Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Frackin' Bolshevik

This is the first in a series of pieces of business paper for C. B. Stalnaker. He was known as "Charlie" in the oil extraction business of the early 30's, 40's and very early 50's of Northern Montana and Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. I have an image of a device with this label on it, and I also have a piece of Charlie's business paper that specifies this very device - a torpedo - by name. This one has some information missing or I could actually point to a spot on the map where he used 35 quarts of oil explosive - nitroglycerin - to improve the output of the well. Charlie was an expert. He died in bed at the age of 87.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Common Goldeneye #23 in Series

This is my art work for the 2013 Federal Duck stamp issue. I'm finally back to doing some art in my studio, and these needed to be done for subscribers that have been waiting for three months for something that they've paid for already - at least the stamps. And - it's not quite duck season. I'll be back to the Charlie Stalnaker story in short order.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Charlie Stalnaker, The Shooter.

C. B. Stalnaker was a Shooter. He was to the oil extraction business what the Roto-Rooter man is to the plumbing business of today. The Bolshevik- Greene Cave Catcher, or as it was known to begin with The Bolshevik Safe Electric Time Bomb was one of his 'tools'. After all, a shooter has to have the right tools.

There is of course a story that I'm going to tell about Mr. Stalnaker. I knew him because I delivered a newspaper to the man, and collected for them every two weeks. I had no idea the kind of life this man led. Trust me. It involves the border, Nitro Glycerin in the rumble seat and a frackin' Bolshevik.

I told you he was a SHOOTER. This is not from a fake birth certificate. It is from a piece of billhead for Mr. Stalnaker's company. The magazine was NOT in town. More on that later.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Miss Ostrich Duster, 1896

Because this piece of billhead listed Ostrich Dusters as one of the line items, I decided that I would produce another Ostrich Duster piece, and this time their destination is C. W. Rank & Company in Virginia City, Montana.

I mentioned in the narrative at the time that I had another piece of billhead that I was going to use to portray a lady sitting on an Ostrich. I LOST track of that piece of paper, only to come across it again a little over a month ago. I was happy to find it, but the fact that I lost it has driven me to come up with a better means of keeping track of all the fabulous paper I've gathered in the past three years. It's amazing I haven't 'lost' more of it.

I know I haven't been posting lately, and it isn't that I've been idle. I've more projects in the works for those of you that follow.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Willie's War Horse

Wm.Wrigley Junior Company

This is a piece I will be offering at the Western Heritage Artists Show next week in Great Falls, Montana, during Western Art Week. It is a two page letter from Wrigley's explaining why NOBODY in the U.S. will be able to purchase Wrigley's gum until the war is over. Along with a copy of the first page, I am also including the original second page, as well as the model that I used for the image I included. Bill Mauldin was a cartoonist whose war time characters included two soldiers with the names Willie and Joe. They (and he) were revered by every soldier. And every soldier got his share of Wrigley's!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Candy Man - from C. M. Russell

The Western Heritage Artists Show will begin next Wednesday, March 13th at 6:00 PM, and will continue through Sunday, March 17th at 5:00 PM.  I've participated in this event for 4 years, and I'm pleased to say that every year it has become a more fulfilling experience. With an art show like this, each artist in a separate room, it is often difficult to get to know the other artists. Some return, some do not. There are several events that make it a little different than other shows in Great Falls during Western Art Week, and I'll point out just a few of them:


On Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM there will be an award ceremony and a welcome for the new artists for this year's show. The Lobby Show accepts one work from every participating artist, and the work is Juried earlier in the day. The artist rooms are open until 10:00 PM.

to support the Lewis & Clark Foundation
Event begins at 6:00 PM Thursday evening 

This event offers patrons and supporters an opportunity to watch while the participating artists complete - or finish - a piece of art work in 45 minutes. It's like being in twenty studios and one gallery all at one time. The piece you see above will be completed by me. Last year's Quick Finish piece was a HUGE success, and I've used another piece from the C. M. Russell Museum Collection for this year's event. This little Russell 'Brownie' sits atop a birch bark and wooden candy box, and the Museum provided me with a high quality photograph to use as my model.

and Roaring Twenties Sapphire Bash

This event begins at 4:00 PM on Friday, with the Paint Around beginning at 6:00 PM, as artists start a piece of art work, and then move to the next artist's station and work for five minutes using what has been provided by each artist. The event is followed by a Live Auction of the finished pieces. This event was also a HUGE success last year, and I'm participating again this year


This is one event that shouldn't be missed. Beginning at 4:00 PM on Saturday March 16th, it will feature both a Silent and Live Auction. Please visit this page for a quick glimpse of what the Western Heritage Artists have provided to support our Wounded Warriors, not only nationally, but here in Montana as well. The piece that I have submitted for the Live Auction can be viewed HERE.

I hope to visit with old acquaintances and make some new friends as well!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dogs for Defense - 1943 - 200th post

I'm leading this one off with the finished image. This is a manila envelope, 8 1/2 " by just over 11", and has a  1 1/2 cent Martha Washington stamp affixed. The stamp is postmarked Grand Central Annex, New York, N. Y. There is no date stamp, but the year is 1943.

This envelope is addressed to Forrest Carville, Burns, Mont. The contents are even more interesting, but I'll get to that in a moment. Forrest & Edna Carville lived Northwest of Burns near Savage. They are listed as being there in 1909, and probably homesteaded, although I don't know if that can be verified. I'm checking on that. There should be property records that would indicate either a 160 Acre homestead, or if they both filed, it could possibly have been 320 Acres. Regardless, they lived there until 1961, when Forrest died. Edna remained until she died in 1991. They had no children. If you don't know what Eastern Montana is or was like, I can tell you: They were pretty isolated, probably 15 or twenty miles from the nearest General Store.

Although the embossed seal in the lower left corner of the certificate is not really visible, I can tell you what it says: Quartermaster General of the U. S. Army, OFFICIAL across the center of the seal, and War Dept. across the bottom. I don't know whether Forrest donated a dog, or if the dog they did donate was named Puppie. I have never seen anything like this, and I found it in an antique shop in Glendive, MT. I paid a whole dollar for it - and didn't open it until I was back home.

This is the other piece of smaller paper that was in the envelope, and it repeats the corner card which appear in the upper left hand corner on the envelope.

I will be offering this at the Western Heritage Artist show during Western Art Week next month, with a portion of the proceeds to support the Montana Wounded Warriors and the Wounded Warriors Project.

I'm hoping that All three pieces will find a new home.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fly Paper - Marshall-Wells

A little history lesson about the Marshall-Wells Hardware Company of Duluth, Minnesota.

Established in March of 1893 when Albert Morley Marshall acquired Aurthur B. Chapin's interest in Chapin-Wells Hardware. A wide variety of hardware was sold by the company, but my primary interest was piqued when I discovered the piece of billhead illustrated below, and I've displayed it as two pieces. The primary reason for picturing it in two pieces, the billheader, and the lower portion of the document itself is because of it's size. It measures 8 1/2 by 13 3/4's inches high - much too large to scan in one piece, and the detail would be extremely hard to see if I were to display it in it's entirety.

This piece was originally part of a ledger from the C. W. Rank & Company of Virginia, City, Montana. There were several other pieces of Marshall-Wells billhead in this ledger, but this one listed primarily fishing tackle, so therefore - that's the reason for my putting my rendition of four trout flies on this piece.

The ledger contained bills for the year 1904. The form was produced in 1903, printed in the upper left hand corner of the form itself: Form 9. 40M 2-9-03.  I find it a bit strange that there is also a printed reference on the right side which says: PLEASE MENTION DATE OF THIS INVOICE IF CLAIM IS MADE FOR SHORTAGE OR ERROR.

Above that is what I assume to be a date: 4-1. The reason I'm making that assumption is beside the words Your Order is the date 2-5.

I had to have a bit of help with the Brown Hackle Archer Q 6 HKS line item, and Joel DeJong who has a blog called Another Year on the Fly, pointed me in the right direction. He also has a web site, appropriately named Hex Fishing.  He suggested I could probably take liberties with the Brown Hackle Archer, so I did.

I also discovered a fishing tackle history site this morning called Fishing for History: The History of Fishing and Fishing Tackle. I have yet to explore it, but it appears to have just what I've been looking for in the way of advertising images.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Uneeda Biscuits - School Days

My first OLD PAPER of 2013.
Back in June of 2009, I depicted the Uneeda Biscuit Boy on a piece of National Biscuit Company billhead from the same address as this piece. At the time, I was unconcerned about the underlying printing on the form interfering with my image. That was then - this is now.

I'm beginning to be more picky about what stays and what gets erased. before I start. This one was complicated, but since it is good paper (it even has a NBC watermark) I can reinforce the paper with archival repair tape and still have enough surface left to lay the art work on it where it needs to be.

I've done two pieces of NBC paper with the Uneeda Biscuit boy on them, although the second was on NBC letterhead. This piece of billhead was actually 8 1/2 X 13 inches originally. Business owners would trim the billhead so as to conserve on paper, saving the trimmed portion for other uses.

The piece is dated 9-11-06. All of the baked products, including the Uneeda Biscuits, were produced on site. I've given the history of the building in a previous post with an image of Zu-Zu the clown, who was the advertising icon for another NBC product - Ginger Snaps.

The box itself is the basic image that Frederick Stanley (the artist who painted the original Uneeda Biscuit Boy) had to work with. There is a description of the painting HERE, at Robert Edward Auctions, which also describes the box that he had to create separately and affix to the painting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Three Sisters - Memories are Made of This



My first post of the new year. I have no idea how many pieces of mail art I actually posted in 2012, but it wasn't as many as I would have liked. Life got in the way more than once.

These three sisters of mine gave me a whole lot of memories this past year, and then topped it off with some wonderful reminders during the Christmas Season.

The time we spent at the 5 Spot in the Queen Anne district of Seattle was one of the highlights.
It really doesn't get much better than that.

For all of you who are still faithfully following me in my little corner of the Blogosphere, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope you are all as blessed as I've been - with family.