Saturday, April 5, 2014

Donald's Game ( Lost and Found, No. 17 )

                                                   An original mixed-media on illustration board
                                                   3.5x5" unframed, ( mat size, 8.5x10")
                                                   $40.00, - ( plus $6.00, pack and ship )

     In my previous posting, I mentioned last fall's finding of two sets of long-
forgotten, children's, card games.  Since one tray of the little "libraries" of game
"volumes" was made up of games named for Disney, animated characters, they
seemed to fit in quite naturally with the little lost-and-found series which I had
been doodling around with at the time, while remembering days long gone by.

     Back in the nineteen thirties and forties, before the arrival of television killed
off all the local, neighborhood movie-theaters, movie-going was a weekly or
twice-weekly habit for the American public.  Those theaters were where a full
evening's entertainment, including a double feature, newsreels and cartoons,
could be enjoyed for the price of a small coin.

     Often times, the cartoons being shown in the theaters in those days, were
Walt Disney cartoons, featuring Walt's alter-ego Mickey Mouse, and Donald
Duck.  Mickey and Donald were the bread-and-butter stars of Walt's animated
short films, and their contrasting personalities also made them the yin and yang
of the cartoon world.  Mickey was ever the smiling, gentlemanly optimist, but
mercurial tempered Donald was forever erupting into tantrums, when his plans
or schemes went awry and backfired on him.

     The Donald Duck card game is labeled volume one, of the little, six volume
set of games licensed by Disney.  I couldn't very well have painted a tribute to
Mickey without also having done one for Donald, and this was it.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Old Forgotten Friends (Lost and Found, No. 15)

                                               An original, mixed media on illustration board
                                               5x7", unframed - (mat size, 10x12")
                                               $80.00, - (plus $7.00, pack and ship)

     Last fall, I began the chore of digging through decades of the accumulations of
possessions which seem to define one's life, in preparation for an estate sale of some
sort.  In the process, as I was rummaging through the book cabinets which flank the
living-room fireplace, I ran across things which I hadn't noticed in many decades.
Tucked behind some dusty, old sets of encyclopedias, I discovered two sets of
children's, card games, which haven't been played with since the mid 1940's.
     There are six games of miniaturized cards in each set, boxed up to look like six
little books, on two little, library tray-shelves, six to each tray.  There are printed foil
labels on the front of the trays which identify them as Library of Games, and
Mickey Mouse Library of Games.  The first set has some of the more commonly
played children's games, such as Old Maid, and the second set also has six games,
but each is named after one of the animated characters which helped to create the
Disney empire.

     The third "volume" of the Mickey Mouse set of games, was named for Mickey
himself, and featured him on the cover of the little box.  Since I had been doodling
around with my Lost and Found series at the time, it became logical to include
Mickey in one of the series, along with the little Snow White dwarf which started
me down memory lane in the first place.


Friday, February 28, 2014

The Old Red Top ( Lost and Found No.19 )

                                                 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

A Wintry Blast

                                                        An original oil painting on stretched canvas
                                                         48x24", unframed
                                                         $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

The Winter Solstice

                                        An original mixed-media painting, on stretched canvas
                                        10x8", unframed
                                        $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

Why "Y"? (Lost and Found, No.8)

                                                 An original mixed-media miniature
                                                  3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                                 $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.

Only Twenty Four Letters To Go (Lost and Found, No.7)

                                                     An original mixed-media miniature
                                                     3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                                     $60.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)