Thursday, April 19, 2018

Work Cubed

Cube view

Our video department at work moved into new digs, yesterday. We moved our studio up from the seventh floor to the eighth and our offices from the east side of the building to the west. I went from a personal office to being housed with the other two video guys. Seeing that I'm easily distracted, I built myself some walls from scrap wood and a pound of 2" finishing nails.

Building a Cubicle

Building a Cubicle

I made the cube in three easy-to-move chunks that wood screw together to make a single L-shaped piece. It's rough, but saved us a good bit of change in not having to buy some drab grey pieces from an office supplier.

Building a Cubicle

Cubicle installed

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cigar Box Ukulele

Completed cigar box ukulele

Over the weekend, I finished up the cigar box ukulele build. It's a tenor size uke, with a wood burned hibiscus pattern face, hammered tambourine jingle for the tailpiece, poplar neck, toothpick frets and it is fashioned from a Padron cigar box. It sounds and looks great and aside from having to adjust the hight of the action a hair, I'm quite happy with it.

Wood burning a hibiscus pattern on the cigar box ukulele

Completed cigar box ukulele

How it sounds.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Weekend in Sawdust

A little over a week ago, I tweaked my left ankle pretty badly on a 6.8 mile night hike at Hercules Glades Wilderness. So, my plans to wander the hills of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, painting weird and wonderful architecture in the old part of town were scrapped and I decided not to stray too far from home. I did, however, make a bit of sawdust.

First up, I promised an Episcopal Church acquaintance that I'd do another art piece for charity auction. She's involved with Habitat for Humanity and I did a piece for her last year (the first pic below.)

Missouri recycled pallet artwork/decor.

This year, I decided to step it up, slightly. Still largely a reclaimed pallet project, but I added a thin sheet of nicely veneered plywood to the cutout.

Missouri state silhouette, charity donation piece.


Next up! The big-ass red oak stump! I'm turning this sucker into a table for my daughter's clubhouse that I'm in the middle of building. I attacked it with a chisel, drawknife and palm sander. I still need to varnish it and maybe add small locking casters to the bottom. The chunk of fire wood is incredibly heavy.

Making a big ol’ red oak mess today... and a stool/table.

Stump table in the making.

Thirdly! My cigar box ukulele project is coming along nicely, as well. This is the fourth musical instrument project. It features the same neck and headstock shape as the tambourine banjolele, but I was given a chunk of bone that I've used for the nut. I am currently sketching a hibiscus pattern on the face in order to wood burn before I fix the neck permanently.

Cigar box ukulele neck is shaped, now for frets and tuner placement.

Cigar box ukulele coming along nicely.

And just for good measure, here are my plans for the next musical instrument project. It's a simple cross between a gourd minstrel banjo and an Appalachian mountain banjo, using a vintage teak bowl for the pot and I recently bought a walnut plank for the fretboard. I'll likely make the neck from poplar. Other bits like the nut and bridge will be bone or antler if I can get ahold of some and I'll be using goat or calfskin for the tacked on head.

Making full-size banjo plans

Monday, February 26, 2018

On a Farm West of Town (pic heavy)

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

A little over a week ago, my photographer buddy Dean Groover and I drove out to some property his family recently purchased and did a bit of exploring. I met Dean over 20 years ago, when I first worked for my uncle's ad agency, four advertising agencies ago. He was living and working in California and was hired on a few large projects we put together. He's been back in Springfield for a few years, though. Luckily, we kept in touch. Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Walking a farm in Republic, Missouri

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Watercolor Diorama / Shadow Box - Finished Art

Boom! Done!

Brown bear watercolor diorama

The next one, I plan to be a little more intricately layered. This proves I had the right idea on how to make one, though.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Watercolor Diorama / Shadow Box

Last night, I decided to try my hand at making a shadow box diorama in watercolor. I repainted a bear illustration that I painted flat last year sometime and planned it out to do in layered stages. It's a simple diorama with only three layers, but it gave me a chance to think outside the box, but inside this box. The box being an old toolbox drawer that I had laying around in the garage with random nails and screws filling it.

I plan to do some more of these in the near future. I like the medium and want to do some more intricate designs. I certainly have plenty of old drawers and cigar boxes laying around, just waiting to be upcycled.

Brown Bear Diorama

This weekend, I'll be headed to the hardware store to see about putting a thin plexiglass front on the box.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A few random sketches.

Honestly, I haven't drawn or painted much, lately. Just too busy and I've also been fiddling with music more in my free time, such as it is. I completely suck at playing music, but building instruments and seeing how they sound is pretty damn fun. Kinda like all the other stuff I cobble together in my tiny one-car garage.

Sketching at Ritter Springs Park


A quick watercolor self portrait. Trying to make myself do more artwork. Kinda lost my momentum in fall.

I may make a push in March to do a shitload of pencil sketching. Much like I did a couple of Februarys ago. I think I knocked out 54 sketches in 28 days that month. Lots of fun and I improved greatly over the course of the exercise. Depends on if I start the full-size banjo build I want to attempt. So, no breath holding.