7 Award Winning Things About Me

MeAccepting my WordPress Versatile Blogging Award requires sharing 7 things about myself most people aren’t aware of. So here goes:

1. I spent most of my childhood raised in a cult. It was the apocalyptic Worldwide Church of God (now defunct) that terrified me into thinking that God was mean and out to get me. When I was old enough to stay home alone, I refused to attend services anymore and was branded as a black sheep by the church. But I’m grateful I experienced all that as it forced me to find out for myself what I believe in instead of what others told me I should believe in. I remember exactly how I started my own personal spiritual journey years ago. I saw a quote in a magazine, ripped it out, stuck it on my laptop and my path began: “If you don’t trust your sources of information, how do you know you’re right when forming your beliefs?”

2. I talk a lot. I also gesture non stop with my hands when I talk. The more enthusiastic I am, the faster and more my hands move. It’s actually not possible for me to talk unless I’m moving my hands. Once, at a restaurant, a friend dared me to sit on my hands during our conversation. I thought I was going to explode. I. Could. Not. Talk. At. All. According to Forbes, great leaders talk with their hands. I’m just practicing great leadership!

3. It was 1999 and just like the Prince song, I was partying like it was 1999. I concluded the year by being arrested for a DWI. This is not something I’m proud of, but I’m glad it happened as it was a big wake up call I needed. The entire ordeal cost me over $15,000 in fines and higher insurance costs but I was grateful I didn’t hurt or kill anyone and the lessons learned were worth it. I changed who I was hanging around with and was saved from becoming an alcoholic. Everyone always asks me, so I’ll just answer it now: Yes, I was handcuffed during the arrest. And no, I definitely was not talking then.

4. Everybody knows of my horse obsession but I can’t adequately explain why it exists. I think it’s just encoded in my DNA. And the universe made it obvious: I was born during a Chinese Year of the Horse in NJ, which claims the horse as its state animal. My high school mascot was a horse. I got my first horse in another Year of the Horse and was accepted to create the Quarter Horse sculpture for the Trail of Painted Ponies during yet another Year of the Horse. And virtually everyday as a kid on the school bus, and then later after graduating and working, I’d stare as I passed by a local restaurant – it was my favorite because they had a life sized horse statue in their front parking lot. I always wanted to take it home.
in&out

5. One of the most surreal experiences in my life happened in a movie theater. It wasn’t art imitating life or vice versa. It was both at the same time. Some friends took me to a movie to help distract me when I learned I wasn’t going to marry the guy that I and everyone else assumed I would. I wanted to see a certain comedy because the local paper made a big fuss that my favorite restaurant with the horse in front was actually used for a scene location! How cool was that? What I didn’t expect was the mind bending parallel universe feeling of watching on screen exactly what I was going through at exactly that time in my life. When the audience laughed during the scene inside my horsey restaurant with a wedding dress clad Joan Cusack bemoaning “I’m too stupid to live” and then running outside screaming “Is everybody gay? Is this a Twilight Zone?” it was all I could do to keep myself from screaming “It’s NOT funny when it’s really happening to you!” Talk about a Twilight Zone. If you never saw In & Out with Kevin Kline, it’s worth renting, it has some very funny moments and Joan did a stellar job playing me.

6. I’ve seen all the Harry Potter movies dozens of times. OK, the truth is I mostly only fast forward to certain scenes, just to hear Alan Rickman’s voice as Professor Snape. At first I thought I was odd to be obsessed over the sound of a voice, but it turns out I’m not alone. It was even scientifically proven with a mathematical formula that Alan Rickman has a perfect voice. I find it strange he hasn’t narrated audio books and while there are imitation Alan Rickman voice impressions for GPS units, they don’t make the cut. I also heard he’s happily been with the same woman for decades. I wonder if she doesn’t talk a lot just so she can listen to his voice more.

7. I didn’t know the full story behind Lady Godiva until I did some research and then she instantly became my personal hero. She believed people needed to have more leisure time to spend on activities such as the arts but everybody was too busy working so hard to pay all the king’s excessive taxes. He was her husband and when she said something to him, he dared her to ride naked on her horse in exchange for him cutting out some taxes. I bet he didn’t think she’d do it. But she did, the king kept his word and all the townspeople loved her. And a little known fact: Her horse’s name was Aethenoth, which means “noble audacity”.

Noble audacity. Now that’s a trait I’d like to be known for.

– K

I’d like to thank the very cool writer Tom Lucas for nominating me for the Versatile Blogging Award and congratulate him on publishing his first book! You rock! The award also involves awarding others so I’m passing the torch on to these fine folks:
northierthanthou.com
bendequinesolutions.com

thebettermanprojects.com
lesleycarter.wordpress.com
destashio.wordpress.com
cristianmihai.net
readtomlucas.com
eagleeyededitor.wordpress.com
fortyteencandles.com
happyhollyproject.com
gnosticbent.wordpress.com

versatile-blogger-award-imageThe Award rules are:
Display the Award Certificate on your blog. 
Announce your win with a post. Make sure you post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
 Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers. 
Leave them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to a post.
 Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Have fun and carry on!

Posted in Art as Life, Art Inspirations, Horses, Trail of Painted Ponies Quarter Horse | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Horse of the Muses” New Limited Editions of 3D Art!

Collectors have been asking for it so I’m now offering rare hand cast 3D Limited Editions of my sculptural horse art! ONLY 1 special Artist Proof & 10 editions are cast from my original “Horse of the Muses”, each edition is mounted in a 9″ x 9″ shadow box w/ glass, is signed, numbered & comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity. Thick frame can stand upright on its own or hang on the wall.

Shown below is the rarest & only Artist Proof (in natural & direct sunlight) $100, Limited 3D Editions of only 10, $75 each, custom background colors available. US ship $10. Edition #’s sold in low to high order – contact me for lowest #’s available & PayPal info!

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The Trail ride isn’t over…

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Original Quarter Horse Maquette Sculpture by Kathy Morawski. Photo by Walter Gilligan

I began my Trail of Painted Ponies ride with the Quarter Horse, followed by a herd of one-of-a-kind custom Painted Ponies. The ride isn’t over, but change is in the air…

Selection of steampunk & armor theme custom Painted Ponies by Kathy Morawski

Selection of steampunk & armor theme custom Painted Ponies by Kathy Morawski

Being detail oriented and extremely picky about the quality of my high end custom one-of-a-kind Painted Ponies, I’ve created most of them on the original running horse forms manufactured by Westand in 2005. After Enseco took over the manufacturing of the blank forms, I had hunted done and bought cases of the original Westland blank ponies where ever I could find them. They were rare and more costly, but better proportioned and of higher quality than the newer Enesco versions. It feels bittersweet that now, many custom ponies later, I am down to the final last ones.

FormsKathyMorawski

Last rare original blank pony forms for OOAK Painted Pony customs

Shown below are the last two of my most rare blank forms available for custom Painted Pony commissions. If interested in reserving a one-of-a-kind custom, contact me, because after these are gone, that’s it! (I’ll still be able offer custom Trail of Painted Ponies but they will be on the newer Enesco based forms.)

And the ride goes on…

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Proof #6

I’m now working on a sixth version of the same piece of commissioned art. The client is actually cool, just not clear about what she wants. Though I’m intuitive (but obviously not quite yet a mind reader) it’s now apparent she truly doesn’t know what she wants.

For her latest version of analysis paralysis I imagined that if I was a mind reader or even God, I could still say “I gave you everything you asked for, only then did you realize you didn’t want it. Decide first what it is that you really want.” Then an aha moment, realizing how the big picture of life works the same way! If I’m not clear myself in deciding and expressing what it is I really want in my own life how can I expect to experience it? Ahhh… funny how the messages get through, even if it takes a few attempts…

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What do you want your Big Picture to look like?

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It’s the thought that counts

As a man thinketh...
Change your thoughts, change your life…

It took me a long time to really grasp that we literally create our world from the inside out, not the other way around. I’ve discovered that literary and visual reminders help reinforce this message and act as motivators. So after I found a couple really great natural heart shaped rocks while at the barn with my horses, I made some new Love Rocks plaques to feature the special stones and am offering them on Etsy to help serve as reminders for others too. And here’s the latest worded design in my series inspired by author Mike Dooley!

Mike Dooley, Love Rocks, Kathy Morawski

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Do you love your horse more than your spouse?

KathyMorawskiSkip

A horse whispering moment with my buddy Skip.

The question no one dares ask! And why are women so obsessed with horses?

Author Melissa Holbrook Pierson, states these facts in her book, Dark Horse and Black Beauties: 80% of the United States Pony Club’s 14,000 members are girls. A survey by British magazine Gallop! found that 75% of horse owning women would rather give up their husbands than their horses and 90% would rather have a new horse than a new baby. Wow. Does this mean it’s easier to find a good horse than a good man? I’m not married but I can’t imagine being in a position of choosing between my husband or my horses. Why can’t women have both?

If someone has never had a special bond with a horse, it’d probably be difficult to understand. Over the years I’ve known both horse crazy women and just crazy horse women. There’s a big difference! For me, besides inspiring my art, my horses are teachers for living in the moment, helping me believe in myself and instilling more self confidence. We share a deep mutual bond and we have fun too!

I wonder if men wonder about their standing among their spouse’s steeds? Interestingly, the majority of my horse portrait drawings are commissioned by men as gifts for their wives/girlfriends/significant others. Each one of these men told me afterward they loved being told it was one of the most thoughtful gifts they’ve ever given. So guys, if your woman loves her horse, I can help you give her a special gift that will be treasured for a lifetime! (Ladies, if you want to reserve one for yourself or a horsey friend, that’s cool too!) More examples of portrait drawings can be seen here. Commissions can be easily obtained at my Etsy shop or if you rather contact me directly & mention this blog post to receive a 10% savings, contact me here.

Don’t just take my word for it, it’s a fact, a real way to a woman’s heart can be through her horse!

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Horse portrait drawings. © Kathy Morawski.

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New 3D Portrait drawings now available at Mystic Mare Etsy shop. (Click on photo)

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Someone Stole My Art!

Not as in someone copied my idea or design, but thieves literally broke into the home of one of my collectors over the past weekend and stole one of my horse artworks!

I’d received a despondent message from a long time collector friend saying a horse piece was gone and while she and her family were stressed, they were safe. A little while later she informed me that the horse was recovered, found along with other stolen jewelry items, all apparently dropped during a hasty getaway. I was flattered how happy she was that the horse was found unharmed, but I still can’t imagine how she and her family, especially her young son, are feeling having their home, their private sacred space, so carelessly strewn apart and violated. We just agreed how grateful we are that everyone is OK and hope all the prints the detectives lifted will help catch the thieves and recover more stolen items.

I’ve never had artwork of mine stolen before and according to a recent article Picasso holds the record for being the most stolen artist:

Top stolen artists with # of missing pieces:
1) Pablo Picasso – 1,147
2) Nick Lawrence – 557
3) Marc Chagall – 516
4) Karel Appel – 505
5) Salvador Dali – 505
?) Kathy Morawski – 1 (now recovered)

We artists have all heard the saying that when someone copies your work it’s really the sincerest form of flattery, but what about when someone literally steals your art work out of another’s home? It’s twisted, but that’s quite a compliment too, no?

But stealing is never cool, whether ideas, art or words.

quit-stealing

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Why Love Rocks

Love_Rocks_Kathy_Morawski

Some of the most popular selections from the Love Rocks plaque series.

I’m known as a horse artist so what’s up with my heart shaped rock art? I’ve never been the overly sappy type but a week after my mom’s sudden passing from a heart attack I had found a heart shaped rock during my walk and it instantly made me think of her. I’d never found a heart shaped rock before so it seemed profound.

And then it kept happening, I kept finding them. I never looked for them, but I’d stop to tie a loose shoe lace and there would be a heart shaped rock by my foot. I’d dropped the mail by the mailbox and when picking it up I’d find another rock. Each time I found one it made me think of my mom and still feel connected to her. A memory link enhancer of sorts. Nowadays I find most of these rocks when I’m with my horses, whether hand walking them or while from up in the saddle. Once I’ve even found a heart shaped rock in my horses’ stall that was picked up by and then dislodged from his hoof!

LoveRocksCollageKathyMorawski

This “Love Rocks” collage featuring natural found heart shaped rocks won a People’s Choice Award.

LoveRocksCustomPonyKathyMorawski

“Love Rocks” custom Painted Pony, private collection.

I felt I had to do something with these special rocks so I started putting them in collages and even my custom Painted Ponies. I also love using words in art and now the best heart stones are featured in my Love Rocks series of worded plaques where I substitute the letter “o” with heart shaped rocks. For me they are also like condensed versions of affirmations. Many times they are often messages or reminders I need for myself and the plaques help reinforce positive intentions such as believing in myself or things to be grateful for.

During one of the last conversations I had with my mom we were theorizing how God (or universe, spirit, use term of your choice) speaks to people in their own language. I had joked that I’d be spoken to via stuff I find on the side of the road as I’d never seemed to outgrow picking up rocks and “junk”. Somehow the topic then lead to death and I told her if something happened to her she’d better send me signs, and none of that “pennies from heaven crap”. She laughed. Unexpectedly, she died the very next day.

After finding that first heart shaped rock after her death, I began to find them on certain dates, like my birthday or during special occasions. But sometimes the most meaningful rocks are the ones I find when it seems all is wrong with the world and it makes me stop as a reminder is brought back to me. I’m not saying these rocks physically laid in my path are from my mother. But every time I find one I’m reminded of her last message to me — that we are loved and protected. Is it more magical that the rocks exist or that they are found and serve as reminders? They were there all along, so personally I believe the magic lies in being open to seeing and finding messages of love everywhere and in anything, even rocks. So maybe it’s my job as an artist to find and share them so others can experience these reminders and feel more connected and better too.

Rock on…

KathyMorawskiHorseLoveRocks

New series of horse theme Love Rocks plaques on a drying rack before being painted.

See my current Love Rocks plaque special here! A variety of Love Rocks plaques can be seen here and are also available for purchase in my Etsy shop at Mystic Mare.

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It’s all Mom’s fault

My mom used to laugh because I wouldn’t sell any of my art. “How is anyone else going to enjoy it if you keep it all to yourself?” She knew I used to cling to my art work and wouldn’t sell it or let it go. I would only offer commissioned art because I knew from the start it wasn’t really “mine” and couldn’t keep it.

Then one day a piece of art threatened to rip my heart out. I wasn’t hired to create it, I spent months designing and working on a piece purely for the love and creative challenge of it. Working on it was therapy, helping me cope with the devastation of 9/11 while questioning myself on why I had put my life long passion for horses on hold. My mom knew how much this art piece meant to me and drove from out of state just to see it in person the day before it was to be shipped. I didn’t want to let it go, I almost didn’t let it go. I’d already devised a lie, “I’m so sorry, I can’t ship it to you, there was an accident and it broke.” I called my friend Tammy and told her she had to come over and escort me to ship the artwork because I wasn’t sure I trusted myself to do it. She was the one who saw to it that I handed it over the counter to the shipping clerk. I was a sap and cried after I sent it away. I felt empty, like I gave up a part of myself.

But, if I hadn’t shipped that original Quarter Horse sculpture I created, the Trail of Painted Ponies wouldn’t have made it into reproductions and I wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people and made new friends all around the world. I also got back into horseback riding and adopted a Quarter Horse that saved my life in more ways than one. Opportunities arose, new ideas and art were created. I got to where I am today, all because I let one single piece of art go. Wow, Mom was right.

Quarter_Horse_Kathy_Morawski

Original Quarter Horse Maquette Sculpture by Kathy Morawski.
Photo by Walter Gilligan

While I’ve gotten so much better about releasing art since then I still had a bunch I was holding onto. I felt it was too old or personal or too good to throw away, so for years, and during several moves, the art moved along with me. Some got hung, the rest crowded the studio, filled the closets, leaned against walls, blocked doorways and then began taking over the space in my home. It was time to finally let them go. Since my “Artists aren’t “supposed” to do that!” blog I gave some as gifts, donated others to charity, but I was still overwhelmed. I held a private studio sale offering good pieces of “older art at older prices” and was thrilled that many of them found new homes and will be gifts for others. There are still a few of these on my online studio sale page and a few more works will be posted there as well. Curious? Check them out at Kathy’s Studio Sale page. There I also have some specials on my Love Rocks, a series featuring found natural heart shape rocks that was inspired by my mom after she suddenly passed away.

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“mom” plaque from the Love Rocks series featuring natural found heart shape rocks by Kathy Morawski

I remember Mom many years ago saying “Go clean your room, it will make you feel better!” Yep, it’s Feng Shui the Kathy Way! I’m finally creating a studio I can work in instead of having it be work just so I can get in it!

Thanks again Mom!

 

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Confessions of a Messy Freshly Pressed Artist

I’m not sure how this happened. I’d been stressing out over crowed studio space, too much old art in the way, too much me in the way. Not exactly the best way to be inspired and create space mentally and physically to work on the new work. Or is it?

Asking 4 It Mixed Media Collage by Kathy Morawski

“Asking for It”, mixed media collage from the edited & altered Junk Mail Series, by Kathy Morawski

I often write to sort my thoughts and started this blog mostly as an outlet until I could pull it together enough to share my art process with my collectors. Two days ago I received an email from WordPress stating I was going to be Freshly Pressed. I’m still kind of new here and at first wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. When I did learn what Freshly Pressed did mean… wow! And then – oh, crap! – the anal retentive ex-art director side of me wanted more time to redesign my home page before even thinking about having new visitors show up! And today, more people have been to my site since, well… ever! But, everything’s a work in progress, right? So what if you’re seen stumbling along the way instead of being (hopefully) impressive when you do arrive? Maybe the journey really is the important thing here and that can actually help inspire others too. And the cheering I received from the sidelines from other bloggers and visitors was a really nice perk I didn’t expect and I thank you all for that.

There have been quite a few interesting responses and comments on my Artists aren’t “supposed” to do that! post that was the trigger for this Freshly Pressed stuff. I’m still replying to all those comments, so if I haven’t responded to yours yet, I promise, I will! I agreed with a commenter who believes our older art still has value even if galleries only want to show and sell our newer works. “Old is gold” was an added comment. It is. Our older art contains stories. At least they do for me. I’ve always considered myself more as a story teller than an artist. The art I make is just a tangible representation or embodiment of the stories that influenced me in the first place. Without a story, I don’t know what I’m doing or trying to say. Without a point or purpose, there’s no focus.

Many years ago I had such a deep art crisis I knew I needed to do something different or I was just going to quit art completely. Ironically, the answer that worked for me back then wasn’t building better art upon existing stories or even finding a better story. Instead, I threw out all the stories and started all over again.

And that’s a story for next time! Hope to see you there!

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