Volkswagen Beetle

When I was just a baby, we had a Volkswagen Beetle. It was 1970 and side-burns and “Bugs” were in fashion. Of course I don’t remember the vehicle, other than seeing it in photographs and hearing that my Dad smashed the front-end not too long after he bought it. I have the small original photograph of the two us in the driveway and thought it would make a great Christmas gift for my Dad.

Having just completed the commission piece for my friends, I didn’t have long before Christmas and we were getting together just prior on the 23rd. I had just over a week, so I went pretty small and fast; 12″x 12″ on Ampersand Gessoboard. It was my first time using the board and it was quite different from the usual canvas. The surface is smooth with very little tooth so the paint just glides on which definitely takes getting used to. The paint seems to dry faster which was a bonus given my short time frame. I was a bit rushed at the end, and wanted one more day to smooth things out and add a couple of details, but all-in-all, I was very pleased with it. And best of all, he loved it!

Baby Jenna and Bug
Baby Jenna and Bug

Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest commercial airplane and my 12-year-old son is obsessed!  Now that his “mature” bedroom remodel is complete, I offered to paint a few of his most favorite things to hang on the walls. First up is the Airbus.

Airbus A380
Airbus A380

This double-deck, wide-body, four-engine behemoth began its service in 2007 as part of Singapore Airlines. As of October 2015, 173 aircraft have been delivered, with 317 more on order. The upper deck extends the entire length of the fuselage and its width is equivalent to a large-body aircraft.

The cabin has just over 5,900 square feet of usable floor space, that’s 40% greater than the next largest aircraft, and can carry between roughly 500 to 800 passengers depending upon configuration. The A380 can fly nonstop from Dallas, Texas to Sydney, Australia.

In order to truly appreciate the massive scale of the A380 you really have to see it in comparison to a typical size aircraft. I’ve included a couple of images from the Internet that show you the enormity of this flying machine.

Maude’s Garage

A couple of years ago our family went on a Michigan vacation to the West side of the state, Ludington to be exact. It’s a great little coastal town on Lake Michigan with neat little shops and restaurants and a wonderful beach. And if you take scenic route M22 up the coast you reach the famous Sleeping Bear Dunes. We packed a ton into that trip and had a wonderful get away.

Maude’s Garage

One of the places that has stood out in my memory is a great store called Maude’s Garage in downtown Ludington. The store is actually in an old garage that’s been converted and inside you find hand-made fine art pieces, up-cycled and reclaimed furniture, vintage jewelry, unique and wacky gifts, etc.; just the kind of place I can get lost in for days. And you can’t miss it: just look for the old vintage red truck out front covered in antiques and flowers.

I took this photo and it has to be one of all-time favorites! I knew one day i would paint it. Well, the day (or days/ weeks/ months I should say) finally came. This has been my latest project, between everything else going on, it’s taken a while, but I finally completed it last week and couldn’t be more happy.

It certainly presented a challenge because at the time I took the photograph I wasn’t thinking about a future painting project and so some views were missing – namely the front of the truck! A couple of months ago, when I began the project, I didn’t know the name of the store. It was only today when I was doing my research for the blog write up that I stumbled upon the name and some great photos of the entire truck that I was missing. Talk about learning a lesson!

Maude’s Garage
Drawing_Graphite Pencil on Canvas Paper

Without my own photos I headed to the internet to find the missing piece of the puzzle. I researched 1930’s Ford pick-up trucks until I found one that looked exactly like Maud’s. I learned that it is a 1934 Ford Model V8 1 1/2-Ton Stake Truck. You can check out a brand new replica Stake Truck here (and it can be yours for only $93,6000!). I combined my photos along with what I found to create the initial drawing.

Maude’s Garage
Putting in Darks w Oil

The next step was to paint in the darks. Then, I layered in the intermediate colors and began detailing the truck.

I continued by adding in the light hues, the flowers, and details. I must admit I really struggled with getting the front end of the truck and tire just right and repainted it several times until I was happy. It will be perfect in our home and will always remind me of that wonderful little vacation in Ludington!

Maude’s Garage
Finished Painting