Thankful

autumn-time

Yes, I am rather late with this post, but Thanksgiving (even though it was last week) is a season, in my opinion, not just one day, that we should be thankful.  I have been busy with a few commissions for Christmas, and have been fighting what I thought was allergy/sinus issues for over a week.  However, on Thanksgiving night, a severe cold hit and needless to say my weekend has strictly been some much needed rest and hot tea with numerous herbal remedies.  Finally on the mend now, so I thought I might write a post on what I am grateful for.

I am always grateful for the love and support of my family and friends, who are my constant cheerleaders.  They really help out when I need it, doing everything from helping to set up at shows, assisting when I just need an extra hand, to critiquing my work.  I asked my brother one time what he thought of a sketch I had done for a watercolor painting of a cutting horse and cow.  I loved his honesty when he stated, “Why is that horse chasing a deer?”  Made me re-examine my sketch and yes, I erased the cow and started over.

I am also thankful for my clients, who not only help support my artistic habit, but also have become good friends, even if over long distances.  I guess I am thankful too for technology, as it has opened up a way to connect with clients farther away, even overseas.  It is an awesome experience.  My clients also push me in a sense that I learn something new in each piece of artwork I create, and to them I am grateful for the opportunity.

Not only am I thankful for the support my clients give, but also for the stories I am privileged to have them share with me.  One client had me do a portrait of her husband’s beloved mixed breed dog, a true Heinz 57 as we like to call them.  She related to me a story that happened shortly after they had gotten Flint, who used to make a warfle like noise.

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Flint Warfle I

They were at a dinner with their priest and other parishioners when someone asked one of the couples in attendance how the season had gone with their registered show dogs.  With great flair and exuberance, they elaborated the wonderful show season the dogs had that year, inserting their registered names at every chance.  The priest then asked my clients how it was going with their new dog.  He is a great dog, they replied, not really wanting to elaborate that he was a mixed breed.  Then the owners of the show dogs asked what breed he was, and what was his name?  My client’s husband who has a wonderful love for humor, stated that he was a one of a kind Czechoslovakian Sport Spaniel, (no, there is no such breed) and his name was Flint Warfle I.  The show dog owners were quite impressed, as was the priest.  For Christmas that year, the priest gave them a blank photo album.  On the cover he had inscribed, “The Complete History of The Czechoslovakian Sport Spaniel”.

I also loved the story this fall from a man who collects spoons.  I had my booth set up at the Art On The Fly Fest in Fly, Tennessee, and a gentleman and his wife came in to look around.  He noticed my painted spoons and asked if I had any that said ‘Oneida’ on them.  I knew I had at one time, but I wasn’t sure if they had sold or not.  He started to browse through them and immediately came upon three miniature spoons and said “Yes, these are Oneida”.

 

Upon looking at the backs, they were stamped ‘Oneida’ and he said he would take them.  He was happy that they said ‘Love, Joy, and Peace’ in a Christmas theme as they were going on his “Spoons” themed Christmas tree.  He said he had worked 34 years at the Oneida Silverware company in New York, and every chance he got he would purchase Oneida spoons that an artist had worked on.  He was so happy to get them, and I was honored to have them placed on his tree!

I am also thankful for the people who look at my art and are appreciative of it, even if they aren’t able to purchase anything.  My last show this fall a young woman and her friend entered my booth to browse.  She was really impressed with my work and we chatted about the wonderful weather we were having so late in October.  I mentioned I liked her shirt, and she replied that she had purchased it at a store on the base she was stationed at.  Wow, she really didn’t look much out of high school, I thought, but she had done a tour and was leaving out again the following week and wanted to go to college when she returned.  I am thankful for her service  even more than her appreciation of my art.  God bless Katelynn!

Finally, I am thankful to the almighty God Who gave me what talent I have, and am honored to do it for His glory.  Truly, I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.  I pray you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving season, and hope you have a blessed week ahead!

Working on 'Carriage Tour'-Denny Martindale

A Bavarian Carriage Tour, or Kutschen-Tour

Earlier this year the familiar little guitar strum (that’s what it sounds like to me) on my phone went off notifying me of activity on my Etsy account.  It was a message from a lady interested in commissioning me to paint a bucket for her.  As we messaged back and forth regarding details, I discovered she lived in Bavaria, as in Bavaria, Germany!  I am always amazed at how we can connect with people from all over the world, and am so honored when they appreciate my art.

She wanted the images to be of her and her husband driving her horse and carriage.  The tricky part was she wanted the bucket in a particular size range, and, she wanted it to be oval.  I said I would do some checking and get back with her, and I really didn’t think it would be too difficult to find something that would work as there are a lot of oval metal buckets out there.

I got online and started looking, perused numerous antique, junktique, and thrift stores and anything else that might have something that would work.  My cell phone was starting to load up with numerous pictures of buckets, but none of them were the correct size.  Finally, one popped up and it met all the necessary parameters.  Thank you Jesus!  I immediately sent my client photos and a description and everything was a go.  As it turns out, I believe it is a vintage galvanized mop bucket, similar to the one the janitor used in our elementary school.  The bracket underneath sat on a dolly or coaster of wheels and had a wringer mechanism on the top for the mop and the janitor would just roll it from room to room.  Fortunately it was in good condition, so I immediately set to work cleaning and prepping it for paint.

Bottom of bucket-Denny Martindale
Bottom of bucket

Upon completion, I boxed it up and sent it on it’s way, praying for a safe and timely arrival.  About a week later I received a notification that  it had passed customs and arrived at her door.  However, she stated she wanted to wait to open it until her birthday in a couple of weeks and would notify me then.  My anticipation of her seeing it and letting me know how she liked it grew, and I was grateful when she replied that it was absolutely wonderful.  I said I was honored to paint it for her, as I am with all of my clients.  Below are a few photos of the Bavarian Carriage Tour Bucket.

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Inside of bucket after I gave it an antiqued effect with latex house paint.
Working on 'Carriage Tour'-Denny Martindale
Working on the details
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Side 1
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Side 2
Side 1 Detail-Denny Martindale
Closeup of side 1
Isolde and friend with bucket
My client sent me a photo of her with her horse and her bucket
Freedom milk can top-Denny Martindale

Freedom, Independence, and Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July, or, Independence Day, whichever you prefer!  In honor of this wonderful holiday, I thought I would share with you the milk can that I painted late last summer titled ‘Freedom Can’.  This full sized milk can features Old Glory as the background, with an eagle on one side and a horse on the other, then is topped off with 7 stars. It is painted with latex house paint (even the antiqued effect on the top rim, handles, upper band and bottom) then protected with two coats of spar urethane.  I hope you all have a safe, happy and blessed 4th of July!

Caum Kittens Drawing-Denny Martindale

Abby and Cassie

One of my longtime clients brought me a handful of photos of two of her cats that had passed away to see if I could use them to paint her a portrait of them.  We reviewed them and decided to use one of them as kittens sitting on her bed.  They also happened to be sitting on an afghan that her mother had made for her.  Below are some progress pictures showing the original photo with the drawing, all the way to the finished piece.

Caum Kittens Drawing-Denny Martindale

 

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Thank you for visiting, please feel free to leave your thoughts by clicking on the link to the comments section above!

Entrance closeup

VBS 2016

The crew tidying up a bit
Main stage for ‘Cave Quest’

Once again this year I was part of the design team to create the stage for our church’s Vacation Bible School program.  Grace Chapel, in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, is known for it’s strong music, drama, and visual arts community.  I am very fortunate to be a part of that!  This year we had over 600 kids and 220+ volunteers attend the week long program.

So, come along for a short journey in pictures and see our interpretation of ‘Cave Quest’!

We have an area on a landing that is great for unique visuals, so we put together a mock cave entrance in the woods.  The theme is ‘Jesus, light of the World’, so we put a cross just inside with colored lighting.  All of these styrofoam pieces were reused from last year’s Mt. Everest VBS.  With a little tweaking with a hot knife, and a bit of paint, we were ready to roll!

Another cave entrance
Mock cave entrance for landing
Entrance closeup
Close up of ‘cave entrance’

Next, we had to create the check in caves (two 10′ x 10′ canopies with paper over them) and paper the long hallway to resemble a cave.

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Check in caves beside the entrance to the cave hallway.
Preparing to hang the 'cave walls'
Team member Link wondering where to start for hanging paper.
Entrance to Cave Hall
Cave hallway entrance, that leads to the stage.
Cave Hall
Back of hallway.

We also needed to create 65 stanchion formations, 50 that the children would gather around during certain functions, and the rest to set around as decoration.  Team member Maria came up with the idea to have ‘crystals’ coming out of the rocks.  Sounds good, lets get to work!  6 colors, 65 pieces each, got it…

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Finished stanchion, atop extra white foam discs.

Now to retool and repaint the stage pieces from last year.  This year we were able to get a little more height to the ends of the background pieces, and it really added another dimension to it.

Pre paint 8 ft h and 8 ft wide
This is an 8′ high x 4′ wide x 2″ thick piece of the styrofoam mountain from last year.  I re-cut it with a hot knife, added a bit of spray foam for texture, then added an 8′ long base to it.  Ready for paint!
Maria with some of the stage pieces
Team member Maria with a few of the stalagtite and stalagmite formations we created.
Putting up back drop
Youth Pastor Bill and team member Maria starting to hang the background drape amidst the caverns.

 

Closeup of main stage
Some of the characters already hanging around.
Cave Quest in action
Cave Quest attendees in action!

 

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The Dump Truck

Well, it has been a couple of months since I have posted anything, mainly due to a bad case of bronchitis and being out of town.  I am now back in the  saddle as they say, so I figured I better get blogging!

I do a fair amount of painting for our church, Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork, TN.  This past winter, our Youth Pastor, Bill Cannon, asked if I could assist him in painting a stage prop he had built for the annual GC Kids Production, ‘Kids Under Construction’, that took place in March.  Pastor Bill is known for his creative engineering talents and he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to building something.  He showed me his idea of the dump truck, then showed me the parts that needed to be painted.  I said I would help and then proceeded to paint the frame and cab at the church as they were rather large.  The other parts I carried to my studio to paint there.

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Purple foam sheets are the pieces for the dump box, and the white foam discs are going to be the tires.
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PVC pipes that will be painted with ‘chrome’ spray paint and become the axles and exhaust
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Exhaust pipes drying.  The ‘chrome’ spray paint was really nice to work with.

The frame was made of wood, the axles and exhaust pipes were made of PVC pipe, the gas tanks were large rectangular plastic jugs with silver insulation wrapped around them, then the tires, box, and cab were made out of styrofoam.

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Michael

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Sides, tailgate and tires ready for shipping!

The studio was rather cramped for space and I did a bit of rotation as the pieces were painted and set to dry.

 

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Rear view, and yes, it actually rolls!

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Once we assembled the truck, I added red glitter letters to the sides, and there was also yellow chains to finish off the box, but for some reason I do not have a photo of that.

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Nearing completion, setting up the stage.

It all came together nicely, and during the show the 10 foot long dump truck even had smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes, thanks to a smoke machine Pastor Bill had hidden in the box of the truck!  I hope you enjoy the pictures, and would love to hear your thoughts!  Have you created something out of styrofoam?

 

Leon in progress 10-Denny Martindale

Pastel Portrait of Leon-From Start to Finish

My most recent pastel pet portrait is of Leon, a beautiful Australian Shepherd.  The portrait was a wedding gift from my client and her sister to their niece and her husband.  When my client and I met, she brought along photographs and the one we decided on was of Leon sitting between his owners, which also happened to be the wedding invitation.  She said if I needed any more for reference, I could visit the website for their wedding.  Most of the photos on the site were of Leon, so  I knew he had a very special place in their hearts!  Below you will see the progress of the painting from the original charcoal drawing I start with all the way to the finished piece.  The painting is done on 14″ x 11″  tan Ampersand Pastelbord.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Charcoal drawing of Leon-Denny Martindale
Original charcoal drawing of Leon
Background, Leon, pastel-Denny Martindale
Background of Leon, pastel

At this point, my client and I agreed to tone the background down a bit more.

Leon in progress 1-Denny Martindale
Starting to add color

Leon in progress 2-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 3-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 4-Denny Martindale

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Leon in progress 8-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 9-Denny Martindale

Leon in progress 10-Denny Martindale
Finished custom pastel pet portrait of Leon, 14″ x 11″, Denny Martindale

Thanks for viewing the progress of Leon, have a blessed day and would love to hear from you!