Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What is it? Sometimes it's just a little brown puppy!

While my main focus at this year's Chicago International will be my oil paintings, I will have animals, furniture and accessories too.

This little guy is hand carved wood then furred.

He has carved paw pads and toe nails. He went through some changes while I was making him, kinda risky after I've begun. 

But I just had an idea in my head, no picture. It's just a little brown puppy!

Friday, March 3, 2017

The most difficult painting yet

While this painting was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the insane amount of detail, it was to date, the most difficult one. As I showed in a previous post, I like to lay it out by drawing the placement of elements within the scene. These shapes and sections are usually easy to follow, but this one reminded me of doing a puzzle. Every time I would have to mix some paint or get more on the brush, I'd lose my place and by the time I found where I was going with it, I'd have to get more :)

Thursday, February 23, 2017


The reason for the title of this post is because I really enjoy making my own frames for my oil paintings. But this time I used a frame by John Hodgson. It is metal and I left the finish as is. This painting will also be going to Chicago International in April. This year, paintings will be my main focal point. It is WAY more fun than furring animals! I do love to carve animals though.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fireplace screen

Here is my latest creation. It is a 1:12 scale fireplace screen. I found a wonderful photo of this fire screen and just new I had to make it in miniature. It is oil paint on wood. I had an order for something that required me to set up and learn how to use my lathe duplicator. I had been putting that off way too long:) Now I was able to use it for this project! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How I create a miniature oil painting


Since previously I have been posting pictures of finished paintings, I thought it might be fun to show the steps to creating a one. The first step is finding an interesting painting I would enjoy doing. I chose this dog:

I cut a piece of good hot press Crescent illustration board. Then I lay out the subject and indicate the background lightly in pencil.

Below is my work station. Oil paint, wax paper palette, good brushes and turpentine.

Here is a home made brush holder, so you can suspend the brushes in the turpentine without them touching the bottom, ruining their shape. It was a plastic soup container, coat-hanger, spring, and the black "liners" courtesy of mac 'n cheese. (PS I don't eat this junk food any more!!)  Lots of them so if the turpentine eventually messes up the liner, just pop in another one.

Sorry for the terrible blurry photo, I hate this new phone. This is how I like to hold the board, with the photo taped to the right side, as I am left handed. It is impossible to hold the painting like I do in my right hand and shoot a pic with my left.....I want my little flip phone back 😒... Too lazy to go upstairs and get the good camera, sorry, I should have. Anyhow here it is about a third of the way done (my thumb will show size):

And finally we have the finished painting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

More Chicago-bound paintings

This first painting was a lot of fun to paint despite the the fact that the subject matter was less than desirable to an animal/ bird lover! It measures 3-1/8" x 2-1/2".

This painting of a little girl peeling an apple was intriguing. It measures 2-3/4 x 2-1/16".
All of my paintings will be available at the Chicago International.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Next oil painting

I am trying to build up stock for the Chicago International (but RL seems to have other ideas....) and this is my latest oil painting. Tomorrow I am getting my knee operated on so wish me luck!

Friday, November 25, 2016

New oil painting

Cavalier King Charles spaniel, oil.  Hand carved frame. 2-1/2" by 3-1/4".

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tea Table article is out now

I really like to write articles for the online magazine of my favorite woodworking tool company, Highland Woodworking. Here is my latest article, the 1:12 scale Irish George II carved tea table:

The article outlines the steps involved in making this table.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Carved box

This is my prototype of a highly detailed chip-carved box reminiscent of a medieval casket or document box. It is 2" x 1-1/4" It is made from pear. I say prototype because it was an experiment to see what exactly was feasible, especially the hardware. I made the strap hinges and hasp from thin brass, then blackened them.

First off I had to make a box joint jig. I decided to make a whole new miter gauge for my small table saw and incorporate the jig into it rather than use the existing miter gauge, because once adjusted, the jig would not stay that way once removed. In the photo below you can see the little key. It is the thickness of the blade which I thought was a nice sized joint.  You butt the wood up to it and make a pass cutting the slot, then put that slot over the key and so on. I just put it on here for the photo, when in use the blade is raised only as high as the size of the joint.

There are mistakes, for example, I drew the design on the sides, then decided to make it a little bigger, but forgot when I carved the other side! So they don't match :)  

I learned a lot. I am hoping to have a limited number of boxes available for next year's 
Chicago International. 

For the new ones, I have refined the design, adding more detail. I will make sure the wood is properly thickness-ed and the hasp will be nicer. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 1, 2016


I thought you might like to see the little cat I just finished. 

He's hand carved wood, hand painted then I applied his fur coat.

He's on ebay the week of 7/31-8/7

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pure magic!

This is an experience not to be missed! Hand feeding my hummingbirds. SOOO cute, so many, buzzing around my head while I held the feeder. Yesterday, they did not even wait for me to hang it, so today I decided to film it. You can click on Full Screen, it will get big (but somewhat blurry)


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Some more paintings for Chicago

I made the frames from cherry, but the paintings are removable if a different frame is desired.

And last this guy is framed but he is packed away so I am posting  the painting cropped.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

more paintings

These are all going to Chicago. They are 2 to 3 inches high. They are still unframed but I thought it was kind of neat to post them this way. I make all my own frames. I've made this little girl's frame, just waiting for her to dry completely.

This one is by the same painter that did the wire haired terrier from the other batch of paintings I posted.

Here is a different cute little terrier,

And last, this woman. I have a couple more I was hoping to do. I still have to make frames and time is running out.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My home grown cherry wood

I've carved another Irish George II tea table but this time I used my own home grown cherry wood. 


I speak frequently about the little cherry tree that my neighbor cut down, the one I ate cherries from.
I took the trunk home because I loved the little tree, but I did not know at that time what was inside just waiting to live on. Perfect "in scale" grain and knots and a beautiful coloring. 

This photo shows a nice little knot.
It is so fun to cut off a piece of log, mill it down, thickness it and create a miniature piece of furniture!

Saturday, December 12, 2015