One of the commissions I did last year for Christmas was to paint a hummingbird on a teaspoon. My Mom had already picked out a nice sugar spoon that she wanted me to paint a bird on, so I painted them together. My client and her recipient as well as my Mom all loved them, and I hope you do too! Let me know in the comments!
For Christmas this year, my husband gave me tickets to see the performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Being the lover of jazz music that I am, my husband was a little concerned that I would not care to go. I told him not to worry, I was really looking forward to it, and I really was. We had not been to anything in the way of performing arts in quite a while, outside of those put on by our church, and had not been to a show in downtown Nashville in a couple of years.
The Nashville Symphony was started in 1945, and made it’s home at the Schermerhorn when they opened their doors in 2006. Since the year 2000, the orchestra has won 11 GRAMMY awards out of 20 nominations and since 2008 they have been under the leadership of acclaimed conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. Everything from rock to classical is performed here, and I honestly haven’t heard a bad word about any of it.
I had never been to the Schermerhorn, and upon entering knew the show would be wonderful. The Neo-Classical architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and the staff are there for your every need. There is a coat check, two bars, a cafe, which is currently under renovation, as well as plenty of restrooms. Even if you don’t see a show, it is fun to just check inside the box office or lobby and see if they will let you look around. Hotels and eateries are nearby as it is only a block off of Broadway, the heart of downtown. One word of caution: as with any big city these days, it pays to do your homework and review maps of available parking.
The performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah by the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Choir was phenomenal. I really never knew who Handel was, what his composition of the Messiah is other than the bits and pieces that I just happened to see performed by a church choir or heard on the radio. According to the program we received, titled, In Concert, Handel wrote the original 260 page masterpiece in just over three weeks in 1741. Consisting of three parts, Messiah was originally written as a musical score for an Easter celebration in Dublin. The text, written by Charles Jennens, describes in biblical verse the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Over the years Handel continued making revisions, even adding new segments to the piece. After Handel’s death, Messiah evolved from a traditional Easter performance to the beloved piece of music that we look forward to each year at Christmas. It is believed that during the 1743 premiere of Messiah in London, King George II stood up at the start of the Hallelujiah Chorus, to which the crowd followed suit and it is still a tradition to this very day.
I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Be safe and let me know if you have seen Handel’s Messiah and your thoughts. God bless!
All photos and artwork ©2017 Denny Martindale, All Rights Reserved
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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