Oh, To Be King…

I have a strong connection with big cats. Lions, tigers, and cougars are among my favorites. They have a great power and strength behind them. Lions, in my opinion, live one of the toughest lifestyles imaginable. The lionesses are constantly on the hunt for food. Working as a team, so in tune with each other. If they weren’t they would never eat. Taking down prey large enough to feed the pride is hard enough as it is. The males, well, they spend their whole lives fighting to keep their family. And if they fail, their offspring will be slaughtered and the new king will step in and claim his ladies. They are bloodied, bruised, beaten, and broken. Yet they continue on. They keep fighting. They fail, and they fail, and they fail again. Their success rate in hunting is only 30%. Less than 20% for lions hunting alone. little lionIf they miss the kill, they don’t fuss and moan about it. Even if they did get injured they just keeping moving on, to face the next battle. Though they fail often, they still carry themselves with a sense of pride. That’s actually why a group is called a pride. They are regal and confident. They are the king of the beasts! Of course they would carry themselves with such self-confidence. Weakness is not a trait of survivors. That’s what lions do, survive. They care for their families, protect them, teach them. They do not dwell on life’s hardships or worry their children won’t live a cozy life. They know their cubs will face hardships but that is why they teach them everything they know. They prepare them to be strong on their own. Lions are a symbol of emotional control. They do not have time for self-pity. They do what they have to. They take responsibility and act! And though life is taxing, they still make time to play or enjoy the warm sun showering their coats. They fight day in and day out but never lose their compassion towards their pride.

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“Perseverance” 6″x 8″ pencil drawing (accompanied with color pencils, charcoal, and copic markers)

To look into the eyes of such a king is a gift no one can surpass. It’s as if they can see right through you. Those eyes carry so much strength and compassion. Ferocity and confidence. Wisdom and control.

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This latest drawing gave me the opportunity to study the vigilant glare of the king. It was remarkable yet unsettling at the same time. I felt I could relate. Like I was looking at my reflection. My life is nowhere near as tough as a lions, but they still remind me to keep going. Persevere. No matter how bloodied and beaten you are, you just keep going. It’s how you survive. I have so much respect for them. They live through what may seem as unbearable hardships, yet walk away like Kings! This inspired my title for the piece, “Perseverance”.

When you face hardships in life, what encourages you to persevere? Share your story below!

Until next time,

“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures…”

The Eyes Have It

I’ve been trying to figure out what my niche is. I love drawing so many different things but throughout the years I’ve realized my image is kind of muddy. Each piece is great on its own but when I would put together a portfolio, there was no consistency. I had a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I need some kind of structure.

I have finally decided what I am going to focus on. The eyes have it! I did a piece a few years ago that was going to be part of a series called “The Eyes Have It”.


I never really did much more with it but I have decided that this will be my baseline as an artist, eyes. Eyes say more than words ever could. Your eyes cannot lie. Some say they are the window to the soul. It can’t be denied that to look into the eyes of another living creature is like seeing a whole new universe. A galaxy all it’s own. This inspired my latest piece and it’s title “Universe”.

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I feel like all conversations can be made through eye contact, no words, no sound. “Almost nothing need be said when you have eyes.”(Tarjei Vesaas) This is more easily experienced with animals in my opinion. People rely heavily on their voice to express what they mean to say or feel. Many times this gets us into trouble. But when we close our lips and open our eyes the true feelings can be expressed. I have learned many lessons through the eyes of animals. It’s amazing what you can hear in the silence, if your willing to listen.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” (Martin Buber)

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Detail of “Universe” by FSM

I have always been drawn to eyes, no pun intended. I think we all can relate. In Egyptian cultures, the eye of Ra is a symbol of life. It’s fitting. Often times, it is the eyes that pull us towards each other. We understand so much with just a glance. Some even believe in love at first sight. Perhaps there is truth to this. In eye contact, we make a connection. A tug on that invisible string connecting one soul to another. It is difficult for one to lie to another while making eye contact. Maybe the eyes really are a window, allowing others to peek into your being, your universe.

Do you see the world in someone’s eyes? Share your story in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed seeing the latest piece. I am inspired and motivated to do so many more. Stay tuned!

Until next time,

“The eyes chico, they never lie.”

Albion: The Wisdom of a Horse

I came across a “note” that I wrote on my Facebook page last year in September. It was still meaningful to me so I figured I should add it to my blog! It is about a dear old friend named Albion.

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
“I have been suffering lately from artist’s block or perhaps more of a mental block….For some reason whenever I start to feel a little off (okay, a lot off) I always pick up a picture of Albion and for some reason I am compelled to draw him. He was a black Tennessee Walker that my parents owned years ago. At the time, I saw him as a pretty typical horse. He wasn’t the tallest I had seen, he wasn’t the blackest I had seen and conformation wise he was just your average horse. Smooth gate as far as Walkers go but I had no special interest in the breed.

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He was always the head of the herd and peacefully lived his life into his twenties. But looking back I remember Albion would always stand his ground. He didn’t take “you know what” from anyone! He wasn’t mean though. He was always so calm, going about his business. He was a pleasure to ride and he always seemed like he knew something. Like he was an old soul and he had so much experience in life. When you looked into his eyes, he looked back at you with a gentle wisdom. He gave you reassurance or a feeling of guidance just from starring into those big endless eyes. Even though so much time has passed since he’s been gone, I can still look at his picture and see those eyes. He’s still looking back at me and reminding me that beauty is all around us and when I draw his image it’s like he is still living through me. His essence or perhaps his guidance is still around me. He reminds me that art isn’t about making money or creating a masterpiece every time or even to show off a talent. It’s about allowing the universe to show me the beauty that is there every day and sharing it with everyone! Sometimes before you can see it you have to feel it, and when you do, it’s as if the blindfold has been ripped off your eyes. You see the world in a whole new light. And though he be but a horse, Albion will always remind me of that.”
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“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see it.” -Confucius

After reading that again, it made me smile. It reminded me of Albion. He passed away in February, six years ago. Albion was such a beautiful soul. He reminded me of a Chief. Calm, wise, compassionate, and always a lesson to teach. I took a photo of his hoof a while back and entitled it “Grounding”. That’s just how I saw him, grounded. He seemed connected to everything and therefore he had more of an understanding of everything. He was patient and kind. He was versatile, smart, a leader and a friend.

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“Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.” – Steve Goodier

I have a lot of respect for that horse. I believe everyone has a totem animal or a spirit guide, whatever you want to call it…guardian angel? I know Albion is. He’s very powerful. Most horses are. I haven’t met one yet that hasn’t left a lasting impression on me. I’m starting to think that horses are more connected to things than we could ever understand or even begin to explain. It’s like I said in my note, you have to feel it. Quiet your mind and talk with a horse sometime. It’s like jumping into a canyon of intellect.

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“There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.” – Author unknown

 

I think it is time that I follow in Albion’s hoof prints. My mind has been scattered and unfocused. I am so easily distracted that the slightest breeze can blow me off course. This is when I can think of Albion and how calm and connected he was. He reminds me to stay grounded, plant my hooves in the dirt and become rooted once again. In doing so, I can stand firm like a tree and less like a balloon caught in the wind.

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There is nothing so good for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse. – John Lubbock

Albion had many lessons to teach. I keep trying to write about him like he’s still alive. Like he is still teaching me. Maybe he is. Maybe he’s my spirit guide? All I know for sure is he was a beautiful and wise ol’ horse.

What’s your story? Has an animal ever shared their wisdom with you? Animal lover to animal lover I would love to hear about it! Share a comment below!

Until next time…

Can we have one last ride? Yep, I’ll saddle up.

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Albion and my mom.
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Always a welcoming expression!
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Ooooh, Look at the kitty!

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Back in the day…

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If You Want A Rainbow…

 “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,

you gotta put up with the rain.” -Dolly Parton

Even though I’ve listened to country music my entire life I had never heard that quote until today. It stood out to me. It made me smile. I think we have all dealt with some rain in our lives. Whenever your sad or alone you can easily envision rain. Like those sappy movie scenes that add the rain for dramatic effect. It falls alongside tears.  Why does the rain seem to follow sorrow, heartache, or “dampened” spirits?

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It’s cleansing. It’s a necessity to life. There wouldn’t be life without water. And in what may seem to be our darkest hours is only the storm clouds rolling in to wash away the filth we have carried for too long. Things happen so quick like a flash of lighting. Our lives tremble like the thunder rolling in. It may seem scary at first. The rain will start to pour and everything puddles up fast. You feel like you may drown, a monsoon engulfing you. Your at your wits end. You have to take a breath soon or the life from you chest will fade. And then in the blink of an eye, the rains stops. The seemingly treacherous waters have flowed away and with it the grime that covered everything. You take a gasp of air. So refreshing. So pure. The air is clean and the gray skies start to part.

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A ray of light beams through and everything seems to gradually get clearer. It’s all a little brighter and by the end of the storm, a rainbow circles around you. You can’t see the end of it but you don’t have to. You just enjoy it.

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The reason I felt compelled to write this wasn’t just because I like the quote. I thought it too coincidental that the day I discovered it, it rained all day. It poured in the morning and the skies were dull. A warm, rainy, winter day. Very odd. Later in the day the rain finally stopped and the clouds turned into a deep yellow. It was really bizarre. Then all of a sudden everyone seemed to come out at once and discovered a huge double rainbow glowing on the dingy yellow clouds! It was amazing! The weather was just so strange today and the fact that I saw that quote today inspired me to write this and share the photos I took.

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Just remember, sometimes you may feel a bit lost in the storm but the only way to get a rainbow is to put up with the rain. Besides, rains not so bad!

Until next time…

“A little rain never hurt anybody.”

Free Spirit Realm

This is something I have never exposed before. Honestly though, that’s no surprise. I keep a lot of things to myself but that is all changing now. I like the word exposed because I feel naked sometimes when I share things that are important to me. Don’t we all! This week’s exposure is going to be my studio.

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There is a studio in there somewhere, I swear!

It has always been quite small of a space. A crowded corner in the dining room or along the hallway by the attic. I never really thought I had a “studio”. I always imagined these professional artists/photographers with their 20 ft. high ceilings, humongous canvases, easels upon easels, and supplies out the wazoo! Studios so big you could zip-line from one side to the other! And then there’s my hole in the wall.

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My new “supplies briefcase”. Super cool!

Eh, who needs a freakin’ parking garage for a studio anyways! I’m proud of my little corner. It’s mine. It’s all me. Completely my own. The only place in the world where I feel like I am a Master. A Ruler. A Queen.

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It is my domain, my workshop, my place of solitude. I make the rules and I make the world. I can express anything I like. My selfish spot of creativity and freedom. It’s where I learn, practice, awaken, study, create, listen, feel, and become myself. My true self is alive when I am in my studio. The real me can come out and play with no ridicule, no shame, and no fear.

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A studio doesn’t need a door, four walls, a ceiling, or even a floor. A studio isn’t a place to just photograph or draw. It is a place where you feel completely safe. I don’t mean safe as in you won’t get hit by a car or mauled by a bear. I mean safe as in, you can express your true nature and not feel inclined to hold back because of surrounding influences.

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My future project/reference/inspiration board…thingy.

That’s why I love my studio. I can surround myself with everything I love. Everything that motivates me and makes me feel good. Sometimes I don’t even do anything in my studio. I will just sit in my chair in a daze, looking around and admiring my nest. I feel like a bird sometimes. Making a basket around myself of all my treasures collected.  Or perhaps it’s more like my bear’s den where I can hibernate.

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Yes, I have a box full of feathers. Yes my drawing manikin is dancing. That’s how I roll.

Whatever it is, it’s mine. I was always embarrassed for anyone to see my itty bitty art corner. For some reason I felt like people wouldn’t take me seriously as an artist if they saw my paper and box fort I called a studio! I have gained a lot more confidence since then and have decided that’s ridiculous first of all. Secondly, I should be proud of my space. My studio is made of mirrors and everything in it is a reflection of who I am. If I can’t be proud of my space then how can I be proud of myself?

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I leave open books on my desk so I’m drawn to read them more often.

I love checking out other studios and workshops. If you have one of your own, feel free to share a picture or comment below!

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Until next time…

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.

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I love putting my son’s work in my studio. I inspire him and he inspires me.
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My personal Art Library with my small but growing collection of National Geographic magazines.
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These books are my obsession for the new year. Old books I’m picking back up, new books, new sketchbooks, and new journal! Yay! I’m ready 2016!
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One of my most favorite quotes!

Krampus is Coming!

Twas’ the eve before St. Nicholas Day,

When all through Germanic land,

Not a creature was stirring,

Except for the wild goat man.

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Krampus, the Christmas Devil

His name is Krampus and he’s a devil of sorts. With his long snakey tongue and horns atop his skull. He is half goat, half man. He looks as a Satyr and walks on two cloven hooves. He is the demon of Christmas. Leave your coal at home St. Nick. You won’t need it now that Krampus is at your side. He carries his chains all covered in bells and he clashes and clanks them to torment the wicked ones. Krampus is not inherently evil, no, no….but if you have a reputation of being on the naughty list then you might see him as so. He carries his birch sticks to swat your behind and if your really unruly he will drag you underground; stuffed in a barrel and rolled to the Underworld. He will further your suffering until you have learned your lesson, then he may just let you go.

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He knows when you are sleeping.

His legend is centuries old in Germany. His day is the fifth of December, Krampusnacht (Krampus Night). The german children would hang a boot outside their door. When St. Nicholas Day came, Dec. 6, they would check their boots and see if anything was left for them. Good behavior was rewarded with sweets. Bad behavior would be left with a rod. A sign that Krampus may need to pay you a visit!

His name comes from the German word Krampen, meaning claws. He is believed to be the son of Hel, Norse goddess of the Underworld. His animalistic presence was suppressed for many years.

Nowadays, he is making quite a comeback. European countries honor him by dressing in devil costumes and parading down the street playfully terrorizing the on-lookers. He is becoming quite popular in America as well. Children are no longer afraid of Santa’s lump of coal but a switch from Krampus on the other hand!

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I am quite inspired by Krampus and decided to do a sketch of him. This one is a concept drawing. I would like to do another one, full body image, that way you can see his cloven hooves and sinister claws. Some claim that Krampus only has one cloven hoof and his other foot more man-like with claws. This is my first attempt though. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t use any reference pictures. I drew it from my head which is difficult for me to do sometimes so I am quite happy with the turn out. I had a few different influences on the Krampus I drew. The minotaur was my inspiration for the size and shape of Krampus. I incorporated a bit of Beast from “Beauty and the Beast” as far as facial features. This helped me figure out how to draw a “beast” that was still human-like. The character Venom, from Spider-man, came to vision when I was drawing the mouth and tongue. Put the three of them together and I think you have a pretty decent Krampus portrait. I can’t wait to do another one that can incorporate even more detail!

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I hope you’ve been nice this holiday season. If not, Krampus may be coming to see you! What do you think about Krampus? Too much or just what we need? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time,

Bah-Humbug!

Just kidding,

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

 

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Have you gotten snow where you live yet? Perhaps you don’t get snow. Then you’re probably not waiting for it like I am. I live in upstate New York. It’s pretty high up there compared to the rest of the U.S. So you can guess that we get TONS of snow up here. There was one year we had a snowstorm the day before Halloween! You know your a northerner when you buy your kids Halloween costume one size too big so it will fit over their snowsuit! Luckily we didn’t have to wear our snow boots this year.

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That was our 8 ft. snowman, until it snowed again!

So no snow in October. Phew! Okay, here comes November. Thankgiving, fall, trees change color if they hadn’t started already. A beautiful season! More commonly people’s favorite and more often then not if it hadn’t snowed in October then our fall weather would definitely been cut short with a few inches of white on the ground. Eating turkey together and looking out the window to snowfall. Luckily we didn’t have to share the orange colors with the plain winter blanket this year!

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So no snow during the fall. Phew! Now we’re current and we’re heading into December. Christmas time! Santa and sleigh rides, hot chocolate and ice skating, snowmen and doing donuts in the parking lot…ahem, I mean making snow angels.

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Yay! Snow fun!

 

Wait…over half of those things involve snow. Surprisingly we snuck by the first week with no snow. Week two went by. Everyone has their decorations up, put up a while ago to ensure it was done before the expected snowfall. Vehicles driving by sound like they’re eating the road because everyone has their snow tires on. Yet we are all still waiting.

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We got a little bit of snow.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Your telling me it’s mid-December in upstate NY and you haven’t seen a single freakin’ snowflake! Well I saw a few. A light dusting if that’s what you can call it, that melted an hour after it arrived. But since then…Nothing.

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There’s that “dusting” I was talking about.

At first everyone is all like, “Yay! I hate snow! Longer it stays away the better!” But do you forget the balance of the seasons? Do you recall late winters in the past? Every time there is a late winter, that means snowy Easter my friends! Let’s hope not! That’s why I dedicate this post to snow. It’s time to let it rip mother nature! Give us a white Christmas! It’s time to go sledding and have snowball fights and make snowmen and all that snowy stuff!

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Ice skaters at the Snow Festival held at Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY.

Fun fact time! Did you know that snow isn’t actually white. A snowflake is compiled of tiny little crystals that are actually clear. What we see is light reflecting back and forth on the crystals, making the snow appear white to us. Depending on where you live it might not be white at all! Some places report pink/red snow because of the ground it sits on, being red clay.

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Often snow can be seen with a blue tint or even purple. When the spectrum of light passes through the snow, it scatters. Light is absorbed as it travels, absorbing more from the red side of the spectrum as opposed to blue/violet end. This allows the blue or violet light to travel and reflect more easily than the other colors. Snow may even appear green or gray while being accompanied with algea or dust. Oh…and always remember how yellow snow gets yellow. I won’t get into that one. Just know it’s not lemon juice!

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I’m not sure if your a fan of snow or not. You may even be Chionophobic, which is the fear of snow. If your from the north though, it’s a part of life. It’s the change of the seasons and a change in the world around us. We need that. It’s so strange to not see it yet. It just feels weird. Like the feeling you get when you think you forgot something. Even if you didn’t you still feel that way all day. Something is missing.

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There’s a greek story you may have heard of Persephone being abducted to the Underworld by Hades. Her mother Demeter, the goddess of vegetation, was so distraught that it affected the upper world and all the trees and plants had died. Winter had come.

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Zues ordered Hades to return Persephone, so to restore life to the surface. Hades was forced to agree, but before returning her, he gave Persephone seven pomegranate seeds to eat. This made it so the Underworld would always be a part of her and she would be forced to return and stay with him for four months out of every year. This created the change in the seasons. Perhaps Persephone is visiting her mother a little longer than usual this year, before returning to the Underworld.

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In any case, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Do you agree? Do you love the snow or are you hoping to avoid it for as long as possible? Share your story below!

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Until next time,

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Two feet of snow…get it?!
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DeSoto LOVES the snow!

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Holidae taking a snowy snooze.

 

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Ice coating everything.
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Looking through the wet window on a winter drive-by.

 

 

Pagan Holidae: A Horse of Leisure

There is a new Pegasus in the spirit realm. His name is Pagan Holidae. He is a short and stout palomino with spunk and spirit. His best friend in fact was called Spirit. This Pegasus named Holidae galloped across the physical world, as a horse, alongside my mother. This is their story.

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My mother, being a bookworm and knowledge junkie, had many subscriptions to equine magazines. One of which was entitled “trailBlazer”. She was reading an article about proper saddle fitting and how to avoid discomfort for your horse. The images used for the article had a unique saddle in them, atop a horse, demonstrating proper saddle placement. My mother awed at the saddle. She had been searching many years for the perfect saddle and there it was being used as a reference in an article. She wanted one for herself, provided it fit her horse properly. She looked everywhere for it. She couldn’t even find information on the kind of saddle it was, let alone the saddle itself. She searched online; she searched every tack shop; she even tried contacting trailBlazer magazine to see if anyone knew anything about it. Still, nothing.

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A year or so had passed and my mother had forgotten about the elusive saddle. The time had come to add another equine familiar to the barn. She started searching online for horses for sale. She came across a beautiful little palomino called Special Edition. Unfortunately he was in Colorado; my mother was in Ohio. She took a chance. He was portrayed as an amazing trail horse with a great temperament and my mother knew he was “special”. She contacted the owner, Susan Gibson, struck a deal, and the palomino was on his way to Ohio! My mother changed his name to Pagan Holidae. (Can’t blame her, a horse named Special Ed? Funny but no thank you.)

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Oh, before you think this origin story is over, did I mention that Susan Gibson was the editor for trailBlazer magazine. Light-bulb! My mother took a long shot and asked if Susan knew anything about the saddle published in that article from a while back. Come to find out, the saddle was Susan’s and Holidae was the horse in the article! Susan had it custom made in Chile specifically for Holidae! So Susan sold her the saddle. What are the odds! My mother asked the universe for the saddle in the magazine and a year later she gets THAT exact saddle and the editor’s horse to go with it! Talk about the law of attraction!

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Photo by Laurie Schmidt

Holidae carried my mother all across the country. One of the most relaxing things to experience is a good ole’ fashion trail ride. That’s what Holidae was built for. That was Holidae’s demeanor. Relaxation. Calm. Quiet. Chill. On the trails at least. Don’t let him fool you though. He could be quite a stinker at times too, when his “grumpy old men” attitude kicked in. He played the tough guy card but underneath that yellow fluff was a kind soul. He would always have my mother in mind when they were trail riding; carefully bending around tight spots to ensure he wouldn’t bash her knee into a tree. When he was in the pasture grazing, he would perk up when he saw her coming. She would give a little whistle and he would come running up to her. There isn’t much on this planet that is stronger than the bond between horse and rider.

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Photo by Keith Schmidt

After many happy trails, my mother eventually retired him. He developed Cushing’s Disease which is a dysfunction of the pituitary gland. She gave him a calm, quiet and chill environment to relax in, as he did for her. Sadly, Holidae closed his eyes for eternity last week. Though his eyes have closed, his heart remains open. That’s the power of a horse, my friend. Even in death, the companionship of a horse lasts forever. Each horse has a lesson to teach. Holidae’s lesson was to sit back and enjoy the ride! Relax and don’t fret because you never know when the world will drop off your dream saddle and a palomino to carry you away! R.I.P. Pagan Holidae. You will be missed.

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8″ x 11″ graphite/colored pencil drawing “Little Friend” A butterfly takes a rest on Holidae’s mane

I also would like to pay my respects to Susan Gibson who also passed away this year. Perhaps her and Holidae are together again, soaring through the clouds.

“For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins.” ~ Melissa James

Until next time…

So long, partner!

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24″ x 24″ charcoal and conte crayon on canvas “Together” Holidae & Spirit

 

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8″ x 11″ pencil drawing, “Holidae Grazing”

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Best Buds
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Photo taken by Keith Schmidt
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Photo taken by Laurie Schmidt

I’m A Little “Sketchy”

I don’t typically share my sketches or “practice” drawings but today I shall. I use to feel kind of naked if I showed people my practice work. It’s so raw and rough. I was almost embarrassed by it. I didnt want anyone to think I was a bad artist. I know, I know…it’s ridiculous! I am trying to get over that fear because the point of being a professional artist is to be exposed  and the point of keeping a sketchbook is to improve one’s skills. We’re all here to learn.

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I decided to share my sketchbook because I can’t really share any of the major pieces I am working on right now. Some of them are gifts for Christmas. I plan on working on some Christmas/winter themed drawings soon. I did one of a foal for Halloween. I think I will do that for every holiday and see what I can come up with. I missed Thanksgiving unfortunately, but I’ll catch it next time.

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Festive Foals! I think that shall be the name of a new holiday series!

I also would like to start doing W.I.P (work in progress)posts. I will photograph my drawings as I work on them and you can see it all come together in the end. Just some ideas I have for the near future! Now…back to the sketchbook.

I love blank paper! For being a tree hugger you wouldn’t think I would love having heaps of paper! I typically buy the sketchbooks with 50% recycled paper though, so it makes me feel a little better. 😉

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Greatest sketchbook ever!

I picked up this book a few months ago actually and never started using it until recently. It’s entitled “500 Drawing Prompts”, obviously. Oh my goodness I love it so much! It is so plain looking but it’s the best. There is enough space for any artist to doodle their own cover to look however they please. As you can see I could use some pictures on the cover of mine.

When you open it up, it is nothing but blank pages with one or two of the most random words per page. And there you have it, hours of entertainment for your average artist!

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“You Shall Not PASS!”

Sometimes it can be very overwhelming to try and create a “fine” piece of art all the time. You don’t want to mess up, it has to be perfect, you are so paranoid about making sure the paper stays clean, you don’t want to leave fingerprints or smear your hand across it while your drawing. You want it to look realistic and neat. So much pressure. Yea, most of it is self inflicted but those are my trials as an artist/perfectionist. That’s why when things aren’t coming out the way I want them to, I take a break and just doodle in my sketchbook. It doesn’t matter if it looks like garbage. It doesn’t matter if I make a huge irreversible mistake. It’s no big deal if coffee is spilled on it. Just wait for it to dry and draw something out of the coffee stain! It can be literally what ever I want to draw at the moment from a mermaid to a flying taco. (I have never drawn a flying taco but maybe I will now).

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The Blackhole!

Just like a flying taco, this sketchbook is so random. It’s awesome! I like to flip through it and point my finger on a random page to pick what I’ll do next. I was surprised when I came across the page “Yeti”. I am a big cryptozoology nut so I was excited to draw one! I’ve drawn Nessie, the Chupacabra, and the Jersey Devil in the past. Now I can add Yeti to that list! Sweet!

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The Abominable Snowman

I think I have about 4 or 5 full sketchbooks right now. Not very many considering how long I have been drawing. But like I said, I’m a tree hugger so I try to really fill the paper! I probably won’t share any of my old sketchbooks. I keep them around to remind me how far I have come as an artist. Sometimes when I feel low, it’s nice to look back and see that I have actually made improvement.

Do you keep a sketchbook or a journal? What’s you favorite thing to draw/write about and why? Share your thoughts below in the comments!

Until next time…

Hakuna Matata

 

Footloose & Fancy-free

I had a random thought. I know… this could be dangerous! Have you ever heard the saying, “No one will be looking at your feet.”? Well first of all that is a bold face lie. I can’t tell you how many times I have received compliments from someone about my boots. I also can’t tell you how many jokes I have heard about my goofy shoes or my mix match socks or the occasional snarl my mother gave me when she saw me wearing my holey converse. Damn, I miss those shoes. Furthermore, can you honestly tell me you have never seen someone wearing bright orange high tops from a mile away! So long story short, people most certainly notice your feet!

Kinderhook Creek 2012
2012- Kinderhook Creek- Nassau, NY

Have you ever thought about all the different things your feet have done? Where have they taken you? We stand on them for hours, stub toes, drop things on them (which I did twice this week and it friggin’ hurts!). I think I speak for many when I say I’ve broken every toe at least once. I can’t tell you how many horses have stepped on my feet!

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2010- Big ol’ Belgian hoof- Stallion Expo, Grand Rapids, MI

Don’t forget my phsyco dog that will run past me in a random act of excitement, digging his claws in my foot. How many of you have put a boot or slipper on and got a delightful sting from a creepy crawly? And oh yes, my personal favorite, stepping on a nail!

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2015- Feb. Clifton Park, NY

Our poor feet take quite a beating. It also seems like we push our pain tolerance when it comes to our feet. I mean, without them, we have to sit on our asses all day and who has time for that? Who cares if I have to hobble?! I need to get where I’m going!

Ambulance garage, easter 2015
2015- Easter day

Have you ever ran outside barefoot? I mean straight up ran! It’s so refreshing. The bottom of your feet have more sensory nerve endings than any other part of your body. Stepping on the prickly yet soft grass makes you smile (just look out for dog poo:P)!

Sarasota Beach 2012
2012- Sarasota Beach- FL

Wiggling your toes in the sand and feeling the water skim back and forth across the tops; I bet you can’t find me one person that doesnt love that! I took a trip to Florida and I tell you what, five days of walking those beaches made my feet look gorgeous! I had no calluses and they felt so soft and smooth. It was nice. I’m not usually one for pampering but yea…that was nice.

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2015- Battlefield Park- Lake George, NY

I feel like this extremely over looked part of our body needs a shout out. I have been collecting photographs of my feet and the places they have taken me. I never had any expectations for these photos. It was more of a personal collection of mine. It’s one of those silly “creative type” things I guess. At this point I have so many I figured it would be a neat project to share. Perhaps it’s something you may want to start doing. Once you start paying more attention to your feet, from an artist’s perspective, there are so many cool possibilities.

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2012- Sarasota Beach- FL

Fun fact time! Did you know 25% of our bones are in our feet alone. If your feet are out of whack, your whole body suffers!

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2012- Kinderhook creature track (just kidding it’s mine) Kinderhook Creek- Nassau, NY

Moral of the story is: take care of your feet and follow them to adventure! Remember… even if you have two left feet, cold feet, a lead foot, your dead on your feet, have a foot in the door, following someone’s footsteps, getting off on the wrong foot, getting your feet wet, have one foot in the grave or putting your foot down….you can’t get anywhere without them!

What have your feet gotten you into? Leave a comment below and share your story!

Until next time, you stay classy San Diego!

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2010- Mother’s Day- Oak Openings Nature Preserve- Swanton, OH
Clifton Common 2014
2014- Clifton Commons Playground- Clifton Park, NY
Dingman's Campgrounds nassau ny 2012
2012- Dingman’s Campgrounds- Nassau, NY
Goold Orchards- 2013
2013- Goold’s Orchards- Castleton, NY- my son’s cute little feet
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Camwow is a very fun app. Try it!
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2012- Kinderhook Creek- Nassau, NY
Nassau Lake 2010 2
2010- Nassau Lake- Nassau, NY
p365 day117- Iroqious Steeplechase- Nashville, TN 2008
2008- Iroquois Steeplechase- Nashville, TN
paul- spirit 2008 OH
2008- Clip Clops and Converse- Delta, OH
Saratoga National Historical park 2014
2014- Saratoga National Historical Park- Saratoga Springs, NY
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2010- “Second Bridge”- Nassau, NY
tugboat round up waterford 2014
2014- Tugboat Roundup- Waterford, NY
William K. Collins Jr Park Clifton Park NY 2014
2014- William K. Collins Jr Park- Clifton Park NY- The balance beam!
Million Dollar Beach Lake George 2015 2
2015- Million Dollar Beach- Lake George, NY