Sunday, May 29, 2016

Decorative Butcher Block Whale, Part 1

A whale of a good idea! 
 I have this idea of making decorative butcher blocks that are functional for cutting and displaying food but are also beautiful when not in use.  

 I drew a pattern and had this made.   What do you think? 

The depth is 1 1/2 inches
It is made out of strips of solid walnut and capable of cutting many onions or whatever!  This butcher block is made by a professional craftsperson from the good ole' USA and custom designed by myself.  The quality is as good as anything I have seen.   

The idea is that you can sit this whale on your counter when not in use and it will  still be attractive.  Cut
on one side, painted on the other!

Just for the sake of blogging, I have photographed it on my table in my seashell room.  I designed it to self-stand.  

Check out the rounded edges!  This is the side that will be painted.  
The craftsman followed my design to the T, the finish is incredible. 

I am bummed to say that I set this on my kitchen counter on olive oil and the darker marks were made as a result.    Oh well, it is a butcher block. 

This is the side that will remain UNPAINTED.  You can cut away on it!  You can treat your butcher block with HOWARD BUTCHER BLOCK CONDITIONER.  This can be purchased at Walmart or any similar place.  I am going to be selling this one of a kind piece soon on ETSY.  

Check back for the next entry on my blog,  Decorative Butcher Block Whale, part 2.  I will show how I painted it along with some pictures of it in my  greasy kitchen! (LOL)


Friday, May 27, 2016

Show Paintings for September 2016 ~ The Bedminster Doylestown Art Show

Nautical Paintings for my UpCOMING 

Doylestown, PA Show (formerly called the Bedminster show)

in September 2016 

I am starting to stock pile paintings.  It is necessary for me to set aside artwork so that I am not painting "last minute" slipshod  artwork.  As I have said, I like to take my time and work thru the process and produce great stuff!! 

I removed the drape along the side as it was too distracting.  

I added ropes on either side of the red curtain and it looks really nice 
I got lucky when I picked up these frames on the two larger pieces, as they are identical in size.  I love how it all goes together.  Three of the four of these (above) were part of a painting that was all attached.  I decided that I disliked the frame and that it would sell better if they were smaller paintings.  

I love the crackled canvas.  Because they are not on paper, they are not behind glass.  

You can see how they all sort of meld together and the colors blend well.  This is important to me, as I want all of my artwork to hang well together, should you decide to buy them all! I added the little boater in the front left of the round piece.  That is why I included this piece in this batch, I know that I already had blogged about the round piece.  

Enjoy! Thanks for looking.  Let me know if you would like some free tickets to the Doylestown, PA show in September! 

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!