Oct 28, 2011

Watch out! Here Comes the Bogey Man - and Boy is He Mad!

I once read a story about a little boy who goes a' wandering and meets up with a talking scarecrow.

Together they go on some wonderful adventures around the countryside. They meet other talking objects. They see the world.

The story has all the hall marks of a best seller. There's romance - the scarecrow falls in love with a straw broom they find in a barn. There's danger - the scarecrow must brave the flickering infestuous flames of the camp fire. And there's intrigue - who is the talking scarecrow? What does he metaphorically mean? Is he the embodiment of our own inner psyche? 

Or, perhaps, when every thing is said and done, is the scarecrow just a talking scarecow?

Unfortunately I never finished the story (it was due back at the library and I have already mortgaged one house to pay my library fines)..... and I don't know who wrote it, or whether the scarecrow really was a metaphor for my inner demon(s). But it was fun. And gave me the idea for this illustration.

But why the little boy is out in the field at night, and why the candle is still alight remains to be seen.

Thank you for looking. Please click the pictures if you like big pictures :)

Oh, you might remember the scarecrow? He is from this post here on The Wizard of Oz - entitled "One for My Father."

It's important to have things to remember people by, isn't it? Objects with significance can  become small altars to that person that we miss, altars that we can store our memories in. Like T.S. Eliot's "Objective Correlative" - but in objects - not words.

I have an Altar to my father near our front door. It has two small metal toy train signs that he made for me when I was little. They are going rusty, but the paint on the signs (in my mind) is still as bright as when he painted them 40 years ago.

When I walk past them I feel happy. And I also feel sad. Strange isn't it?


  1. You know, that sounds like a pretty interesting book... don't recall ever reading a romance about a scarecrow and a straw broom before. Must be thrilling, eh?

    I love your blond scarecrow, by the way. He belongs on the runway along with other Vivienne Westwood's couture. Perhaps you'd like to dip your finger in fashion next?? :)

    Anyway, a big hug from bigbellynomore...I'm still expecting them blue booties you promised me. Size 8 will be fine. :D

    PS: Oh, I sure clicked all...you know me, I like 'em big. Err...images, that is...

  2. Oh what splendid Halloweeniness! The lighting on the trees & grasses is almost as amazing as the figures. And I'll second Amalia about the fashion design-- I do love those costumes!

    Your toy railway signs made me think of my grandfather, who always loved to repeat "Railroad crossing, look out for the cars-- can you spell that without any "R"s? (Yes! T-H-A-T!)"

  3. Your scarecrow is magic, Mr. Finnie! He is most definitely more than just a scarecrow. He has a lovely lean toward the little boy. And the boy! He is fantastically expressive with just his body language alone. Gorgeous image, full of intrigue and promises of adventure. I would love to read the story that goes along with it. As you know, sometimes, a broom is more than just a broom too. Aaah, what a telling metaphor. But that is the subject of a whole thesis paper, which I will not get into here.

    I love your train signs and all they symbolize! They make me smile. I can imagine a tiny plasticine station master next to them. Alters are wonderful things.

  4. Not strange at all. I have things like this too. Bittersweet, happiness and sadness all at the same time. Sounds like a very interesting story. Too bad you had to return it before you finished it. I still love the scarecrow and the trees are very cool. Yep, you need to write a story to go with it.

  5. that's a beautiful way to remember your father and no, I don't think it's strange at all, most memories about our loved ones have that bitter sweet feeling, I guess it is beacuse no matter how much we wish for it we can't go back in time and live those days again, that's all we have left in the end, our memories, but we are happy we experienced and shared those moments.
    Yes I remember the scarecrow! I'm a wizard of Oz fan so I have to remember those kind of things :)

  6. he must be scared of that candle.

  7. Thanks so much for your best wishes for my brother, Andrew :)
    Have a good weekend!

  8. really scary illustration- but I like that red riding hood the best!

  9. "Unfortunately I never finished the story (it was due back at the library and I have already mortgaged one house to pay my library fines)..... and I don't know who wrote it,..."

    Hahahahha! You crack me up! You have a way with words. Of course you already know I love your brain the first time I bump heads with you through Monday Artday any years ago. Hahahhaha! I also still remember that breasted man.

    As for this illustration, I see something totally different. When I saw that candle so close to the scarecrow, I immediately thought, "Uh oh!" This is going to be fun!"

    Thank you for keeping us entertained.

  10. Really beautifully done, Andrew~ I think you just get better and better at creating the mood for each adventure you dream up. For me, scarecrows are always scary and living in northern New England in the US there are many horror stories surrounding harvest time, scary scarecrows and often bizarre rituals that could make one's hair stand on end.

    Thanks for the nice comment about my new book *:)

  11. I love the lighting and mood in this one. I did think the candle was a bit scary for the scarecrow, but scarecrows aren't scary to me. My dad and I made them for our garden, but I was aiming for cute when we did that. I love your tribute to your dad. All we can do is remember the good times, even if we're sad that people we've loved have left us for now. I do think you should write a story for your scarecrow and little boy.

  12. ... and i didnt know you posted this!!!!
    where the hell have i been?????
    sorry :(

  13. Absolutely amazing illustrations, Andrew...and I've read the posts in backwards order so it's funny to think of this as Ralph the scarecrow (it is my husband's name! Ha!) but you know..he received that name from his father who also had the same name..perhaps how the name lives on to this day, right? Anyhoo...you always manage such intrigue in your illustrations..I love their faces and the glow upon them. The owl is gorgeous too! Always so fabulous to touch base!

  14. Oh gosh, and certainly not least..I wanted to say that those amazing signs from your dad are heirlooms to be cherished...and I'm so happy that they make you smile too. Thank you SO much for sharing that with us!!

  15. Your sign are great. You should incorporate them in an illustration or two. It good to have someone to miss. That means they brought you happiness and good times when they were there.
    I like the scare-crow story. Why don´t you just make your own ending. You´ve certainly got the imagination for it ;-)
    It´s absolutely magical the way you can play with the light-sources in your art.


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