Friday, September 17, 2021

On The Artist's Doorstep #4: Dancing With Daddy

 Each painting starts with an idea, an inspiration. Whether from a trip, an experience, or even emotions, each painting begins in the artist's heart. We pour something of ourselves into what we create.

I'm going to be sharing what's behind some of my paintings. Today, let's look at "Dancing With Daddy". I'm getting really honest about my feelings so be warned.

"Dancing With Daddy" 12x12" palette knife, oil on canvas

"Dressed in her many layered tutu, she runs to her daddy and pleads, "Dance with me!" Her father smiles and places her feet on his and holding her securely, they start to dance around the room. Her squeals and giggles fill the air as they twirl and dance to the music. He laughs with her, heart swelling with love for his little girl."

What's more precious than a father and daughter's relationship? This painting was born out of a longing for the relationship I never had with my dad. I was one of four daughters, too quiet and shy for my father's outgoing personality. I never felt close to him. There were moments of tenderness, but mostly I felt overlooked or like a disappointment. 

I continued to struggle with trying to win his approval for the rest of his life. It definitely left a scar on my heart. Oh he loved me, but to my sensitive soul it felt mostly like I didn't measure up. 

Fast forward to my early 50's. I'm trying to resolve this in my heart. I'd transferred those feelings onto my Heavenly Father. I wondered how He could love me unconditionally when I knew my mistakes and failures. Thus began a year long  study on the Father's love. This painting was born from that. 

He spoke to my heart, "Be like a little girl again. Full of trust, unspoiled by the pain of the world, and come dance with Me."

Slowly, tentatively, I step onto His feet. He holds me securely against my fears and insecurities and we start to dance. I learn to let go of my fears and start trusting Him to lead me. Storms still come and rage, I stumble and fall, but He picks me up and places me back on His feet. And we dance. I finally feel my Father's love pouring into my heart. And when I falter, I just look at my painting and remember I am loved beyond measure.


Monday, September 13, 2021

Fireplace Refresh: Giving It Farmhouse Charm

Here's a project we did before we moved full-time to the farm. At that time, I had quit posting in my blog so I didn't get to share it here.

Here's what the living room looked like when we bought our property in 2012. It was all panel except for the fireplace wall which was all brick. The mantel was not only way above the fireplace insert, but ugly as well.

Even though I painted all the paneling a soft white, the room still felt dark and dated. The height of the mantel made it hard to decorate as objects had to be under 23". Most things did not show up well against the brick.

We kicked around the idea of painting the brick but we really didn't want to do that. Then I saw a blog post where someone added shiplap to their brick fireplace wall. I can't remember who it was but I immediately knew that was the perfect look for our farmhouse. I showed Bruce and he agreed to try it. The first thing to go was that ugly mantel.

Then Bruce cut off the brick supports:
We decided it would look good to leave some brick showing not to mention it would be a heat barrier. The bottom rows went on easy.
As we got to the longer pieces, we started running into problems with the boards bowing. I suggested Bruce cut them into shorter pieces, staggering the joints. That helped and the rows continued to go up. I was getting excited about how it was looking.
Finally, the shiplap was all up. It already looked amazing!
My turn now. I primed the wood planks.
Then painted them the same white as the trim in the room. Wow, what a difference - the room was so much brighter!
Bruce make the new mantel with walnut boards that came from trees on his grandparents' farm in Arkansas. It got a simple clear coat to bring out the richness of the wood.
Yay! There is finally room to hang a painting. We chose to hang my train painting as it is one of our favorites.

We are so pleased with how this project turned out. The room is not only brighter but it no longer looks like it is stuck in the 80's. And since we closed in the garage to give us a bigger living room, this room is now the office and library. I had to snap a quick picture - things are a little messy (keeping it real) but it is a cozy spot. 

I still love how it looks 3 1/2 years later. Makes me wish we would have done it sooner!

Next time I'll be sharing how I updated these six old metal lawn chairs. My grandparents had some on their front porch and I always wanted some. I've been collecting them - most came from Canton's First Monday Trade Days - one Bruce actually found on the side of the road. We use them around our fire pit.
Five of the chairs...there's a yellow one as well. 

They are in need of cleaning and repainting so I'm busy working on them. It's turning out to be quite the job as most have peeling paint and some rust. The black one is all sanded and primed and I cleaned the rest of them. I just need to get them sanded and primed too before they get their new coats of paint. Hopefully, I'll be done next week.



Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Turning A Metal Birdhouse Into A Lamp

Today, I have a quick project to share with you. I've been wanting a different lamp in the bathroom for awhile. I've been using this little one and while it was ok, it wasn't the look I wanted. Plus it was a little wonky.

On our Canton visit, I found this metal birdhouse. It reminded me of the mirror frame, towel holder, etc in the bathroom with their scrolls. I thought it just might work to be turned into a lamp.

Bruce helped to figure out what was needed.

A threaded rod piece added to the bottom:

A board the right size for a base:

And a lamp kit and a long threaded rod to go behind the birdhouse for the light:

Next we figured out where everything would go. Bruce drilled holes and put the pieces in place.

Once that was all figured out, I took it back apart so I could paint the base. I also painted the metal tube that fit over the threaded rod in back. Once the paint was dry, Bruce put it all back together.  

Here it is all finished! I'm just using the old lampshade for now.

It looks cute sitting on the shelf unit. 

And it goes with the other metal pieces in the bathroom. 

All I need now is a different lampshade. It will be fun looking for the perfect one. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process of turning the metal birdhouse into a lamp. I won't have an "On The Artist Doorstep" for you this week. I'm taking some time off to visit my twin sister and then we have a wedding to go to this weekend. 

Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!



On The Artist's Doorstep #4: Dancing With Daddy

 Each painting starts with an idea, an inspiration. Whether from a trip, an experience, or even emotions, each painting begins in the artist...