December 16, 2013

Horse Portrait Contest

Okay my devoted bloggers. I have a challenge for those of you interested! I will be giving away one free  8" x 10" painting of your horse to one lucky reader. It will be acrylic on canvas. I cannot tell you when it will be finished, but sometime in January. But hey, it's free, so perhaps worth the wait?

Here is how you enter:


1. Email me a high resolution photo of your horse (no people). You may send in more than one submission.  Email is dock (dot) start (at) gmail (dot) com.
2. You must own full copyright privileges of the photo. This is easy if you took it yourself. However, if it is a professional photo you need to get permission from the photographer for me to make a painting of it. I need this in writing (email). I will likely be using a slide/scan of the finished painting in the future to advertise my work. Most photographers in my experience are okay with this so long as they are asked up front.
3. The photo must have a lot of contrast. Light/dark shadows, etc.

The winner will be chosen by what I deem to be the best photo to make a painting of and once it is done I will mail you your painting. You do however need to cover the cost of shipping. A small painting like this should cost less than $10 to ship safely. We will sort all that out later once the painting is finished and ready to go.

Okay, so now you are wondering what your painting might look like and if I'm any good at this? Well, before I got realistic about life and an income and went to grad school, I completed and undergrad degree in painting. So you can say that I do know how to paint, although it is not my profession these days. I've painted a few horse paintings over the years more or less during times when I was lacking inspiration to paint something "serious" (see below). Well, time has passed and I only paint for fun now. So I've decided that it doesn't matter to me any more if the art community considers horse paintings serious art or not. I want to paint horses so I'm going to!

What is new to me though is painting in acrylics.  I've always painted with oils. However, since I can only paint in my dining room with JR running around the house and the fact that there is lack of ventilation options due to it being winter, my only option is to paint in acrylics (non-toxic). One day when JR is older (or I have an art studio in my home) I will return to my beloved toxic fume laden oils. So, you my lucky blog contest winner will be the first horse painting I've done in acrylic. Don't fret, it isn't my first acrylic painting though. I think I'm up to about seven acrylic paintings now. Basically at some point I decided I can't just not paint because of JR, so I reluctantly decided to embrace acrylics. It's kinda like being a pick up rider instead of owning your own horse. You still get the horse fix but it's not quite as satisfying.

Now send in those entries!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

December 8, 2013

A christmas Beacon perhaps?

This adorable Gatstby colt is for sale. His asking price is completely beyond on the upper end of my budget, but every time I think about breeding I worry about what could go wrong in terms of  $$$ (granted there is broodmare insurance...which I recently learned about, but I don't yet know the ins and outs of that). This little guy is exactly what I want in terms of looks. The ONLY thing that is keeping me from really harassing my husband about driving to Maryland and hauling him home is the -19f weather fact that he's 3/4 TB.

Now, I am not an anti TB person. The best horse I've ever owned was an OTTB. However, not being an eventer, I prefer big broad horses to super fast ones. I worry that this guy will grow up to be too narrow for me despite the 1/4 Hanoverian. It's torture really, because otherwise he is perfect. He'll definitely be tall enough to take up my leg regardless of girth. So maybe it's not an issue. I think I would just prefer a horse that has no chrome but is 3/4 Hanovarian to chrome and 3/4 TB. In addition, I think about costs. If I am going the TB route it seems more sensible to pick up a OTTB project for 1/4 (or less) of the price. So, there is that too.

On a total side note, now that Gingham is in the motherly way, the thought did cross my mind to see if she'd agree to an embryo tranfer off her fabulous Hanoverian mare Prairie. Gatsby x Prairie...drool... Now that would be my dream horse!

But darn isn't Beacon cute? And he's a Gatsby baby. This horse is seriously drool worthy. Here's a link to his sales ad if you are in the market. He's going to make someone a really happy owner I just know it.

As for the property search it continues. We are just about ready to put our house on the market. At this rate I think we will wait until after the holidays. That should make staging the house a bit more simple. For now though we are finally hanging drapery. The house has needed them for so long. It is going to be hard to sell once all these little improvements are finished.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


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