Tuesday, August 27, 2013


After spending a few more hours on him, I finally cut the strings and took him to Sioux Falls to Bronze Age Art Casting.  They are so thoughtful and kind there, I know he will be well taken care of.  They gave us a tour of the facillities and explained all that would now happen to him on his next journey.  In two to three weeks, I will have him home again, only in bronze this time.  I will also have the mold so that there can be more of him cast.  The price I thought was reasonable considering the work that goes into making the mold, casting the bronze, cleaning him up and then doing the patina.  I am so thankful there are people who know what they are doing so that I can just do the creative fun part.

I did find out that the clay I was using wasn't the best for this project.  After going for lunch with a friend in SF, we returned to the van to find that his hat had drooped and fallen off in three pieces.  It was just way too hot.  In fact, after we left the foundry the thermometer in the van said 100 outside.  Way too hot for this time of year!  Anyway, after it had cooled off somewhat I was able to put his hat back on and he was ready to go.

In a few weeks I'll have a photo of the finished piece.  Now it's back to painting again until I get some clay that gets harder and won't soften quite so easily.  Some ideas are already running through my mind.  In the meantime, there are paintings that have to be done, so I'll be back at that tomorrow.  Hopefully, I'll have more photos every once in a while.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


I just realized this one had not been published.  Somehow it showed up as a draft and I hadn't noticed it before.  Therefore, it is out or order, but there really isn't much difference between this one and the last day.

He's nearly ready to say "giddy up go."  It's getting so close I can almost taste it!  Today I put a lot of time in on the face - reworking the details and making corrections.  This meant a lot of time on my feet, as I can't sit down and get a good enough look at the area under the hat.  I also worked on the straps, reins, barrel, and the ground.  Notice there are now two rocks holding the barrel in place.  We wouldn't want to see him tip over after all this work!

A friend, Sandy Elyson, stopped in today and did a little more sculpting in wax.  I remembered how to warm the tools, so she had a better experience this time.  I will be excited to see what she ends up with.  Going good so far, and it's so nice having someone else around.  Ralph also stopped in and brought me the Chamberlain paper, which is fun to read.  After all these years I still know some of the people.


I do believe he is finished and I had so much fun and learned so much.  I can't believe it took me only ten days, which would average out to close to 55 hours, in case any one is curious.  I have included several pics showing all angles and close-ups of the little cowboy.  Now I have to take it to the foundry in Sioux Falls and get him turned into bronze.  I will be really interested to find out what the final cost will be.  This will determine what the price will be if anyone is interested in purchasing one of them.



Thursday, August 22, 2013


Getting closer.  Today was a day for changes.  After looking at the little guy 's face and seeing his grin, I thought his face was too hidden.  If he was truly enjoying the "ride" I decided his head would be thrown back.  I think it works much better.  I also decided he needed a scarf around his neck to complete the picture.  Other than that, I worked on the barrel on the front end.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Today was a fun day and a good working day.  There is a group of four artists who get together for breakfast once a week on Wednesday.  Just a block down the alley from me is an excellent restaurant called "Good to Go."  They bake their own bread and other goodies and have excellent quiche, sandwiches, and salads.    Today we each ordered a different pastry and split them four ways so we each got a taste of each.  My favorite was the bearclaw with almonds and chocolate with almont paste as a filling.  Wonderful!

I'm starting to feel like I'm winding down on this project.  Today I worked on more detail on the saddle and barrel.  I'm not sure yet how I will do the grass around the barrel.  Guess that's what's so great about trying something different.  There is always learning involved.  Oh, yes, I did fix the crease in his hat.  Looks much better now!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I decided today it was time to work more on the boy's right side.  Going well so far - some of the detail on the saddle done and preliminary work done on the barrel and the rest of the saddle.  I'm hoping it will be finished this week.  I can see from this photo I have to adjust the hat a little to get just the right bend in it.  My husband wore western hats, and that was always important to him.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Today I felt like there may be an end to the sculpture when I started working on more details.  It was fun finding objects I could press into the clay to make more texture.  I guess it's fun to do because it is a challenge to see how much detail I can put into something on a small scale.  It's always good to be able to stretch the mind, and I'm feeling like I'm learning so much!  My goal is to have this finished and poured with bronze in  order to show it at Dakota Masterworks in October.  Guess I'd better start spending longer days.

It's always fun to have visitors, and today Ralph Wamsher stopped in with "regular" coffee - as opposed to the flavored kind - so when he and Joann stop in they can have a cup of their coffee with me.  How nice of them.  Also, two artist friends from the Milbank area - Joelie and Barb - stopped in and went with Corine and I to lunch at "Good to Go."  This restaurant has very good food, and it's fun to eat out on the patio.  It's just a walk through the alley from my studio.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


This is so much fun.  I don't know why I haven't done more sculpture.  Today was a very good day.  I worked on the little guy's left leg and shoe, and then on the saddle.  I also built the little stool so that it's possible for him to get down without getting hurt!   I was able to download a picture of an antique saddle, which has helped tremendously!  I'm looking tonight to see if I can find a small enough design to press into the clay to make it look like leather work.  We'll see tomorrow how that works out.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Today was a good day in the studio.  Several visitors stopped in and I was able to spend time with them.  I didn't accomplish a whole lot on this piece, however.  I was able to do more refining on the face and clothing, as well as one arm and the saddle.  Wish I knew more about old saddles.  It would really help to have one to look at.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I didn't really seem to get much done today, but am please with the changes I made.  The clay is softer than I thought it would be, so I am now starting at the top and working down to do the details.  That way I won't be messing up what I have already done.  Today I worked on the hat and face mostly.  I also plumped him out a little and started working on the clothing.

It's amazing how I can see all the imperfections when I have posted the photo.  Now I know what I have to work on tomorrow!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


This has been a good week and an especially good day.  It is so easy to work in my new studio with the windows overlooking the street, room to hang my paintings, and room to work on more than one thing at a time.

The painting I worked on for two days.  Everything just seemed to work.  I took the photo I worked from on a trip to Platte, SD.  The storm had just passed and there was just a hint of a rainbow.  It is 10" x 30", and I'm very happy with it.

I started a new sculpture today and really liked working with plasticene clay rather than with wax as I had done on my last two.  The subject is one of my older brothers sitting on the saddle on the barrel that our dad fixed up for us when we were kids.  I guess he didn't want to have to saddle up the horse for us when he was busy with other things.  Eventually the piece will be made into bronze and I will do a limited edition,  I don't know how many yet - it all depends on if there is any interest in it or not.
The total piece will be approximately 12" tall.

Monday, August 12, 2013


This past weekend was the second annual Watertown Summer Art Showcase.  Five states were represented by very talented award winning artists, ranging from painters, sculptors, photographers, and potters, to mixed media artists.

The number of people taking advantage of the opportunity to view this wonderful art was disappointing.  It is so difficult to figure out how to get people out to attend various functions.  Having been in the fast food business, I can understand how difficult it is to make sure  you reach all the people and then to entice them into your place of business to take part in whatever you are offering.  The three people behind this - Don Klima and Nancy Lepo of Omaha, NE, and Marilyn Nipe of Watertown put in endless hours and their own funds to make this work. 

We are thankful to the people who did attend and who enjoyed the show thoroughly.  For those who were unable to make it, there will be next year.  It really is worth seeing, even if you are not able to buy some of the work for your home.  All artists need input from the public.  Without it, sometimes it is difficult to go on with our work.  Seeing the smiles of the people viewing the art showed that it was a way of getting enjoyment into their lives.

Now that I am off my soapbox, I did enjoy doing the show - seeing old friends and making new ones is always a good thing.  I was also the winning bidder for two of the pieces on the silent auction.  I was able to purchase two very nice landscapes - one by the Best of Show winner Gisele Robinson of Wyoming (a new artist friend) and the other from June Newburg of Minnesota (an old artist friend) whose work I have admired for a long time.  Thanks for the opportunity.  When I get pictures of them, I'll post them for your enjoyment as well.

This is a photo of the booth I had at the show:


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I have been wanting to paint this since the first time I looked East from the cemetary in Kennebec, SD.  It is such a restful scene, and I have taken photos nearly every time I have been up there.  That area is so beautiful, I really should go back more often just to paint.  The painting is in oil and is 12 x 16.  If you are in the Watertown area this weekend, you can see it at the Watertown Summer Art Showcase at the Ramkota on west hwy 212.  There are many excellent award winning artists from a five state area.  It would be worth your effort.