Again, not miniature, but this is a beautiful story! I took a picture of this bumble bee in a zinnia. No big deal...but I got to thinking he didn't look too well. I remembered something I'd seen on Facebook that if you see a bee like this, you should immediately get him some sugar water to revive him. So I got a capful out of the hummingbird feeder and put it in front of him. He immediately started drinking, it was SO interesting to watch this. I'm trying to hold still for him, and he finally had his fill. Now for the beautiful part. This sweet little bumble bee walked up onto my hand and every time I tried to put him back in a flower, he would not let me! I'd get him into a flower and before I could move away, he was back on my hand! The sweet little guy was thanking me! I know he was....
Eventually he flew off and I was very happy for him. We need our bees. Every one is important. Plus it is so cool to help another creature :)
I realized it had been over a year since I posted an update on the little lemon tree. So even though I am not posting about miniatures right now, I felt an update was in order. He is doing really well, loving the beautiful summer. He got a nice new larger pot this spring. Transplanting him scared me. But he did just fine :)
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 :)
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.
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!
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):
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
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!
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)