Friday, December 21, 2012

The world did not end today.

I get to keep painting stuff like Pirate Crab.   Painted him twice and sold the one off the wall in the past 10 days or so.  And  this past weekend, I even painted Pirate Mountain Goat.  Definitely a first.
Pirate Crab owes his life to a happy accident.  I recall a Saturday evening in myshop in St.John, ca. 2003 or 2004, when I locked the door at 9pm, turned music up a little, and started painting a shirt for myself to wear. I was playing around with some new fish faces and shapes, turning the iconic St.John Petroglyph shape into a jellyfish. I was also trying a new face on the orange crab near the bottom of the shirt. I messed up the eye, however, and the only solution was to give him an eye patch.  Ta-DAAAAAAAAAA! Pirate Crab was born.
He has evolved over the years, first acquiring a pegleg, then a hook instead of a claw, sometimes 3 hooks, sometimes holding a jolly roger, breaking the pole that the raggedy flag is attached to.  A few times he’s gotten a really gnarly look, but he gets too scary-looking for young kids, so I reserve the meanest-looking crabs for guys.
Once I painted him crushing a Nemo-Fish between his big, mean front claws. That one didn’t play well with the Disney set one bit. Or even mean, macho 12-year-old boys.
My favorite variation involves some “word play.” Literally. I paint the word “AAARRRRGGGHH” in bold capital letters in an uneven line beneath the crab, with his big front claws holding a couple of the letters tightly so as to distort them. Every now and then I have to let my calligraphic roots show.
 

Pirate Crab has a companion, Pirate Starfish, which I sometimes paint on the back of a Pirate Crab shirt.

And once in a while, Pirate Starfish
gets to hold center stage on the
front of the shirt.

Don’t know why I like to paint crabs.  Besides Pirate Crab, I paint Happy Crab and Crabby Crab.
And Princess Crab, all girly-cute in pinks and purples. There are Cutest Crab and Sleepy Crab—one on the front of the shirt, the other on the back.



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