Tuesday, October 29, 2019

StocktoberFest 2019

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

A small October 12-13, 2019 messabout on Stockton Lake, Missouri. Just a handful of us present. The Piccup Pram sailed very well, in spite of my quickly knocked together mast being a foot shorter than I really needed it to be. The wind was 11mph gusting to 18-20 for much of the weekend, so I needed a reef tied in, anyway. It's an over-sized sail for that boat at 79 square feet.

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

A few other boats in attendance.

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

A Jim Michalak designed Mayfly 12

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

Coresound 17

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

A John Welsford Saturday Night Special

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

I really feel the Piccup Pram will be a lot of fun when the weather warms again. Over the colder months, I plan to add some removable floorboards, a splash rail along the edge of the decking that meets the cockpit, better rigging and maybe a tarp/boom tent setup for weekend sail camping/cruising.

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

StoctoberFest Messabout 2019

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Some Cigar Box Banjo

Just some of my novice playing on my $25 home-built fretless cigar box banjo.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Limited Palette Watercolor Sketching

Limited palette watercolor sketch of an old rusted out flatbed truck. Gold Ochre, Venetian Red and Indigo.

Since I work in a creative field or two, graphic design and video production, and we've had one of the busiest summer workloads in memory, I'm usually quite tapped-out creatively by the time my feet cross through the front door of my home in the evening. Work, my daughter's school and sports obligations and general home care and maintenance have me spread pretty thin. I've done little of mentionable interest or random creativity all summer and into fall. What little time I get, five minutes here, ten there, I usually just throw at one of my banjos.

I am, however, through the magic of gimmickry, trying to force my hand at getting back into doing more analog artwork. I've challenged myself to pare down my already diminutive sketch kit into something even more portable and excuseless to pick up - the limited watercolor palette. It's just three slightly melancholy colors, Gold Ochre, Venetian Red and Indigo. I've squirted a blob of each pigment into a mini Altoids tin and I've ordered a new Moleskine watercolor tablet via the standard large faceless mailorder giant.

Yesterday, I took a fairly crapy sketchbook to a local downtown coffee shop and knocked out this sketch. It's from a pic I took of an old rusted-out flatbed truck on a friend's family farm , last year, just outside of Republic, Missouri. Let me know what ya think?

Limited palette watercolor sketch of an old rusted out flatbed truck. Gold Ochre, Venetian Red and Indigo.

Here's a few of other random pieces I recently did before landing on the 3-color sketching thing.

Painting mules at Dancing Mule Coffee Co.

Arkansas Barn

Upright bass sketch

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I Have a New(ish) Boat

Over the weekend, I got a text from a sailing buddy of mine named Gene B. He was thinning his sizable herd of small boats and wanted to know if I'd be interested in his Jim Michalak designed Piccup Pram. I promptly replied, "Heck yeah!" and he told me he'd be down shortly to drop it off. So, I am now one 11 x 4.5 foot boat richer.

Piccup Pram

Piccup Pram

The Piccup Pram is a tubby little thing. I'll probably have to get a trailer to easily manage it, but it can cartop in a pinch, if not with ease.

The PP was also the first boat that I sailed that wasn't built by me. Back about 2010, I went to the Sail Oklahoma Messabout. Jim Michalak, the boat's designer, was there, and he walked me over to a boat on the beach, asked me if I'd sailed one, then told me to get in and pushed me off. It turned out to be a PP built by a guy named Stan, up from Texas for the event. It was fun and since I wasn't used to a boat other than the one I'd brought with me, it scared the crap out of me to sail it.

A Michalak Piccup Pram

A Bolger Shearwater(?) and two Michalak Piccup Prams

Over the coming winter, I'm going to customize the boat more to my needs/wants. I plan to add some drip edges to the cockpit area, figure out a decent sailplan, probably add a mizen mast and boomkin to make it a cat ketch. I might also figure out a boat tent plan and sew one up from polytarp or canvas. I still have a crappy set of oars that I made a decade ago, for my first little sailing dinghy. I might reshape them and use them for this boat for a while, as they are nearly the same length called for in JM's plans for the boat.

I was just planning to build a rowing skiff over the winter, but this takes me in a different direction. Should be fun to modify, though. Hopefully I can camp cruise it a bit next summer.

A garage full of small boats.

Friday, June 14, 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

A couple of weekends ago, I spent a couple of days up on Stockton Lake for the SailMO Messabout. It was good to see friends, old and new. A couple highlights - I got to sail an Iain Oughtred 'Sooty tern' and play banjo with a couple of other players around the campfire one night. A very pleasant weekend, in spite of a little rain and the lake being 17 feet over normal pool for this time of year.

SailMO Messabout 2019

My little sailing canoe

SailMO Messabout 2019

Michael's John Welsford designed 'Navigator' and Craig's 'Core Sound 17'

SailMO Messabout 2019

Tom's 'Sea Pearl 21'

SailMO Messabout 2019

Gene's Jim Michalak designed 'Piccup Pram'

SailMO Messabout 2019

Another Michalak designed boat, the first 'Mayfly 16' to be built

SailMO Messabout 2019

A J22, I believe.

SailMO Messabout 2019

A 'Weekender', forgot the guy's name that brought this one. Nice guy, though.

SailMO Messabout 2019

Dale's Iain Oughtred designed 'Sooty Tern'

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

Sailing my canoe

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

SailMO Messabout 2019

Monday, June 10, 2019

Phelps Grove "Art in the Garden" 2019

Phelps Grove ‘Art in the Garden’

I had an art show, yesterday, at the Phelps Grove neighborhood's Art in the Garden show. 20+ houses were on the garden and art tour, throughout the neighborhood. I had a lot more solid interest in my work this year and turnout was way up for the event. It was a really fun day to sit on a porch and talk art stuffs and get in a bit of watercolor sketching. I moved seven pieces of art, I believe, including the banjolele.

Phelps Grove ‘Art in the Garden’

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Eleven Months of Clawhammer Banjo

I’ve been playing the banjo right at eleven months. Last week, after practicing one evening, I was curious how much I’d learned and went through the books I’ve been playing from and these are all the songs I can play, in each tuning. They are more simple, novice versions and I don't always play them well, but I’ve learned quite a few, I think.

Standard G Tuning (gDGBD): Cripple Creek, Old Joe Clark, Wildwood Flower, Cotton-eyed Joe, Buffalo Gals, Handsome Molly, Barlow Knife, The Crawdad Song

G Modal/Mountain Minor/Sawmill Tuning (gDGCD): East Virginia, Rain and Snow, Wild Bill Jones, The Cuckoo, Cluck Old Hen, Poor Wayfaring Stranger, Muley’s Daughter, Red Rocking Chair, Darlin’ Cory, Sweet Sunny South, Shady Grove

Double C Tuning (gCGCD): Old Molly Hare, Little Birdie, Lynchburg Town, Old Blue, Groundhog, Sugar Hill, Cumberland Mountain Deer Chase, Down in the Willow Gardens, Black-eyed Susie, Cumberland Gap, East Virginia, Needlecase

C Minor Tuning (gCGCD#): Swannanoa Tunnel, Little Sadie’s