Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Latest Painted Crab Shells

It is mind boggling.............all sorts of people want all sorts of things on a crab shell. When I began this "hobby" of painting on blue crab shells I had thought that the proper stuff to paint onto the shells would be the things that are somehow related to the State of Maryland and the people who love steamed crabs...........local sports teams, seafood spices, local beer, assorted icons of the territory, and nautical scenes. Simple enough............but as time has gone by, I have gotten requests for lots of things put on a crab shell that I had not even considered. Hey.......whatever the customer wants...........right? Well......maybe not always........sometimes I have to decline some requests........the unreasonable ones. What would be unreasonable?.........I find no thrill in someone requesting a painted crab shell that is so difficult to paint due to the amount of detail involved while those requesting such do not expect to pay a premium for it. The rule of thumb here should be "keep it reasonable", or "keep it simple". Simple is better for all involved.

Needless to say.........each weekend I am presented with some challenging requests. Personally, I enjoy being challenged........especially when the challenges are for something out of the ordinary.

A police officer wanted me to paint the logo for the Warrior Dash.........which was something I had never heard of. He handed me a gray and black 8x10 xerox copy of the logo.......not particularly all that great for me to go by...........so thanks to the internet, I googled Warrior Dash and could see how the logo should really look. The end result was pretty spot on.

Sometimes I just goof off and paint a crab shell just to see if anyone "bites". In this case.......yes......someone did and I had to make a couple more if them.

And then there are people who approach me with stuff like "Can you make one with the Puerto Rican flag on it? I want to get it for my son." A request like that is simple enough, no problem........except I haven't seen the person who made the request in three or four weeks now. I know........I should have taken a deposit or made her pay in advance........I know, I know.

I have one particular customer who keeps challenging me just about every week. He has bought quite a few crab shells from me...........six or eight at a time! I really appreciate that. I am also very honored that someone finds my "art" likeable enough to have bought as many as he has. He is a businessman and he just so happens to not only give the shells to family members and personal friends as gifts.....he also gives them as gifts to his clients.

Personalized crab shells...........yes........I can personalize the crab shell.

I would never have thought anyone would request a bicycle built for two............but the above mentioned customer did.

Another happy customer wanted the crab shell above............a crab on a crab.....go figure.

Local icons put together on one shell........no problem.

Sometimes I cannot always be serious........seriously.......

.......and then there is another challenge........seriously..........a German Shepherd on a crab shell!

I sit at my vendor table and paint crabs shells the entire time that I am there each weekend........and STILL.........there is always someone that will look at the shells and say "Stickers?" or "These are decals." AAARRRGGHHHH! No.....No.....No.....
..........nevermind that I have a paint brush in my hand, am painting a crab shell right in front of them, paint bottles everywhere..........geez......what do I gotta do to convince some people?

Here is one that is unfinished.......a work in progress...........PROOF that it is hand painted!

........but how is it possible?.............well I was a signpainter for most of my life. Perhaps not the best signpainter, but apparently good enough that some folks can't imagine that someone could actually paint these kinds of things.

Ahhhhhhh.......the finished product! One of a kind, actually. The customer that requested it was very happy.
It is frustrating sometimes when some people pretty much try to belittle what it is that you do. These people are morons. No other word for them. They have no clue as to the amount of time and effort and skill involved. They have a far different value system and cannot grasp the concept that something is being created and produced right before their eyes instead of being made on some assembly line by hordes of illegals working for a pittance. I try to not let these folks get me down..................I am truly humbled and honored by the many people who have liked my work enough to purchase it from me with their hard-earned money.

Of course, not everyone that looks at my crab shells buys them. But the majority of these people have overwhelmingly had nice things to say about them.......and that is very gratifying.

Until next time............


If you are interested in purchasing a hand painted crab shell, come see me at the Northpoint Plaza Flea Market in Dundalk, Maryland every weekend.


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