Monday, March 27, 2017

A 1/4-Scale Skin-on-frame Peapod Rowboat Model

A little over two years ago, I decided to build a 1/4 scale model of a 14' rowing peapod. I converted a design from John Gardner's "Building Classic Small Craft" into SoF construction. It was sort of a proof of concept and I thought that if it turned out the way I wanted, I might build a full-sized version later.

Skin-on-frame peapod rowboat model.

Something I found out in the process of building this 42" long partial model is that I don't really want to build the big one after all. I mean I'd love to have one, it'd be great to have a nice rowboat in the fleet, I just don't want to be the guy putting it together. It has over 250 individual lashings along the frame structure and it was incredibly tedious to tie together. I'd have to build a steam box for the ribs of a large version, these were bent using a form and a heat gun. I could potentially build a fuselage constructed version, but in all honesty, what rowboat I might have time for in the near future will probably just be a variation on a plywood flatiron skiff.

Click the pic at the top to see it larger.

Converting a 14' John Gardner rowing peapod to skin-on-frame.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Recent Artwork - Pyrography, Pallet Silhouettes and a Toned Paper Sketch

Cow skull in pyrography and acrylic.

So, last post, I had started to use my wood burner for artwork and not just for trimming polyester canoe and kayak skins. This past week, I stepped it up a notch and added a wash of watered down acrylic paint to the pyrograph image. I started with the cow skull and rose (above) and over the weekend, I added the rainbow and brown trouts to the collection. In nice fashion, I posted the skull piece to Facebook and within ten minutes, someone offered to buy it. I'm pretty happy about that.

Today, I made a brown trout to match the rainbow trout I did yesterday. Pyrography and acrylic paint.

Also, over the weekend, I managed to knock out a couple of shipping pallet Missouri silhouettes for two separate charity auctions. Posting about these on Facebook and Instagram, I was asked for orders for three more Missouri pieces as well as two Illinois pieces. So, that's pretty cool. This might actually push me to forming an Etsy account. I've kicked it around for a couple of years, but lately, I've had quite a bit more interest in my wooden decor type works.

Missouri recycled pallet artwork/decor.

Missouri recycled pallet artwork/decor.

And lastly, just a pen and ink sketch I did on toned paper of a house in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It's from a pic I took last spring, while on a camping and sketching trip I took solo down there. I may do another trip like that soon. It's pretty fun to get out and explore with a bag full of art supplies.

A house in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Monday, February 27, 2017

This post will make me look like a redneck...

I'm really more of a semi-educated Liberal hillbilly. Anyway, here's some nature art and references to guns. It's the Ozarks, for crap sake (place 'Murica joke here).

Saturday found me with some free time in the morning. Wanting to sketch nature stuffs and temps hovering below freezing, I opted to draw nature within a cyclopean heated structure called Bass Pro Shop. Springfield is the home of the mega-outdoor-store and I have a love/hate relationship with the place. I won't go into detail, but I am happy that they will let you just saunter around the place with a sketchbook in your hand and draw dead stuff. Here are three that I did before 11am and the hordes of fashionable camo wearers showed up.

When you want to sketch nature, but it's below freezing, Bass Pro Shop.

When you want to sketch nature, but it's below freezing, Bass Pro Shop.

When you want to sketch nature, but it's below freezing, Bass Pro Shop.

I've also been dabbling in wood burning pyrography. Last weekend, I made a piece for my wife's aunt. I had promised her some kind of fox art back around Christmas and finally got to deliver. The second piece is a donation to a fellow I met a month or two ago at a MS Society event. He's wheelchair-bound with MS and was really wanting a piece of artwork to go above his fireplace. I took apart a box spring sometime back around Christmas and repurposed the wood into the elk, here.

Fox in scrap wood, wood burner and jigsaw

Pyrograph elk on reclaimed wood.

Pyrograph elk on reclaimed wood.

Sketching in my side yard during a warm spell last week.

Side yard sketch

Lastly, the guns! Err...gun. Just the one, but it's a new one. I sold my Masi CX bicycle and put a chunk of the money towards my kid's upcoming braces. The other chunk bought this Ruger LC9s 9mm handgun. The part of me that grew up in a highly conservative Republican household that I still firmly hold onto, is the part that loves to loudly punch holes in paper circles. After buying the pistol out of the back of a barbershop in a satellite town west of Springfield, I took it to another satellite town south of here and an indoor range to figure out how it shoots and get used to the semi auto action of it. I normally handle revolvers. Had a lot of fun, but indoor ranges are REALLY LOUD!!!

Ruger LC9s

Being new to the gun, I was all over on placement. Some hit the center mark, though. Shooting 5-7 yards. Typical selfdefense range.

Ruger LC9s

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Recent Artwork

We'll start with this Heritage 22 pistol, a commissioned piece I did for a coworker's son.

Heritage 22

Still life.

still life

A quick portrait of my daughter in pen and ink and gel pen. Portraiture is not my strong point.

portraits aren't my strong suit

A trunk in a mill an hour west of town.

An old trunk at a mill west of town.

Sketching at Lake Springfield Park, testing out the travel easel.

sketching at lake springfield park

sketching at lake springfield park

Lastly, my Sennelier Aquarelle travel set in watercolor.

My Sennelier watercolor set in watercolor.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What Knot

Over a couple of lunch hours last week, I decided I'd sit down with some line and see how much tying I'd forgotten or not. Here's a visual list of lashings, hitches, bends and knots that I remembered (sort of), with no referencing my book collection on knots and ropecraft. Pressed for time, I did decide to leave out some of a more decorative nature.

Tying knots, bends, lashings and hitches by memory.

Tying knots, bends, lashings and hitches by memory.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Make Art, Not Walls

To be quite honest, I'm none too happy with our current political environment. The willfully ignorant are at the helm with a self-woven and hateful hood over their eyes and our flagship feels as though it's about to be dashed upon a rocky and barnacled reef of stupidity and racism.

I, personally, love cultural diversity. I don't fear people with darker skin than myself. I love the sound of foreign accents and languages (and if I were better off, I'd love to travel and meet them). I don't fear or dislike gay people or those of a different religious affiliation (I happen to be Episcopalian, if you're not, good for you.)

My daughter recently gave me a Mexican Talavera pottery coffee mug that she and my wife picked up at a local Mexican market and panaderia. I place we love to go to for the Mexican "real sugar" sodas, sweet breads and interaction with shy but friendly hispanic owner/operators. My small and heartfelt bit of protest this weekend came in the form of this watercolor sketch. It's the cup my daughter gave me last week and it's a beautiful piece of work in its own right, just like the people that made it.

A Mexican Talavera coffee mug my daughter recently gave me. Make art, not walls. Watercolor sketch

Walls don't just keep people out, they keep people in. When you put one up to keep people out, you only succeed in building a bigger prison.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hiking Hobbs State Park, Arkansas - Jan. 2017

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Last weekend, a few friends (the regulars, Brian D. and Darren G. and newcomer/coworker Chris D.) and I drove a couple hours south to Arkansas and spent a couple days and nights in the woods. Being winter and winter weather being more chaotic in the past few years (place peer reviewed scientifically backed reason here or not), we limited ourselves to easy access destinations. Last year, we were iced-in along the Buffalo River for a couple of days and we didn't really want a repeat situation.

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park fell on our radar simply because we'd never been there and it seemed easy to get to. Since we were opting to car camp and bring cast iron and other items of the heavy kitchen sink variety, we chose to camp at nearby Withrow Springs State Park rather than backpack heavy gear into Hobbs. Hobbs only has hike-in sites.

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs was a decent hike. In the 9.5 miles we walked Saturday, it repeatedly touched along Beaver Lake, which was nice. Being around water always seems to break up the monotony a tunnel of trees sometimes creates.

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Sunday morning, we hung out under a tarp in the rain for a few hours and then before heading back to Springfield, Chris and I went back and checked out War Eagle Mill, along War Eagle creek.

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill

Wildlife seen: bald eagles, kingfishers, woodpeckers of various size and shape (including pileated), an armadillo, bats and a couple of roadrunners. Wildlife heard: owls and coyotes.

Hobbs State Park, Withrow Springs State Park & War Eagle Mill