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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Knob Noster State Park, Missouri - Nov. 2016

My friends Brian and Darren and I went up to Knob Noster State Park a couple of weekends ago and did a little eating in the woods. Some people call it hiking or camping, but let's be honest.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Watercolor Donuts 2

Like the previous post , I'm still working my way to a baker's dozen of these donut watercolor illustrations.

Donut 6, watercolor

Donut 5, watercolor

Donut 7, watercolor

And here's a generic fall gourd painting for extra measure, with a side of sugar skull jack-o-lanterns thrown in.

Gourds

Untitled

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Few Short Video Experiments

Just what the title says. One, playing with stop motion apps on my iPhone and a small art mannequin.

This one, is a collaboration with my eight-year-old daughter. She read me an entry in her dream journal and then we illustrated it together and animated it.

Lastly, my daughter telling a puppet story at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center and bits of a hike included in the middle of the story.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

This'll be largely photo-heavy, since I think the video I made above does a better job of explaining things than my writing will.

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

I will say this, we saw a lot of wildlife on this little two-day weekend trip — a handful of deer, bald eagles (harassing these guys >), blue herons, white pelicans, great egrets, kingfishers, gulls, woodpeckers of various make and size, indigo buntings, hawks, ospreys, stick bugs, the biggest murder of crows I've ever seen and a fox in camp at dinner Saturday night.

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

The view from Lost Hill Island, that point in the background, we were standing on the previous day during our short hike on Indian Point Trail.

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Eagles messing with a blue heron, I'm guessing he had a fish they wanted.

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Brian caught the biggest fish.

Pomme de Terre Lake - Oct. 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Watercolor Donuts

I have started a series of donut sketches in watercolor. Planning on painting a baker's dozen. Here are the first four.

Donut 1, watercolor

Donut 2, watercolor

Donut 3, watercolor

Donut 4, watercolor

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

September 23-25 was Stockton Sailfest Messabout on Stockton Lake, here in SW Missouri. A small but fun group came to camp and sail for a few days.

I splashed my canoe and myself on Friday evening, immediately upon arrival at the lake. It's not meant to paddle while kneeling, found that out the damp way. But, it paddles quite well from a seated position. I paddled out and watched the sun go down. It was absolutely perfect. Later that evening, I hung out around the campfire till midnight with new friends Nathan and Nick, brothers up from Springfield with a beautiful strip-built canoe that Nathan built. It was a super clear night with a lot of stars twinkling above in the lack of light pollution. Stockton, although close, isn't a very big town, so doesn't throw much light upward on a clear night.

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Nathans's canoe from back in July. I somehow didn't get a pic of it this weekend, but it is in the video above, briefly.

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2016

Up Saturday for coffee and to try my hand at sailing the canoe I dumped the day before just paddling. With a 45-square-foot lateen sail and a shoddy 30-square-foot tarp sprit sail in the car, I opted to go with the smaller sprit rig for a little while. I sailed enough to get a feel for things and rigged up the larger lateen. There were a few "Oh, crap!" moments on the back side of an island close to the quarry boat ramp that I circumnavigated. Wind funneled straight down a narrow channel on the back side of the island and it made for an interesting and barely controllable sleigh ride down wind. Fun, though!

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

That night, solo dinner at Orleans Trail Marina and back to camp to chat with others till about midnight.

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Up Sunday, more coffee! Ate breakfast at Orleans Trail, again, with Bruce and Seth. We drove out on the dam on the way back.

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

I did a couple of sketches and cleared up my gear as the clouds on the horizon looked grumpier and grumpier. About noon, I said my goodbyes and headed back to town. True to form, I hit up 7C's Winery in Walnut Grove for a bottle of Chambourcin for The Mrs. Wives are less annoyed with you being gone several days when you bring them something on your return, especially a decent bottle of dry red vino.

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

As I was taking off, Bruce showed me a neat cigar box uke he had made. Lots of character, I love stuff like that.

Stockton Sailfest Messabout 2016

A great weekend, really! Messabouts are one of my favorite things. I get to talk boat for a few days and no one complains or has their eyes glaze over in disinterest. The boat sailed well, happy to have finally gotten it in the water. I do think I'll make it a trimaran over the winter months, though. Flying a large sail kind of begs for it. I'll have to figure out a way to make them skin-on-frame, as well.