Thursday, April 21, 2011


I watched an interesting movie the other day, called "Nomad, the Warrior". For anyone who is into central asian culture, it's a good film. Not too "hollywooded-up" with fakieness - thank god. It was a very entertaining movie and most of the clothing, weapons, and horsemanship were very accurate. It is a film based on the Kazakh culture. Released in 2005.

In a few of the scenes, there were some Kazakh pacers (gaited horses). Brent Seufert (At Bolsin) has some video footage of pacers in Iran when he visited, and it appears that the Kazakhs have a few of them too. *I have a prediction that if someone imported asian gaited horses into america, they would be a HUGE success.*

Also, if you look very closely.... in a few scenes of the film there is a drop dead gorgeous buckskin Teke... Yayhhhhh!!!! =:)

Youtube trailer:


Another movie that I'm very interested to see is "Mongol", the story of Ghengis (Chengis) Khan. Released in 2008. I haven't been able to find it on T.V. yet, but hopefully I can track it down and watch it someday very soon.

Youtube trailer:


Friday, April 15, 2011

The Art Exhibit

Craig and I went to the opening reception and judge's critique last night at the art center. It was a great community event, and brought out quite a few folks to see the local artwork.

Needless to say, I didn't win this year. But, it's okay. (I knew the Peggy guy needed more work....) I made a vow in 2009 that I would keep entering until someday I won the exhibit. If it takes the next 40 years of my life, then that's what it will take. Interestingly enough - as long as I enter every time, there will always be an Akhal Teke piece in the exhibit. In 2009 I entered an impressionistic painting of Altyn 8 the Akhalt Service stallion in Russia. I'll always keep trying.....

There were 132 entries this year, and some very stiff competition. Whenever there is money on the line - it brings out the best pieces of work from everyone from just about everywhere. The judge had a really hard time deciding which pieces to give ribbons to. There were different categories that recieved award ribbons - for professionals, amateurs, teens, and people's choice voting.

I'll admit that my own personal choices of the artwork didn't recieve any awards. I'm kind-of a fan of the realistic types of works, rather than abstracts and other styles. But, I can very much appreciate a good abstract that draws me in, and there were a couple in the exhibit that were really exceptionally good. Craig and I waited in line outside for the doors to open to the exhibit.

There he is. The golden winged flying shenanigan in all his glory. He had kind-of a "greekish" vibe sitting next to the abstract stuff. He was the only realistic style of animal sculpture on display. In 2009 when I entered, there was a fish bronze that someone entered that placed very well. But this year most of the sculptures that were entered were abstract in nature.

In the opening speech, Roberta (the center co-ordinator that taught the Nag book class), introduced the judge and also gave the art entrants a good pep-talk. She said that she really appreciated the local artists coming out and showing their works to the rest of the community. It takes a lot of guts to put your stuff out on display. Most often times pieces of art are a deeply personal form of expression from people. It takes a courageous person to offer their stuff up for public viewing. Roberta exclaimed that just because something didn't have ribbon on it, didn't mean that it wasn't a good piece. There just weren't enough ribbons to go around for everyone.....

And speaking of ribbons.... I'll get into that more below. All I can say is "Wow"!!!

Roberta introduced the local judge Professor Charles Ballard who teaches art classes over in Walla, Walla, WA. at the college. His main focus was landscape works. (This explained why the 3-D pieces were off in left field.) The paintings that he placed were all a myriad of landscape types of works. There were one or two that I liked that he placed, but some I didn't fully understand. All artwork comes down to a matter of personal taste, and some of them I just didn't get. (It's not to say that they weren't good - I just didn't understand them.)

We have a nice little gallery and art center in town. I'm so grateful that it's there. It's great for the community, and something to be very proud of. The art center/gallery used to be the old public library building. The tall cathedral ceilings used to house hundreds of books and those funky old ladders to reach them with. Now it houses paintings on a monthly basis by local artists. Here are the ribbons. I was so impressed! These awards were made by inmates at EOCI here in Pendleton. We have a large correctional facility on the west part of town, and the inmates work at various activities to keep themselves busy and productive. There is a clothing line called "Prison Blues", and if you've ever seen a coat or a pair of overalls it in a department store with that label on it - it was made by inmates. It's a very good line of denim clothes. There's even an outlet store downtown that carries a full line of their clothing. I've found that the stitching and heavy denim material is very tough and hardy, and holds up well for outdoor farm and chore work.

I personally like a lot of the productive types of things that come out of the prison. I've seen a couple of paintings that inmates have done that would blow the doors off of anything in a gallery. Museum quality pieces. They have the time to spend on attention to tiny details. There's also a pet program that adopts out unwanted animals that the inmates have worked with from local shelters on obedience training. They make very good pets. Very well house trained.

The awards ribbons for the show were fabulous! All time-consuming hand stitching and design. Some of the ribbons even had intricate inlaid carved wood on the rosette parts.

Some of the ribbons had a personal touch by the individual inmate who made them. I thought this one was a bit interesting and sad. It had a little guy behind bars. I thought he was kind-of saying "Don't forget we're here..... we love art too."
One of the abstract landscapes that won a ribbon. It was a bit gloomy in nature, but I have to admit that I liked it.
A copy of a Picasso on the right.
I really liked this abstract, but it didn't win a ribbon. The red, white, and blue thickly swirled colors were gorgeous. I did a painting when I was in college that had different colors, but was very similar in style. It's probably why I liked this one so much......
Some of the realistic pieces above. The lower right side piece that had yellow in it won best of show by the judge. It was another abstract type of landscape piece with what appeared to be some sort of smoke whisping up out of it. I thought it was nice, but didn't fully comprehend the subject mater in it.
Best teen award. I used to clean the house for the family of the young girl that won this award. Her Koi painting is great! Wonderfully talented for a 13 year old girl.
Okay, I LOVED these!!!!! I was totally enamoured by these paintings. They were canvases that had a raised ripple effect and then painted on top of that. I thought they were fabulous! There were three of them in the gallery, and I seriously wished that they would've won something. I have no idea how the artists raised the canvas itself to create the ripple effect, but it was totally AWESOME!!!! They all got my vote for sure!
Another ripple painting above. Uber cool!!!!!

Another realistic piece that was very lovely. I wished that she would've won something. The shadow work was amazing in it.
I liked this Geisha painting as well. It's a very big piece, and I had to back up next to the far wall to try and get a picture of it. I've always liked the idea of a framed subject within a framed subject. It had great oriental style. Loved it!

There were beadwork, quilt pieces, stained glass, and oragamie pieces in the exhibit as well. I'm not sure how a judge would place craft types of pieces against traditional fine art pieces like paintings and sculptures. I've been too afraid to enter a leather carved piece in this exhibit, because I don't know if the judge would accept it as "art" or not. I'm not sure where the line is drawn at on that. The little wheel shaped framed piece above was beaded, and was very well done.
A vase sculpture.

Overall, the center has a great regional exhibit. If you're passing through Pendleton anytime soon, be sure and stop by and visit the gallery. It's open to everyone and free to the public. I'm already looking forward to things to come in 2013.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pega-Stroke, a.k.a. the "Gold-Winger"

Yes, today was the day for the Peggy guy's deadline. I got him there...... after five ulcers and two mini-strokes later, he's officially entered into the Regional Art exhibit at the center. My stress level officially rocketed off of the ricter scale today. I felt like I had just sent a kid off to pre-school this afternoon....

And low and behold, he's still not done yet. Ugh.

I've gotten a grand total of about 2 hours worth of sleep in the past two days. Trying to get this guy presentable enough to make a public appearance without being laughed out of the building was a real challenge. Time slips away so quickly. Last week I worked on him steadily for about 3 hours each night, and thought "he'll be done in time, no problem." Ha! What was I thinking....? As the deadline approached, I quickly realized just how much stuff still needed to be finished. Skin wrinkles, veining, little touches here and there. And the wings..... good god, the damned wings.....

That is the biggest part of what makes him still not quite done yet. I didn't have enough time to fashion the properly gigantic raptor sized wings for him, so I robbed a pair of Breyer classic sized wings off of a scuffed up old body, and reworked them slightly. They look fairly stupid on him because of the size, but they had to work because I was in a serious time-pinch. I attached the wings onto him half an hour before dropping him off at the center. (Yes, honestly.....the glue was still tacky when he arrived at the check in desk...) Gads.

There are also some areas on his body that need more sculpting and sanding to do when I get him back home from the exhibit. Still cringing over that. No golden bridle yet either. Didn't have time to make one; but he'll get one when he gets back home. And to top it off, there wasn't enough time to paint him in a realistic equine color either - so he's a statuesque shade of rattle can gold. This deems him officially as: the "Gold-Winger".

When I dropped him off at the center (5 minutes away from the closing of the deadline), the lady that took my information and entry thought he was really lovely. She thought he might have a chance at winning. But, my concerns about the areas on him that needed more work over-shadowed the nice comments. My eyeballs couldn't stop going over the areas that I wanted to fix, right then and there. Craig thought that the "Gold-Winger" looked good too, so I'm hoping that the general public will hopefully not be too critical of the areas that I'm still having a mental melt-down about....

Now all I'm praying for is a compassionate judge. I'm planning on attending the opening critique session at the center on Thursday night. I'm hoping this judging fellow is merciful and forgiving and possibly something of a version resembling "kindness" in nature. (Fingers crossed.) I'm taking my camera and will get some pictures of the golden flying wing-ding as well.....

Stay tuned for more details on the 14th. Pray for the winger.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Spring Lambies

More lambies have arrived, and boy are they ever cute! I love our Soay sheep flock. =:) Our blonde bombshell Priscilla with her two ewe lambs. They carry the highest percentage of british Soay bloodlines in our entire flock. These two lambs are more petite than our other north american Soay lambs, and are cuter than little bugs ears!
Crossbred lambs - future freezer dinners. The two darker rams are 1/2 barbados and 1/2 soay. The red and white one is Fatty's ram lamb (1/4 barbados, 1/4 dorper, and 1/2 soay). And the mouse colored one at the top is Ebby's first lamb. He is 1/4 dorper, 1/4 katahdin, and 1/2 soay.
Phoebe's two ram lambs. North american bloodline Soays.
Another picture of Ebby's crossbred ram lamb. Since he has a bit of Katahdin blood in him, (which are mostly white sheep), he has pink around his eyes and nose and also has a longer tail than our other lambs do. He's a bit more friendlier in nature as well, and slightly more approachable in the pasture. The Katahdin and Dorper sheep aren't nearly as wild in nature as the Soays are.
Ebby had a little lamb, and she is very proud of him. He is her first little lambie. =:)
Antares, our only white faced Soay ewe - and her north american bloodline lambs. These guys were born just this morning. The darker one is a ewe lamb, and the lighter one is a ram lamb. We still have a couple more ewes that are going to lamb out, so I'll post more pictures as they arrive.


Friday, April 1, 2011

A Great April Fool's Day

Today was such a great April Fool's day. The weather was nice and sunny and warm! In the 70's. We've had some miserable weather for the past two weeks, either raining and drizzling or very windy. But today was perfect. It was a wonderful sunny t-shirt wearing day! I accomplished a bit of gardening in the morning, and then in the afternoon it was high time to saddle up. Not going to let a sunny day like this get away without the aroma of horse sweat to fill the air.... Tommy and I did a nice easy 15 mile loop today. He has had two weeks off due to the crummy weather, so it was good for him to get out and stretch his legs a bit. I've recently moved him up into the snaffle from the training sidepull, and he's getting along with it nicely. He has a lovely long-strided trail horse type of walk, and the miles seemed to go by pretty effortlessly. Our little dogs were happier than pigs in slop too. They can't wait to go for trail rides, and manage to find several puddles to cool off in along the way. Little did Tommy know.....that he would be packing treasures home today. He didn't seem to mind being a pack horse, (it's usually Nettie or Ox's job to pack these silly things for me.) There are tons of whitetail deer out on the reservation, and I can generally spot antler sheds in remote areas that vehicles cannot get to. It's not unusual to have a couple tied to the saddle when we come back in from rides. I'm sure that there are people who probably think I'm off my nut for wanting to carry these 10 miles back home...... but, they're cool. I've got a huge stack of these treasures in our tool shed. Maybe I'll make an antler chandelier someday....
The river is running high and mighty at the moment. With all of the rain that has been coming down lately, it has split the river into large forked sections. Tommy crossed a few streams in the fields today, but the river is too high and rapid to attempt right now. We'll have to wait for another month or two before venturing into it.
"Little house on the riverbank." I usually remember it like the little house on the prairie, but it's got a bit of a different history. This was an old indian/cayuse family homestead. It's pretty old and just about ready to fall down. There are a few of these homesteader dwellings left on the rez, and it's nice to see the remainders of this regions history.
Heading home. A good day. =:)