Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In our local Amish community, their church rule is to not hang paintings or photographs on the wall. It is not disallowed though to have decorative useful objects in the home. So as a way of getting around the first rule, not of of rebellion of course, but just following the natural human desire for ornament- any item which could be hung on a wall (including the shelf itself) or placed on that shelf, like a clock, calendar, canister set or set of drinking glasses- will usually be chosen or painted for it's inevitable decorative value in the home.
A baby boy was born to some friends of mine who had moved far away. The baby's uncle who still lives locally contacted me and asked if I might paint a hunting scene on a gun-stock as a gift for the baby. He said that he has many nieces and nephews, but that baby John was the first of them to be named for him and he was so proud that he wanted to spoil the baby. I agreed to do the job, but was a little confused over how to proceed. There is not much precedent for hand painted gun-stocks and I didn't know how I would be able to protect my artists paints without changing the finish already on the stock. It presented a technical problem. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that wood burning was a more appropriate style for a gun and would not need any clear coat or change the finish on the wood.
I did this scene and inscribed the back and delivered the gun last night. Uncle John was thrilled and I was relieved that he was happy with the wood burning. He told me that actually he had wanted it wood burned but didn't know anyone who did that, so he just asked me to paint it.

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