permit that we don't really need because, again, the drive is temporary and will be gone once the fence is finished.

And they tried giving us the "waterway blockage" excuse because, well, it is in a wash which flows often when it rains, but ... this is the end of March. Our likelihood of getting ANY rain before June is rather slim. Let alone the type of rain that would lead to flooding.

Whatever. It's just a little bit more than ridiculous.

And now it's time for me to be off! Going to training with Kim (finally).
lantairvlea: (Default)
So I have two studio classes this semester. Drawing IV (also called Advanded Drawing, which I am taking for the second time) and Painting II. I have Painting II in the mornings and while it has a wonderfully loose atmosphere (none of the paintings are due until the end of the semester) full of existentialist talks and readings (yes, the instructor reads to us) and is rather intellectually stimulating, the artistic side of it is a bit of a drag. Once I get into moving the paint around it is okay, but I just can't get myself excited over still life(s), for that is what the first three paintings are (the third to be started in the next couple weeks). Of course, the fourth one isn't much better as it is a self-portrait, one of those other subjects that I would prefer to avoid. The last piece, thankfully, is free choice, but we might not get to that one. Which in general makes me feel a bit recalcitrant and rather unproductive.

Now come evening when I settle into the drawing class it is like an EXPLOSION. I finished two pieces Tuesday (technically one was already finished, but it needed to settle for the weekend before I decided it could use my signature) and am about halfway through a third. I have six completed pieces, albeit some are small, but they're finished just the same and as mentioned the seventh is on the way. I will probably finish another tonight, start an eighth, and who knows what else will happen between now and the end!

What a difference between classes! I know painting does, by its own qualities, take more time than drawing, but I don't really feel like I'm accomplishing anything of note in the painting class. Just regurgitating what I see, or at least attempting to, and pushing paint around without any real feel for what I'm doing or passion for it. I need to change that with the next couple of pieces, even though the subject matter is (in my view) rather dull.

I think today I'm going to work on my first painting, hopefully finish it up so it's cleared and out of the way and then attack the second one again until I finish it to my satisfaction.

Yesterday was quite busy. horse-related rambling )

Ah yes, I also worked the big lady in between lessons, just tossed on the pad and noodled around the property. She was quite light and responsive, very forward, which was quite good. She may be a big draft, but she is no plug!
lantairvlea: (Default)
While I was in a bit of a rut with my painting yesterday, I exploded a bit in my Drawing class last night. I finished two pieces during class and am quite happy with both of them. I plan on taking some good shots of them soon and post them (pastels don't agree with scanners). I'm incredibly happy working with my expressive lines.

I also spent almost all of the class time listening to Extrabreit, which had me rather hyped up and bouncy. I haven't listened to their music in so long, I forgot how peppy and energetic it is. I think it helped to contribute to my rapid pace. I stayed a bit later than intended, Chris called to be sure I was all right. Class ends just before 9.00 and I wasn't cleaned up and out the door until a quarter after ... woops. I just couldn't leave that second piece undone because I knew I wouldn't be able to reconnect with the flow of it (or would have a hard time doing it).

And did you know how liberating it is to NOT CARE about what the finished piece looks like? To go from no idea to a complete piece ... to two complete pieces, in three hours? I've had these Amperstand boards stashed up for something amazing and great and I used two of the smaller ones last night just to see what would happen. So much fun! I love working on these boards! The watercolor/aquabord took the pastel amazingly well, though I think I will have to experiment more with it. The pastelbord is amazing, as usual (I'm terribly upset that Utrecht doesn't carry them in store). It takes the pastels incredibly well and is wonderfully durable (a light actually fell on the pastelbord piece, but it's pretty much undamaged). The ink did a lot better going over the pastel than I expected, though some of the pastel did cling to the brush rather stubbornly and there were a couple of lines that I had to redo because they weren't black enough.

Now I just need to bust my butt and get that painting done. I'll probably have to bring my acrylics home and finish it next week. I don't quite know what I'm doing with it, I feel a bit stuck, but just need to slog on. The next piece is another still life ... narr. I don't think I can begin to state how much I dislike still life drawing/painting. There are times when I like to draw from life, yes, but still life work just never thrilled me and seems to excite me even less as I gain the ability to directly translate things and it just becomes a chore rather than something exciting to try and reveal. I will be working in oils next, though! I just don't have the temperament for acrylics.

I will probably post some art next week.

And I should probably have the next page of Shifting Times done next week too. I only have four panels left of the nine for the page and I got to paint Shinkir's Shamien form, which makes me happy. I love drawing Shamien, I don't do it enough.

I need to take a picture of that giant self-portrait-type thing I did last week in my drawing class too.
lantairvlea: (Default)
So the semester is turning to be quite good. I don't think it could be not good considering my two classes are both studios. The painting teacher seems quite awesome and I'm attacking the canvas (or, rather, wood panel in this case ... which is actually just a gessoed table top) rather viciously. I'm starting with acrylic paint in an attempt to use it up and perhaps bend it to my will, and then after this first painting I will be passing them along to someone with more of the temperament to work with acrylics. And then it will be oils! Lots and lots of oils! I have a whole pile of panels that I have had laying around and some more that I purchased to do some personal paintings in addition to the school work.

Drawing is continuing to be awesome Anne is a wonderful teacher. The Adv. Drawing/Drawing IV group was given their first assignment as a sort of self-portrait, which I finished yesterday, and the second was to be architectural-based. I asked her how many more "exercises" we had before we could focus on the series, and she stated that I was ready to just jump into it and didn't have to do the architectural piece because I was ready to move on, which made me intensely happy. Though I did sit and sketch a bit considering the second "exercise," and as a result figured out the general floor plan for Kirashtyn's Library.

Today was paper inventory. I think I'm still going to end up buying some more today after I drop Mom off at the airport. I purchased some paper samplers from Utrecht, which are awesome. It gives you info on the paper and a good-sized sample to experiment on and they were only $2 each. One has all 60 colors of the Canson Mi-Teines paper, which is great for pastel work and such.

Now I just need to try and figure out what to do with this new found freedom. I have a HUGE piece of illustration board that I want to do SOMETHING with, but am unsure what. I think what I might do is take some of my smaller pieces of paper and experiment a bit and then do something nice and large on the illustration board.

I have a rather charcoal-laden piece of BFK Rieves that needs something done with it, perhaps I'll start experimenting on that one and then attack the smaller pieces that I have. I plan on further exploration of the expressive line stuff I've been doing recently because I find it terribly fun to do.

I haven't really ridden this week and need to. I need to at least work Panda tomorrow, if not today as I have training on Friday and it'd be rather bad if she didn't get worked at all inbetween. I also need to work the boy, but the good news is with Ola doing a part-lease on him he is getting some more attention.
lantairvlea: (Default)
So Monday I took Panda out and rode up to the new Equestrian Park that opened Saturday. We got to the corner and stopped at the stop-sign for a bit, watching traffic. A guy pulled over and got out of his car, waved, and started marching up towards us, saying something about being lost. This was apparently too much for Panda to handle and she spun and took off back towards the house. I, once again, was annoyed, forgot to say whoa, and it took me a bit to get myself in a good position to pull her head around. I turned her back in the direction we came and trotted her smartly back up the street. I was rather determined that she march right forward and, looking back, I'm rather impressed that she hardly deviated course even as dogs were barking at us and running back and forth as we went back.

I asked her to halt and she stood as I gesticulated and told the guy he was about 40 miles away from where he wanted to be. He was trying to get to Payson .... I'm glad he asked for directions because he was quite lost.

Anyway, the rest of the ride to the park was rather uneventful, though as I got to the entrance I had a slight dilemma, I was on one side of the barricades and caution tape that was next to the road, and I didn't want to essentially ride in the street to get in, but there were two signs and one of those portable massive flood lights that made getting in a bit of a squeeze. Rather than pushing it and risking Panda spooking, whipping around, and running me, or both of us, into a sign, I dismounted and walked her through it.

I lead her to the arena, closed it up, and remounted. I essentially worked on a "cruising" exercise, letting her wander about within a certain gait, but if she changed speeds either pushing her forward, or shutting her down as required. I think once she broke gait downwards, which was towards the end when she was a lot more relaxed, and there were several times when she tried to jump upwards, especially in the trot. I posted so much Monday it's hardly funny. I'm really surprised I wasn't more sore in the leg, but I guess my legs are in better shape than I thought. I do admit that my shoulders were, and are still, a bit sore.

While at the Park two other equestrians showed up. One was a lady with a little (tiny!) spotted saddle horse she worked in the roundpen. We made a connection after both of us had worked a bit and realized we'd met a couple times out at the San Tan Regional park. She has an old Appy gelding with a broom tail and like ... one spot, heh. She happens to be one of Panda's "fans" and thinks the mare is just the cutest thing ever. And I do admit, Panda's quite a good-looking horse. We just need to work on her nervousness. And, really, Panda puts on a pretty good front 95% of the time. You wouldn't know she was nervous except for when she's spooking, especially if you don't know what to look for. I just need to put the miles on her so that she spooks "in place" and has more trust in confidence in people in general.

The other person at the park was a young kid (14) named Jason on a TB/pony cross (it was under 14hh). It was rather fun watching the two of them and we pretty much rode home together. The kid had this three gallon white bucket he was carrying and he kept lifting it up on his shoulder, dropping it down by his side, etc. and Panda was a bit nervous about what in the world he was doing with that strange white thing. Jason noticed and apologized, but I told him not to worry about it, it was good for her and noted that his pony was exceptional in letting him haul around that bucket like he was.

While riding home we made a connection, he knew Dave through the train room. This was terribly amusing. I think Jason and a couple of his friends were gathering donations or something and dropped by my in-laws. Dave opened the door and they noticed the train room, asked if they could see it, and Dave said "sure." The young boys were quite impressed by it. It amused me terribly.

Now if I can ride Panda up to the Park a couple times a week she would be AWESOME in a couple of months. Exposure and miles, that's really what she needs. She gets better and better, but I would really like to see not tendency to run off at all and some confidence like I see in Ruby. It's not quite a fair comparison, though, they don't have anywhere near the same mental type, but I would still like to be able to climb on and go without worrying about Panda worrying too much.

So yesterday! The first day of school!

It went rather well. The Painting class didn't last very long and I had time to walk to Utrecht. I purchased all of the canvases I would need and then some. Actually, I purchased all of the canvases and then a bunch of smallish gessobords that I'll probably paint on if I get obscenely ahead, which is a distinct possibility since I only have the two classes.

I was very grateful that Mom was able to pick me up from Utrecht as it would have not been fun to walk a mile with two 36" x 36" canvases plus a 36" x 20" canvas, lunch and school bags, plus a new bag that I intend to put to good use in taking art supplies along in trips. I'd like to start doing some plein aire painting (watercolor and gouache) once school is over with.

Had lunch, dropped off my ring, which needs one of the stones reset, came home, had a lesson, went to second class that evening. The Drawing class will be, I think, just as awesome as the summer version, though the first project seems like it might be slightly restrictive. We're going to be doing some sort of portrait, but I believe I will be working in my expressive line technique (can't think of anything better to call it) and go a bit nuts with it. MWAH HA HA!

That's about it. Updated the website a bit more, fixing links and the like. Now I'm going to go ride with Mom. I'll be taking Jinjer up to the park and working on her canter, get those butt muscles strengthened because I think that is part of her issue is lack of conditioning.

This afternoon Chris and I are going to go look at a Haflinger gelding in Phoenix. If he is as good as he sounds I'd be tempted to sell Jinjer and purchase him ... but we'll see. I'm looking for a student and not myself, though.

Good day!
lantairvlea: (Default)
Did you know it only costs about $200 less to take two classes than it does four at ASU?

It just doesn't seem right, not simply unfair, but just plain not right.

Anyway! Mom, her friend Rachel, and I went out on a trail ride early this morning when the ground was still slightly frosty and it was disturbingly easy to see breath. I took Panda out again. If I'm not careful the boy's going to think I've abandoned him. But Panda needs the miles a lot more than he does and I should be able to start getting some good time on him as well. Panda did well, especially considering the construction at the trail head and a number of bicycles that passed us by. That and the fact that we were riding East to begin with and the sun was thoroughly in all of our eyes for the first half of the ride before we turned around.

Panda is coming along nicely. She's getting less reactive, though the first portion of the ride she was a little jiggy (nothing compared to what most people consider jiggy, but I don't like any jig at all...), but worked out of it into a relaxed, but swinging walk.

I've set up to start going back to Kim's next Friday and I'll start going to a place out in Peoria the end of the month. I'll probably go to the place in Peoria for a few months (and only every other week) due to the distance, but I am curious as to what they have to share. They're the same people with the Arab gelding and the warmblood mare that I checked out back in December.

In other news, the hunt is still on for Natalie and has begun for the siblings (a third one will be joining them in taking lessons next week, actually). I went with Nat and her Mom Saturday morning to look at a Standardbred mare. She was only 800 and I took a look at her and asked if she had been lunged, the lady said "kindof," but never with a whip. So I gave it a shot. Very low-key, just asking her to walk around me at first and WOOSH! hoof flying past my head! The mare tried to kick me THREE TIMES while lungeing her. She settle down into some form of work, but wasn't terribly happy about it. We then watched the lady ride her and I continued to be unimpressed. Well, unimpressed by the training not necessarily by the athleticism of the horse. When asked to trot she did this half-canter, but not really thing, elevating quite impressively as she rocked back and took these huge, exaggerated steps, but she wouldn't really settle into an easy, forward trot.

Now I know the horse was only 800, but I think they could do MUCH better in quality by waiting and possibly finding one that is a little more, but doesn't have the issues. The fact that she tried kicking me in the head (three times) didn't help the mare's case any either.

One Down

Dec. 11th, 2008 10:14 am
lantairvlea: (armaina)
One to go!

The test is done. I ended up vacating before she gave us time to work on the bonus question because ... well ... let's say I drank WAY too much water before the test. That aside, I think I did well. I was able to identify all the slides required and then some and I think I remembered most everything that was important to remember and managed to scrawl it out on the test (hurrah for all essay questions...).

Now I just have a presentation to do, turn in my portfolio, and all is well!

And I'm getting an "A" in the Art History class unless I completely bomb the final, woohoo! The revisions on my visual analysis essay plus the extra 15 extra credit points for going to the writing center have paid off! I just need to get an 87% on the final to lock in the "A" *dances.*

The other good news is that I have/had a "solid A" in my Intermedia class as of last Thursday, which means unless I flop horrendously today I should to fine. And I don't suspect I'll be doing any horrendous flopping, or at least hope not. Everything's done, I just need to present it. And the critique went pretty well on Tuesday, so I should be good on that mark too.

And this afternoon and tomorrow I just get to sit at home and detox. Revel in the fact that I have no assignments do, no school obligations, and just just BREATHE again.

Next semester is going to be so nice.

I can't wait to do some art for myself. I have a large-quartered piece of illustration board that has been sitting on my desk all semester begging to be used. I have some new pastels that I haven't touched. I have several boards for watercolor and gouache that I want to put to good use. Big ones even.

First art-type thing I want to do: finish design for T-shirts for my riding students, get it printed, and give them each a shirt plus some gift certificates for extra riding lessons for Christmas.

First thing to do with school over: CLEAN HOUSE!

Tomorrow I get to file away all of the things relating to school and reclaim my desk(s) from the mess of paperwork that is on it. I promise, I DO have a wood desk! There is wood under there!

I should now move my butt as class starts in four minutes.
lantairvlea: (Default)
I have unfortunately reached the point where I don't really care what happens this week because I am already done mentally. I don't care how I do on my third project for Intermedia, I don't care how well my portfolio goes or the presentation on Thursday, I don't care about the final on Thursday for Art History.

I just don't care.

Of course, part of me cares a great deal and that's the only reason I was able to prod myself to finish and work on things yesterday in order to get in a better position for this week so I'm not stressing ... but I'm not stressing. I'm going through this "I should be working, but don't really want to work" mode.

I think part of it is that I'm still batting at this illness that started Wednesday. I haven't been flat-on-my-back sick, but the fact that I'm blowing my nose and coughing up crudge is rather annoying. Actually, the nose blowing has dropped down to a minimum and the coughing has improved since it started Thursday, but it's still there and its quite annoying. I'll be seeing the doctor (or, rather, one of their nurse practitioners...) on Wednesday morning. Marty suggested testing for strep, not that I have anything like strep throat, but it could be a mild bacterial thing that settled in after the possible initial viral junk.

Current symptoms: Occasional cough, which generally results in hacking up phlegm that is white-to-yellowish (no obviously horrendous green thankfully ... yet). A not really runny nose that needs to be blown less than once every hour or so. And that's pretty much it. Annoying more than life-threatening.

Why yes, I am still procrastinating.

I need to record my performance lecture so it can be ready for tomorrow as I don't have the time to memorize it and would rather have it play and perform the actions than simply read from a paper.

I also need to get my Portfolio finished up today, but it's not necessarily due tomorrow, Thursday is also acceptable, and I think I might push towards that rather than try and get it done today ... but I'll try to get it done today anyway ... as I continue to procrastinate. Hrr.

I am looking forward to Friday.
lantairvlea: (Default)
I find myself a bit off-balanced at the thought that I only have two classes left. Two classes. That's it. Tuesday and Thursday, Intermedia and Art History.

This semester both dragged and sped by at the same time. This last month went by incredibly fast, which is actually something that I asked for back at the beginning of the year.

At the same time I find myself not really caring about the huge final on Thursday or how well I do on this last project for Intermedia. I really don't have much passion about this last project. I threw myself out there with the first two and this one is just kind of limp. It doesn't help that I've been going back and forth between two different projects, so I haven't really gotten any momentum on either of them.

Next semester is going to be so nice.

Two studio classes.

Two days a week.

All art.

And pretty much doing what I want to do. Maybe not in the painting class, but Drawing is going to be a blast. I haven't had the time to really draw at all this semester, nothing big at least.

I'm also looking forward to getting to ride again. Tuesday I climbed on Kash after Natalie's lesson and did a little serpentine in the walk and trot on him. I doubt I was on more than five minutes. Cantered just a few strides and stopped. I got off and I was sore. It was really pitiful, actually. I can't wait to be done with this semester and be able to be with my horses again and ride. I miss it so much. Both it and drawing.

In other news. I lost my voice yesterday and yet still taught two lessons. 'Brose broke her radius bone last week so we'll be doing ground-related work. Yesterday we ground drove Panda, which was good for both of them. Emma rode the new mare for the first time, and we have another vote for the name Jinger. So that's three for Jinjer, one for Dusdee (I'm kinda rooting for Jinjer).
lantairvlea: (Default)
Freedom that is. The sweet, wonderful taste of freedom!

Today is the last day of my Wednesday night class and my Wednesday/Friday class. We're having a small party in the morning class, I brought bagels. So we'll eat, we'll chat, and turn in our papers. It shall be good. Mine is a massive 28 page beast. This evening I turn in another paper, it's 11 pages. I'm hoping that we get to turn them in and then run off and perhaps, just perhaps I'll snag the 5.00 bus and be home by 6.00, that would be all kinds of awesome.

I think I already mentioned that I have my first week-and-a-half of not-school planned out. It will be full of cleaning. But after that! After that I plan on working horses and doing art.

Horses: Panda will be worked practically DAILY during the week. I will focus on desensitizing because she needs it. Expose her to EVERYTHING. I'll also be riding her and working on her trot-canter-trot transitions and get some more control in the canter.

Kash will be worked 2-3 times a week and I have a whole assortment of things I want to do with him, one being working on a loose rein and perhaps getting him slightly less noodly (granted, that is probably a permanent feature due to his responsiveness and insane amount of athleticism).

Cinnamon Strudel will be on mark to be worked 2-3 times a week as well, focusing on getting her to ground drive reasonably well. Also looking to start backing her, but not riding.

The new mare (whose name is being decided between Dusdee and Jinjer) I'll probably work maybe once a week and simply getting the trot-canter transition smoothed out so she can be ready for students to start learning it on her.

And I plan on taking Ruby out once a week to "explore" because she's such a kick to ride bareback around the neighborhood (o so comfy).

ARG!

Nov. 26th, 2008 10:17 am
lantairvlea: (twidget)
I CAN'T GET SICK.

My throat is a bit sore and my nose is dripping, plus I have that vague sense of blah-ness that might be explained by mild sinus pressure.

I took some mucus relief stuff to try and loosen up whatever crap might be trying to build up in my system and will probably make some soup or other warm goodness for lunch. Unfortunately it means I should probably avoid eggnog, which is a tragedy, because I love the stuff (sans alcohol, of course) and it is only around for about a month and a half.

Of course, not to mention the fact that I have two curricula to get done and a paper to re-write. That and a project to work on, don't forget that one.

The good news is that one curriculum is practically done, I'm just messing with formatting stuff, and the other has most of the research already done for it ... mostly.

I'm hoping nothing too serious goes down because I need to stick it out for the next two weeks as school comes to a close. THEN I can get sick and I could care less, the only thing at stake would be the cleanliness of the house and not my grades.

Not to say that the house being clean isn't important, but it doesn't have an affect on my degree and graduating next semester and finally being DONE.

I'm going to go gargle some salt water.

Small One

Nov. 25th, 2008 08:02 am
lantairvlea: (Default)
So the mare has been here for about a week and a half. We brought her home a week ago Saturday after trying her out a bit more. She is still on "probation" of sorts. She did pass the soundness exam with flying colors and our Farrier will be here today to trim her (and the rest of the crew) up. Hopefully I'll get home before he is done (I usually do, there's 10 horses between us, my parents, and Chris' parents) and can ask him his thoughts on the mare. I've taught two lessons with her and have done some riding and longeing work with her. She is picking it up fairly quickly despite not ever being longed before. By the looks of it she'll be staying, unless something "exciting" happens.

I'm trying to get all of my students to submit names and then I'll narrow it down to about two and have them all vote. Rather democratic, I think. Some of the suggestions thusfar: Cutie Pie, Pumpkin, Ginger/Jinjer, Strawberries and Cream, Sundance, and Dusty. There are more, but I can't think of them at the moment. I've been calling her "Small One" in lieu of an actual name because I refuse to call her "Sassy" (I already have one "Sassy" horse in my life and don't need another! Plus, the name doesn't really suit her).

So the good news is that I have another horse that I can use for lessons that might be as good as Chewy and, added bonus, should be able to do canter work so I don't have to subject the more timid students to the boy. The bad news is, well, I have another horse, ha! I really wasn't expecting to get another one until Chewy was closer to retirement, but with her injury back in October I couldn't afford to have her out like that again without another good back-up.

Not to say that Ruby hasn't been a wonderful, tolerant stand-in, but, y'know, she is a BELGIAN after all and weights just shy of a TON and asking a kid who doesn't even weight as much as the horse's jaw bone (let alone her head) to steer her around precisely is a bit much, especially since Ruby doesn't have the softest mouth. I do love seeing the little tiny kids riding around on her, though, and the kids to find her quite fun, if gigantic and sometimes hard to steer.



So life is pushing onward. I have five horses instead of just four, and we are a little less eclectic as we now have two horses of the same breed (well, ponies, the small one is a Haflinger like, but not like Chewy, slightly smaller and not as impressively drafty). That's okay, maybe when Chewy retires I'll try and find a Fjord to take her place *grin.*

Of course, I never expected to own anything more than one of the more popular breeds, and yet I ended up with two Haflingers, a Belgian, and a mostly Percheron pinto draft. I blame Chris. He got me into the drafts *grin.*

And can I say that I do NOT like the hitch-type draft horses? Not that I don't find them somewhat aesthetically pleasing, but I want a draft horse that LOOKS like a draft horse, not a heavy light horse on stilts. Drafts should look like DRAFTS. QHs should look like QHs (not thoroughbreds!). Morgans should look like MORGANS (not saddlebreds!). But that's a rant for another time.

Not quite three weeks left in school! WOOOO! I can't wait for the break. And at that it'll be more than just a break. I'll have two classes. Tuesday and Thursday, one in the morning (don't leave the house until 8.00) one in the evening (leave house around 6.00, but have at least three hours at home to dink/teach lessons/hang out with husband). Both studio classes. SO NICE.

The first thing I'm doing during Winter break is cleaning the house. I'll start with the shower and work my way to the door. The floors will be SCRUBBED and there shall be dusting! Much dusting! The house shall be clean enough to eat off of any surface!

And after that I get or reorganize all of my art supplies and my desks because they tend to be come disastrous during the semester (and clear off the kitchen table... and that corner where my school stuff collects...).
lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
Apologies for spamming your friends lists, but as most of you know, posting for me has been a bit of a rarity of late so I think one day of three posts can be pardoned, right?

This is the video of my performance piece. Pardon the airplane noise, I didn't realize it was there until just now, which means I'll be editing and re-uploading later, but in the mean time, enjoy! My legs are finally back to normal after it.



I still think it would be awesome to have an honest-to-goodness SHOW like this with multiple entrants and everything. Probably still volunteer judges, but an all-day thing rather than just a few minutes. It would be AWESOME.

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