Whoa Horse Art Team would like to welcome Tim Riesing,
of Riesings Rockers, as our featured artist!
Be sure to check out his Etsy Shop for some really amazing and unique equine art.
Please tell us a little about yourself, Tim.
I am a Wisconsin State Fair Most Look Alike twin winner (the year shall remain my secret), have been married thirty nine (I think) years, am an empty nester with a daughter in Minneapolis, a son in Madison Wisconsin and another five miles from our home. We live in Franklin Wisconsin, a southern suburb of Milwaukee. I graduated from UW Madison majoring in Art, Science and History. I’ve worked as an art director in the advertising field for over twenty years. Bonnie and I were married when I was still at the UW and lived in Madison for several years. Those were happy times.
When did you first start in the rocking animal business?
We were in a Doctor’s waiting room when my son Nathan was small. He was having a great time on the simplest rocking horse you could imagine. “I could make that” I said in my big grown up voice. Some time later (thanks to my big grown up over thinking) there sat in our apartment, a full sized four legged horse with mane and tail whose saddle was four feet off the ground and required Bonnie to hold each boy in turn for the duration of his ride. They loved it, she hated it. I started again and created a legless horse, lion and rhino. Everyone was happy. Years later, in need of a hobby, I picked up where I left off. A series of downsizes brought me to where I am today.
What inspires you to create?
I have always been inspired by any form of expression, from the earliest cave paintings to the impressionists. Howard Pyle, Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth have always been special. I admire those who create music as well. (I myself am tone def and couldn’t carry a tune to save my life) I’d have to say my biggest inspiration has been my twin brother Tom. He is himself a very talented craftsman. He is a great admirer of Native American art and works in the most authentic and traditional ways. The things he creates are of museum quality and he amazes me with his unquestioning willingness to rework or start again until he achieves perfection. I’ve been chided many times for my “I’ll get it next time” attitude. I have to say that his encouragement and pushing has been a great blessing. (By the way, he approves of where he has now brought me)
Is any one piece a favorite?
My favorite piece is always the one I’m doing now. My next favorite is always the one in my head. As soon as I can see light at the end of the tunnel, I’m planning my next project. In the past, I’ve often had as many as four pieces in different stages at the same time. Each piece is researched for accuracy, and I enjoy learning new information about the many unexpected ramifications of each. I try to tell a little story around many of my works and often try to have a little fun with that story.
Since we took in a stray “for a little while” when I was in school, we have always had at least one cat. For the last twenty years or so, we have always had two. Our older cat is Ivy, a large long haired black Siberian. I’ve always called her “our dog” because she was always at the door waiting when I came in and followed me around (often underfoot) like one. I laughed heartily when on a recent “Cats 101” show; they referred to the Siberian as “the dog” of the cat world. In my piece “To Hounds”, her regal paws crossed way of relaxing can be seen in the attitude of my fox. Our younger cat is Hailey. We just adore her. She is so friendly and loving. The second she sees a pair of legs stretched out, she is up stretching herself out in the dip between the two. Many times we both remain longer seated or laying than wanted because we don’t want to disturb her. I call her my “shop cat” because she is always right there as I work on my pieces. She often sits on my drawing board or work bench. Many times she is on my lap as I’m sanding or painting.
Any future plans?
Over these many years, I’ve tried many venues for my rocking menagerie. All have been very limited and unsuccessful. My work isn’t for everyone. But as I kept creating, my house began to fill up. I resorted to giving them away to people who appreciated them.
My house and basement are full of rocking creatures (mainly horses). Etsy has been a wonderful find. While my work is pricy (a function of the many months work required) and is not selling any better, I’ve been able to share it with people all over the world.
To me that’s incredible. From my basement, brother, children and a limited few, to the world (if it cares to look), is amazing. My only plan is to keep creating and posting. (Although, that doesn’t help with my space problem).