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!

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

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Son’s Bucket

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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!

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!

The Dump Truck

Well, it has been a couple of months since I have posted anything, mainly due to a bad case of bronchitis and being out of town.  I am now back in the  saddle as they say, so I figured I better get blogging!

I do a fair amount of painting for our church, Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork, TN.  This past winter, our Youth Pastor, Bill Cannon, asked if I could assist him in painting a stage prop he had built for the annual GC Kids Production, ‘Kids Under Construction’, that took place in March.  Pastor Bill is known for his creative engineering talents and he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to building something.  He showed me his idea of the dump truck, then showed me the parts that needed to be painted.  I said I would help and then proceeded to paint the frame and cab at the church as they were rather large.  The other parts I carried to my studio to paint there.

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Purple foam sheets are the pieces for the dump box, and the white foam discs are going to be the tires.
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PVC pipes that will be painted with ‘chrome’ spray paint and become the axles and exhaust
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Exhaust pipes drying.  The ‘chrome’ spray paint was really nice to work with.

The frame was made of wood, the axles and exhaust pipes were made of PVC pipe, the gas tanks were large rectangular plastic jugs with silver insulation wrapped around them, then the tires, box, and cab were made out of styrofoam.

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Michael

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Sides, tailgate and tires ready for shipping!

The studio was rather cramped for space and I did a bit of rotation as the pieces were painted and set to dry.

 

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Rear view, and yes, it actually rolls!

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Once we assembled the truck, I added red glitter letters to the sides, and there was also yellow chains to finish off the box, but for some reason I do not have a photo of that.

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Nearing completion, setting up the stage.

It all came together nicely, and during the show the 10 foot long dump truck even had smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes, thanks to a smoke machine Pastor Bill had hidden in the box of the truck!  I hope you enjoy the pictures, and would love to hear your thoughts!  Have you created something out of styrofoam?

 

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!

Elk at Sunset on a Metal Tub

I purchased this large galvanized tub a couple of years ago, and wanted to paint something special on it.  I would look at it occasionally, trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  As I was working on another project, it finally appeared in my head:  the image of an elk at sunset.

I set to work painting the background, and the only thing I actually drew out with charcoal were the animals themselves.  I am quite pleased with the results, and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Elk, sunset, latex house paint
Elk at sunset, latex house paint
Elk, sunset, latex house paint
Side 2 of elk at sunset on metal tub

Thanks for visiting!