Friday, August 28, 2009

I am NOT Picasso.

As I mentioned in last night's post, I've been thinking of putting some decoration of some sort on the kayak's Dacron skin after it has been stretched on and given the basic finish coat of polyurethane. I've had a bit of inspiration from various sources over the years.

First, there was the first people's art of the Pacific Northwest that David Hazen put on his canoes. David is well known for the book, The Stripper's Guide to Canoe Building, one of the first books on the subject first published back in about 1972. It has some interesting information and some interesting pictures of his boats. Here is one of his canoes, below:

In Robert Morris' book, Building Skin-on-Frame Boats, he shows two children with their kayaks which have been beautifully painted with orca and sea turtle motifs in what must be beautiful, vivid colors. I don't think that I have that kind of painting ability in me, however - at least not without a bit of training.

Another great inspiration came from Dave Gentry over at the WoodenBoat Forum. Dave has built a few skin-on-frame boats including one of his own design - the wherry on the right. The other two designs are from Thomas Yost's website and are a Kidarka on the left and a Baidarka in the middle. The Kidarka was for a friend's child and I particularly enjoyed the artwork that he painted on the kayak. Nice work. (Click on images to enlarge)

Then again, Dave also built the anti-artwork boat - a Wee Lassie style skin-on-frame canoe with clear PVC for the hull material. Neat, no?

The friend that I'm building the kayaks with was recently out in the Washington state and brought back this book which I've been looking over for inspiration:

There are many interesting choices in here and I think that enlarging the artwork would allow me to trace the outlines on the hull or make stencils from Mylar to wrap around the hull and paint. That way, I wouldn't have to be Picasso!


Mel and Angus said...

I can't wait to see what you come up with. I love the Native American styled canoes. I just watched The Last of the Mohicans and marveled at the size of those canoes.

Canoez said...

Well, I'm looking forward to what I come up with as well! I tend to like things that are 'elegant' and because of this are 'simple'. A common theme among boats are an "eye" on the bow of the boat. I've been thinking of keeping things simple by adding an eye, but one in the tradition of the first people of the Northwest.

The large canoes that you saw in The Last of the Mohicans are known as Canot du Nord (Canoes of the North) and were used by both native Americans and the European fur trappers and timber cruisers that worked the North Woods and into Canada. These kind of canoes can still be seen in the Adirondacks where groups of people take them on wilderness trips. It's pretty neat to watch them being portaged! Todd Bradshaw, an artist, sailmaker and musician who wrote a neat book on sailing canoes has a particularly large strip canoe he built years ago - I should see about posting a Wordless Wednesday with it. Grand Laker canoes from the Grand Lake Stream area are also another unique large canoe built specifically for the area's guides to take their 'sports' out hunting and fishing.