Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Time Marches On-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I find myself once again in the month of March thinking of pubs and Ireland. The say on St. Patrick’s Day we are all Irish. I have enjoyed a pint r two in my day but the older I get the less appealing are the drunkard days of yore. However, I am still intrigued by vintage pub signs and the lore of the ambience of a place where one can escape for the harsh realities of the rat race of life, to settling into a gentle atmosphere here people can enjoy the art of conversation, revel in the music and song with lovely libations maybe chauffeur’s choice cocktail. These are the inspirations of this artwork.

Supplies:  GSLC Hanging Sign Set 1, Brown, Orange, and Gold Acrylic Paints, Pencil, Resized and Printed Vintage Pub Signs, Paintbrush, UHU GlueStick

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Resize and Print Vintage Pub Signs.
  3. Use Brown, Orange and Gold Acrylic Paints on GSLC Hanging Sign Set   We are Going for a Weathered and Worn Look.
  4. Use a Pencil to Trace the Signs onto The Printed Signs so you Know Where to Cut.
  5. I Actually Settled on Just Cutting the Signs in Their Rectangular Shape.
  6. Use Dark Brown Paint to Paint the Edges of the Signs.
  7. Glue the Prepared Pub Signs to the GSLC Hanging Sign Set 1.
  8. The Finished Pieces Look Nice Framed with a Village Street in the Background.

Final Thoughts:

The Vintage Pub Signs have significance for me and speak to the traveler side of my soul when I was bit wilder and free-spirited.

The First is Talley Ho reminding me of the Summer I spent working in Chautauqua New York at the Tally-Ho Hotel and Restaurant. I was in college and at my finest physique, learning and finding my way. There was a  small group of us that stayed on the premise some as maids for the hotel and others waiters for the restaurant. It was a time of innocence and debauchery. Somehow we got alcohol and indulged in the freedoms of youth. This is the summer that we danced at the bar as it was flooding and the borrowed car we had floated into the lake.

From the Tally-Ho Sign we go to the Stage and Fox and Hounds signs they are reminiscent of miniature pub signs I picked up the year I went to England for a week as an Ambassador of Rockledge Elementary School and stayed in very Goth bedroom of son of my host house. I was not a world traveler at this time having only spent one summer touring Europe after graduating from college. I was a bit apprehensive of the darkness, and the black painted walls but enjoyed touring the countryside and observing the differences of our educational systems. 

New words I learned while there: torch(flashlight), fag(cigarette), rubber(eraser), chips(French fries), crisps( potato chips), spotted dick and sticky offing pudding(yummy desserts), bits and bobbins(a mismatched collection), loo(bathroom), the underground(London subway), flat(apartment), grey(gray), colour(color), among others.

These signs also remind me of a favorite place to visit in Maryland, Ladew Topiary Gardens. One of the most famous topiaries is the iconic fox chase across a lawn rendered only using yew hedges.  Harvey S. Ladew was a rich socialite who grew up in 

Westbury, Long Island. His is describe as Anglophile, admiring all things of England and Britain, especially fox hunting. As the area became more suburbanized in the 1920s, it became less and less agreeable to the sport of fox hunting. Mr. Ladew had hearth was wonderful hunting in Maryland’s Hartford County and that is what enticed him to purchase a 200+ acre property in Monkton in 1920 adjacent to the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club. Ladew’s 22 acres of gardens feature more than 100 larger-than-life topiary forms which serve as the backbone and centerpiece of the gardens and define a series of garden “rooms” including the Rose, White, Yellow, Sculpture and Iris Gardens. The gardens are beautiful to visit in the three seasons they are opened, it is closed during the winter months.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Happy Birthday Howard Pyle-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Howard Pyle was born on March 5, 1853 in Wilmington, Delaware. He is famous for writing and illustrating children’s books, most significantly “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.” He was dubbed the Father of American Illustration. His work is credited with inspiring modern pirate costumes, including Johnny Depp’s look in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. A less famous work of his, and in his opinion a complete failure are the illustrations for Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shallot”. These are the inspirations of this artwork.

Supplies:  GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks , GSLC Keys & Plates Shape Set , Printed Copies of Illustrations from The Lady Of Shallot, Turquoise Stencil Butter, Small Plastic Palette Knife, Fancy Cut Trimming Scissors, Green Brush Marker,  UHU GlueStick, Metallic and Brown Acrylic Paints, Paintbrush, WeldBond Glue

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Print Copies of Illustrations from The Lady Of Shallot.
  3. Use Turquoise Stencil Butter and a Small Plastic Palette Knife to Paint Edges of GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks.
  4. Use Fancy Cut Trimming Scissors Trim Edges of Illustrations.
  5. Use a Green Brush Marker to Smudge Edges of Illustration. 
  6. Glue Illustrations to Prepared GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks.
  7. Paint GSLC Keys & Plates Shape Set with Metallic and Brown Acrylic Paints.
  8. Use WeldBond Glue to Attach GSLC Keys & Plates Shape Set to Prepared GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks.
  9. Use a Hole Punch to put Holes in the Four Corners of the GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks.
  10. Use Two Needle Nose Pliers to Connect GSLC Chunky ATC Blanks Together with Steel Jump Rings.

Final Thoughts:

Quotes from “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood”

“I live in a Land where the forests are big, and the rivers are wide and blue. The sky is as big asa forest and the birds are as merry as my friends, the men of Sherwood.”

“Here, in Sherwood, where the trees are so green and the flowers are so bright, we live outlives in the company of friends”

“When a man is in trouble, there is no greater joy than to see friend coming to help.”

“Every man deserves a second chance. Every man deserves chance to be merry and free.”

“To be a merry man, one must learnt dance with the shadows.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shalott” is a rather sad tale, without a happy ending. It seems like the sadder side of a magical kingdom. It tells the story of a young medieval woman mysteriously imprisoned on an island near Camelot. She must weave a colorful web and only watch the outside world through a mirror. If she looks at Camelot directly, she will be cursed.

It tells of unfulfilled dreams, entrapped in our own ivory towers.  If we only observe the world through our windows or reflected in our mirrors we will never know the fullness of the land of the living with all its passions and pains, its wins and losses, the calm and chaos, its  beauty and decay.

Where Howard Pyle saw these illustrations as failures I like their art nouveau appeal reminiscent of Mocha but more organic. We each have love hate with our creations. 

March is a month of changes, as children we would draw pictures of lions and lambs.  It is said that “March Come in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”

It is indeed like a lion with its fierce winds roaring, the cold like long white teeth, icicles piercing through our skin: then the gentle softness of a billowing white cloud, as white and fluffy as fleece on an ewe, the sunny fresh aired days as innocent as a new born lamb.