I have taken some time off from painting. In the interim I have been working on a project that I have wanted to try for 30+ years. In 1978 (then John) Jennie Alexander wrote a book called "Make a Chair from a Tree: An Introduction to Green Woodworking". I bought the book and have been thinking about it ever since. Another resource was a chairmaker here in Maine who made these post-and-rung ladderback chairs by the name of J.D. Mecklin. JD died in 2004 but I have two neighbors who each have 4 of his chairs. When one of these friends heard that I was thinking of starting to make this style chair he loaned me one to study and with that chair along with the book I started what has turned out to be a very exciting and rewarding journey. My early attempts were a couple of stools and then a few small youth chairs. I also spent a lot of time reading blogs of chairmakers like Tim Manney. Tim documented making a tenon cutter which was key to my feeling confident making my chairs tenons.
I make chairs with some deviations from the book. But the key to me is paying attention to the grain and the characteristics of how wood behaves in ways that can help hold a chair together. The wood I am using is red oak from our property. Luckily we have a number of very good oak trees that should yield chairs for years to come.
For anyone curious about my process, a very good friend and neighbor (the one that lent me the chair} Paul Heroux hired another friend James Walker to follow me through a day documenting how and where I work. James posted the video as Tim Makes Chairs.
If you are interested in trying one out, email me and we can arrange a sitting at my home and shop in New Gloucester.
Marie asked me to paint Stella as a wedding present for our friends son and his wife last summer. It took me a while to take it up but it's done and here it is.
This is one of the paintings. It's from earlier this summer. I was able to see some of the work hung for the sale. I heard there have been over 600 pieces submitted so I guess they aren't able to put everything out at once. The sale runs over a few days.
I'm back outside, here at Two Lights State Park. I was here two years ago on a very similar day. Beautiful, a little cool, while it was warm inland.
This is my latest painting of Lila save one. The last one I'm not sure if I might not go back into. But it is the last for a few months at least because she has had her baby and will be too busy. She has been a great model, very patient and calm.
Tim Reimensnyder paintings
I am focusing on figurative work right now. I attend two groups and for the next few weeks I'm taking a sculpture class working from a model.