Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random weirdness, etc.

Random weirdness - I typed the URL for my blog into the URL box and it redirected me TWICE to a Warner Brothers page!  Then when I tried it again, I got a dropdown list showing my blog's address and my blog's address with a redirect to the Warner Bros. "landing page"!  What's up with that?!

More random weirdness - Today's one of those days when spam shows up in my Yahoo inbox sprinkled randomly throughout all the e's there, yet they don't always drive up the "unread mail" count.  Why is that, and why are there some days, just every so often, when all these spams just dump themselves into my inbox rather than the spam box?

Etc. - I've been getting emails from readers of "Star Sons" wanting to know when the second book will be out.  Well . . . I've been stuck in rewrite-land, but the biggest problem is that I still have not come up with a decent title for it!  But I'm slugging away at it and hope to have it published by late winter/early spring.

Meanwhile, the HP story is coming along nicely, but once I get to a place where I've caught up with the ideas I had for the first part of that novel, I'm gonna concentrate on Star Sons 2.  SS2 began as a Nanowrimo novel ("National Novel Writing Month," which is November each year - writers who take the challenge try to write 50,000 words of a novel during November.  I got 90,000 words of SS2 done during Nanowrimo - it's now over 120,000 words, IIRC).  Finishing the revisions in November would be poetic or something.  :D

Off to do my writing for the day . . .

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Entry Information on Dancing Horse Farm Art Show

What:  Fourth Annual Dancing Horse Farm Equine Art Show

Where:  May 1-2 2010 @ Dancing Horse Farm, Lebanon OH as part of their Spring Fling annual horse show and festival; May 3-16, 2010 @ Picture This Gallery in the heart of historic Lebanon OH

When:  Entry Deadline:  March 19, 2010.  Other dates are shown in the prospectus.

Who:  Professional and amateur artists and photographers.  Divisions include Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media, Photography and Sculpture.  All work must be ORIGINAL and all must be the work of the entering artist.  No works in progress will be accepted.  Jurying will be done via .jpgs, so you won't have to ship your work unless it's accepted.

How:  Entry information is here:

Awards:  Ribbons for first to third place in each division.  Best in Show Award:  $100.

Questions?  Please contact

2010 Dancing Horse Farm Art Show News, etc.

The Dancing Horse Farm art show will run May 1-17, with it opening at the farm as usual, being in a lovely gallery in the heart of historic Lebanon Ohio from May 3-17!  The Picture This Gallery is partnering with Dancing Horse Farm to give our equine art show the best possible venue, which will include a lot more foot traffic than it gets at the farm!  So THANK YOU Picture This Gallery and owner Becky George Gebhart!

May 14-16, I plan to be in the Cincinnati Dressage Tradition show with Ricos.  May 18, I'll start packing up the unsold art at Picture This to return to the artists. May 20, I'll be traveling to New York where I'll be teaching a sculpting workshop May 21-23.  Heading home May 24, collapsing May 25 . . . but it should be an exciting month!

I will have the prospectus for the show online ASAP - watch for an announcement that it's available!  (It could be online later today - stay tuned!)  And get your equine art ready for our show!

Somebody book me the first week in June at some lovely beach in Florida, okay?  I'm gonna need it!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lack of sleep

Why is it that my creative juices always flow the best when I'm asleep?  If I'm truly immersed in a story I'm writing, I will dream entire scenes and hear the dialog in each character's voice.  I can even rerun the scene in my dreams and edit or revise the dialog.  But when I wake up . . . I'm exhausted because I've worked all night!  I relish these times when my creative juices get fired up that way because that means I'm going to be very productive creatively during the day, but it sure would be nice if I could get some restful sleep at least part of the night!

Right now, my creative juices are flowing on a new HP story as well as trying to design a costume for my horse and myself for the Halloween show at Dancing Horse Farm (where both horse and rider are required to be in costume - argh!).  I've also gotten the go-ahead from my commission customer for the Icelandic Horse portrait she's hired me to do.  She's decided to go larger than we originally planned, which means the horse will be 13 1/2 inches tall at the withers, the biggest one I've done so far.  With the rider on, I'm wondering if I'll even be able to lift it when it's bronze!  Hopefully I will, but the best part is that being that big, the tack and the facial details of the rider will be SO much easier to do!  Working at 1/8 to 1/6 lifesized as I normally do, those parts are teensy-tiny!!  So I'm excited about working that big and seeing how well I can capture the horse and rider with that much room for good detail!  And my Andalusian stallion sculpture is ready to be cleaned up, finally.  I've had to fight with the mane and tail to get them where I wanted them, and then when I thought it was finished, I noticed that one hoof was smaller than the others.  Unless you sculpt, you have no idea how hard it is to add about one millimeter of clay to a part and get it smooth and shaped right and perfect.  I had to resculpt the whole hoof to make it work - it was about an hour's work, just on that one hoof, but now it matches the others!  Yay!  Now if I could just get a good night's sleep!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Resin casting/mold making

I get all kinds of questions via my website from those who are just learning to sculpt.  Today I got one from a retired dentist who is using his moldmaking and casting skills from dental work for his scuptures.  He wanted to know how to make molds for sculptures.  Well, gee, that's a wee bit more than I can do in an email - it's a weekend-long class, one I'm not really qualified to teach since I'm only an expert moldmaker for one-part molds (open-face molds for reliefs).  I decided long ago that it would take too much of my time to learn how to make 3-D molds properly.  I made a few, did some casting and decided I'd rather sculpt and pay someone else to do the casting!  (That said, I am looking for a reasonably priced resin caster - please email me if you do such work so we can discuss what I need and whether you're the person I'm looking for!)  I told the person who wrote me that I took a moldmaking class at Syn-Air in Chattanooga TN years ago and I highly recommend them - but then I looked for their website so I could see if they're still doing classes and they've been sold!!!!  ARGH! 

If you use SynAir products for art, you can still buy them through your local distributor or via Puma Polymers  who are now producing the Pour-A-Kast and Pour-A-Mold I like to recommend to beginners because they're so easy to use.

While looking for another site offering classes and materials, I found which includes a link to quite a few instructional YouTube videos as well as information on classes they provide.  I learned something new while watching the first video, and that's always fun!  So I guess I'll be recommending them to those who ask for such information in the future - I sure found their videos to be well-done and interesting.  And now I'm itching to play with some of those new products I saw used in the videos!  NO NO!  Bad artist!  Stick with the current projects until they're FINISHED and THEN you can play.  *sigh*

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Putting on an art show

For the fourth year in a row, I'm putting together an equine art show at Dancing Horse Farm in Lebanon, Ohio.  The first year, the show was part of the farm's Grand Opening celebration and was a children's art-only show.  We had such great entries from kids from three years old thruogh eighteen year olds.  We gave fun prizes donated by local merchants and the K-12 Gallery in Dayton OH.  The second year, at what has become Dancing Horse Farm's Annual Spring Fling Horse and Equine Art Show, the artists invited to enter the show were all from the Equine Art Guild, one of the groups I belong to.  Last year,  we opened it up to anyone who wanted to enter, but we didn't advertise it widely.  We had entries from the Equine Art Guild and others, including one entry from The Netherlands!  We've had Canadians in the previous show, so it's been an international show for a couple of years now.

Next year's show will have an interesting new wrinkle - Jennifer Truett, owner of Dancing Horse Farm (and my daughter) and I have been talking to the owner of a lovely art gallery in the heart of the historic district of Lebanon.  We're working out details now, but it looks like once the Spring Fling weekend is over, the art show will be moved to this gallery for a couple of weeks, which will expose it to a lot more traffic!  The lady who owns the gallery couldn't be nicer and it's a beautiful gallery in a great area.  There should be lots of traffic through the show, which hopefully will lead to good sales!

I don't know why I consider doing all the work involved in putting on an art show to be "fun" but I do - silly me!  I'm really excited.  This is the first time we've had the prospectus and other things lined up early enough to get good coverage in magazines!  I'm hoping to get some editorial coverage as well as listing the show itself.  Cross your fingers that I can pull this off! 

Monday, September 07, 2009

Writing vs. Rewriting

My HP story was off to a really good start - great opening, good scenes, good plot, everything moving along well when I realized I needed to explain some stuff.  Enter the flashback, which I hoped would be brief!  Unfortunately, I needed to share more detail in that flashback than was reasonable, and the flashback became unwieldy.  I finally had to stop working on the story.  I couldn't get it to move forward the way I wanted it to.  I liked it less and less, although I still loved the beginning of it.  If not for that beginning, I would've started over days ago!  I had even gone to the extent of writing out notes on the plot on note cards, something I've never found necessary or useful other than to keep track of character names and who died when, that kind of thing, but even that didn't help. 

Finally, I had to admit there was nothing to do but start over. So yesterday, I didn't even open the old file so my mind wouldn't be distracted by that truly lovely opening!  It took a bit of doing to get started, but once I got the story going, it rolled along quite nicely!  I wrote ten pages (and that's single-spaced!) yesterday!  I usually write much faster than that, but I've been truly stymied for a while.  I just couldn't bear to give up the lovely opening I'd written for the other one.  I will see if I can use it in this version, but if I can't, that's okay.  I'll keep the old version to look at from time to time and perhaps I'll find a way to use those opening paragraphs someplace else someday.  I sure hope so - they just SANG!!  But they were singing the wrong song for this fic!

When I get to the point of needing to stop writing today, I hope to have enough energy left to get back to polishing my novel, which I really need to finish.  I got frustrated with it and put it aside so I wouldn't ruin it by working on it while I was annoyed with it.  Sometimes that's the best thing to do for both writing and art.  If you're annoyed by what you're working on, that isn't the time to be working on it, IMO.

I got the mane finished on "Feather" today.  I need to rename him - "Feather" is his name as a Pegasus.  As a stallion, he should have some other name, but I don't know what.  Something else to ponder . . .  Anyway, I just have to finish detailing his tail and clean him up and I can ship him to the foundry, YAY!  I'm eager to see him in bronze.  I think he's going to be a really nice piece!

Happy Labor Day, y'all!  As a British friend commented today when he wished me a happy "Labour Day," it really is an oxymoron, since most folks spend the day doing anything but labor!  As for me, I'm plugging away at my usual work, sculpting and writing, while my husband finishes tearing down an old shed that's needed to be taken down for years.  He's nearly done with it.  The yard already looks much nicer with that eyesore gone!

Whether you "labor" or play or sleep all day, have a happy day!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Poor neglected blog

I'm a bad, bad blogger!  I've been so busy with my new horse (Ricos, who I got at the end of October - he's the one I'm riding in my new picture here) and learning to ride dressage that EVERYTHING else has been neglected!  Now I'm back to sculpting and writing and blogging as well!  And I'm still riding! 

My second novel is languishing in the land of neglect for the moment.  Other inspiration has hit me and I'm pursuing that for the moment.  The other inspiration is another original story (novel?  Perhaps) and a new HP story I'm writing to keep my fans happy and to help publicize the second novel when it's published. I'm venturing in a new directions with the HP story, which will be a good way for me to polish different ways of doing things before I get very far on the new original story.

I've nearly finished my Andalusian stallion sculpture, which will be offered as both a stallion and as a Pegasus.  I'll get one of the bronzes sent to me with no patina and will create wings that will fit him precisely, then mark on the bronze where they go.  After that, the foundry will know how to mount them the way I want.  I've tried every way I can think of to create an armature for a winged horse that would stand the vibration of shipping (I'm in Ohio, my foundry's in Oregon), but every one I came up with just wasn't stable enough.  Doing the wings separately seems to be the better idea.  You can see pics of him in progress on this page:

My sculpting book, "Sculpting 101:  A Primer for the Self-taught Artist" Second Edition, ISBN# 978-0-9723805-3-9, is now published.  You can order it directly from me or from Amazon or other book sites, and from brick-and-mortar bookstores as well for $19.95 plus s/h. has been completely updated and has new chapters covering how to pack a raw sculpture for shipping, how to safely ship bronzes to customers and how to build a carriage.

I'm now on Facebook and Twitter, if you'd like to follow me there.  Just look for "Lynda Sappington."  That's me!