Saturday, November 23, 2013

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

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

"N" Is For Nash, (Lost and Found, No. 14)

                                           An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                            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
America's roads.

     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

The Sleigh-bell, (Lost and Found, No. 9)

                                         An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                         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
icy treat.

     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.    

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lost And Found, No. 3

                                           An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                            3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                            $45.00, ( plus $10.00, pack and ship)