<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Elaine Lierly Jones_The Boot

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The Boot
One of my drawings was selected to paint on a 6 foot tall boot in celebration of the sesquicentennial of Olathe, Kansas. The boot is to honor the history of the Hyer Boot Company which began in Olathe around 1880. My adventure began on Friday January 26th, 2007.
Please join me in my painting of "The Boot"!
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The Arrival
It's So Big!
It fit through the door, so far so good.
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Now for the stairs.
Who is that man in the green cap?
He seems to be everywhere.
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Easier than I thought.
Elbow claims the boot.
Happy cat!
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Into the studio, Elbow supervises the progress of "his boot."
Let the fun begin!
 
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This is the sketch I submitted. It will have five portraits around the top. Olathe has been home to five governors which is the theme of my boot design. I will raise the oval frames for an embossed effect using a molding paste. On the lower part of the boot will be scenes of old Olathe.
   
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Measuring the circumference so I can determine the size of my five portraits
Transferring my portrait template onto the boot.
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Sanding the oval
Testing molding paste for solidity and adhesion. If successful, I will begin to shape my oval frames.
Sanding the first layer.
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Putting on a second layer, shaping the frame
One frame, four to go!
I realized that my original drawing of the braided frame was impractical. The molding paste is more like plaster than clay. I liked this example of an old frame.
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I decided to model my frame with one decorative
element on the top and bottom of each frame. This
reminded me of the stitching on some boots I have seen.

I raised the areas with molding paste,
but will paint the details. (a closeup on
a frame bottom)
I'm almost ready to apply a gray primer on the exposed fiberglass and molding paste areas.
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It's above freezing! Quickly we carried the boot out to apply the primer.
Light coat of base color.
Yipee!
After looking at the base color, I knew I wanted it a richer, leathery feel. I remembered helping my brother paint a room using plastic on the wet paint. (Thanks Glennie!)
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After one coat I still wanted a deeper color and texture. I think this must come from working in pastels. I love what you can do with layers of color.
Well, I have had enough fun!
Time to move to the next step.
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I wanted the lettering in "City of Governors" to be
simple, yet have a bit of flare.
I am thinking what it might look like if it had been
tooled in the leather.
 
 
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Back to the Boot!

Today- February 21st
Deadline: March 15th

Three weeks to finish!

 
I had to take a break and paint a sign for the Lawn and Garden show in Overland Park.
Talk about Spring Fever!
 

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I decided to work on all the portraits at the same
time. I begin by painting in the ovals with a light
background color. Drawing them in, then blocking
the shapes in with a burnt sienna.
I am working on each portrait, trying to make them
all similar as far as amount of color and detail.
 
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Front and Right
Front is Gov. John Anderson Jr.
(1960-1964)
Right is Gov. George Hodges
(1913-1915)
Right side portraits
Gov. George Hodges to his right is
Herbert S. Hadley (1908-1912)
Missouri Governor

Left side portraits
Gov. James H. Brady
(1909-1913) Idaho Governor
to his right is John P. St. John
(1878-1882)
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This part is more challenging than
I had realized! The boot flares out
and originally I had the courthouse
positioned lower.

I raised the design so the flare
is at the very bottom of the
courthouse.

I am using a level to make the horizontal and vertical lines. There is no comfortable position to paint, so I have to take frequent breaks.
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Hooray!! I am almost done with the front. I chose
the courthouse to put front/center. It was dedicated
on August 8, 1892. It was the first public building in
Kansas to be lighted by electricity.
This is the drawing for the Park-Cherry building, my next challenge. I picked this building because it was constructed between 1860 and 1880 and one of the most historically significant in Olathe.  
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Making progress on the next building.
Elbow, the cat had to check up on me and make sure I was painting it correctly.
 
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Park/Cherry- I am going to come back to this, as I am to
everything I have painted so far, but I want to get all my designs roughed in.
The last major element to my boot! The Grange! It has such interesting history. The Olathe Grange #118 was organized
May 7, 1873, with W.A. Mahaffie as the first secretary.
 
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The Grange in progress.
Wow! From a longshot......
it looks like I still have much to do!
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Back to the top to make the title stand out.
Now for the other side.
He's back!
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Thumbs up.
You're done right?

That's what the Olathe Daily News reported.
It turns out that delivery of other boots was
delayed and the deadline extended. That
doesn't mean I am going to slack off!

Well, maybe a mini slack.
The MidAmerica Pastel Society is having their first National Juried Show and I really want to enter something. I started this back
in January and finished today!!

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Now, back to the frames.
One down and four to go.
Working on the frames. All three views.
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Well, I have been trying
different things to make
it look like the portrait is
in a frame.
Instead of grabbing the camera,
I've been grabbing paper towels
to rub the paint off.
I found a good typeface to use as a reference for the
lettering. It is called "Harrington".
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The outline of all the frames are finished. The Governors names and dates are finished.
Now for the fun! Adding more color to the frames and portraits. I am going to begin with George. I started with burnt sienna. The one on the right is completed by adding burnt umber to add contrast.
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Herbert with burnt sienna underpainting on left and Herbert completed with the addition of burnt umber.
John P. St John
James H. Brady
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John Anderson, Jr
He is 89 years young now and is still living
in Olathe. I hope I get to meet him!


With glazes of acrylic paint in burnt umber, a depth is created as the courthouse is completed.
The Park Cherry building completed. It is
interesting how the contours of the boot
distorts the painting.
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Begin the finishing touches on the Grange.
Thanks Pat!! I don't have to sit on the floor.
Up, up and away!
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Section by section the final building is
completed. I have a wonderful reference
photo from Lee Shriver who is one of the
people that gives a slide presentation of
Olathe history at Old Settlers.
There was a Chautauqua banner
on the south end. It had the name
Red- Path Horner on it.
The Grange Block, as this building was called had an impressive entry topped with the words Established in 1876.
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The north end of the Grange
The Grange, completed.
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Now, let's give this boot some sole!
My submitted design included a Strang Line Electric Rail Car.
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Well, I've done a lot of thinking on this final phase of the boot. I knew I wanted something on the other side to balance out the design. I have tried several things before my final decision.
There was a gazebo on the left of the court house. I struggled with a good angle. I came up with something I was happy with and actually drew it on the boot. I then would have to put the Strang Line Rail Car on the opposite side. After looking at this arrangement, I didn't like the gazebo.
My other thought was a horse and buggy. I left it beside the Grange because the elements are in somewhat of a timeline going clockwise. A horse and buggy would have been around at the time of John P. St John.
 
There really were tracks down the middle of the street so I want it to look as though it just traveled in front of the Grange.
   
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This was my inspiration. This photo was from the book "Rails, Trails and Tales" by George R. Bauer. This is a really good book about Olathe's First 150 Years.

I am placing the horse and
buggy so it looks like it is
parked beside the courthouse.
There really were hitching posts
around the court house
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A close-up.
It will be fitting to have the Strang Line
under George H. Hodges because he
took the first trip on the Strang Line in
1904 and was also present for the last
trip in 1940.
Painting the Electric Rail Car.
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A Cat's Eye view.
A Close-up of the Strang Line Car.
Well, there it is!
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The other views.
Don't forget the top.
Am I done?
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I looked at it awhile and decided that it wasn't quite done.
It needed more attention to the top.
OK! Ready for varnish.
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Well, after many coats of
varnish, I have to see if it
passes inspection.

After much discussion, they finally gave me
the go-ahead!
It would be great to get a photo of me with the guy in the green cap. Hey, Elbow are you paying attention?
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I guess you can't teach an old cat new tricks because
he just couldn't grasp the concept. (Actually he takes
pictures all the time when he thinks we're not watching)
Ready to wrap this up...
for the trip to Olathe!
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Back up the stairs...
There he is again!
Top of the stairs and...
out the front door .
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OK Elbow, give us some guidance!
How do you think we should do this?
Time to say Good-bye to the Boot!
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Ready, set, go!
Delivered and unwrapped.
Five of the finished boots. I can't wait to see the others!
 
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A big THANK YOU
for everyone that followed the boot!
 
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The boot was on the NE corner of Sante Fe and
Kansas Ave.
It was sold at the auction and was bought by Jakes Antiques in Olathe. They plan to put it on display!


©All materials and artwork copyrighted by Elaine Lierly Jones and cannot be used without written consent
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