Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Brasenose Layer 3

Layer 3 Near side
This NaMoPaiMo has been the most fun.  I just sprayed his third layer - in the rain!!  Hurray for ponchos!!  Yes, it was raining, but that wasn't going to stop me.  I picked him up using a sheet of plastic wrap.  This is what contributed to Jypsi's drop:  I hadn't figured out how to carry a freshly-pastelled model right before spraying.  Cuddled the flashlight (it was after dark) and the horse under my poncho, went outside (purple light:  my poncho is purple) and opened the storage barn.  Stood him up and went back for the Krylon.  (Another hard lesson:  don't carry everything at once!)  I wear gloves and a mask for this operation.  I wound up leaving the flashlight in one place and holding the horse in my left hand.  Experience helps but I have SO far to go.
In case you're wondering how he'll dry, I bring him back inside after about 15 or 20 minutes and let him rise to room temperature and humidity.  So far there hasn't been any problem with the sealant...
Layer 3 Off side
This is not to say he hasn't had problems.  He has, and rather big ones.  Reaching Layer 3 has been a process of realizing I'm an impatient cuss and that my test piece had by no means used up my mistakes!!  Hah, hah, hahh!!  How right I was in thinking this horse would teach me some more... 
Just one of my issues is working with the Pearl Ex.  It mixes in the color and goes on easily enough, but my spray seems to mute it back out.  I've got a few ideas...

Yesterday (the 10th) I accepted the gracious invitation of Kristian Beverly and her mother to spend a few hours in their home at my very first NaMoPaiMo painting party!  I can hardly tell you what an honor that was.  I had never been in their home before and only knew Kristian a little.  I'd sold her a horse and some lace and bought one of her saddles (and read her blog), but that was about it -!   Other attendees were Zoe Hatgi whom I was delighted to meet (at last, a body to the name of a Guide customer), Maddie Klein who had visited me once, and Lizzy Mace, a friend of Kristian's.  Like myself, Zoe had driven for an hour+ to be there.  For me that distance was 85 miles.
Kristian Beverly; Lizzy Mace behind lamp
The Beverlys have a room just for craft projects, and this was it.  I was impressed.  My own tack room is not big enough for more than 2 people.
 Everyone was painting in different ways, but we all had one thing in common:  tack!!  Four of these 5 were tackmakers and the table was soon covered with "the glorious mess" (Jennifer Buxton's phrase) of tack.  There are a couple of very talented English saddle makers here, Kristian and Zoe.  I was enchanted.  These girls are zooming ahead with their skills and experience.  They're already at the stage where their English saddles are better than mine.  I had brought some of the saddles I'd taken to Tucson just last week (and shown to Rachel Mitchell).  Fact is, I hadn't had time to unpack them.
Maddie Klein; Zoe Hatgi with glove

The painting party was my first opportunity to put color on Brasenose.  It's true I'd planned on starting him the day before, Friday the 9th, the day after I was supposed to get back from Tucson.  But Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD) had other ideas!!  For one of the few times in my life, my flight was cancelled.  I had successfully made the Tucson to Chicago hop and was quite confident (veteran weather radar reader) that my flight from Chicago to State College could easily evade the coming storm.  NOPE!!!  For more than 24 hours I was delayed - and a flight that was supposed to leave at 6:50pm didn't make it out until after 9.  And that was with seven (7) gate changes.  If you're going to break a record, you might as well smash it to pieces.  All that fuss for what turned out to be a mere 3 inches of snow!!!  

In their defense, afterwards, Geo told me that just a few miles to the south there had been 8 inches and more of snow.  If that had fallen on O'Hare their extreme measures would've been more defensible.  As it was I was nobly trying to reserve judgement, and having a blast exploring O'Hare.  I found a garden, a yoga room, and pet relief stations (which were very uninteresting).  I rode the tram to the International Terminal (and had to wait while snow was cleared from the tram tracks).  I put in a tremendous amount of work on my next cross stitch saddle blanket.  Eerily, I saw absolutely no one else doing any kind of stitchery or handicraft at the airport, all day.

Layer 1 showing *Bask scar
Applying Layer 1 to Brasenose was both satisfying and mortifying.  Progress at last!!!   When I was nearly done (using Q-tips to pastel with, something learned from my test medallion), I discovered I had done a much poorer job of prepping than I'd thought.  Several pinholes appeared (acceptable).  Several rough surfaces came up (barely acceptable).  The places on his rump where Margarita had patched him turned out not to be smooth (yikes).  But worst of all -- how had I missed it? -- he had a scar.
Layer 1 showing *Bask scar
There was a molding discontinuity along his off side, a double straight line from neck to haunch.  When I first saw it I thought of *Bask's scar from his sea voyage, mentioned in Marian Carpenter's book Arabian Legends.  (I've never seen this scar.)  From then on I was calling it his *Bask scar.  I hated to stop painting, but this was serious.  After a tense time I knew I could not just accept it, --- and started sanding.  At first with my own sandpaper, later with sanding sticks borrowed from Zoe and sandpaper borrowed from Kristian (where would we be without friends?), I made progress.
Layer 1 post scar
I was actually able to remove 90% of that scar.  In places I got down to the resin.
Layer 1 post scar
But then I just pastelled him up again.
Layer 1 Off side
 I couldn't see how to re-prime on top of Layer 1.   Let's face it, I was way too pent-up not to paint and I was at my first painting party.  I couldn't not paint.  I confess, too, that my strongest excuse was that he was headed for a liver chestnut and these patches would become so dark as to hide anything out of the ordinary.  There just comes a time when my own bullheaded stubbornness carries me forward.  I guess I'm not a Taurean for nothing.
This is what Brasenose looked like at the end of the painting party.
Mrs Beverly literally sent me home with a supper -- thank you!!
Layer 2, end of painting party

The next day was Sunday the 11th, and we stayed home.  We both very much wanted to stay home AND it was raining.  Progress was made:  my camera captured two more layers on my little Teke.   My memory also tells me 2 layers were done this day.  Mysteriously my notes depicted only one more, making a total of 3.  I dealt with this discrepancy by labelling the first Sunday one "Layer 2.5."
Layer 2.5 Near side
On this layer, inspired by the party, I abandoned the Q-tips and went back to a brush, but this time a short wide thick brush.  It really helped.
Also, entirely on my own, I added the blue tape boots.  They are to be his stockings as well as handholds.  He also has a star, not visible in these shots.
Layer 2.5 Off side
Here we see the patches on the off side slowly becoming less of a blemish.  It's not perfect, heaven knows.  I am struggling with several aspects of this paintjob and that's merely the most obvious.
On Layer 3 I started putting gray shading on his face, mane & tail and knees & hocks.  I was using a microbrush for this, yet another giftie from the painting party.
Layer 3 Off side
 You can see that as of Layer 3, his rump patches are turning out "somewhat" successful.  I wouldn't exactly recommend it. 
Layer 3 Near side
 My pastels are named Jack Richeson Fine Oil.  They were on sale at Uncle Eli's, the specialty art store that's been in State College since before I got here.  It's grand to live in a University town.  It's not grand to be such a beginner on such a beautiful model and have so many mistakes to work through.  I guess I'm just like any other artist.

Thanks to Jennifer for thinking up this wild idea.  I'm having the most fun.


  1. Looks like you're off to a great start despite the setbacks. And the painting party seems to have been really fun. I just adore that crafting room!

  2. Looks like a fantastic NaMoPaiMo party. I hope that come next year's NaMoPaiMo (2021) we'll be able to gather back together again!