Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I Look For in an Artist

When I look for a good artist, either for a commission, or just to research some artists for later, I always look for a good person - not just a good artist. I am more inclined to commission or buy from an artist who gives back to the hobby, supports new, young artists, and who seems like they are a warm, friendly, understanding human being. Some artists can seem unapproachable because they are so famous in the hobby and because of that, I will always feel like a bother to communicate with them. This could potentially lose them business from the young upcoming hobbyists because these famous artists can actually become sort of scary to talk to.

I like to see them on Model Horse Blab or other social media sites too, it makes me feel like they are really part of the hobby, not above it.

I always admire and make an effort to support artists who create tutorials, how tos, books, instructional DVDs, YouTube videos, etc. and who recognize, help, and support younger hobbyists. Either tack makers, painters, or sculptors, I think much more highly of these artists than others who do not give back, and will always chose these guys over others.

Another thing I look at is their Facebook page. Are their messages positive and encouraging, or strictly cold, hard business? Do they happily show client's pictures from live shows showcasing the artists work winning? Are they supportive of their clients, and do they accept new ones?

These are all questions and ideas that run through my head when choosing an artist to commission or buy from. It can be a lot of fun to research other hobbyist's work and see what they are like!

It's important to support the good people, and thank them for what they do. 😊

Monday, December 29, 2014

My Christmas Resins

Christmas was good to me this year, and I got a few new resins to really jump start my resin collection. A few have not arrived from overseas or holiday breaks in shipping, but I wanted to share the ones that have arrived, and what I plan on doing with them!

The first to arrive was "MEM No Inhibitions" sculpted by Jennifer L Scott of Aspen Leaf Studios LLC. My mom purchased this resin from Jennifer L Scott and had a wonderful transaction, and No Inhibitons arrived quickly, well packed (I believe from Mountain View Studios, though I can't find the box to confirm this!), and is just a beautiful model! The casting is very clean and nice. I am definitely planning on purchasing more models from Aspen Leaf Studios in the future. The detail is phenomenal, and the horse is sculpted with all the Morgan-y characteristics that are incredibly hard to capture. You really can't go wrong with any of Jennifer's sculptures - they all look great! "MEM No Inhibitons" may be my first - but definitely won't be my last.

This girl will be sent off to Chris Nandell-Flint to be painted a shaded red bay with my old horse Iesha's markings. To say the least - I am EXTREMELY excited!!!

Next on the list are my Maggie Bennett "Step It Out Mary" resins. These two little girls are adorable, and the detail on them is great. The castings have a few pin holes here and there, an occasional bubble, seams, but all are easily fixable. Overall the castings are good and I am very happy with both of them! I purchased a couple micro minis from Maggie Bennett earlier as well, and both transactions went very well, the horses were shipped very quickly, arrived quickly, and were packed fabulously. I plan on painting one to be a portrait of my mom's Racking Horse mare AngelBear, and the other a nice red bay.

Here is AngelBear:

Stay tuned for the other resins by Katya Elp and Seunta LLC - you won't want to miss them!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My 2014 Show Year

My year was great, show wise. As I was just getting back into the hobby, I didn't do as well as I'm sure I could have, if I took my time and really jumped in, but I wanted to relax and ease back into things. To say the least, I had a blast and am ready to really hop back into it in 2015!

With some brilliant new models, I am very excited!

However, staying in 2014, my show year started with BreyerFest. I showed in the Open show for the first time. Let me tell ya, it is VERY different than the Children's/Youth shows. I did fairly well in the Youth show, winning a handful of glossies and an Overall Grand Champion in my few years there, but this year in the Open show I was actually quite thrilled to have even won a first place and a couple seconds! Wowzers!

My glossy Manco Capac always does quite well for me in the show ring, I think he even got a first at BreyerFest the year before too. This was my big kick-off for the 2014 show season!

"Toruk Makto" winning first place at BreyerFest 2014.

Following BreyerFest, I attended Baystate Models Live. I did well at this show, though it was smaller, it was just as fun!

"Neytiri"  at Baystate

McDreamy at Baystate!

"Jake Sully" at Baystate. Only in Region X will there be a whole table of glossy O'Leay's! 

"Va Va Voom" at Baystate

"Ghost Assassin" winning a second place at Baystate.

"Toruk Makto" at Baystate

"Toruk Makto" winning 1st at Baystate

 If you haven't noticed, I show mostly in Collectibility. I have a thing for glossies!

After Baystate came Albany Area Regional Halter Bash.

"Babel" at AARHB

"Stealing Eden" at AARHB

"Bravado" at AARHB

"Hollywood Undead" at AARHB

I didn't do spectacular to AARHB, but I brought my friend Brittany and we had a fun time. 

Next comes this big guy, The Region X Championships. This show was massive, and a ton of fun! I met a lot of really awesome people, and I can't wait to go again!

"Hollywood Undead" at TRXC, winning reserve Champ
This was a GREAT ending to a wonderful year!

I can't wait for the 2015 show season, I will have a few new faces to put out there, I am going to try my hand at Performance showing, and I am going to have a great time. 

Hope to see ya there, and I hope you had a great year too!

To see more pictures from the shows, please visit my website: Wiggle Work Studios

Monday, December 22, 2014

TRXC Report: Performance

The Region X Championships are Region 10's NAN, and with that being said is incredibly competitive. The attention to detail and accuracy is beyond what you might see at other shows, really setting TRXC apart.

TRXC is well known for it's Stakes classes. To enter a Stakes class, the model/set up must have won first or second place at a NAN qualifying Region 10 show prior to being shown in the Stakes class. All the entries in these Stakes classes are the best of the best, making these classes very intense!

I was the official TRXC photographer this year, and I really appreciate everyone giving me the chance and making it a wonderful experience. Kudos to the awesome judges as well, those were some super hard classes! And, a special thank you to the show holder(s), it just wouldn't be possible without their time and hard work.

In my opinion, TRXC was a huge success this year!

On to the Performance set ups!

I obviously cannot show all the remarkable entries, but here are just a few to give an idea of the awesomeness that is TRXC's Performance.

To view the full album of pictures from TRXC 2014,  CLICK HERE.

This OF harness entry was really well done, and the models were quite beautiful, with an OF Totilas, and a slightly customized one. It definitely stood out!

This model really did it all, from harness to western to other performance -- and what a stunning model it was!

The English Division was really somethin'. With wonderful tack and gorgeous models, this was one competitive division! The jumps were insanely detailed, the artists that put them together must know their stuff! Besides the tack and props, the dolls have really improved since my last trip to a performance show.

With such an awesome English Division, of course the Western Division would be glorious too! The games and ideas portrayed in the Division were great, I really enjoyed reading the reference cards. The creativity is endless in Region 10!

When it comes to costumes and other performance, no detail was spared. The last picture is a Breyer trailer with zombies and horse parts in it, with lots of splattered blood and gore! 

The entrants of Region 10 are so creative, congratulations to everyone! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Instructional Books & Blogs on Customizing & Tack Making

I have always been interested in painting model horses, but I was never any good at it. I tried for a year or so with some luck and then decided I needed some outside help. I had been using a cheap airbrush with watered down store-bought acrylic paints. I didn't frequent Model Horse Blab often enough to buy a membership to gain access to the "The Studio" section as I was really shy and didn't want to post anything marking me stupid when it came to hobby things. That changed after a little while when I started to lightly post here and there, and eventually I realized that the people on Blab had some of the same questions I did. They never called anyone stupid and instead helped them, even if it was a really simple question that could have been answered by Google. I have come to appreciate everyone on Blab and look forward to the help that they offer. I highly recommend buying a membership to Model Horse Blab, even if it is only for a month ($1.80 I think?). It is an invaluable resource! The one problem I had with Blab when it came to customizing was it was only on the computer and didn't cover every single nitty gritty detail, unless you specifically asked. When you are making tack or painting a model, it's always nice to be able to reference the information right in front of me immediately. 

One year at BreyerFest I came across a room at the Clarion/Holiday Inn North (CHIN) that was selling a used copy of Chris Nandell-Flint's "Trade Secrets and Methods of a Model Horse Artist"I can very honestly say it is one of the best $70 I have ever spent at BreyerFest. This 132 page spiral bound book covers absolutely everything from prepping to the finishing touches. It even covers repairs! There are tons of full color, large, clear images to guide you through the process of whatever you are doing and detailed descriptions to go along with them. It has given me valuable sculpting tips to get those pesky manes and tails looking fabulous, and even has color recipes for oil painting, which I have adapted to use with an airbrush. There are wonderful tips on customizing plastic models as well. This book is a must for anyone looking to customize model horses, even those who already do. You are sure to learn a lot.

Link to purchase directly from Chris Nandell-Flint: http://www.boshevo.com/book/index.html
There is a full table of contents list on that page as well.

The next book that has really helped me and was recommended by a couple  of professional tack makers at TRXC this year is Susan Bensema Young's "Guide To Making Model Horse Tack". This book is a bit older, but still carries a lot of weight and inspiration. The diagrams are much better than any you will find on Google because they are hand drawn and specific to what is being made. There are some seriously helpful measurements and step by step guides to making saddles. I have also learned a whole bunch about different types of tack after going through the book. It's great to see how the styles have changed in some fashions, and others have stayed exactly the same. It goes over every kind of tack you can think of as well as how to add bling, knots, braids, patterns, and so on. All the pattern diagrams for saddles are included in this wonderful 210 page guide. If you ever thought about seriously making your own tack, this book will be invaluable to you. You will never be able to find the plates and diagrams anywhere else.
 Link to purchase directly from Susan Bensema Young: http://timarustarii.com/tmg.htm

Finally, my newest instructional book is "Stablemate Scale English Saddle Tutorial" by Anna KirbyThis little 17 page booklet has clear, full color, close up pictures of each step, making it easier to recreate the process. It is very in-depth and helpful, definitely understandable from a beginners point of view. Anna Kirby shows you how to take a few simple(ish) supplies and turn it into a beautiful stablemate scale english saddle. It is a spectacular buy at $10, and I had my copy printed and bound at OfficeMax for $20. If you want to dabble in tack making, I would definitely recommend this awesome little booklet! You will not be disappointed. This is by far the easiest saddle making tutorial I have read. The pattern diagram is provided, and steps to make a girth and saddle pad are included too. Perfect booklet for a beginner tack maker that wants to try their hand. 

Link to purchase directly from Anna Kirby of DreamFlite Design: http://dreamflitedesign.com/saddleguide.shtml


If you are worried to try making the stablemate english saddles because you do not know how to dye leather, Jennifer Buxton of Breymere Custom Saddlery has the most AMAZING blog you might ever read.. Her tack tips are endless and absolutely incredible. She has so many really super-duper helpful tack making tips that you might go crazy!

Here is Jennifer's leather dyeing blog post:  

Jennifer also has a couple getting started posts: 
Part One: http://braymere.blogspot.com/2009/04/tack-tips-getting-started-part-one.html
Part Two: http://braymere.blogspot.com/2009/04/tack-tips-getting-started-part-two.html
I would definitely read these three posts by Jennifer Buxton BEFORE reading the english saddle guide. It might give you the information needed to get started. 

ALL of Jennifer's blog is wonderful, there are TONS of other tutorials on there, check it out!

A Wonderful Artist - Chris Nandell-Flint

We have all been to a show, or browsing though the internet, and come across a model with a heart-melting paint job. Whether it's the vibrant color, labyrinth of intricate markings, incredible detail, or just the overall piece, it has most likely happened a few times. After a while you might have noticed all those gorgeous models were painted by the same artist, either because the artist has a "signature look" about all their work, or you came across the artist's website. Whatever the reason, those models really stuck out and were hard to forget. 

For me, those models are the beautiful works of Chris Nandell-Flint, of Beau Cheveaux Creations. Ever since joining the hobby, I have always admired her work. The paint jobs are so clean and smooth looking, with eyes that are so neat and tidy that they look real. Her eyes really stick out, you can spot a piece painted by her from a mile away. At live shows you can go through the champs and class winners and easily pick out the models she painted. They are unlike any other artist's work. 

This is a model painted by Chris Nandell-Flint, shown at The Region X Championships. 

The shading is outstanding. It looks soft and natural, giving the model depth and a bright appearance. Her work with oils is, in my opinion, some of the best out there. The pieces don't look overly complicated, as some  models do. The artist tries to pack so much shading and color in that it looks like too much. Not Chris Nandell-Flint, she makes it all work and come together perfectly -- while maintaining a very high level of detail.

This is a model painted by Chris Nandell-Flint, shown at The Region X Championships. This particular model is owned by Kate Cabot.

Though, my favorite part of her work, other than her beautiful bright red bays (which happen to be my favorite!), and the eyes.

It's all in the eyes!
Model painted by Chris Nandell-Flint, shown at Albany Area Regional Halter Bash 2014.

I can very proudly say I will soon own a piece painted by this extremely talented artist. Literally one of my hobby dreams come true!

Model painted by Chris Nandell-Flint, shown at The Region X Championships.

Model painted by Chris Nandell-Flint, shown at Albany Area Regional Halter Bash 2014. 

I also feel the need to show these amazing dapples! So soft and well blended, not overly done like Breyer's chicken wire dapples. Beautiful!

Model Painted by Chris Nandell-Flint, shown at Albany Area Regional Halter Bash 2014.

Be sure to check out her very, very long Hall Of Fame! It's awesome, and so is her Trade Secrets Customizing book, as mentioned in a previous post. More examples of her work can be found on her website.