Category Archives: Lewis Art

Fun Afternoon

I wish I could say the painting of the tree above is ‘mine,’ but it isn’t. Some talented person painted it, then someone else tagged it to put on pinterest. I don’t even know who the credit should go to. :0(

I’ve had a fun afternoon finishing painting presents for Christmas.

I love thinking of my friends as I paint, trying to do something I hope they’ll like. It fills me with the Christmas spirit – the joy of giving.

Tomorrow, when the paint is dry, I’ll wrap up the last of the presents for our good friends. I’ll give them to people based on if I’ll see them again before Christmas or not. I love a month where you’re deciding when you’ll try to make your friends happy with something you’ve bought or made especially for them. We should do this many times a year, I think…

 

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Filed under Attitude, Childlike Fun, Lewis Art

Santa is UP

We put our Santa mailbox decoration up this morning. I’m not sure if you can tell it from this picture, but the white of his beard, the snowball and fur on his hat, his eyebrows, mustache, and bands on his mittens are all textured with SnoTex, so they have a 3-D feeling. I like that stuff a lot.

We have a mystery, though.

I asked my husband if he would get the mailbox decoration that has two children on either side of a Christmas tree so that we could put it up today. He came back, saying he couldn’t find that one, but had brought back Santa. I went out to the shop and looked through the decorations and I couldn’t find it, either!

I don’t know if I’m losing my mind or what! I can’t find any pictures of the decoration, so there seems to be no record of our making it. I’ll have to look on the net and see if I can find it again. Could I have DREAMED we cut it out and painted it?

Kind of rattles my confidence a bit…

 

 

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Filed under holidays, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations

Thanksgiving Mailbox Decoration

We put the turkey up on the mailbox yesterday. I’m starting to get into the swing of Thanksgiving, finally.

We have our good friend, Nora, coming for dinner, and are hoping that another friend, Carla, will also be free. I have the fixings for our dinner in the house, and will move the turkey from the freezer to the fridge to start thawing on Monday.

I’m thankful for so many things this year –

  • My good friends from Lunch Bunch,
  • My husband playing ball with our ‘puppy,’ Amber, who now officially weighs 81 lbs at 8 months old, and keeping me company while I made two more 39 gallon trash bags full of leaf mulch this afternoon,
  • having a fun family of my husband, two dogs, two cats, and four fish up here in a house we love on top of a ridge line,
  • our son MAY be coming home from Thailand for a visit in February,
  • my husband and I are free to spend our days enjoying our lives and each other with very few serious problems

I hope that you’re looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with people you love in a warm, dry place, filling your bellies with good food, and your hearts with good cheer.

 

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Creativity

GrowingBolder.com via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m having fun trying to make Christmas presents for friends and family. I don’t work in my art room every day, but I’m making progress. I’m doing some things I’ve never tried before, so I’m not sure they’ll be successful – in fact, I did some things and ended up tossing them because I really didn’t like the way they turned out. If I keep at it, though, I hope I can make something people will like.

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The Best Compliment Ever

Awhile back I posted that I had closed down my website, Creative Artworks, after about 17 years. I had the work of several artists besides myself displayed, and I had the best time promoting our work, plus made some good friends. Then it got to the point where a small group of artists were actually working with me, helping me keep our standards high, helping me with contests, keeping their part of the website up to date. There was a larger and larger group of people who were just there. I actually had some who embarrassed me. We would get an order. I would email them, and they would respond, “Oh, I haven’t made those in a year.” I would have to refund money, disappoint a customer, and creat something for them to try to show them how sorry I was for their inconvenience. When this happened more and more, I decided to shut down Creative Artworks. I keep my own work on ArtFire.com and Etsy.com.

I received a phone call at about 6:30 yesterday evening. It took me two tries of the man saying his name before I recognized who he was. This was a customer of mine for whom I had painted and personalized wooden ornaments. He tried to go to Creative Artworks, finding the link no longer took him to the site. He tried emailing me at the email address I used for business, and the email bounced. So he called me, still having my phone number from the last custom order!

He wants me to paint and personalize more ornaments for him! I was astounded that he went to so much trouble to contact me. I had tears in my eyes while I was trying to talk to him. He now has my regular email address and we’ll work out the details of which ornaments he wants, how many, and possibly for multiple years, but I’m still tearing up.  Of COURSE, he’ll get a nice discount on whatever he decides to order. :0)

What a beautiful compliment! To say this warm feeling has started off my Friday well is a vast understatement.

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Lewis Mailbox Decoration – First Half of November

This is the front of the Sylvester and Tweetie Pie mailbox decoration. My favorite thing about this one is that my husband was able to weld on whiskers for Sylvester and hair on Tweetie Pie without burning through the metal – a hard thing to do!

 

Here’s the back of the piece.

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Fun in My Art Room

Yesterday afternoon I finished digging out the iris from the backyard planter. (I still need to make sure the planter is completely cleaned out, add more potting mix and  replant some of the iris, but I declared victory for the day.)

I rewarded myself with some time in my art room.

I’m working on some Christmas presents for my good friends from Lunch Bunch. (Shhhhh!  It’s a secret!) The time flies by while I’m up there, thinking of my friends and trying to make something I hope they’ll enjoy. I have quite a few things to make, so I’m hoping I can sneak up there a lot in the coming weeks.

I also have some refurbishing to do on some of our yard art. Our ‘box turtle”

needs an eye re-glued, plus some touch up on peeling pain on his back.

 

I found some orange “neon” paint. I repaint the orange on both sides of the jack-o-lantern, hoping the paint will make him pop when headlights hit him next year.

 

We have an 8 foot tall (with stem and leaves) metal flower attached to a power pole in the back yard. Some wasps figured out a way to get between the metal of the flower and the plastic saucer type thing we glued to the center and covered with glass beads. We think our spraying has finally at least caused the wasps to relocate, if not die outright – so we’ll bring this into the shop. I’ll remove the center piece, clean everything up, caulk the center back on and replace the glass pieces that have fallen off.

I’ll work my way around the yard, repairing things as best I can. We’re also looking to repair some other critters still in the shop so that we can attach them to the ham radio tower extra length part we stood in concrete recently.

We have a few things in the shop that need to be repaired or finished that we can hang on here, plus critters we make in the future. This will be our “Critter Tree.” :0)

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Favorite Things, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, Lewis projects, Lewis yard art

Lewis Halloween Mailbox Decoration # 2

We took the Jack-O-Lantern down this morning and took it back to the shop. I’ll clean it carefully and then use some really bright, neon orange paint to see if I can get it to show up better at night when car lights hit it.

 

We put our ghost up for the rest of the month. This is the back of the piece.

 

This is the front. It’s funny, but this is one of our most simple pieces. It shows up at night better than anything we’ve made before or since. I love his happy expression. I hope he brings a smile or two.

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Filed under holidays, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations, metal art

Mailbox Decoration – Jack-O-Lantern

We just put this jack-o-lantern mailbox decoration up. This is the back of the piece.

 

And this is the front. I wish he glowed in the dark…

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Scarecrow Mailbox Decoration

This is the back of the scarecrow mailbox decoration. You can see where I tried to blend in the mounting hardware tube into his legs and the straw coming out of his jeans.

 

This is the front. This piece was fun to paint, trying to make his overalls look like denim.

He definitely makes it look as if fall has arrived, although we’re having two weeks of temps into the 90s in the afternoon with strong sun. They’re saying that by the end of next week, we could actually see some more reasonable fall-like temperatures. We’re really ready.

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Mailbox Decoration

Yesterday we changed our mailbox decoration on the way to Lunch Bunch. This is Wyle E. Coyote paying Sonic the Hedgehog to strangle the Roadrunner. This is the back of the piece. My husband is pleased with this one because we managed to add a bit of 3-dimenionsal quality to it with the legs welded onto the main piece.

 

Here’s the front of it.

The school bus goes by our driveway on week days. I hope that the kids get a kick out of seeing what we put on the mailbox.

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Thing Two – Tower for Critters

We had an extra section of tower when we got the parts for our ham radio tower awhile back. My husband had put it in the pile of stuff we would take to the next city clean-up. I suggested we use it to display some of the critters we make.

My husband made a form recently and dug the hole a couple of days ago. Yesterday we got 4 bags of Ready-Crete, mixed them up and poured the concrete for the tower. This pic shows the project before we started mixing the concrete.

 

Here’s a close-up of the hold before the concrete was poured.

We plan to attach things like shovel birds, dragonflies, and other weird things we make to the tower at various points. The tower is beside our ‘watermelon’ propane tank and will greet people when they get to the top of our driveway.

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Steam Bath

It’s the chicken and the egg question – we’re not sure if WE brought back the hot weather by putting this up on the mailbox on the 15th, or if it would have come anyway. If it’s our fault for the 95 degree weather plus a heat index making it feel like 106, we apologize. It’s always hot in Arkansas in the summer, and particularly in August. This year has been so wonky, though, with the grass staying green all summer, rather than turning brown and crunchy, that we got spoiled. It’s like a steam bath out there now.  This is the back of the piece. I tried to blend the support bar into his feet.

 

Here’s the front.  We thought this decoration wouldn’t be appropriate in that we’ve had so much rain, but that won’t be a problem much longer.

 

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And We Pronounce It Finished!

 

We just hung up the Sun/Moon Metal Wall Hanging, pronouncing it finally, “Finished.”

 

It’s about 4 feet across by 2-1/2 feet high. The moon is a separate piece.

We hung it in our office, over my computer area. I learned a lot doing this piece, and look forward to doing more air brush work.

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4th Time is the Charm?

Dodecapod.Com

This is the wall hanging we’re trying to make.

Yesterday I scraped off all the yellow my husband insisted we add. I’m going to paint those parts either black or the background color. When those dry, I told my husband we could add a BIT of yellow to some of the sun flame ends. Hopefully, we can agree this time that the piece is officially finished.

One really nice thing – my husband decided that instead of being forced to buy cans of compressed air to hook to the air brush, he would run a line from our air compressor over to my art table! He spent most of the day on the project yesterday, after we went to Yeagers and bought 30 feet of pvc pipe, some attachments, etc.  He had ordered a regulator from the net, plus 6 feet of hose, plus a DVD on how we are supposed to be using the air brush. We need to get another adaptor at Yeagers today, but the project is almost done!

Please wish us luck?

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Tasmanian Devil Mailbox Decoration

We put up another of our favorite cartoon characters – The Tasmanian Devil – on the mailbox today. This is the back of the piece.

 

And this is the front. We hope he gives people a smirk or laugh as they drive by.

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3rd Time?

the afterlife of billy fingers via cathy ruggiero

Now my husband wants me to add more yellow to the sun/moon piece with the air brush.

I’ve quit worrying now about whether its ‘good’ or not, and am concentrating on having fun with the air brush, plus making something my husband is happy with. I’m really enjoying the experimenting with a totally new kind of painting. We’ve ordered a set of air brush paint, empty bottles for each color we use, plus an adapter and hose so we can hook it to the air compressor in the shop, rather than having to use a can.

So far, we’re learning to clean the system properly, keep it going, and adjust the spray a bit. I’m hoping to find a video on YouTube so I can watch someone who knows what he/she is doing.

Learning a new technique opens up a whole new world of possibilities, making your mind race and your mouth water.

So, maybe the third time is the charm on the sun/moon metal wall hanging and maybe it isn’t. We’re having fun in the trying.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Childlike Fun, Lewis Art, metal art

Finished for the 2nd Time…

This shows you the sun/moon metal wall hanging after I masked parts in order to use the air brush for shading.

 

Tracing paper is off. Finishing touches are ready to be done.

 

Offset ‘moon’ ready for mounting on the piece.

 

The piece is now drying. I’ll take a final pic when this is up on the wall in the office.

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Hooray! It’s Sprinkling!!!

Daily Express

We’re having a wonderful afternoon.

First, it rained overnight and it’s sprinkling again now. We’re thankful for every drop.

My husband is on the driveway pad working on drilling holes in the antenna spokes for the ham radio tower and running a new length of wire around it. He says the sprinkling rain feels super good. :0)

I just came in from doing three things:

Thing One: 

I harvested two of my first-ever spaghetti squash!

 

When I bought one from the store, I washed the seeds and dried them. This spring I planted a couple of seeds in the house in small pots just to see if they would sprout. Not only did they sprout, they did well enough I transferred the plants into my raised bed square foot garden. The plants continued to do well, making yellow blooms and vines. As the other things in the garden came out, I just let the vines go where they wanted to in the squares. I harvested these two today. They’re almost as large as the ones I buy at the store. I have at least three more in the garden, and this was from TWO seeds!  I also got a handful of ripe grape tomatoes to add to my stash. :0)

Thing Two:

My husband and I took Amber with us out to the garden and then into the shop. She was wearing the new electronic collar. The whole time we were out – from the house out to the garden (waiting while I harvested), then to the shop – waiting while we painted – and then  back to the house, passing one of the cats – she was zapped twice. It’s as if we have a different dog! It’s becoming a pleasure to walk with her, rather than a “paying- attention-every-second-trying-to-anticipate, second-guess, and retain-control-whatever-happens” time.

Thing Three:

We went out to the shop to experiment with the air brush in the redoing of our sun/moon metal wall hanging. I felt really intimidated, since I’ve never used an air brush before. This made me determined to at least TRY it. I used paint thinner to make sure that the air brush and tube in the bottle were clean and ready to use. The other end of the tube is attached to a compressed air bottle. We then switched the bottle to a black paint for the shading we were trying to do. I practiced on a cardboard box until I was achieving a reasonably uniform, light spray. I had used tracing paper to mask some areas I didn’t want any shading on. I was able to achieve a darker shading around the sun face and along one side of the moon, with lighter shading on the flames of the sun. My husband and I looked at the picture on the computer together, deciding where the next shading should be.

Tomorrow we’ll look at what we’ve done, decide if we need more shading, or if I can move to a repaint of masked areas.

So far, I think the air brush is really fun. I’ve seen some beautiful things done with an air brush. If I can just get a subtle shading technique, I’ll be happy as a clam!

I’ll take pics of the metal wall hanging soon and post them.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Gardening, Lewis Art, Lewis projects, metal art, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

2nd Try on Sun/Moon Wall Hanging

123RF

Once I got over the initial disappointment at my efforts on the sun/moon wall hanging painting, I got excited about a do-over, trying to make it come out more as I had hoped.

 

This is the picture and design my husband found on the net. There is a LOT of shading involved, and I chose the wrong color for the background initially.  Yesterday we got another sample can mixed at Yeagers and I got busy.

 

This is the initial try. I didn’t like the background color of the sun, and my husband didn’t like the shading. Other than that…. :0)

I got more of a coppery brown color for the sun this time. Yesterday I scraped off a  LOT of the paint and all of the accent lines. I then rubbed in the new background color with a cloth. Today I’ll use a sponge on the sun to get rid of the remaining ‘lines.’

When that is done, I’m going to mask off a lot of the painting and try using an air brush to do the shading.

It’s fun to learn a new technique. I’ve never done air brushing. I’ve seen some beautiful work that can be done with one by someone who knows what he/she is doing. I’m just hoping for a more subtle shading.

Wish me luck!

 

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2nd Try

I finished painting this and wasn’t satisfied. It just didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. My husband tactfully agreed. Today I started scraping off a bunch of the paint. I’m going to repaint the two parts with background paint the best I can. Then we decided, as we were discussing what might be done, that I might try to use a used air brush setup I got a long time ago but have never used.

So, I’ll finish scraping paint, redo the background colors with sponge or cloth, and then we’ll see what we can do with the air brush.

Maybe we can do a better job this time.

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Sun/Moon Wall Hanging is Drying

I finished the wall hanging last night. We’re letting it dry, and then we’ll bring it in and hang it up and see what we think. You can’t really see the 3-dimensional aspect of the moon in this picture. I hope it shows up better when the piece is up on the wall. Will take another pic later.

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Wyle E. Coyote Mailbox Decoration

This is the back of the piece.

 

And this is the front. He’s about 2 feet tall.

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Metal Wall Hanging Progress

I finished the basic color blocking yesterday and then started on the LOTS of shading needed on the piece.  The size is about 3 feet across by 2+ feet from top to bottom.

 

Here it is with the moon attached. I did a lot more shading this afternoon, but will wait until tomorrow to take more pictures.

I took Amber out to the shop with me, but she was finding a LOT to eat that she shouldn’t. I spent more time taking things out of her mouth and trying to find ‘safe’ things she could chew on, but she wouldn’t settle. I ended up taking her back to the porch and then going back out to do some work on the piece.

I have no confidence that what I’m doing is going to work. I’ll just keep on keepin’ on and hope for the best.

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Fingers Crossed for Rain

Keeppy

It would be really nice if we get the scattered showers forecast for today and tomorrow. I think we have a 50% chance, and we see some dark clouds gathering from time to time.

It was nice and overcast when my husband and I got home from Lunch Bunch and errands today, so I went to put on my heavy socks and boots, got us each a sweat band and my husband grabbed the electric chain saw. He cut down some of the evergreen branches that were cut off recently and were looking pretty awful, and then he moved to the weed trees!

The minute we got started, the sun came out full force. We lasted about half an hour. We got several weed trees cut down, but we’ll wait until this evening to try to throw them into a pile. We huffed and puffed getting up to the porch again and downed a bottle of water before we even thought about feeling cooler.

We just turned on the a/c out in the shop. I’ll give it an hour and then go out and see what progress I can make with the metal sun/moon wall hanging. I’ll take my camera so I can show you progress thus far.

Meanwhile, fingers crossed for some clouds and rain.

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Filed under Lewis Art, metal art, Mother Nature

Propane

You wouldn’t think a guy coming to fill the propane tanks would be fun, would you. We had the best time two days ago when the man came up the driveway.

First, he made sure we wanted fill-ups on both tanks (we have a 1,000 gallon tank for the house and a 250 gallon tank for the shop). Then he turned to his truck to get started and stopped, and started to laugh. He looked at us delightedly and said, “Oh, this is wonderful! I wish all my customers were so creative!”

 

We told him that it wasn’t OUR creativity, that we had seen this on the Internet and decided we wanted to try it. He said he didn’t care, he thought it was GREAT.

We’re still walking around about 3 inches off the ground from his nice pat on our heads. :0)

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Filed under kindness, Lewis Art, Lewis yard art

New Metal Piece

This is the latest piece we’re trying to make in the shop.

My husband has done his part, cutting out the pieces (he cut the moon out separately so that it could be mounted above the rest, making a bit of a 3-D effect), and adding a hanger.

Now it’s my turn. I’m intimidated by this one, because of all the shading. I’m concentrating on doing just the color blocking right now, and then will take a lot of time trying to study the piece on my computer for the intricate shading.

I just hope I can do a reasonable job on it.

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New Work

Dodecapod.Com

 

My husband found this design on the net and we both liked it. I found the source, but not the name of the artist.  We both liked it a lot and we’re in the process of trying to make it.

My husband used the CNC table and the computerized torch to cut this out. The piece is about 3-1/2 feet wide and about 2 feet from top to bottom.  The piece is so much work for the torch that it overheated. We had to stop the cutting process and wait for the torch to cool down, and then start it up again, fingers crossed it would remember where it was in the design. Thankfully, it did. My husband still ended up having to cut out parts of it by hand.

He made the blue moon separately so that we could mount it on a spacer. We’ll attach it to the main piece through the back with a screw to give the piece more of a 3-dimensional quality.

I marked the metal yesterday.

If we can get our a/c fixed today, I’ll start the painting soon.

This will be a really difficult piece to paint. There is a LOT of great shading on the piece, making the sun look 3-D, for example, and the rays look curled up and wavy. I’ll give it my best shot.

This is the first piece we’ve seen in quite a while that got us excited about cutting out and making something.  If it turns out all right, we plan to hang it on the wall in our office.

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Snoopy and Woodstock Mailbox Decoration

We love Snoopy and Woodstock, and it makes me smile each time I see them getting ready to celebrate their patriotism.

 

The sun went behind a cloud when I took a picture of the front of the piece.

Happy Independence Day!

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Roadrunner on Mailbox

Wyle E. Coyote and the Roadrunner cartoons are some of our all-time favorites. The Roadrunner never runs out of energy, can run really fast and stop on a dime, and never lets poor Wyle win.

 

This is the back of the piece. Beep! Beep!

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Yosemite Sam Mailbox Decoration

On the way to town this morning, we put up Yosemite Sam, one of our favorite cartoon characters. This is the back of the piece.

 

This is the front. He makes us smile.

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