Thursday, January 19, 2017

Recent Watercolors

A schooner from a pic I found online sometime back.

ship watercolor

A still life of objects around my house - a pocket knife, a candle, a stone, a railroad spike, a baseball and a cob pipe.

Still life - watercolor

Parker-Hickman Homestead, near Erbie, Arkansas - from a pic I took last year on a hike trip.

Parker-Hickman Homestead, Erbie, Arkansas

Monday, January 16, 2017

Camp Galley / Chuck Box 2.0

Coffee table to camp kitchen/galley box.

Several years ago, I cobbled together a camp cookware box from remnants of our old coffee table (see above). It was heavy, not particularly weather resistant and finally started to crack after my last camping trip in November. So, over the weekend, I slapped this together. It's made from scraps around the garage, keeping with the spirit of the Mark I version. I even used cheap mistint grey paint from Lowes. The whole thing maybe cost $6 on its own.

Camp Galley Box / Chuck Box 2.0

I had a small piece of aluminum sheeting laying in the garage, so I cut it lengthwise and notched the pieces at both ends to mate together to form a heat shield for my alcohol camp stove. It breaks apart and fits inside the larger of two camp cook pots that I bring. The second, smaller one, houses the stove, matches and handle for the pots and fits inside the larger one, as well.

Camp Galley Box / Chuck Box 2.0

The finished box. Seen in the unpainted shot above, my new stainless steel tea kettle also nests on top of the cook pots.

Camp Galley Box / Chuck Box 2.0

Monday, January 9, 2017

Recent Watercolors

So far, I'm really liking the Sennelier travel aquarelle/watercolor travel set I received at Christmas.

From a pic I took at Parker-Hickman Homestead last year, in the Erbie area of Arkansas.

Parker-Hickman Homestead hearth, Arkansas

From some pics I took in St. Charles, Missouri a year or two ago. Blanchette-Chouteau Gristmill, I believe. Old St. Charles Grist Mill

One of my corncob pipes at Roaring River State Park fire tower, last winter. It's a Rusticob from Aristocob, a refinished Missouri Meerschaum cob pipe.

Pipe on a fire tower base, Roaring River State Park

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Home Projects

For the past two months, all I've done in my spare time has been work on the house. Initially, we had a crew come and fix a bunch of water damage on two northern faces of the house. One of which, the worst one, was our bedroom. We slept in the living room for two and half weeks while it was torn apart and put back together. It's a lot nicer now, well insulated and actually has been staying warm so far this winter.

Finished up the pallet wood clock this evening, as well as all three Roman blinds.

After the construction crew left, my part began. I've been painting (about 18 hours worth, all over the house), putting a bed together and making custom art and design pieces for the room. Over the four-day weekend, I made three Roman blinds and a new wall clock shaped like the state of Missouri with the mechanism sitting about where Springfield finds itself on the map. My friend Joe T. gave me some pallets a week ago and I cut up the most interesting of them, ran it through my table saw and then edge glued the pieces together in a blank. I then made a stencil from an outline of the state I found online and printed tiled on two 11x17 pieces of paper. The Roman blinds I winged from a couple of online tutorials and some pics I used for reference.

Making a Missouri shaped clock from pallet wood.

Scratch-making some quasi-Roman window blinds.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sketching Some 'Murica!

Guns and knives, 'Murican stuffs.

I went to the gun range a while back with my father-in-law and my friend Brian. I took a pic of our pistolas in the firing booth. Finally got around to sketching it. I took the pic for just that purpose.

Watercolor pistols at Andy Dalton Shooting Range, Ash Grove, Missouri.

My recently acquired Opinel Slim N8, a French pocketknife that my wife got me for Christmas. My favorite gifts are always outdoor tools and items. This was sketched from life.

Opinel Slim N8 pocketknife

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Art of a Different Sort

I'm not what I would call a great artist, but I would admit to being a fairly flexible one. I don't do any one thing in an amazing way, I'm not incredibly innovative or edgy, you'll probably never see my work in a gallery, but I'm able to work with some degree of ability above an amateur level in about any medium I find worth the effort. I chalk it up to better-than-average spacial awareness more than direct art talent.

Talking about art, even when trying not to come off as an ass, still sounds kind of arrogant, doesn't it? Anyway, here are a few projects I've done for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

First up, a project for my mom. She sent me some reference pieces in JPG form and I tried to improve upon the concept a bit. I took four clean pine boards and beat the crap out of them, poked holes in them with a drill, filed and sanded them and then stained them with a mixture of rust and white vinegar. I then painted some paper birches and a conifer tree in acrylic (paper birches abound where she lives in northern lower Michigan). I hadn't really worked in acrylic paints in maybe a little over 20 years and didn't feel like buying a bunch of materials, so I used three primary colors and white to mix the shades I needed. I keep becoming more and more obsessed with simple paint color pallets and might move to using a three or six color pallet in my watercolors sometime down the road.

I finished up my mom's Christmas present last night.

How it began life, fresh from the hardware store.

Distressed wood project.

Next up, a project for my wife. I took a couple of deer antler sheds and made her a necklace/jewelry rack from them. They'd been found by her aunt and uncle four years ago while walking their property up by Fair Grove, Missouri. They had a lot of wildlife up that way, they told us stories of deer, turkey, coyotes and black beer on their property. That's just 15 minutes northeast of Springfield.

A few years ago, my wife's aunt and uncle gave me a couple of deer antler sheds. They'd been partially munched on by animals, so weren't great for mounting. I made them into a necklace rack for my wife today.

abby's uncle gave me these. found on his property by the dogs. i'll think of something to use them for later.

A coworker of ours asked me to sketch her husband's father from a pic they took while duck hunting one morning, in a pond down in the bootheel of Missouri, somewhere. Pen and ink with a watercolor wash.

Duck decoys - a sketch for a coworker, as a Christmas present.

Saturday evening was our office Christmas party, my employer gave me a really nice set of travel watercolors from Sennelier. These are much higher quality paints than the Sakura Koi travel set I've been using. I'm pretty excited about these and their awesome little metal box they came in. Less worry about killing the set when chucked into a backpack. My employer also gave me a very nice field sketching/painting easel that can be chucked in a carrying bag and shouldered to walk down a greenway trail or well into a park with, easily.

New Sennelier travel watercolor set.

Before sketching the piece above on Sunday morning, I made a quick color key for reference. These are incredibly helpful.

New Sennelier travel watercolor set.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Recent Artwork

A small building on a retention pond below Nathanael Greene Park, along South Creek Greenway.

Sketching at the retention pond on South Creek, just below Nathanael Greene Park.

Fall color.

Fall colors at Nathanael Greene Park.

Hulston Grist Mill, close to Everton, Missouri and Stockton Lake.

Hulston Grist Mill

Jolly Grist Mill, west of Monett, Missouri

Jolly Grist Mill

Mitchell Mill, Blanchard Springs, Arkansas

Mitchell Mill, Blanchard Springs, Arkansas.