Wild Pony Photoshoot Adventure! :)

ALBUM -> http://www.artbymorgen.com/galleries/Shackleford_Ponies_2010/album/

Since moving down here to North Carolina I've been wanting to go out to Shackleford Island (isolated island of the Grand Banks) and see these "wild horses". They're ponies by everyone's standards but they are the descendants of shipwrecked Spanish (primarily they believe) horses from hundreds of years ago. "Banker Ponies" is another moniker they have if you're curious to look em up. :)

Now as my friend here (Maggie Bennett - she's the one in the leather jacket in the first pic) who went out there with me can tell you - no full size horse would survive on this island! It's got this low scrub brush interior that's ideal for tucking into during hurricanes.... and we very nearly had to get on our knees to navigate around ourselves on the horse paths in our exploration!

It was just the most fun ever! From our ferry trip out where wild dolphins leapt around our little 15ft ferry... to being dropped off on our own to explore like naturalists. Mosquitoes and swamp lands and all. Finding ponies (as you can see hopefully in many of those pics), in all kinds of surprising nooks and crannies all along the way during our adventure. :)

There are a little over a 100 ponies on this nine mile island. In four and a half hours we only made it half way down the island - no small feat with the hilly dunes and grasses that were really strong & tripped you all the time! At first it seemed like we kept seeing only the same 5 or 6 horses but in reviewing these pictures - and even then, you realize the hip numbers are different. It's almost surreal.

I don't get too excited about horses in real life anymore to be honest. I've spent half my life working with horses on a daily basis and I adore them but I don't get all"eeee" excited like a little kid usually anymore... I love to work with them and enjoy seeing them do well at what they do, or in interacting with them... but on the whole, I'm not one to go to uncomfortable lengths like this to see them usually. Not to horse shows per say, unless there is something exceptionally different going on. But there is something really magical about sneaking around to see horses in bands behaving like horses really do. It really rejuvenated the childlike wonder somehow for me - I joke that it was a "magical island" but it sincerely was pretty mystical.

So thank you so much to Maggie for going with me! She and I drove 4hrs from different directions to converge on this place. I'm really glad to have had company - and she also convinced me to use my nicer Nikon camera I bought this spring (I'm so afraid to take this thing out of the studio! It's a D3000 and I'm still really barely able to use it).. And she also convinced me to skip the tripod biz and use the auto settings (she has nearly the same model - I'm so used to "auto" being awful!). My Samsung point and shoot 1st choice camera's batteries didn't hold a charge in the cold I guess...

I would absolutely recommend to anyone wanting to go see wild ponies to consider this particular island. I just can't wait to go back this coming spring. I did want to go first in the fall here when the ponies were at their heaviest & had sprouted woolen coats... I'm so glad we did. From spring through Oct there are other ferry services that converge on it with groups - typically guided type ones as near as I can tell... but this was just a ferry service. When we landed there we looked at each other and had no clue what direction to start off in! Anyhow, so hopefully my little photo essay gives you a real feel for it. The weather was wonderful! Light warm breeze on and off. Around 70 degrees F and believe me, any warmer with that dune and sand walking and I dunno... we both hike with our dogs regularly but neither of us was in shape so it was a good workout! Next time though, I hope we can get dropped off at the other end of the island to see what's down there... ;)

Edited to add in the dolphin picture!
Maggie just sent me these. I looked for dolphins when we went to Madeira Beach last winter the WHOLE time we were down there. Everywhere we drove, I was staring off at the water afraid to blink... since I was told they were out there "ALL the time"... well I did finally see a few... far far away and I was pretty goofy excited. I've seen lots of dolphins in aquariums too and they don't get me too hyped up either... but wild? Hanging around checking out the people??? Nothing is more cool than that! So when these guys sprouted up as we were crossing the water, I was blown away. Our ferry fellow stopped for us. Maggie at least was ready to snap pics within 30 seconds.. me? I'm swearing and cursing and happy at least I brought two camera... ;) But no really, I was mostly just fumbling because I was afraid to look away from the water. Dolphins just rock. Magical wild pony island protected by wild dolphins. What a blast! :D

Web pages are now updated with actual pictures and massive enlargements of them so you can really see the details well. I’m so tickled how these came out!

They’re here; http://www.artbymorgen.com/serendipity.htm And http://www.artbymorgen.com/bravo.htm
I’m just going to stick with the two colors there. There may be slight variations of course in the bronze color especially, it’s all hand finished.

Please note also that Serendipity is going to be an “Open for 2010” only edition. And that Bravo is going to be limited to a one mold run – which is actually getting nearer than not to being sold out now.

Next post will hopefully be really exciting/new! ;)
I dunno.. it's a little scary still yes? Well ok, no.. but he looks a little scared to me.. ha!.. Anyhow, I have no plans for this fellow.. just like my guys from the 14th aren't going anywhere, this guy isn't either (don't panic, I haven't lost my mind).

This guy was fun though to transform from my originally pony to warmblood type, back and forth, back and forth - smoosh and flatten..he's a perfect size for exercising my mind to think about what planes belong where, on who (WB vs pony) and why (who's jowl/eye/nostril/whatever is higher/lower/smaller etc etc). It's obviously still veeeeery exciting for me to have the ability to moosh around my initial form & gesture work like this, for days rather than a few hours. Much more liberating to not have to commit to a pose nor a build. :D Don't worry, I've got real things to focus on so he's not getting a lot of attention - since I made & shared him here before (the 21st I guess), I've only played with him while I caught up on the phone yesterday - and tonight while watching Sleepy Hollow. His other side is a all hacked up/hardly looks like anything but geometric shapes. He's too big to serve as a tack holder. Busts, ones like this too, are a dime a dozen too and he's big enough to be too costly to produce right now for a lark. SO, he's just an exercise mat for my sculpting brain for the time being .....AND of course all I've got for Halloweenee here. Have a spooky one though guys!:)

I dunno, this morning while my fellow was doing something online I felt inspired to goof around & strive for a bit more scary after all. :) BOO!

In part this post is about me being a twerp for a good & dear friend who (rightfully so) insisted that it's not a great idea to post a picture every time I flick an ear. Hahaha... sooooooo this morning I decided to flick an ear & open a mouth. Next I'm going to turn this overworked lump into a turkey for thanksgiving... at least that'll give this page a break from these absolutely non-new-item postings!! ;) (Ah but no seriously, a little levity is all I've got at the moment so hopefully my silly won't be misunderstood- it's all in good fun man!). :D



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