Archive | March, 2013

For Sale: Three Peppers

28 Mar

Three bell peppers in dry brush watercolor and colored  pencil on Arches 140 lb watercolor paper:

ORIGINAL Watercolor Painting, Three Bell Peppers, Kitchen Art, Vegetable Art, Original Watercolor Painting

“Three Peppers,” copyright 2013, by S. K. Cole, all rights reserved.

Available for purchase  here:

They Are Immortal?

28 Mar

Again, found on Pinterest. These likenesses of modern-day celebrities with photos and paintings from the past are pretty amazing:

immortal celebrities


27 Mar

This are the beginning paragraphs of a short story called Prune–Why–Oh from my second book, Foleytown. It’s about picking prunes in the Sacramento Valley around 1970ish. This excerpt also explains somewhat why I call my childhood landscape of memories “Foleytown.”


Foleytown was, of course, not really a place, but a state of mind; my childhood landscape of memories, encompassing the domains both spiritual and temporal of the whole Foley clan, of which I was the youngest, the “baby” of the family. Like any family, we had our little rituals and traditions, including a rather important one we called, simply, Prune-Why-Ohing

Prune-Why-Oh was the title of one of my mother’s homemade songs; she had a lot of them, most of which were either eccentric or often, just very dopey parodies of real songs. But the term was also a kind of shorthand: it stood for the many childhood summers we of the Foley clan spent picking prunes for pocket money in the fruit orchards ringing UlloaCity.

My mother, Mary Foley, created the Prune-Why-Oh song and many others to keep us busy while we scooped up the prunes and plopped them into metal buckets on long summer days. The melody was the same as the standard church hymn, Kumbaya— the beloved tune strummed by countless guitar-playing nuns at the “guitar Masses” in the Sixties and early Seventies.

The lyrics to Prune-Why-Oh were simple enough, a simple parody of the original ones, and the chorus went like this:

“Prune-Why-Oh, My Lord


Oh, Lord, Prune-Why Oh”

Days in the fields usually started with me my mother singing the Prune-Why-Oh song very early in the morning, at 4:30 a.m. or so, while packing a picnic lunch to take with us to the orchards.

Now, we always called `the process prune picking—not plum picking—because the ripe raw, plums were all headed eventually for the SunSweet Prune Drying Plant near Sacramento. There, the plump purplish-reddish globes we picked were sorted, treated and dried into prunes.

Picking prunes was not really that hard; that’s why even a six-year-old could do it. A machine we called The Shaker detached the future prunes from their trees, and pickers like our family were employed to scoop them up, put them in buckets, and ultimately deposit the contents of the buckets into large, square wood-slatted containers called “bins.” We mostly got paid by the bin, although at least one establishment that employed us paid by the bucket—25 cents for a small one and 50 cents for a large one.

These were plum wages for the time.

Collection on Pinterest

27 Mar

My Pinterest board is mostly up-to-date. I still  have a lot of old work (and newish work) to photograph and post. But for now it’s the most complete record of my artwork that’s available.

Most Views

23 Mar

The most viewed item in my Etsy shop over the past eight months is this abstract/found object piece, featuring a flat paintbrush I burned out many, many moons ago:

Abstract Oil Painting w Paintbrush "Mad Men" Era Style

Abstract Paintbrush Painting, Copyright 2013 by S. K. Cole, all rights reserved.

Available for sale here.

Whiskey Galore

23 Mar

It seems like every day, I run across some weird art contest or other. Who knew that the makers of Glenfiddich Scotch have an annual, international “arists in residency” program, where the chosen artists live and work for several months amongst the barrels of gently fermenting barley in Dufftown, Scotland?

Do these artists actually get any work done during their “residencies”, I wonder?

If you are not familiar with the classic old Scottish comedy, Whiskey Galore, here’s a clip I found on Youtube:

3-D Painting?

23 Mar

This is a little old, but here is a fun article on a series of  “3-D paintings” that were exhibited in December in China. The paintings/sculptures are all pretty tongue-in-cheek. The guy who painted the one on the left probably watched Jaws one too many times:

A Quacking Good Contest

19 Mar

The annual U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Duck Stamp Competition”  (immortalized in the Coen Brothers’ movie Fargo) will judge entries in September. The competition has been held every year since 1934. Proceeds from sales of the winning stamp are used to purchase and maintain wetland refuges for ducks and other wildlife. Here is a picture of last year’s winning stamp, by wildlife artist Robert Steiner of San Francisco:

Last year’s competition only garnered 192 entries out of a nation of 320 million+ people. That’s pretty good odds in my book.

For Sale

19 Mar

This study of eggs and oranges in watercolor and colored ink gets a lot of “likes” at my Etsy shop. Available for sale here:

Eggs “n Oranges. Watercolor and colored ink on 140 lb cold press watercolor paper. Copyright 2013 by S. K. Cole, all rights reserved.

Pencil Portraits

19 Mar

The U. K. ‘s Daily Mail has a feature about an Indonesian artist, Veri Apriyatno, who specializes in creating detailed self-portraits in pencil. Some pretty impressive works are pictured in the article, including this stunning one:

The artist features several times in each work of the series entitled 'Narcis Diagnosis' about different emotions he has felt at different times during his life