Friday, July 21, 2017

Kayaking with the Kiddo

Kayaking at Stockton Lake

Last Sunday, my daughter finally ventured out of the protected lake cove we usually kayak around. We were up on Stockton Lake, here in Missouri, and circumnavigated the largest island on the lake. It was directly across from the launch ramp and adjacent to the deep quarry that they pulled stone from in order to dam the Sac River. My friend Dean accompanied us on his inflatable kayak.

Kayaking at Stockton Lake

Kayaking at Stockton Lake

Kayaking at Stockton Lake

Kayaking at Stockton Lake

Proud of her for venturing out of her comfort zone. She may me outgrowing her paddle, though. I may have to make her a new one this winter or figure out a way to ferrule on an extension in the middle.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Recent Artwork

Just a brag post on some recent artwork that I've knocked out.

First up, a sad and lifeless chickadee that my dog took down a little over a month ago. I love my little beagle/boarder collie mix, but she's an asshole to any small creature that finds its way into our backyard. She's killed squirrels, moles, rabbits, mice and now a songbird.

A chickadee that my dog downed about a month ago.

A watercolor of a Fiestaware coffee mug in good lighting.

Coffee mug

Scrap wood fox silhouette.

Fox silhouette A shipping pallet Moby D.

White whale wall decor

Baking apples from a neighbor's trees.

When neighbors give you baking apples...

With an hour to kill last Saturday, I peddled over to the nearest cemetery and sketched one of the cooler headstones. I'd sketched her before, only in graphite pencil, about a year and a half ago.

Had an hour to kill, plein air sketching in Hazelwood Cemetery

Revisited Hazelwood Cemetery at lunch today and had the chance to shade in last week's headstone sketch.

I'm only one donut away from a dozen. It's taken me months to paint the series. Hoping to knock out the last one by the end of the week.

3 more till I have a dozen donuts in watercolor.

Donut 10: Birthday Cake

Donut 11: Old Fashioned

And that's about it. Little rhyme or reason to the subject material, but that's how my art rolls. It's all ADD like me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout - July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

I had plans to be on Stockton Lake for the entire weekend, but my Subaru crapped out on me a few days ahead of time and I had to settle for Sunday, only. At least the weather was nice, if not particularly windy. Not much to report other than that, having missed out on most of the camaraderie.

I'll let the pics tell what story there is.

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

Stockton Lake Messabout July 2017

In conclusion, I plan to turn my little skin-on-frame sailing canoe into a trimaran this winter. The outrigger makes the boat so much more stable, whether sailing or paddling. I can stand up in the boat and paddle with it installed, without it, I dump while paddling on my knees.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Art Shack Goes 3D

Shed frame is up.

I spent much of the weekend in my backyard, making sawdust and hammering away at an eight foot cube of 2x4s. I'm pretty excited, the Art Shack has gone three dimensional. It may be a few weeks until I can afford to sheath it or slap up a roof, but I'm happy with the weekend's progress.

The shed has started to go 3D.

The art shed has started to go 3D.

As a side note, here are a couple of recycled/reclaimed wood art decor pieces that I've recently done. The darker of the two, you can see a video of me making it, here Missouri recycled wood silhouette.

Missouri recycled wood silhouette.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Old School Slingshot Project

Slingshot project

Today, I finished up a quick little slingshot project that I started Saturday morning from storm debris. A heavy straight-line wind storm system hit on Friday and there were downed trees, branches and other random things all over town.

Slingshot project

I started by stripping the bark off with my Morakniv. Then, I cut the notches on the arms and nuked the Y in a series of 30 second bursts in the microwave to dry the wood out. After, I sanded the piece down with a couple of different grained sandpapers.

I masked off the parts that I wanted to paint with masking tape and painted some watered down acrylic onto the handle. After it dried, I hit it with some spray acrylic clear coat.

Slingshot project

Once everything was dry, I bought a tapered slingshot band and lashed it on with waxed thread that is similar to artificial sinew. And BOOM! A slingshot is born.

A slingshot is born.

It's a lot of fun. I shot at a box for a bit around lunch hour. It's a little too heavy of a pull for my daughter, so I'll likely make a second one for her with easier to pull flat bands.

As a side, I did a bit of whittling on some downed walnut branches last night and made this little stir-fry spatula. It was a test for bigger projects. I now know that I can make a passable. utensil with just my knife and some sand paper.

Some walnut limbs came down in a storm Friday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Canoe Sailing Lake Springfield

The added outrigger certainly adds stability.

Saturday, I finally had a chance to head down to Lake Springfield for a few hours to test out the skin-on-frame canoe's outrigger that I recently fashioned from a 2x4, some off-cut bits of wood and a couple of old spars I shortened and reshaped into iakos/crossbeams. It added a lot of stability to the canoe. At just shy of 12 feet long and maybe 32-33 inches wide, it's never going to be a speedy sailing craft, but with 45 square feet of sail up, it was a little too white knuckled without the reaction time an outrigger gives you. I can even paddle on my knees, which is how I dumped the boat last summer, within the first five minutes of hitting the lake.

One thing I really like about the new setup, I can now easily drop the sail, spread it over the iakos and paddle in dead stretches of wind and under bridges or trees. I'd never tried to sail a thin river channel lake like this and it was more fun than I was anticipating. It took an otherwise plain stretch of water and made it into something more adventurously navigated.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Show - Phelps Grove's Art in the Garden

Yesterday, I was honored to participate in the Phelp's Grove neighborhood's Art in the Garden event. I had 20 pieces on display, in various different art mediums - watercolor, pastel pencil and pyrography wood burning.

My artwork, today, at Phelps Grove neighborhood's  Art in the Garden event.

I've been invited back next year and hope to have more work on display, as well as inexpensive art prints to sell. I got a lot of great feedback and managed to sell a few pieces. Just enough to maybe fund faze two in the construction of my daughter's backyard shed art studio project. It's currently a painted foundation. Hoping to pick up framing lumber this week.

Friday, June 9, 2017

My... dog... has... fleas...

I am about as musically inclined as a chimpanzee swinging a rock and a stick in his semi-opposable mitts. My daughter, however, has been taking voice and piano for a few years and just got into Drury Songbirds Girls Choir. (That's a brag post, son!)

Ukulele

Anywho, we had a garage sale last weekend and with her proceeds, she bought us matching Kala Waterman ukuleles. An absolutely sweet gesture and I'm super excited about them. I've been playing it non-stop since last Saturday. It's a lot of fun! I'm also excited about it's waterproofness and relative weather resistance. I can take the sucker camping! It's going to annoy everyone, woohoo!

Ukulele

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lately.

I've been very busy with work, lately, and haven't really done much worth offering to the public. What free time I've had has seen me with my nose firmly planted in books on the subject of tiny houses and shed/shack building. I'm in the process of building an 8x8 clubhouse and art studio for my eight-year-old daughter. Dubbed "The Art Shack", with a few side jokes on calling it The Fart Shack, but pronouncing it Art Shack because the F is silent but deadly, it'll be largely based on a shed design I saw a dozen years ago or more in ReeadyMade Magazine. Google "Blazona MD100" for more info and pics. I'm sketching out a slightly smaller version, since the original is a 10x10.

I currently have the foundation put together. Framing, etc., will go up as I have the cash available for materials this summer.

The Art Shack foundation went together this morning. So far, artwork has paid for the materials.

The Art Shack foundation is decked over

Here is an art piece that I've done recently. It's a crappie fish in pyrography and acrylic. I've got an upcoming art show on June 11 that I'm prepping for and hope to have a few more similar items knocked out by then.

Crappie fish in pyrography and acrylic.

And lastly, I've been messing around with homemade river cane bamboo ink pens, again. Fun to play with. I like the highly uneven line quality of them.I'll probably post more work with them this summer.

Playing with the river cane bamboo pens again. Had a few free minutes.

Playing with the river cane bamboo pens again. Had a few free minutes.

Playing with the river cane bamboo pens again. Had a few free minutes.