Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Six of Swords and the Earthworm...

9/20: Six of Swords,  The Wild Unknown TarotEarthwormThe Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck.

Grubby Little Hands...

I was talking with a friend the other day about birthday presents.  We were nearly rolling on the floor laughing about some of our most unusual gifts we have received over the years.  When we sobered up from our fits of laughter and uncontrollable giggles, they asked me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday.  Of course, my responses were pretty esoteric... concepts like "more time" and "continued happiness".  Exasperated by my vagueness, they said I needed a list.  The truth of the matter is that it was actually harder to come up with a list than I thought it'd be.  While we're not rich, we definitely are blessed with a life of abundance and if there's something that I want, generally I can work towards it and get it myself or William gets it for me, especially if it helps me create things.  When I was growing up, my family didn't have a lot of money and I realized fairly early on that my requests generally added more stress to my parents' lives, particularly if it was out of reach.  So it was best to wish for abstract concepts that wouldn't make my parents feel bad for not being able to do more.

In reality, I'm easily pleased.  Someone could give me a pretty rock they found on the ground and I'd be happy with it.  I value handmade things and little works of art.  I particularly enjoy the unusual and always delight in surprises.  I'm a collector of things – cats, owls, ravens, books, beads, and anything magical.  When I did finally come up with a list, it was pretty boring!  LOL! Mostly it was raw materials to make things, like metal clay and resin.  

After some time, I thought harder about the things that I wanted and I came up with this list.  They are all things that are currently on my radar and are things that I'll eventually get for myself, but do not yet have.  I know this list might seem frivolous, especially with everything going on in the world right now, but it's mostly just a fun little exercise for myself.  Of course, you can always CLICK HERE and contribute to our Beads of Courage fundraising page.  Their annual fundraiser is almost over and they need help to reach their goal.  Of course, there's also hurricane relief efforts for the aftermath of Harvey and Irma.  And earthquake disaster relief in Mexico.  Or pro equality and human rights.  Really, there are so many more people in need right now.

For what it's worth, here's my list:

With some of the polymer clay work that I make and metalsmithing, a bench top polisher would free up my hands and allow me to really shine some stuff up!

Recently, I was in a class with Christi Friesen and one of the techniques we did used PanPastels.  Since then, I've been thinking up of all kinds of applications for this art supply.

I have a lot of rough gemstone and mineral specimens that I'd like to turn into a more useful state.  I'd like the ability to carve my own stones and this would help me get there.

I'm a big fan of candles in general, but we got this as a housewarming present and it was delightful.  I was almost reluctant to burn it, because I wanted it to last forever and ever.

Who couldn't use a little extra luck? When we opened the store, we ended up getting a bunch of lucky cats.  With some projects in the works, it might be time for our collection to increase.

I first discovered the Fabulous Beekman Boys (Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge) with, "The Bucolic Plague".  Since then, their business and lifestyle brand has really taken off and they've launched several cookbooks.  I have a few and like them a lot.  I particularly love the photography.  This is their latest and it looks like a good one.

So, I wasn't really going to put anything on the list that I have had already, but I had some great ideas and was just about to execute them and then I ran out of this clay! Eek!  What I like about this clay is that it has incredible translucency. 

This is one of my favorite scents.  It has a rich warmth to it.  After years of adding a dab here and there, I am finally out and am looking for more.

This is another item that is on my list thanks to Christi Friesen!  In one of her classes, we worked with genuine gold leaf.  Normally whenever I use "gold leaf", I use imitation gold leaf, but in class I discovered some of the properties of working with the real deal and want to experiment more.

We recently became vegetarian and as a result, I've been researching recipes that are vegetarian friendly.  While looking up Moroccan and Northern African recipes, I came across this.  It looks tasty!

I know there's a big hubbub with some chefs and truffle oil.  I recall one of them saying that it's basically "perfume" and a "lie".  But you know what... I don't care!  I've had some fries that were flavored with "perfume" and "lies" and they were damn delicious.  This is a pantry item that I recently ran out of, but usually only pick up when I stumble upon a good deal.

Speaking of delicious fungi, one of my favorite dishes that I make is a wild mushroom risotto.  It's earthy.  It's buttery.  It's like someone is hugging you from the inside when you eat it.  I usually buy the broken bit medley from Earthly Delights, as it's usually cheaper and I don't mind if the mushrooms aren't in perfect slices.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pantone Spring 2018 London Fashion Color Trend Report...

The final Pantone Spring Color Report usually comes out near the end of the month after all the big shows have wrapped up.  Can't wait that long?  That's okay! They've just announced the Pantone Spring 2018 London Fashion Color Trend Report.  This report covers the top twelve colors that hit the runway in the UK.

Here's a little bit about what they said, "The desire for colorful self-expression is a key take away for Spring 2018.  Similar to observations made by Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman in our NY Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report, designers for the UK market are comparably responding to the consumer's growing appetite for flexibility in color expression by introducing more unusual colors and color stories in their collections for Spring 2018.  Overall there is a feeling of optimism and confidence driving a new vitality into fashion trends."  To read all of it, CLICK HERE.

Like the New York report, the London version included a "core basics".  The palette of the neutrals was the same as in New York.

Speaking of things being similar, there were a few colors that were transatlantic chart toppers!  Seven of the top twelve colors that appeared in London also appeared in New York.  To be fair, New York's "Chili Oil" has a similar vibe as London's "Spiced Apple".  The most noticeable differences come with London's "Nile Green" and New York's "Arcadia" and London's "Palace Blue" and New York's "Little Boy Blue".  Additionally, New York has a solid brown color with "Emperador" while London has a slightly softer, more pastel, traditional spring palette with variations of dusty pinks.
Pantone New York Fashion Color Trend Report ("X" marks show crossovers)
Pantone London Fashion Color Trend Report
The question now is... which colors will stick around for the final Spring Color Report?  Do you have any early predictions for Color of the Year?

Strength & the Eagle...

9/15: Strength,  The Wild Unknown TarotEagleThe Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Pantone Spring 2018 New York Fashion Color Trend Report...

It's here!  The first of the Fashion Color Trend Reports comes hot on the heels of New York Fashion Week.  I always look forward to the Pantone Color Reports.  After years of posting about them, I know the survey palettes can be met with mixed feelings.  While several designers I've talked to don't particularly care for them, I find them really useful.  I might not always implement them in my design choices, but they are definitely good food for thought.  It's also a nice way to take the pulse of the fashion world and get a clearer consensus about the feel and mood of some of the top influencers in the fashion industry.  Love it or hate it, if you're into color, it's definitely interesting!

These were the top twelve colors that hit the runway.  The selections from the Spring 2018 are a vibrant mix, and highlight self-expression and individuality.  Some of the colors aren't ones that we'd normally associate with a spring palette, but are certainly statement making.  Pantone states, "The color story is wildly divergent and we see a kaleidoscopic bounty of uplifting shades and feel-good tones.  There is a feeling of optimism and confidence driving a new vitality into fashion trends.  That doesn't mean that we don't continue to look for more neutral or classic shades as while simple, these core basics are seasonal essentials, working well on their own as well as providing the landscape for the color complexity."

With that being said, they've also launched their first, "Color Classic Color Palette".  This is the neutrals that form the foundation for the color play of the regular color samplings.

Want to find out more?  You can check out all the latest information about the Spring 2018 selections by CLICKING HERE.

The final Spring Color Report should be coming in a few weeks.  One of my favorite thing about the Spring report is that the Color of the Year is usually selected from this report.  What do you think the Color of the Year for 2018 will be?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

For Better or Worse...

Earlier today, I added a post called, "Balancing Acts".  If you're interested in reading it, you can certainly scroll back or CLICK HERE.  In it, I outlined a general path for my own personal growth and how I wanted to develop changes in my life.  I talk about finding and maintaining balance and some of my general thoughts on the subject.

I think though that some of the language was misconstrued as an attack or a passive aggressive jab.  That was not my intention and I apologize to anyone who felt as though I was directing my words at them.  The people I vaguely mentioned know my feelings very clearly and there is no need for guessing or self-blame.  If you read what I wrote and wonder, "Is he talking about me?" and there hasn't been previous correspondence about it, in all likelihood, it wasn't about you.  The folks who I wrote about know it was about them, as I made my thoughts known to them.

So... in the words of a beloved friend, "Snap out of it!"  Insert silly face emoji here.

Instead of reading between the lines, enjoy the fresh night air, make something, or try and understand yourself better.  I encourage you to write about your own thoughts and feelings.  My posts are my way of ordering my thoughts and writing through my thought processes.  For me, it helps tremendously.  Sometimes that strikes a note with others and may inspire them, but mostly my writing is for myself.  I am not a guru or a life coach.  I don't pretend to know in-depth about psychology or about how others should best lead their lives.  I am exploring my own path and trying to work through my own issues.

I'm reminded of a Golden Girls episode where they find Rose's diary and Blanche and Dorthy think that she's writing terrible things about them, when in actuality, she was writing about the pigs she raised.  Hijinks ensue as they get to the bottom of it.  Rose is hurt because of the invasion of privacy and the lack of trust that her friends have in her.  In the end, they make up and everything is all better.

I know the show is just a comedy from the 80's, but there are life lessons there.  I think one of them is that one shouldn't assume the worst.  If we are friends, please think better of me.  Please trust me and know that my life includes many, many, many people and that if we have a connection, I will always make my thoughts and feelings known.  For better or worse, I speak my mind.  And you never know... I could be writing about pigs!

As for what follows now, while I'm acknowledging the misunderstandings and apologizing for unintentionally hurting anyone, I'm going to chalk it up as Mercury being retrograde.  This isn't to diminish or marginalize any concern that might have been brought to my attention.  But Mercury going retrograde is the poster child for miscommunications, delays, and hurt feelings!  What I've found is that if you fight against these things, it only gets worse.  The frustration grows.  But if you speak from the heart, try not to let things get to you, approach things with humor and humility, and move forward with purpose and an attempt at clarity... well, the damage is lessened.

Balancing Acts...

As I try to cultivate a more mindful existence, in-tune with the experiences of my life, I notice the reoccurring theme of balance.  I see how when things are balanced, I feel more connected with the moment and more insightful.  This isn't to say that I experience GRAND revelations or some otherworldly perceptions, it feels just "more right".  It feels like the coincidences and random happenings of life seem to align and the pattern that connects these seemingly arbitrary acts of chance coalesce and make sense.  Maybe not complete and total sense, but more sense than otherwise.  However, when there's an imbalance, everything sort of careens into chaos.  In most cases, it's nothing too dramatic, but they are the everyday frustrations that seem to pollute any kind of mental peace or wellbeing.  The little pebbles in the shoe seem to add up until they feel so much bigger and larger and more imposing than they really are.  Because really, most of the things that I fret over are very little indeed.

Much of maintaining balance is how I deal with things and in essence, my own personality traits.  Sometimes when there's a problem in the world, I look inside myself to see why it is a problem.  The world is a mirror to the self.

I struggle a lot with my relationships in life.  Part of me wants to be the fun-loving, popular kid surrounded by friends and at the heart of all the bustle.  The other part of me is more quiet, contemplative, and prone to solitude, existing on the edges and away from the crowd.  I have to admit that I am growing ever more towards enjoying isolation.  I find it harder and harder to "deal" with people nowadays.  I get this sensation that they want more of my time and energy than I am willing to give... and there becomes a struggle.  Maybe because I realize that I don't have the boundless energy of youth and that I feel the consequences of being depleted and feel them profoundly.  Sometimes people try to pressure me and try to emotionally manipulate me and control me.  I get it.  They may not be actively and intentionally doing it, but it's there.  Each of us has that hunger for more energy and we go to where we think we can find it.  Sometimes that's in another person.  Sometimes it is from a compulsion or a passion.  Sometimes it's from a physical place or a way of life.

As I become more mindful of these situations, I realize that part of this is my own fault.  I can't say that it is someone else's issues.  We all have issues.  The source though of my own struggles is myself.  I've created these psycho dramas where I put myself out there, as far as I can, and then run the other direction and hide.  It's a seesaw.  It's an imbalance.  I put myself in situations where I create dependency and expectation.  I put myself in roles where I am a source of energy and then I am shocked when people come to me for that energy that I offer.  And when I say "energy" it comes in many forms – it could be time, emotional receptiveness, mental headspace, or even physical objects that are imbued with my intention.

So it comes back around to... how to deal with the imbalances?

I wrote a little bit about my intentions on Facebook about seeking a level zero, completing all the outstanding projects and promises, and then sort of work from an even place of existence.  Also, not creating situations where there is a perpetual cycle of overextending myself or offering more than I have to give at any given moment.  I often use what I am capable of as a form of energetic currency, and I am finding that it's a higher price than I am willing to pay on most days.  It wears me down and makes me feel exhausted.  It's okay to say, "No, thank you."  For so long, I was conditioned to say yes to everything and while that served its purpose, it also created an imbalance.  I have to remind myself to say yes to the things that make my heart sing and say no to the things that do not speak to me, moving me by intuition and a higher guidance and alignment.  So the current goal is getting back to zero, where my commitments are maintained and not allowed to go too far one way or the other.

I think another important thing for me is establishing boundaries, both mental and physical.  I've put myself in a situation where people can contact me so easily and that ease of connection allows more people freedom to attempt to engage in this energy exchange.  I've been trying to channel my communications and engage in exchanges only when I feel ready to, instead of when others feel ready to.  And it has been met with struggle.  When you offer easy access and then pull away, there is friction and frustration.  Sometimes people get mad, thinking that I am ignoring them or not wanting to interact.  That's not always true.  For me, I need to communicate in the ways that do not constantly impede on the flow of my energy.  For instance, when I sit down to finish a project and then my phone lights up with notifications, instead of allowing the energy from the Universe to connect to my head, my heart, and hand and then to the act of creation, the notifications are distracting me from this.  Instead of focusing, I worry over if I've offended someone or if they are mad at me that I am not fast enough or did what they wanted to their satisfaction and then I freeze up.  I get tired by this constant EXTRA expenditure of energy, this control drama that repeats so often because I allow it to.  I've attempted to course-correct by becoming a hermit in some ways.  I don't leave the house and limit my social interactions.  This was mostly borne from feeling emotionally wiped out from the constant expelling of energy and wanting to create a private, safe space where I didn't give any energy away.  While this has been good in some ways, it has also been bad in others.  Again, it comes back to finding balance. The idea is to get back to zero, where there is not an imbalance, where there are meaningful exchanges of energy and everyone can feel that equilibrium and equality.

Of course, like most balancing acts, it looks easier than it really is.  A tightrope walker looks so graceful and effortless, but that wasn't always the case.  Their sublime relaxed composure, in the face of staggering heights and dizzying consequences, was carefully cultivated.  Balancing acts are all about active and conscious participation, and hopefully after purposeful and mindful practice, that effort becomes second nature and flows easily and beautifully.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Little Garden...

I don't really have time for a garden.  But... still... I try to grow one.  A garden is a reminder of the miracles of life that surround us and a lesson in caring for something other than yourself.  It's also a chance to slow down and give over to the sheer act of physical labor.  Hauling water and pulling weeds don't give much room to mull over the state of the country or the doldrums of adulting.  Even if thoughts of such things cross your mind, they seem like small matters compared to the task at hand.  A garden is also a lesson in patience and reward.  If you mind your garden and care for the plants, keeping them watered, fed, and free from competition, riches will emerge like shining jewels – a single tomato, brighter and more intense than any ruby or glowing garnet.  A small treasure that tastes of sunshine and summer soon gone.

Like most things worth doing, if you give of yourself and your time, nurturing it with love and tender devotion, it too will nourish you.  If you give, you will get back.

The lessons aren't always easy ones or entertaining.  We are made to remember that sometimes, no matter how much we love and water, pick, pluck, prune, and coddle... some things just aren't meant to be.  A garden, like life, is all about taking chances.  Will the weather be good?  Will a blight take hold?  Will slugs, ants, and other insects take notice?  Sometimes our best efforts just aren't enough or are too much, for a heavy hand can be just as bad as a negligent one.  We are taught in the language of leaves and stems, roots and flowers, that life is a balancing act and that it is fleeting and we must rejoice in the harvest when we can!

I don't really have time for a garden, but... still... I try, because it is a quiet teacher and what it offers to learn is important and well worth the time and effort.  A little garden is a teacher with big lessons.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pruning...

In the house that we moved into, there is a grapevine that grows along the back porch.  While it was a beloved feature, it had become unruly and the grapes were suffering.  The clusters would blacken and wither before they could ripen, filled with a powdery mold.  Not only did it threaten to pull down the gutters, but it also provided a safe haven for undesirable critters.

Earlier this year, I decided to finally tackle the grapevine.  It was a HUGE project, involving hours of careful removing of dead vines and plant debris.  I also attempted to train the remaining vines, so that they wouldn't grow into the window screens or pull down the downspouts.  My arms and legs showed the evidence of my vine wrangling.

Once I had finished, I was a little nervous.  It felt oddly stark and barren.  I had taken for granted that the extra vines that were no longer alive and were harming the living ones had provided shade and privacy.  I started to regret my decision.  It was something that I knew needed to happen, but it felt a little too different.

It's the height of summer now and all thoughts of those naked vines and empty gaps are a distant memory.  The grapevine came back vigorously and profited greatly from the much needed pruning.  The leaves have turned into an impenetrable wall of green.

What I learned from this is that sometimes you've got to remove the dead and diseased things in your life, even if you've grown comfortable with them.  Taking the steps that you know you need to make, opens up your life for lush new growth and abundance.  I've started to examine my life through this lens.  What brings me joy?  What brings me frustration?  What steps can I make to remove the unhealthy things that prevent future prosperity and well-being?  What relationships in life inspire, challenge, and encourage me... and how can I maintain, feed, and promote them?  What relationships weigh me down, invite unwanted feelings, and are toxic... and how can I either change myself to be better equipped to handle them or how can I initiate closure?  It won't necessarily be easy or be quick, but they are steps I know that I have to make.  Just look at the grapevine.  I am looking forward to the sweet rewards for all my efforts.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Brambles and Webs...

Once, when I was very young, I wandered into a blackberry bramble.  As soon as I felt the needle pricks through the fabric of my pants, I panicked.  I tried to free myself.  But the more I struggled, the more I got tangled.  The more I jerked towards freedom, the deeper the scratches.  Like a butterfly in a spiderweb, fighting only made it worse.

I wish that I could say that I had a moment of clarity and that I relaxed and surrendered to the moment, slowly unwinding from my thorny captors.  But, it didn't quite play out like that.  My father heard my screams and sobs, and in a flurry of curses and adult stature, he swooped me up and rescued me.  I was free, but it cost.  My pants were ripped and my legs were crisscrossed with ruby lines.  The scars are only memories now, long since faded.

Life is a little like that sometimes.

Tempted by a berry, we can stumble into a thicket.  We can become trapped in the needling fray.  Our wings can get stuck, rendering us incapable of flight.  I find that the solutions are the same as when I was young... find the peace inside myself or surrender to a Higher Power, something bigger than myself.

The question then becomes... what is peace?  I often times hear people use the word, "peace" as though it were an otherworldly state of extreme serenity, devoid of all conflict or inconsistencies.  If this is what peace is, I've never known it.  The world around us, the greatest teacher, has never known this perfect purity.  The world... life... it is raked across with imperfections, deviations, and irregularities.  Even the most tranquil vignette is marked with the song of birds, the sound and feel of wind in the grass, and the sometimes subtle and sometimes savage cycle of birth and death.  Life is a riot of colors and sensations.  Does this mean that "peace" does not exist?  No. Rather, peace is a verb, not a noun.  Peace is a mindset to tolerate, to compensate, to surrender, to allow, to maintain, to be compassionate.  Peace is the action of finding stillness and holding on to it.  Found deep within, peace is a way to look outside yourself and the moment.

In this sense, discovering peace and surrendering to a Higher Power, are not so different things.  Both require a measure of faith, an act of believing.  This isn't about theology.  It could be.  And maybe it is for some.  But this is about being apart of something bigger.  Even the spiderweb is a collection of silk threads, strong and purposeful.  It is created by design.

We can go through life avoiding the brambles.  We can walk a path, running away from possible dangers and avoiding hurt.  But the berry will be plucked by another who is less fearful.  The brambles are still there, teaching their lessons to those who will listen.  Life is still unpredictable and chaotic.  The spider will still weave its web.  We can endeavor to exist safe in homogeny or surrender to the wild, conquering our fears and championing what ignites our hearts, and find a path through the thicket... unscratched as possible, or at the very least, alive to tell the tale crisscrossed by memories, but no less beautiful.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Days Like These...

I'll skip the hollow promises of blogging more.  While there is every intention to communicate in a more meaningful way and return to my roots, it seems like now just isn't the right time.  Days like these seem to slip-slide by in a runny blur of activity and I am just not in that mindset at the moment.

For the past few months, I've sort of been in a fog.  Deadlines loom like hanging swords and unmet expectations weigh heavily.  I find myself feeling scrapped raw emotionally and navigating the everyday world has not been easy.  Despite everything, I persist.  I try to wear a brave face and try to carry on.  It feels like the smallest efforts are manufactured miracles, summoning up more than what I've got to give.

I think the worst part is the feeling of guilt.  For the most part, I have everything that I want and need.  Of course, there's always more that could be desired or acquired, but at the heart of it, I have a good life.  It isn't always easy, but it is still worthwhile and rewarding.  But at the same time, there's a swirl of feelings that is elusive and impenetrable like a dense mist – once you clear a spot, it fills back in.

Reminding myself to be patient (with myself and others) has helped.  Also remembering that even though one might have many blessings, it is still okay to feel disconnected and it is still okay to struggle.  It helps to focus on gratitude and to fill the heart with appreciation, but still... days like these can be slippery, sneaky things that contain hidden barbs and unexpected jabs to the heart.

Small steps.  Quiet footfalls.  Fumbling.  But still moving forward.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Whiskey Miracle Pony Sculpture...

Meet Whiskey the Miracle Pony!  He has had quite the journey.  He survived living with a broken, locked, and fused jaw for over ten years!  He braved surgeries and fought through kidney failure.  He has quite the remarkable story.  CLICK HERE to visit their Facebook page.

Now that I've introduced you to Whiskey, let me tell you a little bit about what I've been up to.  I was commissioned to create a piece based on Whiskey.  I happily accepted and started working.

What I came to discover, fairly quickly, was that this was going to be a much bigger job that I originally thought it'd be.  (Seems like the ongoing theme of my life.)  In any event, while I have ridden a horse a few times and am fairly familiar with their general shape and silhouette, I didn't know the first thing about actual horse anatomy.  Most of the things that I sculpt are fantasy-based, so there's a lot of room to play when it comes to proportions and structure.

Creating a likeness based off a beloved animal... well... that would prove to be quite the challenge.

So, it's not just enough to know about horse anatomy, it has to be put into action.  Horses are somewhat visually top-heavy and balance on four sturdy legs... that are very slender and long in comparison to the powerful weight of the rest of the body.  The problem with that is that when working in polymer clay, you simply can't just make legs and bake them and have them stand up.  Polymer gets extremely soft and flexible while heating and the poor horse sculpture would topple over.  So an armature is necessary.  With a lot of pieces, a simple wire armature is all that is needed.  However, twisted wire wouldn't cut the mustard for this piece.






I ended up covering the wire armature in solder.  Giving the piece internal strength, the solder reinforced the joints and points of connection, while remaining somewhat flexible and movable.

Once I had the armature ready, I drilled holes in the feet and planned it out how it would sit on the base... which was another interesting process.  Originally I wanted to put him on a petrified wood slab, but when I went to drill it, it cracked.  So, I opted for a more forgiving medium.  I bolted the armature down with some micro-bolts.









Then, I fleshed it out with aluminum foil to create volume and musculature.  I next covered the piece in layers of polymer and roughed out the shapes and added detail.

Now, this is where it also becomes tricky.  Whiskey is a living, breathing, very distinctive animal... that, to be honest, doesn't look the same in any picture.  The early pictures show him with shaggy hair, later ones with huge shaved portions, later post surgery pictures include big changes to his facial anatomy, and changing colors with the season and the camera lighting.  It wasn't easy coming up with a sculpt that combined everything and created an overall impression of Whiskey.

I tried my best and think I came up with something that captures the spirit of the brave pony.

The next challenge was the paint job.  In theory, it should be easy... right?  Actually, no, it's not that easy.  Horse hair has an almost reflective quality, with a healthy sheen that makes black look like toasted chestnut.  I wanted to capture that iridescent quality without actually painting it iridescent.  So I built up layers and washes and brushstrokes and more layers.  I think I did a fair job.  It's not exact, but I think that I'd need to invest in an air brush to really get that horse-hair quality.  Either that or work in thinner washes in oils.

Whiskey has a very particular crooked smile.  I went about making tiny teeth and filing them down and aging them and setting them.  Not all that easy!  I wanted to capture the energy of his face without rendering it too detailed.  I did want to keep the sculpture on the more whimsical side.



I also encountered a problem with the eyes.  The more I baked them, the greener they got and the smaller they looked in the head.  Whiskey has very distinctive blue eyes that are almost a periwinkle.

To address this, I had to build up layers of liquid polymer and paint to create the new eyes.



 As with most things in my studio, the longer they stick around, the more I start to nitpick at them.  I decided that after I had changed the eyes, that I didn't like how they looked now.  They popped out a little too much.

The solution to the eye-popping was to create some patches and carefully add on material.  Since I had already painted it, this became someone problematic and I had to work around that.  I also had to repaint the face, which I think turned out better. I smoothed out some of the texture, and I think that helps dramatically.
Here it is!  All done!  Well... maybe!  Even though I sealed the base, I might go back and embellish it or stain it and make the grain pop a little more.  I also might stamp the name and add it.  But here it is, as it is now... mostly done.

If you're curious to find out more about Whiskey, CLICK HERE.  Even though Whiskey has made great strides, there's still a long road ahead for recovery.  Unfortunately, these procedures are very expensive and they require them to do fundraising events to help pay for these operations.  If you get a chance, make sure to attend one and show your support for this amazing creature!