Original Acrylic on Board
Image: 14″ x 30″
Framed: 22″ x 38″
Giclee Print on Mounted Canvas
Edition of 300 S/N
Image: 13.5″ x 24″
The first time I saw these antique German puppets was nearly 15 years ago. I knew that they would be great fun to paint, but for various reasons I never got around to painting them until recently. Sometimes I will think about painting a certain subject or subjects, but it often takes the juxtaposition of another object to make it all come together.
In this case I had been fooling around with a great old trunk that I bought at a flea market, and I was trying to find the right “stuff” to put in it for a still life painting when I thought of the puppets. I couldn’t wait to get started.
To make the puppets hold their positions and appear animated I put wire inside them, which was tricky because they are very old and the cloth is quite fragile, both from age (they are at least fifty years old) and the kind of aggressive play that hand puppets are subject to. In fact, the king was missing a foot and while Punch, though scarred, is there, Judy was nowhere to be found.
Capturing the puppets’ attitudes was a challenge, as was rendering the wrinkles and folds in the cloth. The purple lining in the trunk made a perfect background for the varied colors of the puppets. This is actually one of the more colorful paintings that I have done in awhile, and it was great fun to paint.