Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste


Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Peculiar Pictures 39, 40, 41

December 16, 2015


I’ve mentioned the Business Fundamentals CD I created for Artville back in the 90’s when I was a professional illustrator, and here are a few images from that CD.


I was tasked with painting business clichés and other images that might appeal to art directors in need of business related imagery—the reason many of the men are holding briefcases. I was given two months to create sixty illustrations, after first providing drawings for approval before beginning the final pieces. This left me only six weeks to paint sixty images, so these were all painted rapidly in quick-drying acrylic, sometimes two or three illustrations a day. Because I worked so speedily, I have little memory of this time and can barely recall painting these pictures.


This turned out to be my most lucrative illustration project, although many of the images showing computers and cell phones are now outdated and aren’t popular. Still, after fifteen years most of these images continue to sell, and I continue to cash the royalty checks.














I hope everyone is having a terrific week.





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Smart project... you should give consideration for creating Version 2.0 or Volume II. Based on your comment... there is a market for your images.
By: Daniel LaFrance on December 16, 2015
the head-in-the-sand is a good one, but i really like the clever sardines one.
By: TexWisGirl on December 16, 2015
nice to have work that continues to bring in income.
By: ellen abbott on December 16, 2015
your illustrations always tickle my funny bone and they are so sharply to the point! Cheers- glad they are still bringing in $$.
By: Kathe W. on December 16, 2015
I love getting royalty checks. Jilda and I wrote songs 20 years ago that are still being used. We can't retire off our checks, but I smile every time I get one. You should try to put some of these on Canva. It's a site where people can build presentations online and they buy one-time use art to go in their presentations. R
By: Rick Watson on December 16, 2015
Royalty checks must be a wonderful thing. I love dividend checks!
By: cranky on December 16, 2015
The three images you've shared are brilliant and seemingly timeless. I can't believe you were able to produce so many paintings in that timeframe! And quality paintings at that!
By: Mitchell is Moving on December 16, 2015
Ah, those lovely royalty checks. Wish I'd thought of something like that.
By: Catalyst on December 16, 2015
Very, very clever stuff, Stephen!!
By: fishducky on December 16, 2015
I would consider those illustrations as being timeless--even long past the days when sardine tins were commonplace.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on December 16, 2015
I really like the second one. I often feel like doing that too. In fact I do right now.
By: LL Cool Joe on December 16, 2015
These are just amazing. Glad you're still cashing those checks!!
By: Bouncin Barb on December 16, 2015
I checked EBay and Amazon and couldn't find a copy of this for sale. Darn. I really wanted to own some of your artwork.
By: PT Dilloway on December 16, 2015
Hey, let's see the rest of these paintings. Somebody has a great sense of humor. They catch your eye.
By: red on December 16, 2015
Ooh! The sardine key instead of the flip top! That one's my favorite.
By: Val on December 16, 2015
Sometimes that elephant really does have the upper hand, er, uh, foot.
By: messymimi on December 16, 2015
I certainly enjoy seeing your visual art. Thanks for sharing it from time to time.
By: Tom Cochrun on December 16, 2015
These are great!
By: jenny_o on December 20, 2015

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