There’s something downright therapeutic about sitting on a porch, taking in those country views and enjoying the fresh air.
So when Rethink:Rural decided to set up a booth at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia, it seemed only right that we give away an ideal ingredient for front porch sittin’ -- comfortable, high-quality Adirondack rocking chairs.
We purchased the pretty chairs through Cracker Barrel, but we wanted to make them one-of-a-kind. We enlisted artist Stephanie Flynn to give each chair a unique, country look.
Stephanie turned to Rethink:Rural’s line of bumper stickers (which we’ll be handing out to anyone who visits our booth, FL-61B in the Family Life building!) for inspiration. She chose our most popular design - which shows baby chicks with the words “Country Chick” - for one chair.
For the other, she selected an appropriate counterpart, a Texas-inspired design featuring stars with the words, “Country Gentleman.”
Stephanie, who earned her bachelor’s degree after studying the arts at East Carolina University, is no stranger to commissioned artwork. The Fernandina Beach, Florida, resident has made canvas paintings to order, constructed furniture on spec and redecorated entire homes. She plans the decor for weddings. She even painted a mural in a Jacksonville, Florida, restaurant that was so lifelike, a man injured himself trying to walk up the stairs in the painting.
For the rocking chairs, Stephanie hand-drew the designs on paper, ensuring they were exactly scaled to fit the fronts of each chair. Then she used transfer paper - a grown-up version of tracing paper that presses an imprint of the design onto the desired surface - to place the designs exactly where she wanted them on the chairs. She then used the transferred design (shown to the right) as her guide to meticulously paint multiple coats of multipurpose, outdoor-ready paint on each chair.
The completed chairs were then brought to Georgia to be given away at the close of the Oct. 20-22, 2015, Sunbelt Ag Expo. Anyone who visits the booth can enter to win. Rethink:Rural, which is managed by Raydient Places + Properties, will also give away a kids' John Deere Gator.
Stephanie said she was inspired to become an artist by her uncle, who was a talented graphic designer. In fact, she first went to art school to become a graphic designer. But, once there, she discovered she was more passionate about metalsmithing. She majored in the subject, learning to use all kinds of high tech tools to build her designs - from large pieces to intricate jewelry.
But after graduating, she found that the tools and materials for metalsmithing were extremely expensive. On the other hand, she minored in painting, and she found that her paintings sold quickly. She began painting items to sell, including a number of sport fish paintings like the one below.
One of her favorite pieces was all about country living: a woman commissioned a painting to surprise her farmer husband. The woman asked Stephanie to incorporate an old family barn, a photo of her husband's father, and some favorite hens on the family's farm. Stephanie said it was exciting to bring all those elements together into a piece that became a centerpiece in the family's home.
Stay tuned for our future interview with Stephanie, in which she'll share tips on refurbishing and redesigning old furniture.
And if you love front porch sitting, but you don't yet have the country land to enjoy it on, consider taking a look at the rural land for sale at raydientplaces.com.
Most photos courtesy of Stephanie Flynn.