|Gretchen's old web site, courtesy of the Wayback Machine|
|Her visit to Arizona in 2014|
|Gretchen's winnings at NAN 2012|
|Gretchen's work proved that smallest scales could compete at NAN.|
|Gretchen's 2008 NAN show string - when minis were often overlooked.|
|2018 selection of Gretchen's tiny Micro painted horses|
|Gretchen also designed her own jewelry.|
|Tropical Parrot Stone Decorator by Gretchen, 2012|
|Barricuda and Snapper, OOAK Stone by Gretchen|
|Joy of Koi, Limited Edition by Gretchen Oneail|
|Painting at the Stone factory, 2011|
|Micro taped to a golf tee for easy spraying!|
|2017 OOAK Auction model designed by Gretchen|
|2015 OOAK Auction Breyer by Gretchen Oneail|
|2015 OOAK Auction Breyer by Gretchen Oneail|
|2017 OOAK Auction model for Breyerfest|
|"Raleigh" was also designed by Gretchen Oneail|
Losing Gretchen so suddenly, so unexpectedly, came as a shock to so many of us. She was the type of person to always want to comfort people, and ironically, as I mourn her passing, I know she’s the one who would do the best job at making us feel better, if she was here today.
If you want to get to know Gretchen, thanks to social media she’s left some clues for those of you who weren’t lucky enough to have had a chance to meet her in person. Her old Pinterest pages show a little peek into her mind, and to the surprise of nobody who knew her, are filled with all kinds of cute and lovely things, from beautiful horses to ocean creatures, flowers and frogs. She loved nature, cute animals, silly jokes and puns.
|Gretchen loved posting and making memes.|
https://www.pinterest.com/paintedclover/_saved/ is her “general” Pinterest page (and among all that is a tiny section that shows her artwork - Gretchen was humble that way.)
This Pinterest link has some of her artwork featured, and she also has a studio page on Facebook:
Things posted online have a tendency to "poof" after a while, so it's good to document what you can while you can. Hopefully I can come back to this Blog post - or write a new one -a bit more of a comprehensive record of her work at some point, especially her work for Stone.
I really wanted to get something posted, however, as it’s been far too long, and it felt very important that I put out some sort of tribute to her art, however flawed it may be. Obviously, with something this sudden, creating a memorial wasn't expected. Hopefully I can update later with more photos and information on some of her beautiful designs.
Oh - and one more thing. About the sea slugs.
Sometime around late 2019, I was talking to Gretchen, and I told her that I was taking a few days off from horses to paint and draw - sea slugs. Yes, sea slugs. I had this crazy idea to sculpt a giant sea slug. A sea slug that you can sit upon. (About the size of a loveseat, is what I described.) In real life, these guys are teeny tiny - so small they can fit on your pinky nail. But if you look closer, they have these amazing wild colors and crazy shapes. Sea slugs (or nudibranchs) kind of fly under the radar of a lot of nature lovers, due to their small size. What if you could "meet" a sea slug - face to face? What would be the impact of seeing one scaled up to the size of a pony?
Gretchen was 100% in support of this idea. (She was the only one, everyone else thought I was nuts.) Gretchen started posting sea slugs on Facebook. Every day. I thought to myself, I can’t wait to get this sculpture done, so that someday I can take a photo of my goofy friend Gretchen sitting on top of a giant neon nudibranch. When this stupid pandemic is over, and she finally comes to visit, it will be the most hilarious thing ever.
Shortly before her passing Gretchen and I were talking about getting scuba certified. Our post pandemic dream trip was to find somewhere to dive. Maybe find sea slugs in real life. She had suggested scuba diving in Florida, and I told her why stop there? Let’s find the most exotic diving spot with the wildest nudibranchs, even if it was halfway around the globe. She was stuck in bed, not feeling well. I was hoping that maybe it would give her something fun to think about.
I still wish I had done so much more to be there for her, when she needed me most. You always believe that there’s more time to spend with the people you love, and then suddenly, it’s too late.
I hope everyone finds someone who believes in them as much as Gretchen believed in me. The kind of friend who supports even your bizarre and nonsensical dreams. Miss you a lot, Gretchen, and thanks for the sea slugs. You really got me.