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!

It’s Here Again!

Yes, it is here again, tax time that is.  Here in the United States, most everyone is required by law to file a federal income tax return for the previous year with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which must be postmarked by midnight, April 15 every year.  You may also be responsible for State Income Tax as well, and this varies from state to state.  Yes, I said most, as there are some exemptions, and you can take a survey on the IRS website by clicking on the link here.

This always leads to long lines at the post offices as people have put off filing, and again, it needs to be postmarked by midnight, April 15.  However, this year the filing date has been extended to midnight April 18 so you have a couple of extra days!  Efile.com has a table of filing dates which you can view by clicking here.  For more in depth information on State Income Tax, you will need to visit the website of your state’s government offices or contact an Income Tax specialist in your area.  Art, taxes

Unsubscribe

unsubscribe

One of my New Years resolutions was to simplify more.  Simplify not only my life in general, but also my MAW (Martindale Artworks) business.  I have three email accounts, one for my website, one that I had from a previous version of the MAW website, and my personal account.  After the first of the year, I sat down and started cleaning up emails and the first two accounts went rather quickly.  However, the personal account has been overwhelmingly inundated in the past year with an unbelievable amount of junk.  The account is arranged with Primary, Social, and Promotional tabs, and I knew that I had been strictly dealing with the emails that seemed important, and letting the rest go.  “I will get to them later”, I kept telling myself.  Therefore, I had over 2100 emails in the one account!  Yikes!  So I set out to start hitting the delete button.

Well, not so fast.  I was curious to know where all this stuff was coming from.  The Primary tab was pretty much items that I had saved for information, or pertained to something that was in progress, so that tab was good.  Social had the least, and is basically blogs I follow, Facebook notifications, etc. and I whittled that one down pretty quickly.  Now for the Promotions tab.  They were literally from everywhere.  Places like Nashville Paw Magazine, Professional Artists’ Magazine, Hobby Lobby, etc, were fine.  The rest I wanted to know how I made their list.  Some were because I ha signed a petition, contacted a congressman, bought or inquired about something and one of their affiliates was sending me an offer.  Others were much more vague, loosely tied to some entity I was familiar with, while a few were just randomly sent to me.

This REALLY irritates me for a couple of reasons:  first, it loads up everyone’s email accounts with things we aren’t even interested in.  There were actually a couple of good blogs in the mix, but I unsubscribed for the simple fact that they never asked me to sign up.   Second, it makes legitimate businesses that send out legitimate newsletters look bad.  I send out a MAW newsletter once a month (on average) and I DO NOT give, sell, lease, rent or buy email addresses.  I just don’t play that game.  I want people to sign up because they like my work, I mean I truly have enough to do without all that. Furthermore, I have run into people at shows that are leery of signing up for an art newsletter, afraid that they will be bombarded with email.  I actually heard an art marketing coach tell her followers to send at least one lengthy email every other month, and 2-3 mini e-blasts per month.  Seriously???  Once a month is plenty, and maybe a quick one line reminder if there is something special going on.

Third, it is against the CAN-SPAM ACT (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003).  This is a Federal law that actually has procedures businesses must follow regarding building a mailing list and using email for marketing.  Just adding a person at random is not one of them.  Prospective recipients must opt in by signing up to receive email from a business, or tell them to be put on a list.  The entity may add them to a list as long as they send that individual a notice stating they have been added but are free to unsubscribe at any time.  You can read more about the CAN-SPAM ACT by clicking here.  There are also guidelines to follow if you feel you are being sent unsolicited email or have tried to unsubscribe and it didn’t appear to go through.

Understandably every business is trying to build their mailing lists.  But blatantly adding addresses is not the answer.  If you are tired of the junk, just hit ‘unsubscribe’.  I ended up unsubscribing and deleting an overwhelming amount of email, and it is a huge relief.  Now I can actually concentrate on and enjoy the stuff that is truly important to me such as newsletters from businesses and artists I am interested in.  Whats more, the more clicks and opens a newsletter receives the better.  Remember, you can visit my website to ‘opt in’ at any time!  God bless!

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

helene-and-pets-side-1-denny-martindalehelene-and-pets-side-2-denny-martindale

 

Son’s Bucket

konrad-and-pets-side-1-denny-martindalekonrad-and-pets-side-2-denny-martindale

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

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.

flint-warfle-i
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.

IMG_4546
Inside of bucket after I gave it an antiqued effect with latex house paint.
Working on 'Carriage Tour'-Denny Martindale
Working on the details
IMG_4540
Side 1
IMG_4536
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