Last summer I received a large commission to paint fox hunting themes on six galvanized tubs to be used for bottled beverages on ice. They all have a spigot, which is not attached in the photos for easy draining of the water from the melted ice. They are to be used for catered private parties by my client, and possibly at the horse show venues at the Kentucky Horse Park. The KHP is closed right now due to the corona virus, but you can still walk around outside and see the amazing sculpture park.
The round tubs are 1′ high by 2′ across, and the oblong tubs are 1′ high by 2′ wide and 4′ long. They are painted with latex house paint and sealed with two coats of spar urethane.
All artwork by Denny Martindale and copyright Denny Martindale.
A client of mine asked if I could paint something on this old cream can she had picked up somewhere. A cream can is different from a milk can in that it is much smaller, this one just 10″ high x 7″ across. It was used for storing the cream that settles to the top of raw milk (aka non-homogenized, unlike milk purchased at a regular grocery store) as the cream was a bit thicker and sweeter than the milk itself and some folks like to use the cream separately. I was very interested in the challenge. She really didn’t have anything in mind, but she did like the pieces I had done with the fox hunters. I thought about it off and on while working on some others pieces, and I finally decided that a cream can needed, well, a farm scene on it. I cleaned it up and discovered the eagle and stars appear to be decals, so it is probably a later version of cream can.
I was not sure exactly what to do with the lid, but in my mind I could see the endless sky in a dome affect. I wanted a similar style to the fox hunters, but needed to have more of a farm scene, so, using latex house paint, I painted dairy and beef cattle, with the fences, stream, house and barns, silo and corn crib.
I decided to put sheep in the distance near the house. This piece does not have a single horse on it! My client hasn’t seen it yet, so I am anxious to see what she thinks!
One of my latest painting projects was a milk can. It was old, with very old black paint on it that was starting to chip and had a tad bit of rust showing. Once again I was doing the fox hunting theme which I thoroughly enjoy.
After completing the painting, I placed the milk can in front of our fireplace. It looked really good there, and I received many complements on it. Finally, the client came to pick it up and I was sad to see it leave. I have picked up a milk can of my own, now to get time to work on it!
This has been a very interesting summer thus far. I normally paint in pastels, watercolors, and acrylics in the studio in the house. I also do a few murals and other things. However, when one of my clients commissioned me to paint the horse troughs, I began a studio in the barn as well. When we built the barn about 8 years ago, that was one of my “someday” goals, to have a real studio there. I dreamed it would be in the west end of the expansive hay loft, complete with heat and air and a small water closet on the lower level.
Upon finishing the troughs, my client asked if I could possibly paint some wooden cutouts she had of hunt figures. I said I would see what I could do.
She brought them out and I spent the next month painting life sized cutouts of Masters of the Hounds, fox hounds, and foxes. It is interesting to work on these as you have to use the shape that has been formed for you. Once I got going though, I was quite pleased with how they turned out.
I painted them with latex house paint, using only about 8-10 base colors from which I mix the myriad of other colors needed. Once complete, I coat them with polyurethane. Each figure had two bases which also needed paint and coating upon which they will stand upright.
This week I delivered 2 foxes, 6 Masters of the Hounds, and 9 Fox Hounds to my client. She was delighted. Now I have 8 more foxes to do, plus I am looking into some more horse troughs! Looks like the animals might have to move out!
Here are the photos of the background work on horse troughs 1 & 2. All of my work on these troughs is done in acrylics. At this point I am also just painting, no airbrush, projectors, etc, just letting the troughs dictate what goes where.
The background for troughs 1 & 2 are very similar.