Thursday, January 31, 2019

Beans & Biscuits

I finished this carving last week.  So the next step is determining just how to present it.   As I've done a number of Chuck Wagon Cooks in the past I want to make this one unique from those.  Now I could just mount him on a base by himself but by adding another detail apart from him it creates a more complete story.  The addition of a Dutch Oven which will eventually be filled with baked biscuits does the trick.

I don't know his name, but just looking at him I can tell he is one, crusty individual.  By the looks of that belly I can also tell he's a fan of his own cooking.  Also, by his holding a kerosene lantern it must be pretty early in the morning and while I'm sure the cowboys waking up will be hungry I seriously doubt if they'll appreciate having beans for breakfast.  The circular cutout, while still a little large, will make a nice platform for the scene.  I thought about adding a coffee pot but I think that would crowd the composition. 

So, the scene and the story is complete and the only thing left is the painting and putting everything together.   Hope you like him.   And comments welcome as always. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Po Campo

Here Is "Po Campo", from the Larry McMurtry book, Lonesome Dove.  I'm sure that most of you following this Blog have certainly seen the Lonesome Dove series on TV so you no doubt know the character I'm referring to.  One of the character's main features is that, when being hired as cook,  he offered Gus and Woodrow some tasty Grasshoppers as an example of his cooking.  Must have been good as he was hired on the spot.  I may have taken a couple liberties with him by adding the earring and the cigarillo, but other than that I think he would pass muster.  

As you can see by the bug on the base, I added a Grasshopper to carry the theme of the piece as it needed something to finish the piece and that little addition did the trick. 
I have to thank my good friend Jerry Smyers for the suggestion.   That little insect will certainly add some fun to the piece.   I made the body and attached legs of him from a piece of basswood and the feet from bent 16 gauge wire.  He's anchored by a 1/8" dowel.  He took a while to paint, probably longer than the figure of Po Compo!

Anyway I hope you like him and will look forward to your comments as I always do. 

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Bitterroot Bill

Here's the first one of 2019.  Yep...another Mountain Man.  Along with Native Americans I just can't seem to get away from these guys.  No doubt because they can be so colorful and fun to paint.  Maybe fun isn't the right word.  How about challenging?  That knife sheaf took an entire day and a throbbing headache to complete.

As you've probably noticed, I've been pretty lax in posting over the past month or so.  I won't apologize as the cause is what we'll all face or have faced over time......Hitting the Wall!  Sometimes the desire to be creative  just seems to disappear.  It might last a couple days, weeks or a month or more.  I thought maybe our yearly trip out west to Jackson, WY in September, and a couple weeks of seeing whats going on in the Galleries and watching other artists at work in Quick Draw events in both Jackson and at the Buffalo Bill Museum would be the cure.  Nope!   Didn't work.  Fortunately, I think I'm finally coming out of the creative funk as the desire is starting to move back in.  At least I hope it does. 

So, as the New Year starts, let's hope we all are charged up to face it with new ideas and the will to get them done and off the workbench.  

All the best,  Lynn

Howdy Pardner!

Our Son brought this one up over Christmas to get a repair.  The hat was originally held in the hand which had broken and come apart.   While repairing that I thought it would be a good time to take everything apart and tune up the entire piece.  

To make things a lot stronger and lessen the chance it might break again, I carved new hands and placed the hat on the back of the figure.  I also replaced the 1/8" inch dowels previously holding everything together with a larger size which made it much sturdier.  Lastly, after a good scrubbing with some soap and water, I refinished everything with a new coat of Minwax Satin finish varnish.   Now, it should last at least another 50 but I'll bet it's around a lot longer than that.

As you can see, the colors held up perfectly and, having originally using a varnish vs. the dreaded BLO, the wear of passing years could be cleaned up easily and redone.  That's a good lesson if you want your pieces to stand the test of time.  

Hope you like him!