Monday, December 21, 2009

Ex Arte Equinius III

Vision 18 Collective member and artist, Kim Vickrey recently won several awards in the Ex Arte Equinus III Equine Art competition. Her work "Equestrian Angel" was awarded 1st Place in Photography by Juror Susan Friedman. Susan said of Kim's print, "Out of all the entries this piece stood out, here in one frame Equestrian Angel captures perfectly the enchantment of imagination of myth in relationship to the horse. There is always something evocative and mysterious about a good photograph and this image using selective focus stands out as a wonderful embodiment of all the criteria I was asked to consider. This photograph portrays the archetype of the angel and the horse and captures the spirit of the subject beautifully. The horse, the wings, the beach and the lighting all work together to create an evocative image. Bravo!!!"

In addition to the photography group, Kim's piece's "Concerto in the Sun" and "Carousel des Chevaux" placed 3rd and 5th consecutively in the Digital Media competition by juror Diana Allison.

There were over 1000 individual pieces entered in this year's competition with an impressive list of nationality's represented. The accepted work will be posted on the Art Horse Magazine website by January 2010, with the Magazine and book being released in March 2010.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Giving Permission for use Forever, Even Without Winning - Lynne Glazer

I'm seeing it all the time, from equine magazines to commercial horse product manufacturers: prizes offered for entering their photo contest. The latest is from Troxel, the helmet people. Offering about $250 in prizes of a helmet/vest/carry bag for the first place, helmets for 2-5th. Everyone who enters has given the rights to have their photo used in perpetuity for any use Troxel deems useful, without any further compensation, credit, etc. Troxel thought it worthwhile enough to fill out a contact form on my website, inviting me to submit, just so you don't think I'm particularly picking on them. Dover Saddlery is another who recently did one of these contest aka image grabs.

Companies use these user-provided photos for their image libraries. They don't want to pay professional photographers for their stock images, why should they when they can get "just as good" images for free? Whether web-res or print-resolution, this is just wrong. Sometimes it's just the legal department going "over the top", and when questioned, sometimes companies will revise their Terms and Conditions. Don't enter without reading the T&Cs, or you'll deserve what you get. Click to read more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Terri Miller wins the World Cup Photo Contest

Dressage Dream

Terri Miller Wins the Third Offield Farms Shoot to Win Photo Contest

Harbor Springs, MIWorld-renowned equine photographer Terri Miller was chosen as the winner of the third Offield Farms Shoot to Win Photo Contest held at the Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. Miller’s winning photo, titled “Dressage Dream”, of Elizabeth Ball on Iris Eckstein’s Orion, was selected from dozens of photos submitted. The panel of judges was charged with the task of identifying an image that best captured the excitement of dressage and Miller’s photo was determined to best meet the criteria of the contest.

“Our third photo contest was difficult to judge,” explained Karin Reid Offield, who created and has sponsored the World Cup Dressage Finals Shoot to Win Photo Contest for the past three World Cup Finals held in the United States. “It was important that the winning photo showcase the excitement and energy of our sport. I had hoped that I would find a photograph that captured the audience’s moment of excitement during Steffen’s wonderful rides, as the creative banners and American flags showed the spectators’ enthusiasm. However, when I saw Terri’s photo I thought, ‘Wow, now there is a shot!’”

For Offield, Miller’s photo, “had an advantage of being taken in a spot where no one else had ever been. That’s really the goal of the contest—showcasing images that break free from the norm and deliver the excitement of dressage. We wanted an image that makes people stop and stare. Terri’s photograph does that for me and it’s worthy of a magazine cover. Congratulations to Terri and all of the photographers that entered our contest.”

Terri Miller, of Lake San Marcos, California, commented, “ I am thrilled to have won the Offield Farms World Cup photo contest, especially with this particular photo.” “Dressage Dream” was taken during the pas de deux competition held during the World Cup Finals. Ball and Orion were paired with Olympic medalist Guenter Seidel on Marie Meyer’s Fandango. The duo rode a costumed Phantom of the Opera piece that brought the house down.

“I have always loved the vantage point of being up high, whether in a tree, helicopter, or in this instance, in my ‘secret aerie’ at the Thomas & Mack Arena,” Miller explained. “This was the very last shot that I got of Beth and Orion as they rode out of the arena with their ribbons. I just loved the gestural feeling of the moment, from Orion’s pointed ears and softly reaching leg, to Beth’s rustling dress, flying hair and the sweep of her arm with her rose corsage. I chose to treat this image as an art piece, rather than a straight photograph because the entire performance felt dreamy and surreal. Hence my choice of the blue tones and the edges that fade to a soft-focus black.”

For her efforts Miller received $500 in prize money, along with a matching $500 donation to the equine charity of her choosing, the Monterey Horse Park in California. She explained her choice, “ I chose the Monterey Horse Park because in general we’re losing so much land to development, and as riders we’re losing access to so much recreational land. This is a great chance to not only save a little piece [of land] for equine use, but also to create a world class show facility as well.”

This is Miller’s second Shoot to Win victory; she claimed the inaugural prize in 2005. Her photos and painting have graced the covers of dozens of magazines, calendars and catalogs. Her work is frequently juried into museums, galleries and exhibitions, including the 2009 American Academy of Equine Art show at the Museum of the Horse. A graduate of New York’s acclaimed School of Visual Arts, Miller sees through the lens with the eyes of a painter. As a student of equine movement, Miller has a keen eye for finding the very best moments of energy, harmony and brilliance.

“Terri’s photo is amazing, but a visit to our website shows that the judges had their work cut out for them in choosing the winning entry,” Offield stated. “I want to thank all the photographers that took the time to enter this year. It is appreciated and fun. “ To view the winning photograph and a gallery of many other entries, visit To learn more about Miller’s equine charity of choice, log on to

About Offield Farms

Offield Farms’ mission is to serve as a significant catalyst for the advancement and promotion of the sport of dressage through special events, educational programs, corporate entertainment, media projects and through personal interaction between horse lovers and horses. Visit now combined with for more information about dressage, Lingh and the passion for our sport.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Wee Horse Project - Terri Miller

When we discovered that Susan 's leukemia was incurable, her "sisters" of the Vision 18 Collective decided to start a project. It began merely as something to cheer Susan through difficult days.

I searched for an icon that each of our 14 members could easily carry everywhere, and I found the Wee Horse. He's tiny enough to fit in a purse or a camera bag, and for weeks now we have treated him as our Traveling Gnome With Fuzzy Hooves. Each day, we would email the resulting images to Susan: we figured if the Wee Horse made us giggle, then it would have the same effect on her.

So far, the Wee Horses have been across the country. They've met all manner of creatures: dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, chickens and dinosaurs. They've been out at dawn, and they've been out after dark. They've played dress up. They've been to see the veterinarian, and they've honored veterans. They've sampled mojitos, wine, beer and martinis, jumped crosscountry fences and even went to Brazil with Axel, who in between judging duties, was my "stunt double" at the CDI in Sao Paulo.

The Wee Horse Project will live on, in honor of Susan.

You can find all the Wee Horse pictures in their galleries at the
Vision 18 Collective website.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Susan Sexton by Terri Miller

One of my oldest, dearest friends died last night.

We first met, of course, at a horse show.

It was 1981, at Knoll Farm on Long Island, and I felt like the circus had come to town. Susan Sexton and her three teenage kids had arrived in their motor home to photograph the dressage show. I was a budding equine photographer myself at the time, and I’d just graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NY. Susan was photographing, Ted was juggling, Meg was turning cartwheels, Stephanie was manning the photo stand…. I didn’t know what planet these travelers had arrived from, but I thought it must be a pretty cool place. It turns out it was Arizona, and Susan had packed up the family, outfitted her motor home as a darkroom and taken off across the country to photograph dressage.

For those of you who don’t remember such things, “mobile darkroom” in those days meant a huge processor full of chemicals and actual darkness in which to turn silver halide into images on celluloid film. It was not just a computer and an ink jet printer! A mobile darkroom was a major undertaking, and in Susan’s case meant photographing all day, then processing pictures all night in order to have photos to sell the next morning. That she was doing this, at a different location each week, with three teens in tow, and that the kids seemed pretty happy about the whole thing…. I was impressed, to say the least.

So began a friendship of nearly three decades. Susan eventually settled in Massachusetts, installed the color processor in the basement. Sometimes we covered the larger shows together as competing photographers, but when the show was over for the day we’d have dinner together. We shared creativity, business tips, and many, many drinks.

Over the years we met up at shows all over the country: we survived Dressage at Devon when it took place in the heat of July, and outlasted it when it became a six-day behemoth in September; Lexington, KY for Pony Club Festival; Chesterland, Radnor, Groton House, Fair Hill events; Florida since the dressage circuit first started down there, and Los Angeles and Las Vegas for World Cups. We bunked at each others’ apartments if there was a show nearby, or just for the fun of touristing in our respective cities: Susan near Boston and then outside Washington DC; me in New York City and later San Diego.

We adventured in cool places; Sedona, Santa Fe, Shenandoah. We trekked through the paradigm shift of transitioning from film to digital. Susan journeyed on from Warrenton to Chicago, and from Chicago to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she insisted that she was retiring…. but artists don’t retire. And then she returned, full circle, to Phoenix.

We discussed everything under the sun. Art. Photography. Science. Books, movies and politics. And men. And, of course, horses. Always horses.

In all my years as a photographer, the mere existence of Susan, and her considerable talent and artistry, spurred me on to improve my own craft. I knew she would always come up with a great shot, so I’d better have my “A” game on whenever I picked up the camera.

So Susan, thank you.

Thank you for tequila, and for chili with chocolate in it.

Thank you for wearing silly, vision-distorting glasses on the streets of New York with me. And country dancing with the cowboys of suburban DC.

Thank you for years and years of dressage, and eventing and baby horses and shared friends.

Thank you for being my role model of a bold, adventurous woman and artist.

Thank you for being outspoken and forthright … and having the wisdom to be kind, too.

Thank you for being there to console me when I dated the wrong men, and thank you for being there the day I married the right one.

Thank you for being my toughest competitor and my staunchest friend, both at the same time. I am a better photographer and a better person because of you.

And I already miss you.

Link to Original Post

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Helena, Montana - Mary Cornelius

But first... a few words about Helena Montana and surrounding area. Helena is so much more than I had expected for a "western town". It built up during the silver and gold rush and was home to more millionaires than any other city in the world. This is reflected in the beautiful big churches, wonderful old city center buildings and the mansion district up on the hill. For an architecture nut, I was in heaven. The Great Northern Carousel in Helena features all kinds of animals that one would find in Montana. I had a blast photographing the swirling buffalo,wild cat, antelope, horses, frog, indian pony, bear, otter (you could ride on his belly)mountain goat,trout, my favorite, a sort of mermaid horse and many more. All in beautiful condition.

We headed out for a drive around the area and ended up in Elkhorn, a "ghost town" up in the mountains from the silver and gold rush days. It was built around a big silver mine and thrived for years. The old buildings are still there and are mostly privately owned. Just 2 buildings are public and available for tourists to view. There is new construction in the town and people are once again making their homes there. Click to continue reading.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Horse Show Food, France vs. U.S - Terri Miller

I consider myself something of an expert on horse show food. After all, I’ve been sampling it for the better part of 30 years. But at no time do I see the contrasts more clearly than when I dash directly from a show in France to a show in the US.

Now, there are some things about life in France that can confuse me. Like the plumbing thing. If you’re going to outfit a hotel bathtub with a shower wand, why not take the last step and install a wall bracket so the bather can actually enjoy the benefit of showering, instead of juggling the wand and trying to keep the thing from pointing out past the half-shower-door with one hand while lathering up with the other? And perhaps provide a towel which is slightly larger than the standard wash cloth? Oh, and about that wash cloth: are they not used in French hotels? Read more here.

Terri Miller Photography and Painting

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Life Swirls... - Mary Cornelius

This time of year time just goes too fast. As a photographer I must make hay while the sun shines. Photographing dressage shows, sport horse events, breed inspections and showcases and farm calls. All of that running around time, gathering images is doubly matched at the computer downloading, backing up, editing, processing, uploading, delivering etc etc etc. Its a busy time and I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

So far for the month of August, I have played host to photographer friend Amy Riley from Massachusetts. She flew in and helped me photograph the Arabians in Motion Sport Horse Classic and AHA Region 4 Sport Horse Championships. After the show, off we went up the Columbia River Gorge to visit June Boardman and her wonderful White Horse Vale, home of one of the largest Lipizzan breeding operations in the country. Continue reading...

Mary Cornelius

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Great Sand Dunes - Amy E. Riley

High Prairie CCI** is now under our belt. We survived some hot weather as well as a hefty thunder, lightning and hail storm that put off an entire cross country division until day three. We has a few minutes of panic wondering how we were going to cover two stadium courses and be back out on the cross country course at the same time. Fortunately the event organizers also had similar conflicts and they arranged start times accordingly. We were able to finish up on cross country and scramble back to the stadium rings with enough time to grab a bite to eat. We were "card dumping fools" that night back in the hotel. We had to make sure that all files from all three cameras were correctly transferred from memory cards to hard drives and then to another backup hard drive. A lot of work went into shooting the images and it would be a shame to loose any of them. This even includes carrying the hard drives in and out of restaurants, and another place we may stop as not to let them out of our site. Cristy will be responsible for processing and uploading the entire show once she gets back home. We said good bye to Lynne at DIA (Denver International Airport) after driving through some more rain and passing by the freaky bronc sculpture on the road to the main terminal. Click here to continue and see more images.

My Big Wide World - Cristy Cumberworth

When taking photos of horses, one of the huge rules of thumb is to use a zoom lens. 100mm or more was a guideline I was once given and the longer the better. Wider angles distort the horse, often horribly. Huge noses and tiny legs... You see them everywhere in family pet snapshots and once you learn to see it, you find it often crops up in many artist's paintings and drawings because they were working from a photograph shot with a less than ideal zoom. I have dutifully stuck to this rule for ages with the exception of taking pictures in small spaces, such as the vet clinic exam and surgery rooms for documentary work.

In my quest to give the horse event competitor the best and most unique shots of their horses, I constantly experiment with angles, shutter speed, depth of field, light and now lenses. Click Here to read the rest and see more images.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Painting for the Cure - Terri Miller

I spent two full days painting on location at Dressage at Devonwood. The weather couldn’t have been better, although maybe it was a little too warm on Friday – so unusual for Portland, Oregon! The days are long and the light luscious this time of year. The grounds of the Devonwood Equestrian Center are a delight for riding, spectating… and as it turns out, plein air painting!

The last time I’d been to Devonwood was 10 years ago, at the very first incarnation of the show. The place was barely finished then, but it had the makings of a very special showgrounds, so it was a treat to return and see the landscaping all grown in, the indoor arena and barn complete, and the scenery just as stunning.

The view from Devonwood is all about the trees. Big, tall, straight-standing pines, the kind we don’t have in San Diego. They smell good. They house red-tail hawks. They cast lots of welcome shade, which cooled things down even when the temperature soared into the mid 90’s like it did on Friday.

Each of the competition arenas at Devonwood has its own flavor. the Sand Arena is where the big classes go on, and it’s in an amphitheater flanked by a VIP tent and a grassy hillside where spectators lounge. The Terrace Arena is just above it and just just below the Vendor Village, which was home to about two dozen shops for the weekend. At the top of the hill is the aptly names Sylvan arena, which surrounded by pines on three sides, and has a view of Mt Hood. The fourth arena is the Indoor. Now, this is not your basic-box indoor area: this is an airy, skylighted cathedral of dressage, graced on one end by a stunningly beautiful mural by artist Joanne Mehl.

Read More Here on Terri's Blog.

Terri Miller Photos & Paintings

Friday, July 31, 2009

Blog Scenes - Susan Sexton

A recent trip to Cave Creek, AZ, from Ignacio, CO, provided endless
possibilities for unique images.

I'm never sure which phrase I prefer. I'm very accustomed to "taking"
pictures, but what we're actually doing when "taking" a picture is "making" a picture. Where did the word "take" originate in this concept? The word "making" has always felt a bit contrived. "Capturing" sounds like it's against the will, although I'm not quite sure whose will that would be. So, I'm still fumbling for a word I like. Maybe "getting" a picture is the best way to go.

I love shooting from the car, and the way the day worked out, opportunities presented themselves all the way home. Shooting from the car also offers that one-of-a-kind filter, the windshield. Not only is there smeary crap all over it, raindrops make interesting effects.

The clouds shaped themselves into ever-morphing creatures born of cloud imagination.

The camera is sitting on the seat beside me while I drive. It's wearing the short lens, 16-whatever zoom. I don't remember, but it's nice and short, and is easy to use. At 75 mph, I can pick it up and shoot at random out the window (or through the windshield). This is bizarre, taking pictures without looking thfough the camera; just pointing it and firing. I have had enough experience so that I can make good educated guesses, but even then, getting a good picture is a miracle.

When I hold the camera up to look through the viewfinder, the tiny view of the road is distressing, and I suddenly can't drive. If I simply brace the camera on the steering wheel with the lens hood pressed against the windshield, I might or might not get something useful. Which is always the case in photography, anyway.

Rte 160 runs almost straight east/west for several hundred miles across AZ and NM. It is only two lanes wide, one running each direction, but it gets you to your destination. There is reconstruction on the road all summer long, stalling the traffic, as only one lane is open at a time. This time, a dust storm has been gusting about in tornadic circles on the flat desert floor, or blowing huge amounts of sand straight across it. It makes for interesting viewing and pictures as we sit in traffic, waiting our turn to proceed.

Rain was threatening off to the south, soaking in dark bruised clouds, while behind me, the sky was blue with light, white puffy clouds. A big yellow truck was back there, too.

At one point, I was racing along at my favorite speed (75mph), and I saw the utility towers up ahead. I grabbed the camera and fired off one shot as I sped under them. It was one of those where I can't look in the viewfinder. I just have to hope that something will come of the exposure. I had to pan, too. If I were looking at these pictures and reading someone's blog about getting a picture that way, I'd never believe the speed or that the panning was doable. Impossible, I'd say, so if you don't believe that it really did happen this way, I understand.

After the excitement of high winds, blowing sand and heavy rains, the sunset was sublime. Reflecting in the raindrops on the windshield was pretty, and a very long shutter speed left the trails of colored lights, but no trucks. I was parked alongside the road, and my headlights on the grasses worked for the picture, too.

Gotta try everything; you just never know what'll work and what won't. I always have to prove it to myself. ;o)

Carefree, Arizona

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Independence Day Photo Explorations

We actually took a day off on the Fourth of July. We watched tennis from Wimbledon in the morning, went to a barbeque in the afternoon, and came home just in time to watch the fireworks from our patio. Okay, I cheated on the “day off” thing long enough to take photos at that point!

Now, the Fourth is definitely not Tinto’s favorite day of the year. Although our neighborhood is pretty much firecracker-free during the day (thank you, Lake San Marcos Security!) we have hillside seats for the best fireworks display in North San Diego County come nightfall. People even drive up to our street from the flatlands to get a peek at the festivities.

Tinto, however, does not approve.

As a matter of fact, the flashes and the noise literally scare the you-know-what out of our otherwise intrepid terrier. Rescue Remedy, unfortunately, does not keep me from having to follow in Tinto’s wake with Nature’s Miracle once the Grand Finale is over. Read more here.

Terri Miller, Photos and Paintings

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back from the Wilds

I am back (albeit reluctantly) from SE Oregon and the wild horse herds. I absolutely love the Steens area and have made sure to revisit the area periodically ever since I "discovered" it when in my twenties.
The aromatic spring sagebrush this trip was intense. Especially when you drive over it. oops... okay, we did A LOT of that but how else are you to get to the wild herds I ask. High desert wild flowers of several varieties everywhere. Just beautiful.
The skies were amazing as thunderheads and electrical storms were often all around us on the broad landscape. I took as much advantage of photographing the skies and the landscape as I did the horses. I learned that wild horses are .....where you find them. Read more here.

Mary Cornelius

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pony Club

Pony Club is a great organization! It offers our youth a chance to learn so much, not only about horse care, but about life and working with others on a team. The older ones, helping the younger ones. I photographed the Deep South Region’s Dressage Rally over the Memorial Day weekend. I hadn’t been able to photograph for several years due to personal and work obligations. I was delighted to find myself working with many of the parents that were running the organization 10 years ago, even though they no longer had children participating in Pony Club and as always the hospitaly was generous and warm.

The ponies were ponies! Most of them so good at taking care of their young charges. The kids were cute! You can’t help but think these are the stars of tomorrow.

Marie Cobb

Ree Photographics

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tinto The Terrier Checking In

Between book designing, painting, World Cup, and the spring dressage scene here in California, I realize that Tinto has been missing from my blog scene for a while.

To his fans, Tinto sends his regards. And expects a cookie, please.

As you can see in his pictures, his coat is in the “sheep” phase. People keep commenting on how big he’s gotten: I just reply that underneath all that hair is the same skinny little dog. He’s wearing his collar on the last hole right now because his fur is so thick. And I know it’s time to clip him because when it’s warm he stops playing his version of Tinto-ball after a few minutes, and usually you have to pry him off the thing when playtime is over.

So welcome to Tinto’s day: first we chase the ducks off the studio roof. They come up from Lake San Marcos, hoping for something besides pond water. For about a week our pool cover was stuck in the open position, and the ducks thought that our pool was their personal spa…. Let’s just say I was glad that the water was too cold to swim in anyway. More of Tinto's Day Here!

Terri Miller Photography and Painting

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kim Vickrey publishes in Creative Quarterly

Kim Vickrey, has work published in the March issue of Creative Quarterly, the Journal of Art and Design. Creative Quarterly brings together the creative community in the best of art and design in a quarterly publication and is published by 3x3 Publishing Company, New York, N.Y. Produced four times a year, Creative Quarterly has features on illustration, graphic design, photography, and fine arts. In addition, each issue has important information for students ready to enter the job market as well as book reviews and a how-to article which takes readers step-by-step through an actual project by a noted designer or artist. Creative Quarterly's new redesign has made it a more interactive journal, aiming to inspire artists through the sharing of design, interviews with artists, and more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Darlene Wohlart has been sitting on news of several recent sales.

Pennfield Feeds, official feed of the USEF, has licensed an image from Darlene of four-in-hand driver Chester Weber to promote their feed.

Voyager Press is publishing a 2010 box calendar of horses using images she supplied. Included with the calendar is a miniature Breyer horse. Some of the calendar images will also be appearing in a book on breeds of horses Voyager Press is publishing. Darlene believes the calendar will be sold in Tractor Supply Stores and other tack shops, as the John Deere calendar Voyager did for 2009 was sold there.

She also has a cover of a children's book that is in the works.

You can see more of Darlene's work on her website.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Princeton Show Jumping Classic

Karin Naimark just finished shooting the 5 day Princeton Show Jumping Spring Classic, April 15-19, 2009, held at Hunter Farms in Princeton, NJ. The all jumper show had an exciting finish on Sunday when Linda Sheridan, riding Invitational, won the USEF 3-Star, $25,000 Grand Prix of Princeton out of a group of 20 entries. Laura Chapot won the $5,000 Welcome Stake on Wednesday. Both classes were Level 7 with fences measuring 4"3" to 4"6" in height and 4'6" to 5'0" in spread. Triple bars to 5'6" and water to 12'. The course designer was Andrew Philbrick. Another USEF all jumper show will be held April 22-26 with a $30,000 Grand Prix Level 8.

Karin Naimark of Naimark Photography
Pictured above and below: Linda Sheridan & Invitational showing off their winning style.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Helping Thoroughbreds find their second careers!

Sharon P. Fibelkorn has taken the opportunity to use her photographic powers for good instead of evil and has joined the freshly minted SoCal CANTER organization!

For the scoop on what CANTER is ... go here: CANTER site.
For the scoop on Sharon...

Sharon P. Fibelkorn site

More to come as I find my place in the herd.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Steffen Peters Wins Grand Prix at World Cup

Today history was made when Steffen Peters riding Ravel won the Grand Prix at the Rolex FEI World Cup in Las Vegas. This is the first time an American rider has achieved this goal. He had to beat out two of the most decorated riders in Dressage, Anky Van Grunsven of the Netherlands, and Isabell Werth of Germany. The fans went wild.

The Vision 18 Collective are well represented at World Cup. Marie Cobb, Terri Miller, Mary Cornelius and Susan Sexton are all here shooting the creme de la creme of dressage and show jumping. It's an exciting week for us all. A little birdy told me April Visel is also in Las Vegas shooting Arabians. So more fun to follow!

Photo by Marie Cobb

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paintings from Galway Downs Horse Trials

Back in the ’80’s and ’90’s, I photographed just about every top three day event on the east coast: Radnor and Fair Hill, Chesterland and Essex, Groton House and Millbrook. I split my time evenly between eventing and dressage. But over the past decade since I moved to San Diego, aside from the occasional foray to Rolex in Lexington, KY, I’ve pretty much concentrated on dressage.

Well, it sure was fun to go up to Galway Downs and see horses run and jump cross country again! It was a bright sunny day in Temecula, about 70 degrees, just perfect conditions for galloping over big fences. I wandered out to the two water jumps, because I’m working on a series of paintings for which I needed fresh photo reference. I brought a new camera body that I was test-driving, and my watercolors. Continue Reading and see more paintings!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Vision 18 members have not been resting this winter. They have been traveling about the country creating some great new works. Look for new paintings from Terri Miller, new photographic art from Mary Cornelius and Marie Cobb, all from the Palm Beach Dressage Derby.

April Visel has been shooting her heart out in Scottsdale AZ at the world famous Arabian show...etc. so forth..

Amy E Riley, Cristy Cumberworth and Lynne Glazer's images are featured in a new Equine Photo-A-Day iPhone App called Horse Lover sponsored by (an awesome horse toy). Look for it in the iTunes App store.

Kimerlee Curyl was signed by International Publishers Somerset Fine Art Publishing

Nancy McCallum has donated a few of her exquisite photos to C.A.N.T.E.R. for one of their fundraiser projects. C.A.N.T.E.R. is a non-profit organization that works to find new homes for Thoroughbred ex-race horses. More information about C.A.N.T.E.R. can be found at www.canterusa. org.

Melanie Snowhite's images were chosen for Intervet's 2009 "We're For the Horse" ad campaign representing such products as ReguMate, Banamine, FluAvert, FoalCare, PreveNile and EquiRab. This is the second year Intervet has used Melanie's images.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

From Fingernails to Backgammon

I got to thinking about my grade school teachers today while I was filing my nails. The connection is logical: Mrs. Johnson (4th grade) had the most beautiful hands and nails, and I craved having fingernails just like hers: long and pointy. My nails were short and stubby, breaking off easily and tearing from too much mucking out. I was nine and played with horses a lot, so of course, the nails were usually ragged and dirty.

Nowadays, my nails are long, but the basic shape is kind of wide, so it's not a graceful look like Mrs. Johnson's nails had. So here's my point: when we're kids, we don't always see the whole picture. No matter how long my nails might get, I'm never going to have glamorous hands, but at the time, I didn't know enough to get that.

Mr. Wingate (7th grade) had been in the war (meaning WW II). He told us one day about receiving a transfusion in the field of battle. Did we know what a transfusion was? It meant, he explained, that blood was put into his body from a bottle. This was very suspect and unlikely, but he also described the feeling of the blood rushing in and filling his veins and was like nothing else he'd ever experienced. He felt himself coming back to life. The class was mesmerized with this concept and sat silently, absorbing it all.

Mrs. McGaughy (1st grade, 1944) told us about a dream she'd had. Her son, a pilot in WWII, was calling to her. The dream woke her up, and within a day or two, she learned that his plane had crashed in the ocean.

I saw Miss Cole (6th grade) in the grocery store once. I didn't know how to act. I never thought about the fact that teachers are people, too, and have to eat--which implies that they have to shop, too. It was wierd seeing her out of place. Another example of how kids don't always see the big picture. She never liked me very much.

We got report cards four times a year, and Miss Cole always checked the box that said, "Lacks initiative." What is initiative, I asked my parents. It means readily leading the action. Well, my parents had always said in direct words, in so many words, and in their own actions, things that showed me how inadequate I was, thus leading me down the path to low self-esteem. Therefore, it would be oh-so natural for me not to show any initiative. At least, that's how I interpreted life with my parents back then, 1949.

I think her name was Miss Hall (2nd grade), not really sure, but she was beautiful. She was so beautiful, that I would have done anything for her. Second grade started out very well, as I was eager to please her, but in a few months, she disappeared and someone else took her place. No one ever explained where Miss Hall went, even though I asked, but my desire to be a good student went with her. That's when I started getting bad marks on my report cards. Disrupts the class. That sort of thing, and of course, shows no initiative.

Mr. Frey (8th grade 1953/4) stands out in my mind as a real person. Perhaps because I was finally a teen and finally getting the concept of actions-leading-to-consequences, and it's all our own fault. Mr.Frey told us about a girl in our class who'd gotten pregnant and would be gone from school. What a scandal, back then, especially at age 13. And especially because the class was so small to begin with. That made a difference to us, somehow.

Getting the whole picture in 4th grade led to actions-begetting-consequences in the 8th grade. Being a slow learner, it was somewhat later in life that that actions/consequences thing really hit home. A friend taught me how to play backgammon (1979), where every decision leads to every consequence, win or lose. It's not the roll of dice that matters, so much as what you decide to do with the numbers that come up. You have to scope out all the risks and possible outcomes before making a decision on your moves.

I love how that works! :o)

Susan Sexton

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hold on to your cowgirl hat, Anky!

Life is full of interesting turns. I was able to photograph the kick off to the World Dressage Masters Series in Wellington, FL this past month. It was fun to catch up with photographers I only see a few times a year. But I was surprised at the number of friends I ran into from all over the world. The horse world is indeed a small world.
I also enjoyed watching one of the top dressage riders in the world do a reining horse demonstration. Anky van Grunsven came out in jeans and cowgirl hat, wearing a Dutch-orange western shirt. She was riding a little quarter horse, doing a few slow spins and gallops explaining her new hobby. They could not do the sliding stops as the footing was not appropriate. It was a beautiful fiber filled footing, great for dressage and show jumping, not so for sliding horses evidently.
It was a fun way to end a great show experience.

Marie Cobb

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Barely Contained

This office is a mess. Things keep piling up.

Unfortunately, it's also a fair representation of my brain. The areas that do the cataloguing, sorting and arranging are barely glowing, so how can I expect myself to jump right in, whisk things around and get everything all tidied up and put away in an hour or two?

This kind of job takes any normal person--me, in this case--months just to get going. That is because the self-starter button in the brain is jammed in the off position. As a result, the projects that can be put on hold are put on hold as frequently and for as long as possible. It's the only way to stay sane.

Take my cousin, for instance. If I were more like her, I'd drive myself crazy. I'd get a lot done, and filing would cease to be the abominable headache it is, but at the end of it all, I'd still be crazy, so how much good would that do!

She is jam-packed with energy, shrewd intelligence and loads of self-discipline. It oozes out of every pore. Her organizational skills are supreme, too. I could go on and on, but it's beginning to make me nauseous just reading what I've already written about her. Maybe I should pay her to come out here and tell me how to create a filing drawer, with all the tabs and folders in all the right places.

See, that's what the blockage is all about: decisions. That part of my brain is equally as somnolent as the self-starter part. No wonder it's hard to get anything done.

The first decision is: should I keep stuff in a drawer with a hanging file folder for each topic? Or just buy one of those telescoping file folders with lots of slots, and keep it handy under my work station, so all I have to do is lean over and drag it out when it's time to file away a few more receipts? Why get up, when leaning over is so much easier and efficient? Being efficient is a sublimely good thing. Therefore, I'm a good thing. See how that argument goes?

And here's another thing: some of the file folders I've already bought come with letters on the tabs. I find this very convenient. But then they went and muddled things up by putting words on there, too, and they don't match up with the alphabet. For instance, the "R" slot says "Receipts, and the "S" slot says Rent/Mortgage.

Since I'm a small business (and steadily shrinking, right along with the rest of the economy), it's easier to sort the receipts as bills are paid and purchases are made. That's why it's important for me to get all the little details worked out ahead of time. Otherwise, I'll be filing and refiling till I get it right. Filing the first time is bad enough, so why add to it? Do it right the first time, if you can. It's easier in the long run, and more efficient. See how that goes?

Simple to do; it's the getting going that's the real challenge, and who has an answer for that?

And here's another other thing: when I file the receipts, do I put them in front of the "C for car," or behind it? Why?

Susan Sexton