Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way Through The Forum

 Before shedding out    

 After shedding out

I’ve been going through the forum of an artists group that I belong to, copying the most informative posts, and it’s been quite educational but very time-consuming. I read far more than I need to, remembering past discussions and the great comaraderie and friendships that we have developed over years of association.

One of the things we did regularly was share our artwork and ask for help. Time after time I noticed that artists didn’t always agree on what needed to be changed or added. What bothered one artist might not bother another at all. What some artists didn’t notice others did. I suppose that’s because we all have different training, different life experiences and are in different “places” in our lives on any given day. We are all unique, and even though there are pretty much well established basics of good fine art, our interpretations may be different and our visions unique to our life experiences and personalities.

And that explains why ten artists can paint the same image and come up with ten different and unique interpretations of that image. You can find excellent examples of this on the art pARTy blog. Every month a photo is shared and artists paint the same image however they want. Take a look through several months of pARTy images and you’ll see what I mean.

The other wonderful thing about this forum is that so many artists have been willing to share what they’ve learned even though we are all in a niche market and technically are competing with one another. That is not the case in many art groups. On the other hand, as evidenced by the pARTy paintings, no two of us paint exactly alike. And fortunately, what appeals to one collector may not to another collector, so we all manage to “rehome” our artwork children.

The gems of information I’m getting from the forum will be compiled into a reference work for the membership. You can only gain so much from reading how-to art books. Practical information and the experiences of working artists can be even more valuable, especially when sharing our experiences with materials and techniques; what works and what doesn’t. It saves a lot of trial and error.

Tux (retired TB dressage horse)

Speaking of what works, I made a huge discovery this week on the riding front which promises to make my riding experiences much more pleasant and fruitful. I discovered the full seat breech! In all my twenty some years of riding, I’ve never spent the extra money to buy a pair. The moment I plopped into the saddle on Tuesday I had a real Eureka! experience. I stayed put in the saddle and didn’t have to constantly adjust my seat to stay in balance. Instantly, I regretted not investing in these wonders 21 years ago when I went back to riding.

On Thursday night we went for a very pleasant trail ride. The leaves are now mostly out on the trees, so our ride looked more like my photos from the last blog post. Trillium carpeted the forest floor with white and pink flowers, and since we’ve had rain, everything was lush and green. It was chilly but we all bundled up, and the horses didn’t get all sweaty.

Yesterday was Spring Vet day at the barn. I was really happy to get a second opinion on Scottie’s lameness issues and a few other things. As we suspected, he tore a ligament in that front leg, but it’s pretty much healed now. He isn’t lame in that leg now but is off a little in the other foreleg, probably as a result of favoring the injured leg. The vet prescribed lots of riding, including our hilly trail rides, to prevent the injury site from healing stiff. Lots of riding and bending will also help the arthritis spot in his neck.

I was happy to hear the vet say that Scottie has excellent range of motion for a 25 year old horse, and his joints are in good shape. Scottie will be happy to learn that we are to do stretches before AND after riding now. That means more cookies for him!

The Peanut Gallery: Mikey, Ellie, Jack, JW and Cory


Judy Wood said...

Glad that Scotty is getting himself sorted out at last. I love the "before" and "after" shots of him pre and post shedding. Looks like a whole different horse.

Karen Thumm said...

Me, too, Judy! At least now I know what I'm dealing with and that I'll have to watch him for lameness in the future and put him on rest right away if he re-injures that leg.

He does look like a different horse, doesn't he? In the after photo he was tired from the ride and looks a bit droopy.