I’ve just finished another custom painted saw commission this past week. This time is was a 62″ long two man crosscut saw. It was pretty impressive. I was surprised by what good shape it was in.
My client found me through Google from the last saw I painted I’m guessing. He’s a Freemason and in other similar clubs and had a vision of painting four buildings that were close to his heart on this saw. He drove about 3 hours to bring me the saw and pick it up when it was finished. I cannot imagine what it would’ve cost to ship it. It’s not heavy really but floppy and awkward.
Above you see my sketch of his vision. From left to right we have the Scottish Rite Cathedral, their own Southport Lodge #270, the Murat Shrine and the Sahara Grotto. They’re all in different areas and he wanted them to be in a countryside setting. All of these beautiful buildings are a mystery to me. The Masons have always been a secretive bunch. My grandpa was a Mason but we never talked about it. He’d probably think this saw is pretty cool.
So after the sketch was approved, off I went to paint. First I had to prime it a second time with white. I have the saw owner prime their saw and have it ready for me to paint on to save them money and me time. Speaking of time, I’m rather impatient with the sky drying in the photo below.
I’m off to a good start in the painting below, adding in the countryside grass and hills. One of the most challenging parts of painting on this saw was getting it to be in a place where I could actually paint on it. I couldn’t hang it from the existing screws I had, they were too high. So I had to create a makeshift table from a set of drawers and a plastic tool box. It didn’t want to stand upright because it was too long to fit in-between the electrical outlets. You can see at one desperate point I tried to tape the handles so it would be still. I finally gave up and found that if I gently painted it wouldn’t fall… well… too many times that is.
You can see this awkward concrete block half wall chunk thingy sticking out. This has always been a pain for me. I have no idea why it’s there. Maybe someday I’ll have a nice studio that’s not in my basement.
There came a time that it was just killing my back painting it like this from a chair. I usually like to paint standing up. So I experimented with all kinds of things to try and match the height of the toolbox and drawers. Finally, I came up with an old coffee roller cart and multiple books. I finished the saw painting like this. My back and neck were thankful. I joke and say this saw cost me two or three chiropractor appointments but it’s kinda true. It goes with the territory.
I had to have a move around with me palette instead of my glass palette I’ve gotten used to. These little recycled foam meat trays are great for this and I use plastic wrap to keep the paint from drying out. My color palette was very simple for this painting. The colors you see there are all I used, mixing them together of course.
The work was a bit tedious and the buildings were pretty tiny in relation to the amount of detail I put into them. The largest building was only 3″ tall. So I found I could only work for a couple hours at a time on it. My eyeballs were jumping outta my head! I put my cheaters to the test (my reading glasses).
Below you can see the additions of the trees, bushes and paths. It’s nearly done but I needed to add people. Yes people. Tiny little any people! Hah! I’m not lying when I tell you the smallest ones were 3/8″ tall. The largest and closest men walking were 1/2″ tall. Of course these men needed to be Shriners and Masons. So they needed to have a fez (their hat with the tassle), some wore a white cape and one even had the white apron.
Tada! So here it is, in all it’s 62 inch long glory. I’ve signed it and it’s drying from the many coats of varnish. You can’t see the people can you? I stood on a stool in order to pull far enough away to get the entire saw in the photo. In order to get it to my client for final approval, before varnishing, I took up close video. The very video I sent him is near the bottom and yes, you can see the people.
Here they are, my happy client and his sweet wife. They were the nicest people and so easy to work with. They run a small construction business (Indiana Construction & Consulting Services) themselves just outside of Indianapolis. They’ve left me a fantastic review on Google and Facebook which is like gold. I’m so glad he found me for this project. It was challenging but I’m pretty proud of the results.
If you have a unique project you’d like to have painted, hit me up. I take commissions if it’s a project I’m interested in. In the case of saws, I don’t provide them but I don’t mind painting on them. On to the next project… which in this case is taxes… oh God just shoot me.
Oh here’s the video I was talking about.
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.
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