Thursday, February 26, 2009

Horse play....

Pockets and Luna in the kitchen window.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm it !

Tagged again ! Linda from The Briar Rose Gate gave me the honor. Do visit her blog, I know you will enjoy it. She is a great artist, and a nice and fun person too. Rules : I'm to list seven random facts about myself, and tag other bloggers. Now since I was tagged recently, I'll try to keep these short and sweet. Well short anyway. This time I won't tag anyone, as this go around, those I would tag have already been gotten ! However, Linda is now on my list !

1. When I was a kid and had a little extra money, my mom would let me walk over to the Sears store to go to the candy counter. I had to take my little brother and sister along. I always bought chocolate covered raisins because they didn't like them. Selfish, selfish, selfish.

2. When I got her at nine months old, my horse's name was Canada's Golden Stretch. I re-named her Nightfalls Indigo, and call her Indi.

3. I used to have two recurring dreams, one about ghosts and the other about a giant spider. Don't we wonder what crawls around in the back of my mind.....

4. To those coming late to reading my blog, all six of my dogs are rescues, taken off the streets. Tessa, the latest member of the family was found with a rope around her neck and a bad gash on her nose, which healed up fine. She now has acres to run on, a pond to splash in, which she loves, and she plays, plays, plays with Bitsy.

5. Ummm, I'm still in love with Audie Murphy. Sigh.

6. I used to be painfully shy, but now no one can get me to shut up.

7. I once got to take a dressage lesson from Pam Fowler Grace, the lady who owns the famous "Pay N' Go. " I will blog about this soon because it is a funny story.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My first dressage lesson

Some years ago I worked at a dressage farm cleaning stalls, taking the horses out to pasture, feeding, etc. The people I worked for were wonderful, Christine, farm owner and my boss was especially sweet. There were dressage clinics held there alot and I was always watching when the chores were done, trying to soak in everything. I hadn't had my first horse all that long and was a real beginner. Christine gave me a dressage lesson in one of the clinics as a gift, and I was very nervous of course. I felt so awkward riding in front of the others, everyone was so much further along than me. I also had only a forward seat jumping saddle at the time, my older arab gelding "KCK HighPockets" had a slightly dipped back and high withers, so I had to pile on a little padding. Hardly a classic dressage pair.
The lesson started fine, I was still so uneasy about being in front of the people watching, but I was trying hard to concentrate. Then came the dreaded, take him into a canter. No, pleeeease not the "C" word. I was not comfortable cantering at all. I did as asked, and Pockets, though older, had plenty of spit and fire, trust me, you know those arabs. To get him to canter was easier than eating chocolate. So canter we did, but as we passed the opening on one side of the indoor arena, something, probably a two headed, fire - breathing blowing leaf startled my horse.
I know you have seen those movie scenes where the cars are careening down a winding road out of control because the brakes have gone out, and you know its going to end badly...... Meanwhile passers by must have thought there was a skeet shoot going on, as the instructor kept yelling "PULL!!!!!" "PUUULLL!!!!"
Well I would have, if the reins hadn't been so loose. Then the saddle started slipping and Pockets hopped to a halt, unceremoniously dumping me in the dirt. The word is "Mortified."
The funny thing is, that after that, I didn't care what anyone thought, I was a beginner and everyone has to start somewhere. I lost that " deer in headlights " feeling and set to work to improve. I never worried about the onlookers again.
When I had another lesson, I had a dressage saddle, a little more time in the saddle and the instructor raised her eyebrows and said, "much improved." I had two bad habits to work on. The instructor kept asking me " Why do you look down over his shoulder all the time ?" My guess is that I did that because I was probably headed down there, always look where you are going.
The second was that I was sticking my left leg out straight while cantering. I never even knew I was doing that ! Well, my guess on that is I was using the airbrakes. Safety first.
I have only had a few lessons all in all, but I have learned alot, and when I ride I look over the ears, and both of my legs are on the horse when cantering.
In the end, Pockets did me a favor by throwing me down, so that I quit worrying about what others thought and did what I was there to do - learn. Just another reason my heart stays in my "Pockets."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life quote

" Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. " ------- Mark Twain

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love me, Love my Horse

This is a new photo collage piece just finished. You can find it as a card on zazzle along with another new cowgirl collage. Love me, love my horse is special today as Indi has a cold, snotty nose{ ick, cleaning it am & pm} and is feeling a little blue. Please send her a hug. {She has never been sick before & it makes her mommy a crazy person.}

Also, I wanted to thank my special blog readers, your comments on my last post were a tonic to me, and don't think I didn't appreciate it. I love my people.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Art unexpected

Thank goodness I have been mostly pleased with how my jewelry is looking lately. My paintings however are a different story .....

After some soul searching this week about my fine art painting, where its been, where I'm wanting it to go, and why I was so discontent with my recent works. I believe I finally freed myself of some doubts which were causing me to feel that my art didn't measure up. I was also putting pressure on myself to stick to one technique in my painting. Most artists do, because it is an unwritten law, create works that look the same, so people will easily identify them as your art. I had posted earlier that, that didn't work for me, and it still doesn't. But Like Dorothy in Oz, I had to find it out for myself. For me, there's no place like - diversity. I think what I had to work out in my head, was the fact, that it is okay to create the way I do. The art police aren't going to hunt me down and haul me off, forcing me to paint in blue watercolors for all time, or they will break my brushes, and take my canvases away. The fact that I am self taught, I think, raised doubt from time to time that I'm getting it right, that my work is good enough. Fear that putting my works "out there" will end in them being judged inferior. Its why my paintings were so few and far between.
This week I seemed to have been able to work through the fog of confusion and let the sun in again. I had to accept the fact that I don't have the talent of Lesley Harrison, or other fine artists, and it is most likely that I never will. I am content that this is okay, there is a place for me and my art anyway. I had been pushing myself to reach an unrealistic goal, to create the essence of someone elses work, instead of being happy with my own style, however varied it may be at times. At that realization, I embraced my own work, and gave it merit. Suddenly my focus was back, my mind was clear and my confidence was restored. My desire to paint was stirring.
I immediately started this unexpected painting, "In the valley of the moon." I am actually pleased with it. It is an artwork for my "Horsefeathers" series, pairing birds and horses together. I have put those off for far too long, because I was afraid that I would fail in my attempt to make them what I wanted them to be. Interesting what we can accomplish when we let fear and doubt vanish like the vapor that they are.

Here is a look at my latest photo montage, you can find it as a card on Zazzle.{click on the postage stamp, on the sidebar.}