News February 2008 Issue 6

Hello Everybody

Well, not only did we get our White Christmas, but the button got stuck in the on position up here. We are having a lovely old fashioned North Idaho winter, and fast approaching the possibility of a new record snowfall. Now we remember all those reasons that we designed this house the way we did, and why all those things were so important to get done before the first snow fell. We have lost most of our views, since the snows are stacking up in front of half the windows.

But where we can still see out, it is gorgeous. My winter aerobics with the snow shovel are getting me back in shape, the horses peeking out of their stalls full of hay are getting fat. Our baby turkeys are big, one tom is as tall as my waist, but they insist on sleeping on top of their house under the trees instead of taking sensible shelter inside. I am learning a lot about turkeys.

The winter is bringing a new delight. I have written before about the way you can encourage hummingbirds to land on your hand. Well, wild birds in the winter get a lot braver, too. I have found that since chickadees eat by pecking order rank at the feeders, you can expect lots of impatient birds waiting in the branches. By adding two more feeding opportunities, your open hands, two more birds can feed. Once the other flocks see the chickadees happily feeding, they are tempted to join them. I have had handfuls of pine siskins, goldfinches, and amazingly, evening grosbeaks down my arms and in my hands and even waiting on my hat. Of course, it isn't fair. Once your hands are full of the big grosbeaks, the chickadees just can't find room to land. I never thought I could study the birds from a distance of 14 inches from my nose. At length. Be sure and rest your arms on something, and give them time, your arms will get tired before the birds do. Oh, and only smile with your mouth closed. Teeth are a sign of predators. And I can't help smiling. It is hard to keep the feeders full, but once I have started having bird feeders, the flocks are relying on me.

We had a good time at the Colorado Indian Market. It was very cold, but the worst of the snow held off until we were safely home. Cold weather doesn't slow the people down in Denver, the crowds were just great, and the show was beautiful....

I am expecting as great a show for people to see when the Texas Indian Market opens in Arlington, Texas at the end of March. We will see so many of our friends again there, and I know if you can make it, you will really enjoy the show.

This is the time of the year when I can concentrate on work in the studio. I do hope to have several new pieces done by the May art shows. And there is one sculpture in particular that is taking a bit longer.

I have to stop and take photographs of this horse every step of the way. And I will continue to take photos even once it goes to the foundry. It is my primary illustration for my BIG project this winter.

You have asked for it, you have said I should do it, and it is well underway. I AM WRITING A BOOK ABOUT SCULPTING...and the business of surviving being a professional artist. It is going very well, according to the artists who have previewed parts of it, and I am having a great deal of fun. The part that will take the longest is following the sculpture through the foundry. (Once I get the wax/clay original completed....depending on how much more snow I have to shovel.)

It will have a paper cover although I guess it can be special ordered in hardback, too. I am mainly writing it for all the artists who have asked for years just how to get started, and much of the information will be good advice for artists in general, not just sculptors. There will be a ton of black and white illustrations. The publisher says it will be priced around $20.00 paperback. I hope to get it to the publishers this summer for a fall production and availability.

Lots of photographs of my sculptures, I know black and white isn't as fun as color, but I didn't want the thing to be priced out of sight. Later on in the newsletters, I may be able to print a sample chapter to show you. I will be notifying my mailing list when it can be ordered, and I assure you, if you are interested, there will be order information here, too, when it is time.

For those of you who are interestsed in ordering the "Book Bronze" as well, it will be available in a limited edition. I am thinking of an edition a little bit larger than usual for one of my ten inch horses, those are usually limited editions of 20. If I hear that lots of you are wanting one, I will make the edition some larger. We are looking at a bronze priced at $2000, but then you will get a free book, too. Hardbound if you wish. I will have photos of it on the works in progress as it goes to the foundry. (I might even take the edition as large as 35, what do you think?) Yes, if you do wish to have your name put on one, I can do that for you now. Just let me know.

The book may take a little longer if I throw the computer over the deck railing. We, me and the computer, are working things out. I hope.

Take care of yourselves this winter.