Thursday, September 20, 2012

Losing Your Marbles

Losing Your Marbles
12" x 24"
oil on panel

Most of us have heard the expression, 
"You have lost your marbles." 
Maybe we heard a relative say it after 
getting frustrated about something, 
throwing their arms in the air, exclaiming 
"ak! I have lost my marbles!"

When your a kid, hearing this sounds, well, strange. 
It is what is called an idiom. That’s a phrase whose meaning
 doesn’t match up with the meaning of 
the actual words used in the phrase.
They haven't really lost their actual marbles, 
they just feel like they are going a little crazy
or losing your mind.

photo from John B. Southard Jr.

Here is what the blog Wonderopolis 
has to say about the subject:

Experts believe losing one’s marbles originated in the United States in the late 1800s. Marbles — those little glass or metal balls children use to play a variety of games — were popular toys long ago. The word “marbles,” though, was also used to refer to one’s personal belongings or “stuff.”
Some people believe “marbles” eventually came to be associated with one’s mind or wits or common sense, too. Since marbles were important playthings and one’s personal belongings or “stuff” would also be very important, one can see how one’s mind or wits or common sense could be associated with these other important things.
One can imagine a young child playing with his favorite marbles around the turn of the 20th century. Marbles could be carried easily in pockets, so he could take the game with him wherever he went. If he were to lose one or more of these prized possessions, he would certainly feel a sense of loss and likely a sense of anger or despair. He might even appear crazy as he searched frantically for the missing marbles.

Since  the late 1800's the phrase has appeared in literature.
In the 1954 film The Caine Mutiny Humphrey Bogart linked insanity with marbles when he showed his character, the demented Lt. Cmdr. Queeg, restlessly jiggling a set of metal balls when under stress in court.
photo from TvTropes
For me many times I have been joked with, 
asked if I have lost my marbles again. 
Or would be told someone found one of my marbles.
I certainly do love my marbles, both my glass ones
and the ones in my mind.

Here is a video of me losing some of my marbles this morning.

detail  Losing Your Marbles

Losing Your Marbles 
 will be showing at
Elliott Fouts Gallery
October Still Life Show
October 6, 2012 to November 1, 2012
Sacramento, CA

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Violets No. 1

Violets No.1
16" x 12"
oil on panel

Growing up I loved Spring. Spring meant daffodils and violets. 
But not just a few violets, hundreds and hundreds of them grew
all over my families farm. I was always able to pick them
to my hearts content. I would bring them in the house and
 arrange them in my Mom's small glass jars and vases.
She would put them in her kitchen window sills
and decorate the bathrooms with them.
This painting reminds me of those moments.

My sweet little one picking from the same violet
patches that I did at her age.

Violets No. 1

Violets No. 1 will be showing at
Elliott Fouts Gallery
October Still Life Show
October 6, 2012 to November 1, 2012
Sacramento, CA


Sometimes when I set out to plan a painting,
I keep myself open to exploring different possibilities.
On this day I sat in my studio with two tin horses,
and went from there.
These two horse and riders are
Cracker Jack premiums from the 1930's to 1940's.
I had an idea of them appearing to be going on a ride together.
Then I remembered I had a third horse and rider.
The larger horse is from a
1950's Chein tin merry-g-round wind up toy.
Suddenly the quiet two character image involved a third character,
but I needed something else.
What were they going to be doing, how was I feeling,
what did I want to show.
Jumping a wooden spool! That was it.
I ride and love the feeling of going through a field
and jumping a log if it is in your way. There is a freedom you feel.
Also I felt the symbolism of us all having hurdles to cross.
Setting up my compositions can sometimes be tricky.
Here I am using a microphone stand to tie a string from it
to the larger horse to help keep it propped up.
The final painting:
16" x 20"
oil on panel 
Hurdles will be showing at
Elliott Fouts Gallery
October Still Life Show
October 6, 2012 to November 1, 2012
Sacramento, CA

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

IGOR opening and show link.

The International Guild of Realism: 
7th Annual Juried Exhibition
at Jones & Terwilliger Galleries 
in Carmel, California

Opens this weekend.
September 7th - September 30th, 2012  
Opening Reception: 
Saturday, September 15th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Link to see the show
Jones & Terwiller Galleries



Monday, September 3, 2012

Mystery in the Studio

I walked in to my studio today to find something out of place.
A mystery to be solved!

Here is what I found. . .

I had a new still life set up with my dear Butch, 
who so very carefully 
was holding still 
with a dog biscuit on his nose. 
But it is gone!
With only crumbs left behind.

Here are the suspects in the case:

 Ever loyal, but if anything, 
I mean anything edible hits the floor, 
he nabs it.

Sweet soul, great friends with Suspect #1 and Suspect #3. 
But you can't trust those sweet eyes, 
she is a great cheerleader.

Food obsessed domestic white feline who stalks around like a panther on the prowl.
Whether it is to swat the hind end of Suspect #1 , 
or stealing a loaf of bread 
from poor artists kitchen counter. 
Can not be trusted.

Here is the underpainting showing Butch's missing bone:

Stay tuned for the finished painting. 
The question is, 
will Butch have his bone back, 
or will there only be crumbs in the final painting.

Lesson learned:
Don't trust any four legged creature milling around
with tasty props about, especially
dangly tasty props hanging from a string!