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

Prologue

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 #45, #46 & #47

April 4, 2016

 

 

 

I didn’t get a chance to write a new post for today because I spent the weekend trying to purchase a new coffee maker for my mother. Regular Chubby Chatterbox followers will recall that my ninety-one year old mother can be a handful, and when the nerve-calming martinis wear off I’ll write a post about this called: Death by a Thousand Drips. Until then, here are a few more Peculiar Pictures from my illustration files.

 

 

 

Catching a Tiger by the Tail (Acrylic on panel)

 

It’s hard creating characters that don’t resemble anyone in particular. Our son CJ wasn’t thrilled to have the fellow holding the lion’s tail resemble him so closely.

 

 

 

 Jackpot! (Acrylic on panel)

 

I never have luck like this when I visit Reno or Las Vegas.

 

 

 

 

 Winds of Change (Acrylic on panel)

 

I don’t recall this illustration selling, but it seems appropriate for today’s precarious world economy.

 

 

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Comments

29 Comments
The man with the brief case looks like "The Donald"
By: cranky on April 4, 2016
Very symbolic. Really like the tiger painting.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 4, 2016
When I look at your paintings and realize that a lot of them were made so that you could obviously market them, I wonder if you chose to paint caucasians so much because you knew that it would improve your chances at having art sold. I've seen your work that does feature a lot of minority faces (asian, black, hispanic) and was impressed so I know you are quite capable. I was just wondering if it was a cognizant choice on your part because your buyers were mostly white people.
By: Michael Offutt on April 4, 2016
Very cool pictures. I like the tiger by the tail. The coins look like they could roll on the people and kill them. I take that as a sign that when people win big they often spend big and do themselves in. The last one is very thought provoking especially that the guy is doing the Hitler salute. I'd like to know more about your thoughts when you created this piece.
By: Birgit on April 4, 2016
I always enjoy your peculiar pictures- talent with a twist! Your mother is quite lucky to have such a patient son- I can only imagine your day of searching for the right coffee maker !! It took us one whole day years ago to find a coffee grinder that was NOT made in China...there are certain things I can be quite stubborn about....and Russell humors me.
By: Kathe W. on April 4, 2016
Buzzkill: Yeah, he may have won the jackpot, but how's he going to get all that home?
By: Al Penwasser on April 4, 2016
You are very creative in symbolism and storytelling. Hope Mom likes the coffee maker, but I do have my fingers crossed. ;0)
By: Tabor on April 4, 2016
I love the pinwheel!
By: The Bug on April 4, 2016
I thought the guy holding the tiger by the tail looked like JFK, which maybe is a compliment to your son. I wish I had just one of those giant gold coins right now.
By: PT Dilloway on April 4, 2016
really like the pinwheel. so clever.
By: TexWisGirl on April 4, 2016
Good luck with the coffee maker and the soothing effects of the martinis Loved the tiger's eyes in the first one. He is not amused. .
By: Arkansas Patti on April 4, 2016
Fabulous pictures, the tiger especially looks very real and very angry.
By: messymimi on April 4, 2016
I'm sorry buying a simple coffee-maker is so fraught with peril. Perhaps you should start the martinis several hours before any proposed shopping trip. I like the Winds of Change one a lot. :)
By: Lexa Cain on April 4, 2016
So great seeing your work like this. The eyes on the tiger are very dramatic!
By: Tom Cochrun on April 4, 2016
I love a one-armed bandit, but the pinwheel pulls me in.
By: Val on April 4, 2016
I'm wondering why the young man pulling the tiger's tail is wearing a suit! Does he not realize he'll have to run fast and climb something quickly in about one second?
By: Pixel Peeper on April 4, 2016
I like the pinwheel best, I think- they are all good. Get her a small keurig-not as frustrating as the larger ones.
By: Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines on April 4, 2016
I love your work. But I don't envy you having to hang with a martini-less mother :) Just kidding. I wish my mom was still around to give me a hard time.
By: Rick Watson on April 4, 2016
The WInds of change one is eerily relevant now if you ask me. I just hope there WON'T be winds of change and Britain will stay in the EU at any rate !
By: Jenny woolf on April 5, 2016
I wouldn't want to be that guy pulling the tiger's tail. And I think the guy on the right in the jackpot photo looks like Donald. And the last guy looks like he's giving a Nazi salute so . . .
By: Catalyst on April 5, 2016
One of the reasons I went in the direction I did was because I had no interest in commercial art. I might have enjoyed being an illustrator for children's books but I never took to painting. You've done a fine job of it though.
By: ellen abbott on April 5, 2016
But what did your household cat think of being made in the likeness of the king of the jungle?
By: sage on April 5, 2016
I'm intrigued most by the tiger picture. His expression looks tentative, and the tiger is clearly controlling the situation.
By: Robyn Engel on April 5, 2016
I am so sorry your mother gives you such a hard time, but if it makes you feel any better, she makes my mother-in-law not seem so bad. Of course, Arlynda insists that her mother is just giving me what I deserve, Sigh.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on April 5, 2016
All intriguing paintings. I loved sage's comment.
By: jenny_o on April 5, 2016
I like all of these, and especially the pinwheel.
By: Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma on April 6, 2016
GREAT illustrations. My mother and your mother... (were hanging out clothes?)... where was I? Oh, our mothers. Mine bought a kitchen set in 1964. She immediately hated it. She hated it for 46 years. She bought a new kitchen set in 2010. She has hated that one for 6 years. I took her to pick out the new one. Somehow they're both my fault. I was 10 in 1964.
By: Mitchell Is Moving on April 7, 2016
Stephen: I love and admire your talent and your paintings. Brilliant!
By: MICHAEL MANNING on April 12, 2016
The first picture is great (cough,tiger,coughcough) The second one looks like it could be titled "Lilliputians in Vegas". The third is just cool to look at. Cat
By: Cat on April 19, 2016

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