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These are my favorite mugs. Now that the mornings are getting a little cooler, they are getting a bit more use. I brought them home from my trip to Idaho – the light green one for me and the taller iron gray one for Alan. They each have matching bowls, which I thought would make nice ice cream bowls. I’m not sure why I thought we’d ever be eating ice cream and drinking hot tea at the same time, but then again I’m not always the most logical person.

I like the mugs because they remind me of the friends who were with me at the art festival when I bought them. What I have always liked about the model horse community is that it seems to be filled with bright, creative people. (Well, that and those people never say, “Uhhh, can we talk about something other than horses for a little while?”) The exchange of ideas and techniques really gets me excited about my own work. That’s why I am a big advocate of artist retreats. Sarah makes a better case for them here than I ever could. (Even if her tea brewing methods remain barbaric.)

The downside is that travel is time consuming, and in this day and age increasingly expensive. So I was excited to hear that the Realistic Equine Sculpture Society had set up an online forum. RESS has always maintained a mailing list, and it often contains really good discussion. But what we do is so inherently visual, and much of that is lost in email messages. Forums are wonderful for making a conversations more visual and more interactive. There is even talk of creating online learning forums that tie in with Boat articles, which would take us yet another step closer to recreating the artist retreat experience. All in all, not a bad deal for the membership fee ($25).

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If I have figured this out correctly, this will be my first blog post. I thought a blog might be a fun way to share with my friends and customers what is happening in the studio. My hope is that it will let me communicate with everyone in a way that is a bit more visual – and perhaps more personal – than my business mailing list.

Think of it as dropping by to visit, only without any baking. (See, if more of you could just move to Charlotte, I wouldn’t have to muddle through learning new technologies. And you would have homemade cookies.)

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