Friday, August 19, 2011

Fabulous or Frightening?

I bought this on ebay.

I can explain.

I met a guy recently who impressed me tremendously. He's a naturalist from the state of Delaware who retired in Vermont some 20 years ago. He's 86 years old and he looks like 30 years younger. I mean, strong legs, straight back, clear eyes - hearing that is way better than mine. When we met he told me he and his wife had been out every night for the last six nights, mostly listening to classical music or going to wine tastings and the like.

It came up in our conversation that he had written and illustrated a few books of natural history while he was still working. He explained that he used something called "scratchboard" to illustrate these books. I didn't know anything about scratchboard and he explained. It's pretty much like it sounds - you scratch away the image from a board and the board can than be used to make prints.

So..... Fast forward a few weeks and somehow, while searching for paintings of Terriers I saw this kitten. I am not sure how that happened, but you know how the Internet is.

I don't know if what I have here the actual scratchboard or a print. I don't want to break it out of the frame and it hardly matters to me. I was just lured in by the "scratchboard" part of the description - and the eyes. This item was created by an artist called Helen Anderson and the ebay seller was trying to gin up interest by noting that Ms. Anderson had an auction record of $750. (My price, $9.99 and I was the only bidder.) Can you believe it?

So, here is an addition to the collection who now gazes up at my cracked ceiling with his little open mouth and wee paw fetchingly placed on, what is that? A ball? Whatever.

Frankly, I can't decide whether I like it or should be embarrassed. OK, I like it, but I think that means I should be embarrassed. What do you think?

Shackleton speaks:

At dinner tonight, while he was refusing to eat the broken hamburger that his father was trying to sell as "sloppy Joes" Shack said, "If I were a monster, I would eat all of the human being except the head. Who wants hair with their human?"

Another excellent question.