Saturday, October 12, 2019

CHALK ART: "Swamp Humor"

After 8 straight hours, I've just finished another chalk mural for my driveway. You'd think I'd get smarter and simplify these things. Hope my back let's me get out of bed tomorrow! (In case you wondered...the turtle is not quite dry...I sometimes blend stuff with a wet brush.) It's fun to get the neighbor's reactions throughout the and grown-ups alike.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

SCULPTURE: "Weird Baby Rattle Jester"

I just finished this odd little project to surprise the grown daughter of a long-time friend of mine (from my high school days). My friend had posted a photo on FaceBook of a weird baby rattle from the 1930s. (I added the speech balloon to the photo.) Her daughter loved the rattle and wanted one. I searched online to see if I could find one for sale, but had no luck. I decided to see if I could do a facsimile of it to hang on her daughter's wall.
Here is the process...I used "Magic Sculpt" epoxy clay over a wooden base. I painted it with acrylics and gave the whole thing a very thin wash of brownish-gray to give it the aged look. then I coated the face with high gloss varnish.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

SCULPTURE: "Ostrich Dragon"

Here is my submission for the "Sculptober Challenge" (for the Shiflett Brothers Sculpting Forum on Facebook). We were asked to find a single photo of an animal that inspired us, and turn that animal into a dragon. My "Inspiration Photo" was one that I took of an ostrich on my way to Santa Barbara, CA, back in 2015 at a place called "Ostrich Land". I decided to make the palette of the dragon a lot more colorful than the ostrich. Below are images of the various stages of development. I used "Magic Sculpt" epoxy putty for this sculpture instead of my usual choice of "Sculpey" clay.
  And here is the final paint job on this creature. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

CHALK ART: "Godzilla and Friends"

Back by popular demand! ( it was one little girl who lives across the street who asked me.) I finally have some decent weather with no rain for the next few days, so it's time for some CHALK ART! The subject matter is near and dear to my heart...Godzilla and Friends. 

As luck would have it, while I was working on this yesterday, school let out early at noon. About 15 kids swarmed me, and were having a blast "running the rocks", trying not to burn up their cute little tennis shoes in the lava. (Apologies for the pink color around the rocks. I didn't have enough orange and red chalk.)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

SCULPTURE- "Steampunk Gunslinger Bot"

Today I finished a fun little project...a "Steampunk Gunslinger Bot". I love westerns and have been watching several Clint Eastwood movies lately. I did a "custom conversion" of an old "Transformer" toy that was too challenging for my little brain to turn back into a bulldozer. I completely disassembled the toy, and also used a couple of bits from a Transformer airplane toy. I created the hat from scratch.

Friday, May 31, 2019

SCULPTURE: "Steampunk Baby Dragon"

I just finished a little project that I've been working on for the last few weeks: a "Steampunk Baby Dragon!" It's a hodge-podge sculpture made from "Bondo" epoxy, wood, plastic, found objects, metal gears and "Magic Sculpt" epoxy.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

TRAVEL: Colorado Sketches

Yesterday, I returned from a 10 day trip out to Colorado to cat/house-sit for my daughter who lives in Longmont. She and her boyfriend went on a trip to Belize, while I stayed at their place. I had a range of various kinds of weather...sunny, warm, rain and snow. But I managed to get out and about to sketch and paint some. Here are the results. The oil painting at Red Rocks amphitheater was done 50/50 on-site and indoors (due to rain).

Sunday, February 24, 2019

TRAVEL: Scotland 2018 Pt. 1

This post should've been added a long time ago, but lots of things took first place in line. In August of 2018, I took a wonderful trip with my eldest daughter, Jenni, to see the Highlands of Scotland. We only stayed about a week, so we just scratched the surface of all there is to see. We chose to go to the highlands because...well, we got some good deals on the flights and lodging. We also chose to see less of the "touristy" spots, and just explore all around where we stayed.

Before I post all of the photos that I had taken, I'll begin this series with my sketches. I did not sit and draw as much as I hoped, because we were on the move to see as much as we could see. Next time, I'll plan to visit fewer places, and sit longer.
The top sketch was done while waiting in Denver Airport for our flight to London. The one below that is my view for the next 9 hours of flight...a LONG way to go!

While in London Heathrow Airport during a 6 hour layover, I drew a few weary passengers. Jenni is in the upper right sketch, catching some Z's.
On our train ride from Inverness to Thurso, I noticed an older couple that was sitting in the row behind us. Every so often, the gentleman's face would I snuck a quick photo of him, for the intent of sketching him later. On one of our train or plane trips, I sketched from the photo viewed on my iPAD.
These images below are from Inverness...a church by the River Ness downtown, and our view out of the window of our B&B apartment.
The coastal sketch below is from our backyard view of the ocean while we stayed in Thurso. The rains were always a possibility every day...a storm blew up and I had to go inside and finish the sketch from an upstairs window. The other sketch is of the ruins of Thurso Castle done on my last morning there. There is SO much to see and draw in's a wonderland!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Mom's Passing

This post is a very difficult one to write. Not because I don't have much to say...but because words wouldn't do justice. This past November 10, 2018, my Mom, DeLeath Ludwig, passed away at the age of 85. Our family is still in the middle of processing it all, dealing with the huge loss. But we were so blessed to have had her in our lives, and readily acknowledge all the good that she passed on to us. 

My Mom was one of my favorite "Sketching Buddies". For the last several years, I have enjoyed trips to my hometown of El Dorado, Arkansas, to spend a few days wandering around town to various locations to sketch. Often we'd just stay at her house and set up a still-life. Mom's health was in decline for some years, and she was hooked up to oxygen much of the time. In fact, in her final days, she and I had talked about how she could have died many times over in the last 15 years, with all she battled with. But on the days that she felt good enough, she'd be sketching and painting watercolors almost every single day. We have a legacy of many, many sketchbooks that she filled up.

I will miss you, Mom...and I look forward to sketching with you again, when I meet you in Heaven!!


This post is quite late...I thought I had already put this on my blog. Back in September of 2018, I once again participated in the Brush Creek Artist Walk in Kansas City. I was fortunate to win one of the first place ribbons for my painting of one of KC's famous fountains down on the Plaza. In the photo above I'm flanked by our judge, Mark Alan Anderson, and Alex Hamil, BCAW Director, who is holding my blue ribbon.

Below is a close-up of my two submissions...a Sycamore tree and the Indian on a horse battling with an alligator.
The surprising thing about my first place win was that the original painting was a "nocturne" that was a complete "bust", because the fountain lights that were usually turned on, were NOT on for some reason. But my Mother had suggested that I use that work as an underpainting and to head back to the same location during the daylight. I did that...and Mom's suggestion paid off!! You can see the two phases of the painting below.
The next photos are of one of the "quick paints" that we did during the weekend. I'm in the middle of the crowd below.  I decided to tackle a painting of a big sycamore tree with the sunlight coming through the branches.
Below are two other paintings I did that were not entered into the show. The first was an early morning attempt...other two locations were done in late afternoon.

It was fun to hang out with some artists I have not seen in a while, and to make some new friends who had also come to paint.