To Germany With Love

Once again a client in Bavaria asked if I could paint on a couple of buckets for her to give this Christmas as gifts for their children.  I said of course, and the hunt began for a couple of older buckets that were in decent shape.  Some of the old buckets are in bad shape and actually need to be reshaped, but these were pretty good.  They sent me some photos for reference, and I set to work prepping, painting and sealing.  I finished them in time to ship out (international shipping takes a very long time during the month of December, so when the post office says to get your item in the mail by December 1, they mean it!) and received notification that they had arrived in Germany.

Daughter’s Bucket

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Son’s Bucket

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The insides of the buckets are painted to have an antique metal appearance.  They are both coated in spar urethane.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on these pieces, and I just love the dress of the children and the flowers in their horse’s manes.  As always I was happy to hear they arrived and everyone loved them.  Thank you for looking and have a blessed day!

Thankful

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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!

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

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!

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

Leon in progress 5-Denny MartindaleLeon in progress 7-Denny Martindale

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!

Pastel Pet Portrait of Peanut, from Start to Finish

I love painting portraits of pets, and animals in general, and I am always honored when someone commissions me to do one of a beloved pet that has passed on, waiting to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.  Such is the case with Peanut Patton, a beautiful little dog that meant the world to his owner Jim.

While I do many pet portraits, I have a tendency to get rather focused on the painting itself and forget to take photos showing the progress from start to finish.  Below you will see the photos of Peanut’s portrait starting with the reference photo and ending with the matted and framed painting.

Peanut Patton photo
Reference photo.  Peanut’s coloring is a little bit ‘washed out’ in this photo.
Drawing for Peanut-Denny Martindale
Charcoal drawing of Peanut
Peanut in progress 1-Denny Martindale
Jim and I agreed to place Peanut in the grass, so the background was blocked in.
Peanut in progress 2-Denny Martindale
Starting on Peanut.

I started working on Peanut, beginning primarily with the areas that would have other areas of fur overlapping them.

Peanut in progress 3-Denny Martindale
From blocking in to establishing a color range of the various shades of fur.
Peanut in progress 4-Denny Martindale
Sometimes the progress doesn’t always look the best…
Peanut in progress 5-Denny Martindale
…but if you continue working it will all come together!
Peanut Patton, matted, framed, and ready to ship-Denny Martindale
Peanut Patton, pastel, 11″ x 14″, matted, framed, and ready for shipping!

I thoroughly hope you have enjoyed seeing the progress, and would love to hear your comments!  God bless!