lantairvlea: (lantair look)
We're getting information back from the NFHR membership survey. A little over 300 responses thusfar. The results are as postulated. Membership doesn't provide enough bang for the buck. A lot of people feel isolated and there is a lack of community. Our job now is to assess and figure out how to fix it, or at least make it better.

I'm also working on a new entry form for the draft show and Brenda and I are close to agreeing on an order of go. Then there is advertising and all that. Troy is supposed to get back with me on names for judges.

Yesterday I long lined Tru-D. I had some nice moments of her moving off the whip, though she does tend to get quick with it. We worked a serpentine over the poles. Her steering is getting better and we're starting to be able to make some large turns in the trot. It was a bit breezy so she was a little looky on one end of the arena, but we worked through it.

I need to keep working on her being responsive to the whipas a lateral aid and not just "Go Faster!" This too shall come.

Tru-d and her current set-up with the feather lines looped through the bridle.

After I brushed her off we took a walk around the house. We had a little spook when Chris opened a window so I asked him to open and shut it a few times until she realized it wasn't a big deal. We then returned to the arena and I asked her to move around the mounting block before leaning and rubbing on her. She looked at me as if to say "what are you doing there?" and stood solid.

I let her loose and fed the herd.

It rained last night so my morning lesson is postponing a couple hours to let it clear up.

I'm dealing with some allergies or a cold. It started as a lump of nastiness in my throat and then I started hacking it up and now my nose is getting stuffed and my eyes are thinking about getting a bit puffy. I'm drinking a lot of Chamomile tea with honey and lemon.


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: (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.

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.


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!



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