Thursday, October 5, 2017

Natchez, Mississippi

Last week, I had the fortune to head south about nine hours to Natchez, MS. It's a historic town along the Mississippi River with many intact and functioning antebellum homes and plantations, awash in live oaks, Spanish moss, vintage decor and stories of tragic mortality rates and man's inhumanity to man. Damn beautiful, though.

I won't drop all of my pics, here, though. I culled through the 500 or so that I took and whittled them down to just shy of 100. You can see all of them on my Flickr account, HERE.

The backstory is this, my employer heads down to Natchez every year for Fall Pilgrimage. She stays at some friends B&B each year and presents tours in full costume several times a week for three weeks. I just got back from six days of it, two of which I was painting in the rear garden, by the fountain and narrating a bit about the fountain being made from Natchez brick that was recycled from a foundation on a nearby plantation.

Nearly at arrival, sunset through burning cotton fields.

On the way to Natchez, Mississippi

The B&B that we stayed at, Oak Hill Inn. Run by two incredibly nice guys that make a damn good breakfast.

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

I presented and painted on Sunday and Wednesday. I also did a bit of art in between.

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Dining room center piece, Oak Hill Inn, Natchez, Mississippi

Pleasant Hill, Natchez, Mississippi

And on the off days we toured the other homes on display (and at least one that wasn't).

Sunnyside B&B

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Rosalie Mansion

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Longwood Mansion (unfinished, due to the Civil War starting during its construction and wiping out the family fortune)

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Arlington Plantation (which some crazy bastard is just letting go to waste.)

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Windsor Ruins

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

St. Mary Basilica

Natchez, Mississippi

Lots more pics at the link at the top. I'll just stop here, otherwise I'll make a bigger mess of this post. ;)

PS. (can you PS a blog?) There appears to be a statue of me at Monmouth Plantation. Or it might be a past owner. I'm not currently working on time traveling to the mid-1800s Deep South, so could go either way.

Natchez, Mississippi

Monday, September 18, 2017

An Update on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Painting

My Laura Ingalls Wilder home painting fetched an astounding $450 at auction Friday night.

My wife, daughter and I, and a few coworkers, attended the 150th Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum birthday event on Friday evening, in Mansfield, Missouri. Our advertising agency produced much of the promotional materials for the event, including a painting that I made of the family farmhouse on the grounds. The painting fetched an astounding $450 at auction. Which is the most money any of my work has ever gone for and goes to help in the preservation of the historic literary site of the museum.

This pyrography and acrylic rainbow trout is next on the auction block, for Dynamic Strides Therapy's fundraiser in mid-October.

This pyrography and acrylic rainbow trout is going to a charity auction next month.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Small Craft Advisor Magazine

Small Craft Advisor Magazine is one of two that I read fairly regularly and have for maybe 8-9 years, SCA and WoodenBoat Magazine. I can't remember the exact circumstances, but some time back I replied to a call for entries about First Boats and how users got into boating. My response was printed in the September/October 2017 issue. Which I find pretty darn cool. :)

Printed submission in Sep/Oct 2017 Small Craft Advisor magazine. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Box of Twelve Donuts

I have finally completed this watercolor series. A full dozen donuts by local fried bread sugar legends, Hurts Donut.

One dozen donut watercolors.

One dozen donut watercolors.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Smoking a Tri-tip

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

A week ago, I decided to try my hand at smoking meat. I had seen a couple of videos where guys had done some smoking in-camp and in their backyards and figured I'd give it a go. Starting simple, I went with a short smoke option — a tri-tip steak. Also, I only have an 18" Weber grill, so I had to get creative and poke around the internet to see how others had done it before.

I started by making my own spice rub, then I cut the fat cap from the meat and slathered on some Guinness mustard from Red Top Oven, a local condiment maker at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. The mustard acts as glue for the spices.

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

I lit my coals, got a pan of water ready and soaked my hickory chips for a couple of hours before that. After lightly searing the meat on both sides, I set it on the opposite side of the coals to smoke (see video at bottom of post).

About 1:45 minutes later, I had some pretty kick-ass homemade BBQ. I actually overcooked it a hair, I was shooting for more of a medium rare, but went over on my temps some. It was still really good at more of a medium.

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

At the end of the smoke, I still had enough coals and the setup ready that I decided to smoke the Horrmann Meat Co. brats and dogs I had for the BBQ later that evening (the tri-tip also came from Horrmann). They came out just as well as the tri-tip, smoking them about 45 minutes a side before searing them over the coals towards the end.

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

Smoking a tr-tip, brats and dogs

We had a few people over that evening and very little food leftover the next day, so I'll count that as quite a success. :)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Painting for Work

Sketched the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, Missouri, yesterday, for work.

Earlier this week, I was on-site at the Laura Ingalls Wilder home and museum in Mansfield, Missouri, painting the main farm house. The illustration is to be used in a PSA for the museum and will be auctioned off during an upcoming fundraiser event. It was fun and very generous of my employer to donate our time and efforts to the museum. It's a neat place, with some great artifacts and I hope to take my daughter out there soon to see them. She is just starting the books.

Sketched the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, Missouri, yesterday, for work.

Sketched the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, Missouri, yesterday, for work.

This is just a random extra, painted from my mother's garden in Michigan last week.

Stones in watercolor, from my mom's garden.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Watercolors from the Weekend

Some watercolor paintings I made over the past few days. We spent more time at home than we normally do and I decided to be productive in our slower-than-normal weekend.

Bear

Brown Bear

This one needs an into, I guess. It was sketched from a few photos I found on Flickr of some folk art type festival costumes in Spain. I just found them very interesting and I'd meant to sketch them for a couple of years.

Painted from a Flickr contact's pics. I found them interesting and imaginative.

This last one is a commissioned piece from my mom. She has a friend that she wanted to give some artwork to.

My mom commissioned this one for a friend.