Friday, February 28, 2014
An original, miniature painting
3.5x5" mixed-media on illustration board
$45.00, ( plus $6.00, pack and ship )
This is another of the miniatures which I used as something to occupy my time
while I was remaining still, during recuperation from heart surgery. The little red
top I included in this one, was one of several tops which were passed down to my
brother and I when we were boys, from a time-worn, toy collection which our
father and his brothers played with when they were boys.
In this new electronic age, the old days of simple, hand-made, wooden toys
must seem like very ancient history to today's generation of children. Tops such as
this one must look like odd little curiosities to them, and I doubt that any of the kids
would have any idea of how to play with them.
Ancient history it may be, but I can still remember hours devoted to seeing how
long we could make the tops spin, by carefully wrapping the top's string around them
before we launched them. The more tightly the string was spiraled around the top,
the faster it would spin when it was thrown with great force, while still holding on to
the end of the string. Then, like things which had come alive, the tops would hop
around a bit when they first hit the pavement, but they would quickly right themselves
to stand on their points and spin as if determined to drill their tips into the concrete.
But sooner or later the tops would loose their high-speed velocity, and they would
begin to wobble a bit, and then spin in arcs, as they struggled to maintain a vertical
stance, before finally toppling over and rolling to a stop.
There is a metaphor in that for us isn't there? We spend our lives spinning along
at top speed, until we finally begin to loose our momentum, and then we start to wobble
a bit and loose our balance. And usually when it about over, that wonderful spin
turns out to have lasted for a much shorter time than we were hoping for when we began.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
An original oil painting on stretched canvas
$3,000.00, (plus $60.00, pack & ship)
I pulled this painting out of storage because I thought it made an interesting
contrast to the painting in my previous posting called The Winter Solstice.
The two paintings are examples of how views of very, similar subject matter,
can be developed into two such widely divergent works of art, not only in size
but also in technique and style of expression. The small, mixed-media painting
is a more traditional viewpoint, of the serenity and beauty of new-fallen snow at
first light of day. By contrast, the big oil painting is an expressionistic viewpoint
of the more violent aspects of winter weather, showing an old pine tree, sagging
under the weight of ice and falling snow, creaking in the wind, and perhaps even
snapping and breaking its branches. It shows a different kind of icy beauty than
the peaceful serenity of The Winter Solstice.
(Click on image to enlarge.)
There is a bit of a double meaning to the title of this painting. A "blast" can
refer to an enjoyable painting session, while working in the abstract expressionist
manner of just cutting loose with a large brush and letting it attack and dance the
paint onto the canvas, balancing stroke against stroke, and passage against
passage, until a satisfying whole is achieved.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
An original mixed-media painting, on stretched canvas
$200.00, (plus $12.00, pack and ship)
This is another of the paintings which I made as a Christmas card design,
but it may have a more lasting appeal than that, for some viewers of the blog.
The original design included a buck deer with a large rack of horns, but I finally
felt that the painting was more satisfying without anything other than the early dawn
light on the snow covered, mountain landscape. So, I decided to use the deer
in a larger painting, and simplified the composition in this painting. As a general
rule, I find that small paintings are more successful if their compositions are very
simple and uncluttered.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
An original mixed-media miniature
3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x5")
$50.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)
I don't really have an answer to the question posed by the title of this little miniature.
I suppose I chose that title simply because of the semi-amusing alliteration, created when
someone asks the question. If there are some viewers of this posting, who feel that they
may have an answer or a story to fit the question, please feel free to leave your comments.
Monday, November 11, 2013
An original mixed-media miniature
3.5x5", ( mat size, 8.5x10")
$45.00, (plus $10.00, pack & ship)
"N is for Nash, and P is for Packard, and S is for Studebaker, and W is for ....."
In the late 1930's, perhaps that kind of memorization was used to help children learn
their letters. when they were playing with their alphabet, building-blocks and toy cars.
Those were the days when practically all the cars on America's streets and highways
were the proud products of American car companies. Sadly enough, for American
workers, the time would soon come when many of those proud names would be gone.
After World War ll, the overpowering competition from foreign and domestic car
makers, swallowed up many of the once-proud, brand names, and now we are left
with only vague memories of so many of those gleaming icons which once ruled
The tiny, toy car in this miniature, which I found in the bottom of a long-forgotten
toy-box, dates from those years shortly before the war. That was in the days before
war-shortages of commodities such as metal for castings and rubber for wheels, made
the manufacture of such toys a rarity during the early 1940's.
The little toy car appears to have traveled many an imaginary mile in the busy hands
of the two small boys of the household at that time, who were my brother and I, living in
a much more carefree age. The car suffered some paint loss and is a bit bent, but
it still rolls on its original wheels, even after more than seven decades of waiting for a
child to come along and take it out for another ride.
They made them well in those days. They made them strong, durable and reliable:
the cars, and the toys........and brothers.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
An original mixed-media miniature
3.5x5", ( mat size, 8.5x10")
$65.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)
The antique, heavy-weight bell in this painting, with its incised, petals design on the
base, must have been a fairly costly trinket in its day. It is worn and tarnished now,
(I have taken the liberty of brightening it up a bit in the painting), but back when it was
new and brightly polished, a full compliment of such bells on a horses' livery and graceful
sleigh, would have made an impressive display for a snowy, winter sleigh-ride.
The old bell brings back memories of my childhood, during the mid 1940's, memories
of wilting-hot summers, in the days before air-conditioning and television. That was when
the other children of the neighborhood and I spent our days outdoors, running around
barefooted and trying to avoid any patches of the sidewalks which were not well shaded
from the broiling heat of the sun. Streets which had been baking in the sun all day were
crossed in rapid sprints, accompanied by multiple utterances such as "Ouch! Ouch!
Oh oh, ouch!", until the safety of a shaded sidewalk was reached again.
You may be asking what an ancient sleigh-bell has to do with the heat of summer,
so I will explain the connection. Even in those days there was a vendor we all called
"the ice-cream man", who drove along the streets distributing frozen treats to children,
in exchange for the small coins which we ran breathlessly to fetch from our mothers.
The big difference between those days and now, was the unique means of transportation
used by our ice-cream vendor. He drove an ancient truck which was built on a high,
narrow chassis, and which stood on tall wheels with thick spokes radiating from the hubs
to the tires. The back of the truck had windows along both sides, and when the driver
stopped for the eager shouts of his small customers, he could go from the front of the
truck into the narrow aisle at the rear and stand tightly compressed between the dry-ice
cooled cabinets on either side. When a child called out his choice of cold confection,
the driver knew exactly which compartment-lid to lift and reach down to retrieve the
And now here is where the sleigh-bell memories come into the story. Those days
were long before the age of recorded tunes playing over the loud-speakers, which we
see and hear playing repeatedly from atop the ice-cream trucks of today. The vendor
needed some other method of alerting the children of the neighborhood that he was
coming our way, and he had found the solution to the problem in the tall spokes on the
wheels of his truck. He had strung old sleigh-bells together, and he wove them in and
out between the spokes of the wheels, so that as he drove along, the bells rang-out their
jingling and jangling announcement of his arrival, as effectively as if he were driving an
old-fashioned, circus-parade wagon. We could all hear the ice-cream man coming
from way over on the next street.
Somehow the remembered music of those bouncing, jingling sleigh-bells, holds
more merriment in my mind, than all of the monotonous tunes being endlessly broadcast
from truck's loud-speakers these days, could ever achieve.
As for the bell in this painting, I don't recall exactly how it came to us. I suppose
that we could have found it in the street as a lost bell, perhaps even from the ice-cream
man's truck, but I vaguely recall that it was something my father had from earlier days.
It might have been an interesting story, to hear how he acquired it, but that was another
story never told.