Steel Manzanita Tree

Friday, July 3, 2015


Maybe you can gather by some of my other posts, I have been all over the board going to classes, looking at new techniques and almost maybe bragging about new experiences - to the point, in my opinion - that maybe I have turned some people off.  I am a little embarrassed about some of my overzealous posts on social media in that respect.  

I have been going through some transitional changes in my career and life related to changes in direction in both businesses, some health issues and taking care of elderly parents.  In an attempt to gain come control back, I have been searching out new inspirations, techniques and other various things to try to reawaken my artistic drive and to just feel generally inspired again.  I have been feeling very unsettled and restless in my day to day and have been struggling to get myself back to some sort of creative rhythm and life balance.   

On Saturday, June 27, I did take the day to go on a photo shoot offered at the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA.  I have loved horses since I was a young girl and have had horses in my life since about the age of 9.  This past year and a half or so has been kind of a bummer for me.  On February 25, 2014, I lost my horse, Jesse, who was a part of my life for 27 years.   A lot of things have happened since then, including the acquisition of a new sweet Arabian mare that I felt I had to "rescue" from the SPCA.  That is another story.  But I still miss Jesse every day.  As you may know from previous posts, in December 2013,  I had actually started a horse sculpture, full size - about 14.2 in horse size.  It was a big jump for me artistically and this actually got started because of an opportunity through a fund raiser for what was supposed to be a new documentary "The Last Cowboy - A Feature Film"  about Dayton Hyde of the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.  Unfortunately, to date, it doesn't appear they were able to raise the funds they needed and the project came to a stand still by the first of the year 2014.  But the other part of doing a full size horse sculpture was a way to memorialize my horse.  I knew he was in the last years of his life and I decided to use his horse shoes as part of the sculpture.  I was so excited about it!!  Not too long after the campaign for the movie ended, I had to make a fairly sudden decision to put Jesse down.  I had always envisioned getting some photos of Jesse "meeting" the wild horse sculpture, if you will.  Jes just passed before I could finish it.  So.. its been sitting pretty much untouched since February 25, 2014.  I guess I don't really owe any explanations for this and I know I've talked about it enough. This particular piece is just an element of closure related to Jesse that I realize I haven't been able to address.  That is really what it comes down to.  It will be bittersweet to complete and I have been avoiding the emotions of that. It will get finished though.  

Having said that, I am now just trying to get back to some of my basic roots - the simple things I have always enjoyed and that have helped me stay grounded.  I am back exercising again, taking some time for myself and I am spending more time around the horses and the calm and beauty that accompanies that.  I'm going to try to stay away from social media for a while and definitely will be keeping my artistic endeavors to myself for a while.  None of this is a competition. Instead of talking, I need to spend more time doing.  

I am interested in the causes of animals that need help.  Everyone who knows me knows that - we won't talk about how many cats I have... ha ha.  After Jes passed, I did get a little involved with some of the local domestic horse rescue groups.  That is how I met Jasmine, my little Arab mare. 

However, I don't know much really about what is happening with the wild horses rescues / sanctuaries, the legislature and political red tape that is associated with them and their future in the wild. I have already met some very nice people who are involved in that and plan on spending some time in Nevada taking more photos hopefully in the Fall and learning more about the wild horses' plight.  How much I can get involved in that, I don't know.  One thing I have done in the past is try to take on too much.  So I will proceed with that cautiously and will not over commit.  I feel I am a competent artist and certainly would be willing to use my art as a platform to help.  The strong women that are involved in this fascinate me.  I feel like I used to be fearless - strong, independent and capable and over the course of the past few of years, I feel like I have really lost my edge and I truly miss that about myself.  I am looking forward to getting back to some of my old roots and interests, taking time for myself and finding some contentment in my daily life.  

In the course of all of this sorting out of myself, I have also been working with an art marketing specialist.  In our conversations, I find that I need to focus on one thing at a time and to be honest with myself about what I really like and want to create.  I am feeling much more at home and inspired with the horses so I am going to focus on a body of work centered around that for a while.  I have even managed to find some "horse themed" art shows and they are interested in my work.  Its time to "get back in the saddle" and do this.  

With regard to the classes I have taken this year, I will get back to enameling - I still see good ways to incorporate that in some of the copper work I do.  Actually, there is a small element of enameling that will be included on the horse sculpture.  And I am definitely interested in the human form and faces so will certainly apply what I have learned in my recent classes to that at some point in the future.  

And I am just saying NO to social media except for specific friend and family interactions.  I'm keeping works in progress, ideas for new work, classes and such to myself.   Social media can be a funny thing -  quantifying your life and accomplishments based on how many "likes" you get.  Pretty silly if you think about it.  I admit I found myself getting caught up in that a little bit. I realize its all really irrelevant.  

For now, I want to continue to simplify and spend some time drawing, photographing and creating all things horse and see what people and experiences that brings into my life.  

Below is a link to photos I took the day at Return to Freedom.  I do need to learn more about how to use the camera I have, but I did get some good shots.  Even a few of the action shots, in spite of blurry legs, etc., were still interesting.  Beautiful animals, horses.  It was a good day.  

Return To Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - Buckskin stallion

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - Buckskin stallion #2

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - Chief - Sulfur stallion

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - White mare