Abel is, I think, done. I wanted to paint him but it looks like that's not going to happen: I had some finish issues (since sorted out; I was trying to dull cote him while the under layers were still damp, although they LOOKED dry). So he's half-finished to a rather nice bay, and I don't think I'm going to finish it. I like painting the original sculptures because it means giving the horse a very thorough going-over, insuring that I spot any issues that might otherwise have been missed, and I did find some. Most notably, his eyes were not entirely symmetrical--a longstanding problem that I tend to have. I've fixed it now (by resculpting his left eye) and I'm happy with it now.
On the opposite side of the issue, I don't like painting OSs because I worry that layers and layers of fixative may obscure some of the finest details. While this might not be an issue in the resin edition (you can see through transparent layers of finish, for one!), for the original I want to preserve as much detail as possible. So I think I'll just have to wait and paint one of the first production castings!
Incidentally, this means that I will be ready to take orders for Abel resins. He'll be $250 + $15 postage to the USA, or $30 postage outside the USA. It will be at least a few weeks before resins are ready to ship, possibly longer. He's going to be an open edition, which basically means that I will continue selling him until a) there seems to be no further interest or b) I get tired of him. You can email me at email@example.com for more information on how to order. I won't be accepting time payments on Abel.
On an unrelated note: I took yesterday off and drove all the way down Skyline Drive in Virginia. It was a gorgeous day, just on the edge of warm enough for comfortable top-down driving, and sunny. It made me realize that I really do like driving as much as I think I do, although 7-8 hours is about as long as I can go before I start getting tired. I've done as much as 11 in a day (alone), but that's really too much. I also hiked a shortish trail down to a waterfall, and found that I'm in pretty terrible shape--getting back up was a challenge. Who knew a 440-ft elevation drop would be so hard to climb back up!