Carrying Home Series
This series is based on my experiences growing up at my grandparent’s farmhouse in Michigan. I have fond memories of pet raccoons, Grandpa’s naughty hidden playing cards, and wild taxidermy. The pieces were exhibited at solo shows at South Carolina State University and at Mission Comics & Art in San Francisco.
"Carrying Home 1"
The house on top is my grandparents' home. It's where my aunts and uncle grew up, and it's where I have my most vivid childhood memories. My grandparents were antique dealers and the place is filled with amazing furniture, sporting gear, and other decor from another time. I think about that house a lot and wonder who will be occupying it a hundred years from now. I wish I could carry it around with me.
"Carrying Home 2"
Behind my Grandparents' house, there's a barn. When my mother was very young there were animals in the barn, but ever since I can remember, it's been an antiques workshop/storage/showroom. It always smells like sawdust and wood stain.
One of my favorite things to do was make bootleg nunchucks on my grandpa's workbench. He had a great shop in the barn behind the house for refinishing antiques. When he wasn't fixing a chair or refinishing a cabinet, Grandpa had a duck decoy going. There was a box of dowels in the shop and my cousin and I were always scavenging for the best ninja weapon parts.
The Ellingson home is full of taxidermy. In the den there are some deer mounts being used as hat racks. The boar had a plastic tongue that would come out if you pulled on it. There also used to be a really big goose hanging from the ceiling in the attic. Grandma has since remodeled the attic, and the goose is long gone.
Once, my Grandpa rescued an abandoned baby raccoon. We named him Roscoe and he was our pet for a little while. Eventually Roscoe couldn't stay in the house any longer so we made a house for him out of an old chicken coop. One day Roscoe was hit by a car on the busy street near the house. A neighbor friend of mine helped me bury him in a field under some rocks.
Behind my grandparents' house is a statue of Mary and some cherubs. The statue used to belong to my Aunt Mary Lou and it's close to where the old chicken coop was.
"King of Kings"
When I was a kid, sometimes I'd sneak into my grandparents' room and snoop around. Their house was full of unusual antiques, figurines, books, and other treasures. On one of my explorations I found a pack of nudie cards in my grandpa's dresser. Years later I told my mother about finding the pack of cards and it turns out that she used to sneak in there and look at them too. Now I own Grandpa's "Good Luck" card set and it always reminds me of home.