The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Monday, 18 April 2011

When my Nan finally lost her marbles...

There is an ever growing list of things, which I have in mind to paint one day. 

The last time I got around to crossing one of those paintings off of my list was at Christmas, when I painted the Baubles in the Cocktail Glass.

Well, here is another one that I can cross off my list...

Acrylic on canvas

Unfortunately I couldn't get a great picture with either my scanner, or my camera - both of which have significantly altered the colours. 
But anyway, though I think it looks better in reality, you get the idea.

These are the very marbles that my Sister and I used to play with as children, when we used to visit our Nan and Grandads house at the weekends. Of course there are lots more than three! 

Nan used to keep them in an old 'Stork SB Margarine' tub in a cupboard in the lounge. I inherited the tub of marbles (shortly after she lost hers, lol) - and even though the old margarine tub has split in two places, I have never been able to bring myself to throw it away...

...It's funny how, what would appear as nothing more than a piece of rubbish to one person, could hold such an abundance of wonderful memories, for another isn't it? 
Hmm... well - maybe not all wonderful, since I do remember that 'Stork SB Margarine' used to taste absolutely horrid!

Actually, I remember just about everything about my Nan and Grandad's house, even the simplest things... like the blue, plastic ice-cream tub full of clothes pegs, which lived underneath the stool with the funny steps, in the kitchen. 
I still have very dim and distant memories of emptying the pegs out to play with! 

There was also a rather strange looking green object attached to the kitchen wall. It resembled a kind of rocket shape... Protruding from this object, which had caught my curious attention when I was about five, was a button - and inside the rocket was loose tea-leaves! I clearly remember just being able to reach the button and before I knew it, there were tea-leaves all over me and the kitchen floor!!!

Though they didn't have any toys in their house, my Sister and I still found plenty of things to keep us amused, but none more so than these lovely, shiny marbles!


  1. Marvelous painting Sandra, I don't know how you managed to get those perfect circles - they would have been very wobbly if I did them LOL!

    Goodness, it's been a long time since I saw a Stork SB carton, we used to have that too, but only for cooking. I wonder what the SB stands for? Soggy butter perhaps! Nahhhh, soft blend probably.

  2. Fabulous painting!
    Love the sparkle in the shadows - just masterful ! xx

  3. Wow! Amazing how you painted the colours and the play of light in these marbles! Beautiful! Love to read about your childhood memories too!

  4. These marbles are really,really amazing. Precise with great colors. The story of grandma's is very touching. It is funny what we cherish and what memories do keep. Happy painting my friend.

  5. Awesome painting, Sandra! Enjoyed the stories of your Nan too.:)

  6. Loved the painting and the story. it sounds like you an your sister had wonderful times at your grandparents' home.

  7. Nice nostalgic post.. And how you keep amazing me with the subjects that you pick up to paint. And this one is so damn complicated. I think you pulled it off so well.

  8. Great illustration. Like Frank said,I couldn't get such good circles. Like the sparkly reflection/shadows.

  9. Ohhh I'm sorry about Margarine tub ... but the draw are VERY VERY NICE. I love marbles. Yes.

    So, i see there, very brilliant colors. I love them.



  10. Frank - Thank you! Drawing circles free hand is a challenge, but the beauty of acrylics is that you can just keep on adjusting them until they are just right!
    I think you are right and that Stork SB was really a cooking margerine. It tasted foul on bread but my Nan made the most incredible cakes - So I'm sure that was her secret! I haven't seen it around for years either!

    Pat - Thank you! It was the sparkle in the shadows that attracted me to painting these when I saw a couple on the windowsill in the sun. I wouldn't mind trying it again in a different medium, maybe oils which I have yet to try :0)

    Judy - Thank you! It's a shame that the photograph doesn't really do it justice, but I am growing more interested in painting glass everytime I try it :0)

    Cathy - Thank you! I really enjoyed painting them too :0)

    Abby - Thank you very much :0)

    Studio - Thank you! Yes, we did have lovely times there and we remember them so well :0)

    Prabal - Thank you! It's always nice to hear that! You have made my day :0)

    Sue - Thank you! I enjoyed trying something quite different for a change! :0)

    Wawos - Thank you! Maybe I should tape the tub up! It seems silly keeping it really, but I am such a sentimental person :0)

  11. What a beautiful painting Sandra! :) I love those colors, and I'm with Frank, those circles are mighty impressive!

    Loved, loved, LOVED reading your story about your Nan and the marbles. You're so right about having something that looks like rubbish to someone else, but holds so many memories to us. I have a whole box full of stuff like that. I'm sentimental, what can I say. :) Your blog is such a delight Sandra, I just can't say that enough.

  12. You captured the marbles so well. My gran had a big tin of buttons, we had hours of fun with need for computers and dvd's in those days!

  13. Wow! Amazing painting. As ever, no idea how you do these things, coming from a sister who cannot draw a thing and has the artistic talent of a brick!! So proud of you.
    I didn't know you had those marbles! Brought back a few lovely memories. I had forgotten about the rocket on the wall. But, of the two of us, there is no question which one would just have to have pressed it and suffered the consequences! Amanda (just incase I come up as George again!)

  14. Hi sandra, these marbles are really much more than beautiful. The sparkles in the shadows are fantastic. Congratulations! Ciao!

  15. Hello Sandra
    Why have you painted marbles and they are very very very very beautiful.

    Love William xx

  16. Sandra, thank you for the absolutely enjoyable painting and story!

  17. the marbles are fantastic sandra .... marbles were special :) ..have a good easter sandra

  18. Hello Sandra,
    that beautiful watercolors of glass balls!
    As a child I played with them ...
    It's always good to come to your blog. I like your work and your comments.
    A big hug from Brazil

  19. What a beautiful post and beautiful painting Sandra. It's wonderful when those nostalgic moments can be put on a canvas so we can always have it.

  20. Hoy, Sandra
    Happy Eastern!!
    I love the spontaneity, in the use of colors..
    I really like your work.

  21. Hi Sandra, thanks a lot for your kind comments on my blog. I put the answer to your question here, if you don't mind. Generally I use pictures to paint my landscapes. Either pictures that I took, or pictures from internet, but in this case I have to pay attention to the proprietary rights of the authors, unless the final result is so much different from the original. (sorry for my English).
    Happy Easter to you and your family! Ciaooo!

  22. Terrific, Sandra!! You've outdone yourself. Gorgeous paining and wonderful composition! Lovely memories that you shared also:)

  23. Very well done the marbles!! Arianna

  24. Crystal - Thank you so much. You are so kind and I'm very glad you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy yours :0D

    Cathy - That's just the sort of thing that would have kept me amused when I was little too. I think it's a shame that technology has taken over the simple things. Mind you, I do like the internet for blogging :0D

    Amanda - Ah, but have you ever even TRIED to draw?? I think not! You might be MARVELOUS, lol! :0D

    Maria - Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it :0)

    Jane - Thank you! The simple things were always the best :0)

    Antonio - Thank you! It means alot that you enjoy my blog and like my painting :0)

    Hmuxo - Thank you! I have another sentimental painting on the go as we speak! This time in oils which I have never tried before now :0)

    Willy - Thank you very much :0D

    Tito - I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question, so thank you very much :0)

    Carrie - Thank you very much! I'm trying something very different at the moment and I hope it turns out well too :0)

    Arianna - Thank you very much :0D

  25. William - Thank you! I have painted them for that very reason, that they are SO pretty! That's alot of 'verys' my little sponge pudding :0)

  26. You ROCK Sandra! Your marbles are amazing!.. and I loved the entire post. Thanks :o)

  27. Jack - Thank you so much for stopping by! And I really appreciate your lovely comment! :0)

  28. hi sandra! i'm so sorry i missed this gem!!! been busy and then a short holiday, just got back. this is simply amazing! i LOVE it! beautiful piece!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)


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