Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Alex, I'll Take 'Things To Do When Your Horse is Lame' for $800"

Oh, how I wish I could become a contestant on a game show like "Jeopardy!" and merely answer a question correctly to get Wally back in my life. For those of you keeping score in Wally vs. The Hoof Abscess from Hell, my horse is definitely better. I see Wally every day, and he's much more comfortable. But even with his sore foot packed and doubly padded with diapers he's still a little bit off. So he's staying at my parents' place where the ground is softer and he has several other horses to keep him company. Plus he's entertained by the antics of the family pygmy goat, Gabby, and my parents' doofusy Labradoodle, Skippy. I, on the other hand, have been forced to find other things to occupy my non-Wally hours. Fortunately, several of my friends are kind enough to loan me their nice horses to ride. And I've delved headlong into another hobby: Making mosaics. Naturally, the themes of my mosaics are all horse-related. Here's a glimpse of the large one I just finished (it's 2' x 3'), which is now hanging on the wall in my bedroom:

Here's the mosaic halfway finished. My inspiration for this design came from thinking about all the wonderful horses I've had in my life, and the great horses some of my friends have owned and loved. We all believe we'll see our dearly departed horses some day, so I wanted a mosaic that conveyed the concept of horses going some place like Horse Heaven. I drew the design freehand with colored pencils to help me visualize the image. Then I used 1/2" squares of opaque stained glass that I cut into smaller pieces with special nippers. It's a tedious process, much like making an intricate jigsaw puzzle. But with a mosaic, the little puzzle pieces can fling up and stab you in the eyeball, which is why I always wear safety glasses!
And here's a snapshot of the finished mosaic. I took the photo while the mosaic was drying outside after being freshly grouted. Don't even ask how messy it is to slather wet, midnight blue cement grout onto a tiled piece of art. Plus I have to wear heavy rubber gloves when applying the grout, because the sand in the grout will abrade my skin, making my hands look even more craggy than the typical outdoorsy horsewoman. By the way, I apologize for the glare of the flash against the polished and iridized glass, but you get the idea of what it looks like. Its title is: "Galloping to Heaven."
Currently I'm working on yet another mosaic. This one is smaller, and it's a more realistic scene: Two horses-- a gray and a buckskin-- beneath a pair of trees, grazing in a meadow. I guess I figure if I can't ride the horse of my dreams I can at least create a dreamy horse through artwork.
Thanks for all the good wishes for Wally's recovery!


Anonymous said...

Hope things progress a little faster for you. I had the same problem two summers ago with my Palomino show horse. It took from April to late Sept for him to finally get 100% sound. Of course show season was over by then and so was all my money. Good luck and please be patient. It will happen that he will be sound again.
Marion and H.T. and Indy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy,
Hope Wally feels better soon!!! I really like your mosaic. It's beautiful. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow Cindy, what talent! How long did it take you to finish that lovely mosaic??

Give Wally a hug (or a hoof massage?) for us!

Cindy Hale said...

Hi! I'm hoping Wally's abscess clears up faster than your palomino's did, Marion. But with my luck... Oh well, you can read on my new blog post what my thoughts are on that.

I'm glad the photo of my mosaic turned out okay. The one I'm working on now is much more subtle in its colors. Janine, I'm not sure how long it took me to do the entire mosaic. There were periods of time when I'd work on it for hours and hours-- literally past midnight-- and then I'd stay away from it for days. I don't think I'll have the concentration to do another one that large for a while!

Julie Suhr said...

Cindy, I would like permission to quote your "The Seven Stages of Aging on Horseback" in a book I am writing.

Julie Suhr

Please contact me at
831-335-5933 or

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

How on Earth could you finish that mosaic???? I paint watercolor pictures of horses and the one I am working on now hasn't been touched in several months!!

-e <3

Art Teacher Team65 said...

It is too hot in Ohio to ride during the day so I havae been working on a mosaic wall around my koi pond. This too is a hot endevor so on one of the many breaks where I run for air conditioning I googled mosaics and was struck by yours. Of course, it has horses on it...then to your blog. Then I laughed and enjoyed your stories so much I thought I'd call and see if you wanted to go riding...but California is too far away. However, if you are ever in Cincinnati I have some great trails and a good extra horse! JK said...

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