Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Canoe Sailing Lake Springfield

The added outrigger certainly adds stability.

Saturday, I finally had a chance to head down to Lake Springfield for a few hours to test out the skin-on-frame canoe's outrigger that I recently fashioned from a 2x4, some off-cut bits of wood and a couple of old spars I shortened and reshaped into iakos/crossbeams. It added a lot of stability to the canoe. At just shy of 12 feet long and maybe 32-33 inches wide, it's never going to be a speedy sailing craft, but with 45 square feet of sail up, it was a little too white knuckled without the reaction time an outrigger gives you. I can even paddle on my knees, which is how I dumped the boat last summer, within the first five minutes of hitting the lake.

One thing I really like about the new setup, I can now easily drop the sail, spread it over the iakos and paddle in dead stretches of wind and under bridges or trees. I'd never tried to sail a thin river channel lake like this and it was more fun than I was anticipating. It took an otherwise plain stretch of water and made it into something more adventurously navigated.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Show - Phelps Grove's Art in the Garden

Yesterday, I was honored to participate in the Phelp's Grove neighborhood's Art in the Garden event. I had 20 pieces on display, in various different art mediums - watercolor, pastel pencil and pyrography wood burning.

My artwork, today, at Phelps Grove neighborhood's  Art in the Garden event.

I've been invited back next year and hope to have more work on display, as well as inexpensive art prints to sell. I got a lot of great feedback and managed to sell a few pieces. Just enough to maybe fund faze two in the construction of my daughter's backyard shed art studio project. It's currently a painted foundation. Hoping to pick up framing lumber this week.

Friday, June 9, 2017

My... dog... has... fleas...

I am about as musically inclined as a chimpanzee swinging a rock and a stick in his semi-opposable mitts. My daughter, however, has been taking voice and piano for a few years and just got into Drury Songbirds Girls Choir. (That's a brag post, son!)


Anywho, we had a garage sale last weekend and with her proceeds, she bought us matching Kala Waterman ukuleles. An absolutely sweet gesture and I'm super excited about them. I've been playing it non-stop since last Saturday. It's a lot of fun! I'm also excited about it's waterproofness and relative weather resistance. I can take the sucker camping! It's going to annoy everyone, woohoo!


Friday, May 19, 2017


I've been very busy with work, lately, and haven't really done much worth offering to the public. What free time I've had has seen me with my nose firmly planted in books on the subject of tiny houses and shed/shack building. I'm in the process of building an 8x8 clubhouse and art studio for my eight-year-old daughter. Dubbed "The Art Shack", with a few side jokes on calling it The Fart Shack, but pronouncing it Art Shack because the F is silent but deadly, it'll be largely based on a shed design I saw a dozen years ago or more in ReeadyMade Magazine. Google "Blazona MD100" for more info and pics. I'm sketching out a slightly smaller version, since the original is a 10x10.

I currently have the foundation put together. Framing, etc., will go up as I have the cash available for materials this summer.

The Art Shack foundation went together this morning. So far, artwork has paid for the materials.

The Art Shack foundation is decked over

Here is an art piece that I've done recently. It's a crappie fish in pyrography and acrylic. I've got an upcoming art show on June 11 that I'm prepping for and hope to have a few more similar items knocked out by then.

Crappie fish in pyrography and acrylic.

And lastly, I've been messing around with homemade river cane bamboo ink pens, again. Fun to play with. I like the highly uneven line quality of them.I'll probably post more work with them this summer.

Playing with the river cane bamboo pens again. Had a few free minutes.

Playing with the river cane bamboo pens again. Had a few free minutes.

Playing with the river cane bamboo pens again. Had a few free minutes.

Friday, April 21, 2017

One Man's Trash...

I've been doing more home decor type artwork, lately. Not by any conscious choice, it's just where my mind has wandered in recent weeks and months. I'll get back to the regularly scheduled watercolors and ink drawings eventually, but for now, I'm quite content to make sawdust in ye ol' one-car garage.

After knocking out a series of art pieces for various local charity auctions and individuals affiliated (American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, MS Society and James River Basin Partnership), I've gotten back to making things more for fun and profit. Here are a few Missouri silhouettes that I recently made from shipping pallets. These are fun and no two come out the same.

More shipping pallet projects.

After you've made a new outrigger for your small skin-on-frame sailing canoe and you've cut up a half dozen shipping pallet states, you end up with quite a few offcuts in a five gallon bucket. I burned the first full bucket, but from the second, I pulled some scraps and glued up this mid century modern abstract piece. It came out nicely.

Abstract pallet wall decor art from offcuts and throwaways.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Skin-on-frame Canoe Gets an Outrigger Ama

Shaping a solid timber ama for the sailing canoe.

Just what the title says, I made an ama (secondary hull float thingy) and all the connective parts to sail my little skin-on-frame canoe to Stability Land. At eleven and half feet long and I forgot how wide, it's a right tippy little bastard under 45 square feet of canvas and needed the training wheels for comfortable sailing. Last summer, I hugged the shore much of the time, due to not really knowing when a good side gust would make me swim against my will. I only flipped it once, when paddling on my knees. It didn't take much, being very light and the floorboards being higher than I needed to have made them.

Fixing some sailing canoe stability issues.

The ama was shaped from a standard $4 8' 2x4. The struts from another $5 piece of 1x4x24. The akas/iakos/crossbars were reshaped masts from my first 8' Phil Bolger Elegant Punt sailing dinghy. The upgrades have cost me under $10 and a handful of lunch hours, so far.

Fixing some sailing canoe stability issues.