The entry for this event opened on January 1st. This is not a competition, show or contest. This was created by the very smart and talented Jennifer Buxton of Braymere Saddlery. 2017 was the inaugural year and this year is shaping up to be even better than last. Prizes were donated last year and sent out to some of those who finished their horses in the allotted time. Completing a horse before the end of the month does not mean that you get something, but completing a horse is a huge achievement to the painter/owner of the model. This year (so far) has 166 people signed up and 15 countries represented. There is a optional $2 entry fee, this helps pay for shipping of the donations and a few other things. People can continue to sign up until 11:59pm January 31st. February 1st starts the official painting month. There is an official Facebook Group for this event, it has all of the rules and link for the entry form. You don't have to sign up if you don't want, but filling out the form makes you eligible for possible prizes. No one is guaranteed a prize, they are given out at random, for merit and for showing the NaMoPaiMo spirit.
Last year, I heard about this after it had already finished. I started seeing horses for sale stating that they were NaMoPaiMo horses. I looked into it and almost immediately joined the facebook group. For the last 5ish months, I have been watching the post roll in on who was getting ready and what they were going to do this coming year. I didn't intend on joining in the painting part for 2018, I figured that I would learn and do more research and then maybe aim for painting in 2019.
That didn't last long.
I officially signed up to paint on January 2nd. My niece is also painting with me, but hers is more for fun and something we can do together than anything. When I had decided (more like convinced) that I should do this, I didn't have a horse and I had no idea what color I would do. The goal of the event is to encourage people to take up painting and to try something new or challenging. I have always found bays to be really hard for me. I have been working on them for the last 3 months and I still wasn't happy with them. I figured worse case scenario, I would sign up and not painting anything. I wouldn't lose out on anything so it would really be a win/win. Learn about painting and not humiliate myself.
But then I got an unpainted Apollo. Then I thought he would look amazing as a red bay. Even now, I feel like my oil work with bays has progressed really well. I can achieve close to my goal color and it looks nice. I wouldn't say they would bring home big ribbons, but I am happy with them. That is a big part for me. Most of the time when I paint, I'm not happy with it. There is always something wrong with the horse, but I have slowly been producing nicer horses that I enjoy looking at. And that is a big part of collecting right? Looking at models that make us happy?
Then Christmas happened, and my whole plan what out the window. My parents were very generous and got me an airbrush kit. Compressor, gun, hose and a gift card to get some paints. I was over the moon. I had been thinking about getting an airbrush for a while. I use one at work and have that down pretty good. I can do some nice details, create shading and blend where needed. Granted, airbrush for cakes are a little different than for painting. The guns are set up like a single action, but mix a little better. I got to open and use it for the first time last weekend, I had a little too much fun.
I practiced on a few micros, planned to strip them when I finished then rinse and repeat. I ended up really liking one of them and feel like another one is worth keeping. The other 2 will get stripped for their own health. I have been down in the basement just about every night playing with it. Mixing colors, organizing and actually painting horses. So my new plan for NaMoPaiMo became use the airbrush and oils to turn Apollo into a red bay Morgan. I found plenty of good references and can't wait to get started.
I will be posting on a different post (probably tonight) on my latest horses.