Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Repainting a vintage sailor whirligig

My Deep Fancy for Sailors 
Love all things NAUTICAL 
I have always had a thing for sailors.  I remember when I was in my early twenties, I used to write the word, SAILOR.   It's not surprising I married a boater.  

So the above whirligig was given to me by my Mother back when my kids were young. I don't think it was overly valuable but it wasn't super cheap either.    At first I liked the painting on it just fine, then all of the sudden,  I disliked it.  I decided that it looked sort of imported...sorry.  

So I repainted it, from head to toe and antiqued it.  However, before it was not a sailor but rather some sort of officer.  (Not in the Navy).   In order for me to want to keep it, it had to be repainted.  Now he fits in just fine.  I think one of my kids dropped it when they were little, too.  It was busted, now its fully fixed and looks awesome with my decor.  

I signed it on the base
Notice that I wrote "hand painted."  I did this because I did not carve it, I just painted it.  Whoever painted it the first time, had primed it a great red.  I just scraped down into the red to get the look that I wanted.  *Don't try this at home, folks, I can't guarantee the results. 

Here's the backside.  I will admit, this was a little more time-consuming than I had anticipated.  It was fun, though.  

Interestingly enough, I dropped this thing while painting it, and the arm snapped off at the paddle!  Nothing broken
but it was toward the end of this process~I panicked for a second needlessly.  It snapped right back on.  It was  dowed.  This thing was made well.  

To prove how much I love sailors, just look at the other sailor art I have done over the years.  If I do a show and it doesn't sell, it comes home! 

I actually have even more 'sailor' artwork but didn't want to underwhelm you! 

Thanks for looking! 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Whimsical Impressionistic Windows, Part 3

The Final two Windows

A Hotel room with a view 
I can't paint windows without including a window from a hotel.  When I visited Paris, I was transfixed with the view.  It was so gorgeous with the rivers and 
Eiffel Tower and all the architectural details, total feast for the eyes!  

I tore the edges on these windows so that I can
mount them on some beautiful paper.  I will frames them all the same size. 
I loved the idea of having a window with a topiary.  When I was in Paris, there were many topiary trees with beautiful bases.  They were lining the streets, some of them had flowers, but they were all well done and maintained.  SO MUCH FUN.  

This one is my favorite, I think.  I love all the action and the colors with the little boat.  The birds add some whimsy.  

I wish that I had 10 of these frames, but I do not.  I am going to take them to a framer and get another opinion about how they should be framed.  If anyone has any suggestions, Please message me.  I welcome the feedback.  

Ten of them!!  
This was a fun project.  It was time-consuming, but that is okay.  It is very rewarding to have something that is complete and detailed.  I will have one more post that will include how I decided to frame these.  


Friday, May 20, 2016

Skipjack sailboat in an Antique round medal frame

Vintage looking Skipjack painting

This surface was actually an old cellulite photograph that was a 'permanent' part of
the vintage/antique frame 
When I purchased this little frame (about 7" round), I thought the the photograph was behind a plastic looking glass.  The lady was rather unattractive, to be honest, and I was going to pitch her.  Alas, I brought it home and she was there to stay.  I painted over her preciousness and now have a skipjack sailboat.  It was that easy. 

The back of the frame is very old looking.  It is just part of the charm of this little piece.  You can see at the bottom of the above picture where the string is attached that this frame could also be hung on a wall.  I have included an example of this below.  

The frame, itself, is quite beautiful and the condition is really good.  I immediately fell in love with it and decided that it must have a piece of art in it instead of Fuddy Duddy.  

I took a few snapshots of the progression of this piece.  To include every step of the process would be too much.  The sky and the water progressed for a while, adding color upon color, until I satisfied with the final product. 

Quick History:  The 'skipjack' is a unique type of commercial wooden sailing vessel that was used to dredge oysters from the Chesapeake Bay.  These boats could go into shallow water and date back to the 1800's. 

Here it is hanging on my wall in my living room.  I have an area of round mirrors and I removed one of them to hang this; although, I prefer it sitting on a desk or table.  

The final product 
The final steps simply included varnishing it and lightening the water just a tad.  Thanks for looking today to read about my Skipjack sailboat.  


Friday, May 13, 2016

Whimsical Impressionistic Windows, Part 2

A window is only but a  partial glimpse of what is inside... 

~Kolene Spicher  

I love all the movement 
I have always been a fan of Van Gogh.  What was going thru his mind when he created all that movement.  Maybe he was running a marathon in his brain.  

ON the water, my dream 
Oh, how I wish I had a place on the water with a window like this that opened up to a vast body of water.  In my dream, there is no land, only 1850s sailboats.  JUST kidding. 

I love all the bright colors, there are some bright oranges mixed in to this painting that make your eye travel around the piece.  

Same house, different window
This painting has the same basic view as the one above it.  I love the golden drape with the crown over the window.  I would not want to price a drape like this, very costly.  I might not paint my window red, either, but it's good for a painting.  
My other house is in town, downtown Paris 
LOVE the colors on this one, too.  These may be challenging to frame... I am thinking of buying some old frames that are beat up and aged with antique glass and painting them Paris Green.  
Other favorite past time...eating 
Ok, just imagine having a bakery like this down the street.  If you live in the country, you will want to buy this print.  You can live the life thru the artwork on your walls.  Hopefully, your art makes you feel happy.  That is my goal.  

Here are the four of them.  Please look at my post Whimsical Impressionistic Windows, Part 1 to see the other paintings from this series.  I have two more to go... 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Paint a Wing Back Chair

Painting a fabric chair 
Painting a fabric chair can be a bit daunting if you have never attempted it.  I have to admit, the chair looked pretty awful and I was not in much of a hurry to fix it.  
Years ago, back when I first was married, my mother gave me this chair.  I left it sit in the sun, bad move.  When she passed away, I couldn't get myself to throw the chair out.  It really didn't have much value anymore due to my neglect in allowing it to sit in the sunshine. 

One day while on PINTEREST,  I noticed that someone was picturing a wingback fabric chair painted.  WHAT?  I had never heard of painting fabric.  I know, where have I been.  I can't recall what they used, but this is what I used. 

#AmyHoward paint, #Delta Textile medium
I thought I had recalled that they used equal parts of each.  So that is what I did.  I am happy to say it turned out beautifully.  

There were a few problematic areas with my chair, which caused a less than perfect finished product; however, it is so much improved over where I started, I am happy with the result.  

Right or wrong, I actually hot glued that cording back into place.  I was careful to only have glue on the backside of the cording so that the paint held.  This is worth mentioning because nothing sticks well to hot glue.  

I am not much of a seamstress, and there was no way on earth I could even think of sewing a slip cover; although, to sew was my husband's idea.  

No it had to be painted.  That's what I am good at.  

This was after one coat.  

After the first sanding, the roughness went away, the pattern did not.  With out putting a bunch of boring photos up, suffice it to say that it looked like a checkered pattern with white paint over it for about 4 coats.  I allowed the fabric to dry between coats and I sanded at least twice with fine sandpaper.  I didn't go crazy with the sandpaper because you don't want to eat into the fabric with your vigor. 

See the pattern, not desirable. 

After another day working at my chair, I ended up with this final product.  Note that I do not have the original cushion.  This is because the sun obliterated it.  

*One important detail, You will want to scrub the paint into the cording of your chair.  You want there to be a good seal around the cording.  

The legs on this wingback were originally oak, yuck.  I gave them a quick coat of high gloss paint and they look fab.  

The seat is an old antique grain bag stuffed with towels and folded into itself.  I actually have another idea for the seat but it will have to wait. 

Here's another angle. This chair really has some beautiful curves. 

There is an ever so slight checkered pattern that persists.  
I set the chair right back at the same window.  We will see if the checks continue to bleed thru.  Also, I am thinking that it will hold up better in the sun.  Can't promise that, though.  It may have to be moved.  My chair makes me think of my MOM, who is now in heaven.  I have to take care of it.  

Thanks for looking! 


Friday, May 6, 2016

Whimsical Impressionistic Windows

Windows are little openings into our lives, 
They let light in and let life out...

My inspiration painting 
Years ago, I purchased a book on the country of France.  I have always been fascinated with all things 'Paris.'  I even had the opportunity to visit this wonderful country about 12 years ago, we stayed in the city of PARIS.  It was one of the highlights of my life.  I really loved it.  I loved the museums and the eating and the architecture.  It was all perfect.  

Today, I am giving you a glimpse into my studio and showing you what I have been working on for a while.  I actually have 12-14 of these all penned out on paper and am now beginning the process of adding color.  I wanted my windows to be done in a "VanGogh" style.  

Vincent VanGogh 

Vincent VanGogh 
I love all the movement in his work.  I know that he had sort of a magic that nobody can ever duplicate perfectly, but I had fun trying.  This man could paint anything in in any genre.  I fully think that he could paint picture realistic, if he chose to.  His work, to me, looks fictional but I believe that it is far from it.  I believe that everything he painted was 'there' and in fact was painted from life.  He had the ability to see movement in all that he painted.    This I love.  

These caught my eye, too.  The windows are solid and dark but it makes me wonder...WHAT IS GOING ON
BEHIND that glass??  

These were also taken into consideration when I started to pen my paintings.  As of today, I have 4 completed.  

I think these would look lovely in any room of your home.  I think I will sell the originals and place them in frames
that are painted with  Amy Howard MILK paint.  

I know that pink is a color that some people can't do, but I happen to love pink because I love and have a lot of grey in my home.  This color just naturally goes well with grey.  Here's a few closeups of the above. 

There is a lot of movement in this painting.  It is free and fun and not exact.  I love the whimsical
look of it and think it happens to be a windy day! 
HAPPY is having a house on the water...  This was a phrase that I read on the internet.  I think it's true, smile.

This was actually a real window from a book, the building was located in Montmartre. 

I love to eat.  I also love to walk to a good bakery, especially when on vacation.  I love the bakery in Chesterton, MD

This picture makes your mind wonder, is this a lobby in a hotel?  A bed and breakfast? Why is there
a book at the window.  Am I supposed to sign in?  There is a level of mystery, and I like this. 

I think the grey is beautiful and compliments all colors.  My whole house is some form of grey.  I really like the splash of red.  

Thanks for taking the time to look at my artwork!