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Who is that woman? She looks familiar… It’s, Amanda! She’s back!

Well, for the most part.

I know it may have seemed like I disappeared off the face of the planet. But trust me. I was not abducted by aliens. My life was consumed with the 283 Holiday Artist Market and after that ended I was thrown head first into commission work. These two commissions will save Christmas, so to say they are important is a wild understatement. Commission number one involved a leap of faith too. I was asked if I could paint a portrait of a horse. Without blinking an eye, I said yes. I’ve never painted a horse with acrylic paints on canvas, but horses are not unknown to me. I grew up around horses and began riding when I was seven years old. I did lessons and I did shows and I have numerous ribbons. I also loved collecting Breyer Horses and using them as models to draw in my sketchbook.

Sadly, it’s a time in my life that I don’t talk about much. We moved away from my life with horses when I was about twelve years old. I took some lessons after the move to Georgia, from a brilliant instructor who let me ride on her Dressage horse. But it was never the same–that and teenage hormones upset my emotional balance. The combination was lethal. I left riding behind and there has been a hole in my heart ever since. Jump ahead twenty some odd years and now it’s not a hole I can so easily mend. The disease that wreaks havoc in my joints doesn’t allow me to ride at all–at least not without serious pain and recovery time.

But I still have my Breyer horses and I still have my art. Those will have to be enough.

This is Stoney, my landlords horse. He is just about done and then I’m moving onto a painting of his wife’s cat. Painting the cat will coax me out of his mood. I promise! After the cat it’s onto an orchid and then I might be free for the rest of the holidays. Free to start planning the changes I want to make in 2011. Free to spend more time reading late a night and sharing all my favorite books. Free to create on my own terms. Free to write!

Yes, changes are a coming.