Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Waves self with lace hanky...

Hey people.  This is the last you'll hear from me for a while as next week I'll be convalescing.

I'm trying to be positive about this.  This weekend I'm preparing a bunch of food.  I keep telling myself I'm going to clean the whole house but so far that hasn't exactly happened.  I'll actually have an excuse to do nothing but lay around, but I know this will drive me insane and I'll want to be up and walking around as soon as humanly possible.  For now I'll be laying around recovering from my field dressing a deer surgery, probably, and semi-functional anyway with one T-rex arm that can't reach up or out very far until my shoulder heals up.  I can already feel myself getting fatter. 

Our phone broke last week.  The base station shorted out, (some of you know this story, let's just say having pets is a def lifestyle choice).  Here's Dan on an old phone he pulled from ~the archives~ (his hoarding stash under the crawlspace of our house).  For anyone under 30, this is what phones looked like back in the olden days.  You had no idea who was calling, and if you didn't answer it would just ring and ring until the person finally gave up, and hung up, sometimes as many as 100 rings later.

I am not a phone person (for sure), but do like to know who has called, and to have the "leave a message" option.  We've now stepped back into the 90's and gotten another answering machine style phone.  If you can't reach us via our beepers, leave a message.

I was madly trying to finish up a few projects before the convalescing begins.  The last one didn't quite make it under the wire, thanks to the switch on my cutter going out.  But as I look it over now I'm glad, because there are some things I need to fix, and if all would have gone smoothly yesterday, I'd have finished it and rushed it out, and not been 100% satisfied with the result.  Here's the sketch I was working off:

The neck's a bit short, but I was mainly concerned with leg and head positioning.  Horses are so expressive if you know what you're looking at.  Their entire being is about being on all fours, ready to flee at any instant.  They aren't always on high alert, but this is what they're built for, and as a prey/herd animal, their core instinct.

For this sculpture I wanted to capture a young dressage horse.  Dressage takes natural movements of the horse and super refines them.  It's kind of like the difference between someone walking, and a model walking the catwalk.  A successful performance has the horse responding to nearly invisible cues from the rider.  It's all about subtlety.  The movement I wanted to get was this sort of jogging in one place exaggerated trot I saw in a vid.  Thinking about how the horse would have to decide at which point to begin unweighting various legs.  Done perfectly, it would be all sync'd-- two by two, opposing diagonal legs.

In a horse just learning the movement, I suspect it would feel funky, too slow.  It's unnatural for them to move their legs with little or no forward movement.  My horse would be sort of trying to cheat it by unweighting his whole back end, dancing those legs back and forth, and kind of bobbing his head to keep most of his weight always on one of his two front legs.

So i began framing him in.  I got it mostly right-- his hips are low and I got a neck arch I'm happy with.

Proportionally he's good (this pic is from above, looking down)-- hips, shoulders, belly all line-up, also his foot pattern is sound.  This horse stands perfectly balanced on just two hooves.  I also like how his head is nodding to his planted front foot-- the cheat.

But scroll up again to see what I don't like--- his planted front leg is too far forward, and the hock angle is all wrong.  He needs a new hoof too.  It's not off a ton, but enough to rob it of *life*.

I had begun to cover him in dapples from this steel.  He'll be awesome when I'm done, but he needs a legectomy.

Here's some kung pao chicken I made for convalescent food.  This is all happening at a time I really want to get in better shape, but I'll just be that much more eager when I am able to hit it I guess.

I'll be delving into *new idea* while I'm down, so the next update may be about that.  We'll see.  I'm looking forward to learning how to use my creativity in another way.


Maery Rose said...

In looking at photos and drawings of piaffe, you're not far off. The horse looks like it will be really cool when it's done. I love all of the horses that you have made! I'll be thinking about you.

Linda G. said...

Take it easy next week. Try not to go insane! :)