Tuesday, 23 June 2009

'Glimpse of Youth' completed.

I managed to get this painting completed. It will be going to the framers tomorrow. Now I have a new commission come up of a deceased JRT who did flyball when she was alive. She sadly died suddenly of a mystery virus when she was 4 and her owner has been looking to get a portrait done for a while. As she runs with Doncaster Bellestars flyball team, she saw the Bryn painting that I did for them when it was handed to Bryns owner at their AGM. She decided that she liked my style of work so she brought the photos she has to their tournament on Sunday when I was there and we looked through them to decide which best to use etc... Now just to make some composites in photoshop to decide exactly how it's going to be.

Here is 'A Glimpse of Youth' completed anyway.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

"A glimpse of Youth" in progress.

Just a quick post...the photos tell most of the story. This is the second painting thats going into Holmfirth artweek..providing I get it finished and framed up in time.
The subject is a NSH colt hence the title of the piece. I changed the background completely from the ref photo.
Better leave it at that...the painting needs finishing...lol.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Rotherham Flyball tournament and Sleets open debut.

This weekend was our flyball clubs tournament. It was a two ring one as there was so much demand.
I wasn't able to be there on Saturday because of a long shift at work and I couldn't be there Sunday morning either as I had my Martial Arts assessments so I went on Friday to help set up and then went on Sunday afternoon after the wing chun assessments.
Wren was running in starters on Saturday so my sister had to run her. I just sent messages from work asking how she was doing. It turned out she ran with Kellingtons starter team instead of Rotherham one as she would be sharing a space with my sisters dog that way. Our team uses Canadian boxes and Kellington had a Boomerang box. Kath said that she ran great but had a few fumbles for the ball. The last time she ran on a boomerang box was at Markfield with the Chaos Krew and she had the same issue there due to wanting to turn the opposite way to what she does on a Canadian. She was fine once the ball was put in the other side. This time, it wasn't. My sister didn't think of it but, nevermind. Her team came 5th but she ran well which is the main thing. She really trams it down and back again. No slow return problems with her. Just needs more boxwork.
Sleet had her open debut on Sunday. Again, my sister had to run her that morning as I wasn't there. We've had a couple of training sessions at home with my sisters hurdles to try and proof that and she seems to be doing ok now she realises, no hurdles, no ball. I don't think that netting or wings will help with her anymore. You could run her in those for 5 years and she'd still run out if you removed them. The only way to keep her in the hurdles is to get the message that YOU require her to do them rather than just relying on a habit forming. For this reason, I am using hurdles without wings or netting and only letting her have a ball when she does them correctly.
We do a lot of restrained recalls at first which helped as she didn't already have a ball in her mouth when coming to me. I also use her "Clicker training", language to help send the message across more clearly. I use the word "Yessssss" in place of the clicker sometimes but I also have an intermediate word "Good", what I use mid exercise to let them know they are doing it right. They know that "Goods" lead to a click or a "Yesss". I shout "Good", as she jumps each hurdle..not before, then say "Yess" as she comes through where the start gate would be with the ball in her mouth and then I drop another one for her to dive on. Sleet won't drop the first ball until last split second anyway so I have no issues with her spitting or anything.
On the morning of the tournament, Sleet decided she wasn't going to do the hurdles at all. I was quite disappointed when I got the text saying she hadn't raced as she wouldn't do the hurdles.
In the meantime when one of the rings was empty and not in use with starter netting, my sister took her in there and let her do some runs in netting.
That afternoon, I turned up and Sleets team were due to run again. I found out that, as a newly formed team who's time wasn't really known, they had broken out of their division..being way too fast...so we couldn't win anything regardless.
We decided to try Sleet again in the two minutes, first doing a restrained recall. She came down all the hurdles just fine. Andy, our team captain, told me to try her with a full run so I did. Again, she did it perfectly...then as we still had enough time, let her do a second run...which was also perfect. She goes down the hurdles a bit like bambi with her strange springy action, lol...but she was doing it.
In the first race, she didn't run but then Andy put her in as last dog. Again, she ran great. During the rest of the afternoon races, she was allowed two more legs and never put a paw wrong and so earning her first 75 points. Natalie Holtappel was judging the devision and was putting the other teams down as winning even though we got the faster time and finished first and made a comment to me about how frustrating it is. At the time, I was just happy that Sleet was doing the bloody hurdles, lol. I'm thinking that she decided she had to do them because MUM was now here. Still, as I can't attend a lot of tournaments due to crappy work, she'll have to learn to run reliably for Kath too.

Here is a photo of part of the showground. The weather was fantastic all weekend....lucky mind as we've had thunder and lightening and heavy rain today, lol. Here is Sleet and Wren having a run after the tournament had finished Sunday evening. Wren has blown her coat and is looking particularly scrawny.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Rested and Ready Completed...plus more good news.

I altered the chain a little between the standing dogs front legs because it didn't fall correctly before and it was bugging me...a lot!! Now I can finally call this finished. I've already started on preperations for my next piece. Both of them need to be framed up and ready for Holmfirth artweek by the end of this month...so I need to get a move on with the next one. Also, 'Emerald Gaze', pictured below, was entered into an exhibition at the Ferens Gallery in Hull a couple of months ago and much to my surprise, I found out it had sold. I was really pleased and got a nice big fat cheque come through the post a few days later.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Rested and ready nearing completion...

Well, I'm really having to press on with this now because I only have a couple of weeks to get the other painting done if I'm to get them framed and mounted in time for Holmfirth. Here it is with more work done on the second dog. And now pretty much complete but I haven't signed it yet because I'm still wondering whether it needs any minor alterations and touch ups. I'll get some fresh eyes on it. As you can see, I added the chains. I'm not into painting stuff like that like I am hair and such. I tend to rush them a little as a result. I took this last shot with my better camera...it makes a whole lot of difference to the quality.