Saturday, January 12, 2013

Two New Ornaments for 2012

One of the "regular" projects that I do commercially is the annual "Beautiful Breeds" Ornaments.


The Holiday line is one of the often-overlooked areas of Breyer's product line to collectors.  I actually had no idea HOW overlooked until I began to look online for any information about it!  While it is covered wholly in Breyer printed collector's guides, (books) the online articles on Breyer's various holiday items are pretty sparse.  So, it might surprise you to find out that we are coming on to 10 years of my "Beautiful Breeds" ornaments line for Breyer!

Breyer started their annual Christmas line in 1999.  As the line was getting established, they asked me if I had any ideas for products?  They already had the Stirrup ornament (features a mini version of their annual Holiday horse) and a lovely Carousel horse line that I believe, early on Kathleen Moody had some part in.  My only idea was pretty basic.  Well, how about just a horse?  With really minimal decoration.  (I know, shocking, suggesting a horse ornament to Breyer.  Ha ha ha!)

Luckily for me, they liked the idea anyway, and that led to the first of the series, which was an unfortunately proportioned Arabian that came out in 2003.  Thankfully, collectors proved to be a forgiving bunch and bought them anyway.  (Small scales are my weak point, I have trouble sculpting little horses.)  A photo of the first ornament in the series (Arabian, 2003) as well as a few other ones in the line can be seen on this page:

Many breeds followed and I have to admit, they are kind of hit or miss.  Some flowed.  Other sculpts fought me the whole way.  My favorites in the line, however, were the Appaloosa, Mustang, and this year's Peruvian Paso.  (The Saddlebred and Friesian and Quarter Horse are also pretty cute.)

The best part of all is how it makes my Holiday shopping so easy, as everyone gets the same thing every single year.  Ornaments!!!

Photo by Breyer
Here's a list of the past horse ornaments that I've done.  A few had detail work by Jane Lunger (the Appaloosa and Andalusian - she did the beautifully detailed tack on those) while the more "basic" ones were sculpted 100% by myself.

2003 - Arabian
2004 - Friesian
2005 - Saddlebred
2006 - Quarter Horse
2007 - Appaloosa
2008 - Clydesdale
2009 - Andalusian
2010 - Welsh Pony
2011 - Mustang
2012 - Peruvian Paso
2013 - Coming Soon!

I have no idea how many years this series will continue, but with the sheer number of horse breeds in the world, there are a lot of possibilities!  Hopefully, Breyer will continue to find my work acceptable for this line.  (I am the first to admit smaller scales are my weakest link.)

This year, I was also selected for the their "Signature Series" ornament, which is a newer idea.  It's a blown glass ornament, with decals on it featuring artwork (2-D) by various Breyer artists.  Past artists have been Kathleen Moody, Sue Sifton, and Sheryl Leisure, who did some lovely painting of Hess molds (as Chris Hess, iconic Breyer sculptor has passed away so naturally he's not able to paint his own sculptures for this ornament.)

So, I set about doing acrylic paintings of my own sculptures.  Which, I have to admit, artistically seems a bit . . redundant.  Ha ha.  On the tail of "Luna" the wolfie Web special, here I get a second chance to go about doing 2-D art as commercial project, in the same year.  Very fun.  I think the paintings turned out great, and was totally happy with the work.  It came out clean and tidy, but I "pushed" the colors on the art and added a bit of blues, purples, etc. to the horses.  I think it's important to make work seem painterly today, being as Photoshop and digital art are so pervasive.   (If it's done by hand, I think it should actually look painted.)

Still, I honestly wasn't expecting much.  I mean, the idea didn't sound that exciting.  A painting of a Breyer on a glass ball?  Okay.  Here is the promo photo, courtesy Breyer:

Photo by Breyer
However, when the ornaments arrived and I actually opened them, I was blown away!  It was really gorgeous in person.  Rich translucent red, slightly frosted, and when the lights glowed through the glass the effect was lovely.  The photos online don't do it justice, but I guess it's hard to convey the see-through effect..  Here's my own picture, showing the artwork on the opposite side of the ornament.  (This view is  not shown online.)

Now, how I wish I could do something like this glass ornament, but featuring some of the "other" 2-D art I've done in recent years.  Like these little paintings that I've done as rosette centers for various Live shows through the years:

I love these little rosette paintings.  I've done about several of these and they are lots of fun to create.  But, that's for another Blog entry!  And, that will need to wait because I'm already up to my ears with new commercial projects so looks like there will be more future products featuring my artwork in 2013.  Yay!  So, back to the studio with me.  Look for updates in 2013 whenever I have a chance.

Happy New Year everybody!

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