The Arabian stallion, captured in high relief by artist Kathy Douglas, is barely adorned, yet the cut of his eyes and the turn of his head is already expressive.
"He is looking for his mares," Douglas said.
She wants to experiment with mica dust and beads in the mane.
Previously, Douglas sculpted and cast the horse in bronze.
Then, she tried to do a marble look but did not like the way it turned out.
This time she used white, water-based clay. The ground glass beads she added to the clay give the horse his pale gray tone. Douglas plans to sculpt a series of stallions in gold and other colors, possibly, like the bronze, with real tassels on the harness.
Bronze foundry work is costly so Douglas enjoys experimenting with casting materials.
"I have some really exciting ideas for an Arabian art show. Don't ask me if I'll ever get there. I want to do a high relief with the horse's foot coming out of an amazing frame," she said.
Meanwhile, Baby Blue, a roan quarter horse and Paco, a three-quarters Andalusian with a famous Spanish grandfather, prance inspiringly in Douglas' back yard.
Douglas sketched as a child growing up on a Minnesota farm. She recalls winning a prize for an art poster while attending public school in second grade. There was no art at the parochial school she later attended. A career in art was considered a "foolish hobby," she said.
Once she retired, Douglas had time to pursue her creative path, first with pastels, then with three-dimensional art.
Learning lost wax casting techniques was the first art course she took as an adult.
In the basement of the 110-year-old Minnesota farmhouse, while cattle mooed outside, Douglas began perfecting her new ability.
She persevered through the trial and error, telling herself, "You learned something. Try again."
If she had a do-over, Douglas thought she might have become an art teacher, "not to direct children to draw pretty pictures, but to help them get in touch with their creativity.
"My granddaughter and I spend time looking at things. We pick up acorns and discover all their nutty brown colors," Douglas said.
Creativity should be encouraged and Douglas has two friends who have prompted and inspired her -- dyslexic painter Myra Cramer and the sculptor Gail."Kathy's a natural artist," Cramer, owner of Myra's Gallery, said.
"If other women are interested in doing sculpture they can contact me and I'll help them get started," Douglas said. Her e-mail is kathy.douglas@ att.net.
Back to the Minnesota farmhouse
The roses, pathways and trellises of Douglas' Victorian-style garden were an experiment in design and color. Ironically, Douglas found out while digging in the dirt, she does not like gardening.
"Do I bulldoze it, or start working again?" is the decision Douglas will face when she visits Minnesota later this year.
What she is looking forward to is building a small studio.
"I plan to put a do not disturb sign on the door so maybe then I will make some progress," she said with a smile.