Thursday, February 28, 2013

New pewter embossed tree

I know, I’m a bit obsessed. This is rapidly becoming an embossing blog.

I had to post this new one because I was really happy with the end result. I took a few extra steps in the process which really improved the quality of the finished piece.

For the mount I used a wood conditioner before applying the stain which resulted in a really nice grain. I also used two coats of varnish with a light sanding in between so it’s got a nice smooth finish.

The tree itself is a much tighter piece than the last one... better detail I think.

Once the pewter was attached, I gave the whole thing another coat of oil varnish. That helps protect the metal from oily fingerprints.

I’ve sold a few pieces since I started this process last month and recently received an order for a larger version of the tree so I’m encouraged to keep doing them.

So if you have any requests for a custom pewter piece, I’m open to them... send me a message.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Branched -- new pewter piece

A spin on my “Branched” piece. For this one I removed the background. It was a lot of extra work but I like the contrast with the wood.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fancy-schmancy prints

Finally, my print packaging has arrived. Gotta source something closer to home.

Anyway, my prints are now gussied-up with clean-cut off-white mats, backing boards and polymer bags.


If you are inclined, they are in the print section of my Etsy shop.

So shiny, yet so $20.

Well, most are $20... the larger ones are $30.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Just used red and green oil paint with some linseed oil for this one. Big, fat brush... lots of loose broad strokes. (24”x18” canvas)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pewter doodle

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to add patina. From what I understand, pewter can’t be chemically treated for creating patina like other metals so you need to make a faux patina. I’ve been playing around with some different mediums and this combo is my favourite so far. I made this little abstract (a pewter doodle?) as a test piece.

The first application is an acrylic glaze medium with some black added which is brushed on then mostly wiped away. The colour was applied using alcohol inks, in this case, red and green earth tones. I suppose adding the colour wasn’t necessary for the patina part of it but I think it adds something to the piece overall.... they certainly help the highlights pop.

Once the inks dried for a few minutes, I gave it a quick once over with some fine steel wool to bring out the highlights of the metal. Finally, it was varnished and mounted.

I did a test last week using salt water on copper which created a nice green hue but I messed it up when I tried to keep working on it. When I get more copper to work with I’ll give it another go.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nickel for your thoughts?

I forgot to post this the other day... my latest cartoon for the Northeast Avalon Times! Pick one up if you’re in the area! A nod to the recent demise of the Canadian penny.

At left is my latest embossed piece. Yes, it’s a puffin, Yes, I’m catering to the tourist market... selling out and goin’ cheap. I should mention that my embossed pieces are now available at the Tickle Trunk in downtown St. John’s which I’m very happy about. It’s my first step into the local market. My plan/hope is to have several avenues for selling paintings, prints and embossed bits in St. John’s by the end of the year (ideally, before the tourist season kicks off in the spring).

I’m at the tail end of a freelance project so I’m looking forward to getting back into some painting in the coming days.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Havin’ Weather”, acrylic on canvas

This canvas was on a roller coaster ride the last few days. It started out as a heavily textured abstract then... I don’t know what happened. I must have seen something shiny and toddled off in another direction. I laid the blue base down with brushes and rollers and, working around the textures, painted the mammoth cloud formation and the tiny houses. And distressed much? Yup.

The clouds make me smile. They are crazy looking. Something you might see in a Monty Python animation.

Overall the image really pops which makes me happy.

Forgot to mention... it’s all acrylic. And I didn’t throw or pour any of it.

Available in the shop.

Monday, February 11, 2013

John’s Embossing Emporium

These are the latest embossed bits and bobs from the weekend. I think the tree is my new favourite (sorry trout zeppelins!). Hoping to come up with a new design or two today as these are going into a local shop this week and I’d like there to be a nice variety available.

The painting itch needs a scratch soon. Got a pile of canvases prepped.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Late Night Mountains...

... just west of Insomnia Ridge. Where wild doodles roam free, untamed.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trout zeppelins

Here’s a pattern of trout embossed on copper and mounted on pine. I tried to keep the form simple... I left some details out or the process would have driven me mad. Without the eyes and side fins, however, they trout seem to resemble airships. That made me wonder under what circumstances trout zeppelins might have been put to use. I’m thinking they were probably popular on May 24th weekend in the 1930s. But I don’t fish so don’t quote me on that.

Production line

It’s not exactly a Henry Ford style production line, but a system is developing for my embossed bits and bobs. Spent the morning cutting, sanding and staining the mounts. In more exciting news, it looks like I’ve got a local store interested in selling them... more on that as it develops in the coming weeks.


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