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MEPSA Showcase Artist of the 2013/2014 Season

Marie Spinella Phillips

Marie is one of our talented artists and has given generously to MEPSA. Marie has been our Novice Show Coordinator since 2005. She has donated her artistic talents to MEPSA as well, producing this beautiful Clydesdale mare for the club. This year, she's working on an Ideal Stock Horse for her artist piece, as well as an Adios for next year's Model Makeover Challenge.

A model horse collector since the early 1960s, Marie discovered the hobby's wider world of collecting and showing in 1986 through Breyer's Just About Horses magazine. She got a subscription and says the magazine "blew her mind
and she was hooked!

After that first issue of JAH inspired her, she decided to try her hand at customizing. With painting experience, natural talent and an artistic eye, by 1988, she'd sold her first custom. Marie uses acrylics to paint her models. She often starts with black gesso, and works from dark to light. Marie is noted for her perfectly haired models. She enjoys painting many colors, with Appaloosas, bay silvers, roans, unusual shades of chestnut and dark shaded bays among her favorites.

Favorite molds to work on? Stone ISH, Stone Arabian, Breyer Huck and Breyer ASB, are some at the top of the list. Also, Marie has a soft spot for her old favorites: Adios, Stud Spider and Midnight Sun, as well as the Breyer Clydesdale mare. Marie is well known as the creator of some spectacular Clydesdale mares out there showing!

In the 1990s, Marie's commission work was going strong, and she could turn out a dozen models a month. But with eye and neck problems now, she's happy with a half-dozen a year. Marie has done several portrait models, and some of them are in her photo show string with owner permission. Portrait models are a rare challenge for most artists. I've had the pleasure of seeing some of Marie's, and they look just like their namesakes!

The first year Marie showed with MEPSA, her High Winds Jedi and a trotting Stone Drafter won Championships at the big show, and brought her home two new Stone models as prizes. As you can imagine, with a great start like that, Marie has kept right on showing. And winning!

Beside customizing and showing model horses, Marie is an author and she illustrates her own books. Her life's work is The Furlites of Aroriel novels. Marie says she "spent decades honing the complex world of this alien family saga. I can only hope I did my job well enough that readers enjoy the flight into another world. My first Maine Coon cat, a dapper tuxedo named Demon, influenced a lot of my feline characters. This charismatic cat appears in Earth-Bred, Matissia-Born, as a special genetically altered feline character of Maine Coon ancestry, called a Felakoon, who, like his real life counterpart, steals the show."

Marie has five books published and available at and The Furlites of Aroriel: Book I-On Matissia Wings, and Book II: Earth-bred, Matissia-Born; Khan: A Maine Coon; The White Dragons of Suvwlur and other Stories and Old Gent. In Old Gent she returns to the roots of her writing life, penning this semi-fictional biography about a tree, her beloved Norway spruce, showing his long life from the tree's point of view. Marie has more novels in the works, one of which is The Secret Life of Model Horses.

Marie has been married for 22 years to her beau of four decades. She has one brother, one sister, three nephews and a niece. She's down to two cats now, but once had six. Marie's current cats are Kai, her 24 pound red tabby Maine Coon, and Orion, her Bombay lookalike. When not writing or customizing, Marie can be found biking, horseback riding, swimming, gardening and dabbling in photography. Or watching the NY Mets or Miami Dolphins with her spouse. She is a diehard fan of both teams.

We are honored to have Marie be active in, and dedicated to MEPSA!
The MEPSA Mission Statement:

The mission of the Model Equine Photo Showers Association is to serve as an inclusive organization to promote photo showing in the model horse hobby.

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