Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Running Out of Time

So tired! It’s not just the puppy, either - in addition to all the BreyerFest preparations, they’ve scheduled me with double shifts this week at work. I appreciate the moolah, but the lack of sleep is becoming a problem. The Little One had a little accident in the house yesterday while I was puppysitting, because I fell asleep almost literally the moment I sat down.

(Hey, it’s a really, really comfy chair. Sometimes I fall asleep in it even when I’m not exhausted.)

I also had to rewrite a portion of the partially printed Samplers because of what I found at the flea market on Sunday. Here’s a picture:

I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version of the story next week, once I’m settled in the HIN. Or you can read the full story in the Sampler.

One of the other things I found at the market this week: another slightly obscure piece of reference material. It’s a promotional brochure from the International Arabian Horse Association, extolling the awesomeness of Arabian Horses.

I used to love these sorts of things when I was in elementary school. When I discovered that you could get free stuff if you wrote to various organizations, I spent a big chunk of my allowance on stamps writing to every single breed association listed in the back of the All-Breed issue of Western Horseman. Nothing is more thrilling than a big fat envelope in the mailbox with your name on it!

I compiled all this free stuff into huge multimedia scrapbooks, with stickers, cutouts, envelopes, glitter and other embellishments - several decades before it was the cool thing to do. I carried them around me everywhere: even then, I wore my weirdness openly. I still have them, carefully stored in archival boxes in the closet, fragile artifacts of a compulsively creative childhood.

I can’t recall if I got anything from the IAHA, though. I don’t think so, but I’m in no condition right now to plow through some of my most treasured possessions to be sure. I’m pretty sure if they did, this wasn’t one of the pieces they sent me. The illustration on the cover, by Gladys Brown Edwards, should tell the story why I would have remembered: it’s one of the main references Chris Hess used to create the Proud Arabian Stallion!

Did Hess work from this brochure specifically, or was it among other reference materials he picked up along the way?

He did take a few liberties, not out of a lack of sculpting prowess, but probably to make the mold a little sturdier as a plaything, and more practical for production. Lots of hobbyists bag on the Proud Arabian Stallion, but outside of the Maureen Love-based Arabians, there aren’t any Breyer Arabians that escape that ire.


Carrie said...

Congrats on the newest family member (so FUZZY!) & I can't wait for this year's Sampler!

Oddly enough the first thought I had when I scrolled down to the IAHA piece was "That looks very much like the Gladys Edwards arab print hanging in the living room, I wonder who's the artist?" HA.

BluelineGoddess said...

I always liked the PAS - he always looked like the Arabians I boarded with (all well into their senior years, all products of a much forgotten era of breeding).

Anonymous said...

I love my light dapple grey PAS, he was one of my first Breyers. <3

People tend to forget Breyer is first and foremost a toy company. The Moody bashing on Blab proves this. Never mind Breyers are light years better than 99% of other toy companies turning out toy horses!

Anonymous said...

I also have this model!

Some additional history on the original Gladys Brown Edwards painting, as well as a brief observation on how important artworks can go astray: when I worked at IAHA in the 90s, this lovely painting hung in the reception area and then general manager's offices. After a reorganization, a general manager with absolutely no interest in horses and no knowledge of IAHA or Trust history took the position. This person redecorated the GM office, "getting rid of" existing furnishings, and simply gave the painting away to a long-time IAHA employee (a director - who really knew better). The painting was removed from the premises and taken to that person's home, where it was rumored to have hung for some time until another employee saw it, recognized it, and took steps to have it returned to the organization.

No, it's not a masterpiece or a Van Gogh. But it is an original and important Gladys Brown painting. It's not so hard to believe that important artwork can wander off, exchange hands, be nearly forgotten without anyone noticing for long periods of time.