Sunday, August 31, 2014

Neptune Rising

                                                         An original acrylic painting, on canvas panel
                                                         24 X 30", unframed
                                                         $2,800.00, - ( plus $40.00, pack and ship)

     In some of my previous postings, such as Raffaello's Boy, and A Sunrise Visitor,
I have referred to a unique shopping district here, dating back to the early 20th century,
and designed to have the character of a southern, European village.  The original
developer of the area purchased numerous art objects and sculptures to enhance the
architecture, and as I mentioned before, I have sometimes found those well-crafted
artworks useful as subjects for drawing and painting.  This painting, is on a more
generous scale than those I mentioned, and it is also based on another of the fountains
which grace the district.

     I chose to show the fountain at sunset so as to soften the architectural features of
the structures in the background, in order to let viewers concentrate on the fountain
rather than the shops behind it.   That time of evening would also probably be
appropriate, to the Roman mythology, which says Apollo's golden chariot is sinking
beyond the western horizon, and now King Neptune may rise from the sea, pulled
by his troi-ca, while brandishing his trident at all those who would risk embarking
on his stormy realm.

                                                              ( click on image to enlarge )

     As for the sculpture itself, it dates from 1911, and is credited to the Bromsgrove
Guild Of Applied Arts, of Worcestershire England, a company of artists and designers
best known for creating the main gates at Buckingham Palace.
     After arriving here to his new home in the early 1950's, Old King Neptune first arose
from his permanently landlocked, watery pool in Kansas City, in 1953..


Friday, August 22, 2014

Bambi's Game ( Lost and Found, No.18 )

                                          An original mixed media painting on illustration board
                                          3.5 x 5" unframed, ( Mat size, 8.5 x 10" )
                                         $65.00, ( plus $7.00, pack and ship )

     Fall is rapidly approaching; it will soon be the season of the harvest, and the hunt.
Deer hunters will be headed to the woodlands, and little girls will be accusing their
fathers of trying to shoot Bambi.  That reminded me of one of the pieces from the
Lost And Found series which kept me quietly occupied after heart surgery last year,
when I was trying to move as little as possible.  The title Bambi's Game, refers to one
of the "books" of children's card games, sold in the 1940's as a set of six, Disney,
licensed, card games, in a "library shelf" collection..  I had discovered that set and a
similar set, tucked away in the back of a bookcase, and untouched for decades.

     The rules for playing the Bambi Game, as with all the other forgettable, little games,
are simplistic little systems of exchanging or gaining cards, and are not actually based
on Disney's films.  If the Bambi Game had been based on the movie, from what I
remember of the story, it would have been a game of life and death.  Bambi's real
games were the tough lessons he had to learn by experience, about how to avoid
being burned alive in forest fires, and how to avoid being killed by hunters.

     When it comes right down to it, the toughest lessons we all have to learn in life,
are those that we must acquire by experiencing life as it comes, taking the good with
the bad, and moving on as we are best able.  Hope springs eternal..... for Bambi,
and for the rest of us.

Raffaello's Boy

                                           An original acrylic painting, on archival, watercolor paper
                                           30 x 20", unframed,  ( mat size, 36 x 26" )
                                           $2,200.00,  ( plus $30.00, pack and ship )

     A previous posting, in this blog, was of a painting I called A Sunrise Visitor.
It was a  painting of one of the fountains, in a unique, local shopping area, built in
the early twentieth century, in the style of a southern European village, and which
has a reputation as the nation's first shopping center. In that posting, I mentioned
that I had often used the various, imported, antique sculptures and fountains of that
shopping district as subjects for drawings and paintings.  This painting of another,
well-crafted fountain, was from that same area.

     The fountain was sculpted by Raffaello Romanelli, and is a combination of
bronze and Verona marble.  A joyous, little toddler splashes in the upper bowl,
while being squirted by a cooperative frog.  In the classical tradition, the bowl is
being supported by a faun, seated on a porpoise (which looks like a much more
menacing creature than a porpoise) and both are perched on the marble pedestal.

     I don't know if Romanelli used his own child as the model for the boy in the
fountain, but it seems likely that he would have used his own family members as
subjects for many drawings, and three-dimensional works as well. The fountain
was purchased in 1929, following the sculptor's death in 1928.

     I can still recall seeing the fountain when I was a child in the 1940's, in the
years when it still had its own corner plot of green space, with a background of
flowers and shrubs.  But in the ensuing decades, the escalating, property values
in the district have pushed the ever-expanding commercial development closer
and closer to the fountain.  As it stands now, there is barely room for it next to
a growing restaurant, and the eternally laughing child has been practically priced
out of a home.

     One of the old rules of commerce never changes----money always takes
precedence over art.

                                                        ( click on image to enlarge)