VBS Wrap up

Another Grace Chapel VBS is in the books!  I was the team lead for the Design Team, and I had one of the best group of volunteers I could ever have hoped for!  We averaged 3 days a week for about 3 months from start to installation and the set blessed over 500 children!  The theme was ‘Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus’ and we are still receiving compliments on our work.

Small Hall
Small Hallway

Above is the Small Hallway, or what I call the Ad Hall.  This vignette goes up about a month or so before VBS begins and it basically advertises that VBS registration is open.  As kids register, their names are placed on the net, and they are always thrilled to look through the many names and find theirs.

Waterfall
Waterfall

Each year everyone looks forward to the landing area, where we try to have a scene that fits in with the theme.  It is usually something that is a great backdrop for photos, and the kids love having their pictures taken in front of these vignettes.  This time however, they wanted to be in the waterfall!  We had to reset the Styrofoam rocks after every service!

Hallway to classrooms
Entry to hallway leading to classrooms and Chapel

This hallway we decided to make it feel like the kids were on their way to board the ship, so we created a dock with piers.  I loved seeing the toddlers trying to touch the ‘water’, which was blue crepe-like fabric with clear cellophane and blue puck lights underneath!

Check In Station
Check In Station

Another popular place we create is the 10′ x 20′ Check In Station, where the children check in each morning of VBS.  We install a week or two ahead of time, and people love to mill around with a coffee and read a book in here.

Eight and twelve foot palm trees
Palm trees on stage

These are the 10′ and 14′ palm trees assembled on stage.  I love the paper bag ‘bark’!  Thank you Donna and Linda!

James Working on ship
Disassembling the ship to get it through the doors
Assembling ship on stage
Reassembling the ship on stage

The ship was a 9′ tall large frame with paneling for the sides.  I painted the wood grain to complete the look.  Here, James, the ship builder, top and right, and Kelly are setting it up on stage.  I was amazed at how little time it took him to take it apart and reassemble it.  Awesome!

Stage with palm tree stansions
Stage with the stanchions in the chapel

The photo above shows the Shipwrecked stage in the Chapel area, with a forest of little palm trees where the kids break out into groups to participate.

Stage
Closer view of the stage
Tiki hut
Tiki hut with palm trees, sand, backdrop and the podium
Ship on stage
The completed ship

This is the ship complete with mast, sails and ladder.  The kids went crazy over this piece!

The Design Team
The Design Team for 2018

Donna, myself, Lynley, George, Linda, and Kelly with Jonathon and Daniel.  By the way, Kelly also had an acting part in the skits.  Awesome job everyone and thank you so much for all of your hard work!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I have been up to these past few months, and I would love to hear from you!

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VBS Set Construction

Our church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) is coming up in June, and I am the team lead this year for construction of the set.  Here are a few photos of some of the props we have made so far for the theme, ‘Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus’:

Anchors and chains
4′ high anchors made of Styrofoam with chains made of foam pipe insulation
Assembled oar paddle
Close up of an oar paddle created out of Styrofoam and shaped with a hot knife
Liferings ours vs storebought
Our life ring vs. a store bought one:  ours is on the left, and is a Styrofoam disc wrapped in white tape, then red tape and yellow rope
Liferings
More life rings
Lynley with finished oar
Lynley, one of our wonderful team members with a finished 7′ oar.  The paddle is attached to a wooden tree stake with spray foam, then wrapped with rope for a finished look

I will post more photos as we get things done, and I hope you have a blessed day!

World’s Longest Painting

Image may contain: sky, mountain, outdoor and nature

The painting above is just a fraction of the panorama that is on the world’s longest painting, measuring 8 feet tall and a whopping quarter of a mile long, or 1320 feet!  It was completed in 1848, and has been painstakingly restored by The New Bedford Whaling Museum of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a process which took over 10 years to complete.  You can find out more by visiting their Facebook page here, or their website by clicking here.

They are in the process of digitizing the entire piece so it will be available online, and they are planning an exhibition of the piece later this year.  The museum has been trying to find a place to host it, and as of last check I do not know if they have found a place or not.  If you get a chance, this could be a great opportunity to see a huge masterpiece!

Handel’s Messiah in Nashville, Tennessee

Schermerhorn Symphony Center
View of the main lobby at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN

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.

 

Schermerhorn Symphony Center Auditorium
View from the Founders Circle balcony inside the Laura Turner Hall at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

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.

At Handel's Messiah, 2017 Schermerhorn

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.

Cellos at Schermerhorn.jpg

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

It’s Been Way Too Long!

Yes, it has been way too long since I have posted anything!  So, what have I been up to?  Well, I am always busy with daily chores of caring for our 29 year old Tennessee Walking Horse, Master, our Dachshund, Rembrandt, the lawn and flower beds and other typical chores (plus cleaning my brother’s apartment).  I have also spent way too many hours on technology issues, such as antivirus software overhaul and my tablet not working properly (still working on this issue), and I transferred a multitude of photos from our phones to our computer.  I have been going through them trying to organize them as well.  I also did a bit of cleaning and rearranging in the studio.

I have gotten in some painting, although not as much as I would have liked.  One of those projects was a set of bookends a client ordered for her son for Christmas.  I won’t show them now, we will have to wait until he opens them!  I have painted a number of vintage spoons with latex house paint and I have been on a song bird trend that has been extremely popular.

Spoon triangle-Denny Martindale
Northern Cardinals in pine tree, American Goldfinch on Purple Coneflower, and Eastern Bluebird in apple trees  Hand painted vintage spoons, latex house paint, Denny Martindale

Another project my husband and I both worked on was the process of going through my grandfather’s 8mm and Super 8 movie reels.  My dad found them along with a projector and screen for viewing.  They had been left to my mother by her dad when he went to Heaven as she received his camera equipment.  David cleaned and tuned the projector and we set about going through them to see if they were any good and if the projector would even work.  It clacked and clicked away (don’t you just love that sound), and the films were in much better condition than we thought.  I mean, it is 2017 and these were shot between about 1953 and the mid -’70s.  Most were around 60 years old!  We realized we had a task on our hands as there was a lot of film, as in over 30 reels, many with 200 feet of film.  Plus, we didn’t necessarily recognize a number of the people in them as they were filmed before or around the time I was born.

Old movie projector
Old movie projector for 8mm and Super 8 reel films

So, after we had viewed them, we decided to see if we could get my mom and her three siblings (two in other states) together to go through them and identify the people and places.  After much planning, it all finally came together over Labor Day weekend, and as they watched and laughed they told me the names, places and dates they could remember and I wrote them all down to the best of my ability on pieces of paper we then put in their respective tins.  Some of their cousins heard about them and expressed interest in having copies made.  They all thanked us for getting everyone together and showing the movies and loved the memories they brought back.  We found a place to have them put onto DVDs, and since they are near one of my uncles and they don’t ship the film out, the price is pretty decent, especially when you have a number of families going in on it together.  I am looking forward to seeing them again, this time on DVD, as so many of the people in the films have gone on, and places have changed so much.

Hope you have had a wonderful summer, and blessed memories and days ahead to you!

All photos and artwork ©2017 Denny Martindale, All Rights Reserved

 

Now, at The Getty

Quick blip to let you know about a couple of interesting exhibitions at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA:

The Birth of Pastel” now through Dec. 17, 2017

Portrait of Gabriel Bernard de Rieux (1739-1741) 79″ x 59″, pastel and gouache on paper mounted on canvas, by Maurice-Quentin de La Tour (French, 1704 – 1788); collection The Getty Museum

Did you catch the size of the painting above?  A whopping 79″ x 59″!  The Pastel Journal interviewed curator Emily Beeny, who states it is “Pieced together from over a dozen sheets of paper”.   Wouldn’t you just love to see this one in person?!

The other exhibition is a celebration of one of the most important British artists of the twentieth century.  It includes his photography, drawings, paintings, even iPad drawings spanning 65 years.

Happy Birthday” Mr. Hockney” now through Nov. 26, 2017

Please visit the links for more information, and let me know if you attend and how you liked them!

Do YOU like it?

Make no mistake, but everyone’s tastes are different.  Whether it is art, clothing, music, food, you name it and we each have our own individual style.  While this is the way God created us, to be unique, it can also ruffle a few feathers, so to speak.  Our uniqueness gives the world great variety and color and it would be a truly boring place if we were all the same!  Whats more, we all have our own opinions, especially when it comes to art.

People buy art for many reasons, maybe a piece has their favorite color, or it matches the sofa in the living room.  Perhaps the subject matter reminds them of a special place, or a particular event or person in their life.  Whatever the reason, it is their reason and yes, they have to live with it.  I am often asked by friends or family what I think about a piece of art they are contemplating purchasing.  I may not care for it for whatever reason, but I try to help them make sure it is quality materials, and asking where they might be displaying it (as a general rule, paintings should not be in direct sunlight).  If pressed about whether or not I like it, I explain that it isn’t about what I think but what they think and how they feel about the piece.

Recently, a friend of mine brought over a painting for me to look at that she had purchased at a thrift store for $1.  It would look good in the kitchen of her new apartment.  She was so excited about her find, but before she showed it to me, she explained that it was of a rooster and when she saw the piece it reminded her of a rooster I painted on a mural a few years ago.  She had always loved that rooster, so this painting really touched her.  She said that it was  ‘not like the way you paint’, and thought possibly a child or a beginning artist had painted it.  I told her that was okay, and if she liked it, that was all that mattered.  Upon seeing it, I agreed that perhaps a child or beginner could have painted it, and explained that it was a point and time in that artist’s life, style and ability, and the art she chooses for her home doesn’t have to be like what I paint.

I asked her if she liked it and of course, she did.  I replied that is what really matters, and truthfully, it is all that really matters, the fact that she liked it.  I explained to her that I have seen a lot of art that I didn’t particularly care for, but that doesn’t mean that someone else shouldn’t like it or buy it.  Furthermore, if she found something she really liked for a dollar, then more power to her!  She phoned me later to tell me she had asked a couple of other people what they thought, and they said the rooster was too skinny, that the painting had a lot of issues.  With that, she donated it back to the thrift store and is on the hunt for something else.  Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

I hope you are surrounded by artwork and things that you love that bring back fond memories.  It really doesn’t matter who did it, how much you paid for it, etc.  The bottom line is, do you like it?