I usually don’t do this…

Back in February I was contacted by F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing Development and Safety) to see if I might be interested in helping with a fundraiser they are having in June.  The help they were wanting was to paint a pig.  As in a little ceramic piggy bank.  Since the organization supports horses and a couple of other farm animals, and most equestrians love farm animals, they decided on the piggy banks for artists around the country to get creative.  The only requirement was that they had to have them by the end of March.

The fundraiser is an online auction that is from June 1 to June 15, 2017.  For tickets (if you plan on being in the area) or more info, please visit their website by clicking here.

I usually don’t do too many fundraisers, not that I am not wanting to give, but I am usually busy or already have my giving lined up for the year.  I gave it some thought and immediately had a couple of ideas come to mind:  a Jump Hog (for the English riders) and a Trail Hog (for the Western riders).  I asked for two and immediately set to work.  Below is a record of the process and the end result.  Would love to know your thoughts on these!

 

Pigs before modifications- Denny Martindale
Pigs upon arrival to the studio
Tools for creating saddles- Denny Martindale
Tools used to create saddles, exclusive of paint

I wanted to mold saddles on the banks, and leave the coin slot opening intact.  I started applying blobs of drywall paste to start forming the saddles.  This had to be done in small applications as the blobs of paste would start sagging down the sides and flattening out.  So, that meant a number of apply/dry sessions to get the desired forms.

English saddle taking shape- Denny Martindale
Drywall paste applied with spoon to start forming English saddle
Western saddle taking shape- Denny Martindale
Drywall paste applied with spoon to start forming Western saddle

Next, it was time to shave with an artist’s knife and sand for a clean, smooth finish to prep for painting.

Western saddle after some sanding- Denny Martindale
Western saddle almost ready for paint
English saddle after some sanding- Denny Martindale
English saddle is ready for paint

I then began painting with latex house paint, added a couple of layers of satin acrylic varnish, and finally added a few adornments for reins and bling!

Jump Hog bank 1- Denny MartindaleJump Hog bottom- Denny MartindaleJump Hog top- Denny Martindale

Jump Hog front- Denny Martindale
Jump Hog, ready for the event!

Trail Hog top- Denny MartindaleTrail Hog saddle detail- Denny MartindaleTrail Hog front- Denny Martindale

Trail Hog bank- Denny Martindale
Trail Hog ready for the auction!

This was a really fun project, and I hope they bring a good price for the fundraiser.  Hope you all have a blessed week!

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!

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, 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!

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!

painted metal spoons, Denny Martindale

Painted Spoons and my Etsy shop

It has been a busy fall thus far, with two art festivals in the books and another one this Saturday in Lynnville, TN and a commission for a pet portrait as well.  My booth at these shows not only has examples of my pet portraits, but also greeting cards featuring my artwork and photography, fine art giclee prints of my work, and some of the metal items I have painted on.  I also revamped my Etsy site with these items for purchase as well, and you can visit it by clicking here.  One of the items I have enjoyed as of late is painting on old metal spoons that I pick up at flea markets and yard sales.  They make a wonderful ornament and/or gift.

Hand painted metal spoons, Denny Martindale
Spoons cleaned and ready for paint

The spoons are usually silver plate or stainless, often times having a dent or some mark or defect and are not in complete sets.  I do a vinegar wash on them to break surface tension and remove oils, then apply a bonding primer then paint with latex house paint and seal with spar urethane.

painted metal spoons, Denny Martindale
Spoons on display tree
painted metal spoon, Denny Martindale
‘Bay at Pasture’ spoon
painted metal spoon, Denny Martindale
Closeup of ‘Sunset Cruise’ spoon

I hope you are doing well and would love to hear from you.  Also, please keep Paris and the world in your prayers.  God bless!

1973 Stutz Blackhawk Instrument Cluster redo

Over the past few years some friends of ours have been restoring a 1973 Stutz Blackhawk automobile. It is a very large, sleek and classy car.  They are quite rare, and were highly regarded by entertainers and other elites. Regarding the Stutz Blackhawk, Wilikpedia states, “The Stutz Blackhawk was an American luxury car manufactured from 1971 through 1987. Other than the name it bears no resemblance with the original Stutz Blackhawk (1929-1931).  You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

The handbuilt Blackhawk featured a custom built Italian body on a General Motors (GM) platform and engine.  The interior of the car is exquisite, and our friend Terry had begun work on the instrument cluster.  This is the collective grouping of gauges such as oil, fuel, tachometer, speedometer, temperature, and voltmeter.  It had some wear and pitting on the gold background, but the lettering and numbers were quite rough and in some instances completely gone.  He and his wife Judi searched the internet for some sort of decals, or replacement parts, but what little they found did not fit or match the original fonts.  For those of you not familiar with automobile restoration, authenticity is of utmost importance, and if you have to re do something, try to keep it as close to the original as possible.

Stutz Blackhawk instrument cluster, Denny Martindale
Stutz Blackhawk Instrument Cluster, before

As you can see, this one had areas that were completely worn off, so Terry found a nice artist’s marker and set about trying to put the numbers and letters back in.  After a few tries, he asked me one day if I might be able to try my hand at duplicating the original font.  I said I would try, and brought the cluster and marker to the studio.  I set about practicing the font, and fortunately was able to take off any mistake I made with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, which did not hurt the gold background.  After about 2 1/2 hours, I completed the lettering and gave Terry a call.  They both were elated and are looking forward to completing the project.

Stuts Blackhawk oil gauge, Denny Martindale
Oil gauge after lettering
Stutz Blackhawk Instrument Cluster, Denny Martindale
Stutz Blackhawk Instrument Cluster after

I love working on pieces every once in a while that are outside the other painting I do.  I am looking forward to seeing Terry’s finished project, and maybe even riding in it!