Gnome Improvement   3 comments

Tim, the day before smartening up began...nice ass for a gnome, eh?

Tim, the day before smartening up began…nice ass for a gnome, eh?


For the first twenty years after we met, every time I walked past a display of gnomes with Jackie I would insist on stopping to inspect.  “Just BUY one, already,” she pleaded but they were never right; “nah, they aren’t gnomey enough.  I KNOW what I’m looking for and these ain’t it.”  To her credit, she instinctively understood my aversion to the Disney Seven Dwarves styled versions and I would try to explain that a good gnome needed to be doing something gnome-esque but also had to have a gnomish knowingness to their countenance.  I had something specific in mind but avoided describing lest she think anything matching the description would work or even that it might be the only option.  Eventually, I was able to say, “you know, like the evil duck,” which we got in Holland in 2002; thereafter, she finally seemed to get it.




And, so it came to pass that my birthday present in 2006 arrived in the form of Tim (named after Professor Leary for the sake of the mushroom and the dilated eyes); he was perfect.  Tim supervised our gardens lo these last 10 years; he is made of cast iron and the intense sun the first 3 years had already faded his colours before the damp of England started corroding his sub-structure.  I have been threatening to paint him for 3 years and finally got around to buying some acrylics and brushes.  Here he is after the rust and oxidized bits of paint were abraded with a wire brush and some coarse sandpaper:


Tim rust removal


Day One was plagued with intense rain so the primer coats had to wait until Day Two.  The first coat highlighted the manufacturing flaws that were probably filled with household putty at the gnome factory; I used some epoxy putty for a more permanent repair but allowing time to cure meant ending the day with only the final coat of primer (which had to dry 4-6 more hours) done:


Tim primer and putty


Day 3, morning: For the first paint layer, all the large areas would get a coating but I was anxious to go ahead and do the hair and beard detail all at once.  I got a nice shade of gunmetal grey by mixing the almost black “Paynes Grey” equally with titanium white; once that was tacky but not dry the brush was dipped in each of the two components and darker and lighter highlights applied for the salt-and-pepper look.  All the other colours were as they came from the tubes except the blue jeans which were a 1:3 mix of phthalo blue and blue lake.  The flesh tones don’t want to adhere so they may need three coats before the detail work starts.

Tim first coat (sm)


Finalizing:  Tim took a creepy turn as the details got started:

Tim creepy


But, now he’s as finished as I’m capable of making him with my meagre talents.  Drying overnight, sealing with a clear coat tomorrow and let that cure for 24 hours then he’s back on duty in the garden:

Tim finished (sm)



 A lifetime ago (or, two, as it turns out), a close friend — who committed suicide later that year — stole a plastic gnome-riding-a-rampant-goose and gave it to a recently wheelchair bound friend (who, coincidentally, committed suicide a few years later).  That goose riding gnome and Tim seem to have the same mischievous look about them.  The little freak in the wheelchair told me that if anything happened to him he would want me to have the goose/gnome but I guess he never really thought to put it in a last will and testament.  Damn my luck.



Posted March 27, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in art, Drugs, Made Me Laugh

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3 responses to “Gnome Improvement

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  1. Pretty good job on painting the little guy! He looks fabulous. Well done, sir.


  2. Pingback: Tim and Kesey | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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