John Waters Devotional Candle

I first toyed with the idea that I might paint about five years ago.

I had tried a few watercolors in 1980. I liked the way they turned out but it was labor intensive. I hadn’t learned to focus my attentions and intentions properly back then.

Photography was fast and immediate, more my style.

I started my real art thing decorating matchboxes and devotional candles.

boygeorge1 They were  modest, semi-useful items. I wasn’t sticking my neck out and rushing to buy canvases, paint brushes, expensive paints.

I wanted to feel that I could justify any expenditure before I did that.

I was unsure of my ability to make faces so I cut them out of magazines and pasted them onto the tiny match boxes.

Glitter, glitter glue, a bit of paint and the crafter’s heroin, Mod Podge. and I was off. I like collage.

maggotbrain1I sold most of the first batch of matchboxes, over a dozen, after a friend turned me on to Esty, in 2008.

I still have three in my shop –Liberace, Che, Isaac Hayes.

annieoakleyI expanded my palette with the addition of inexpensive devotional candles. I bought them at Safeway for about a dollar.

I’d always appreciated the idea of candles with pictures of the saints used to aid heartfelt prayers. You’d pick a saint based on your particular concern and match it to his/her particular area of expertise.

I’ve blogged about this before and mentioned the really cool candle works of Bernd Offerings. Today I’m digging my own John Waters devotional  candle.

jwdevocandlefullJohn Waters is a Taurus. He’s cute, suave and he has a great sense of humor. I think I’ve blogged about that, too.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Film critic, Elvis Mitchell, had John on his IFC program a few years back. They were talking about the relatively recent public acceptance of  Water’s films like Hairspray and Polyester. This was before Water’s had smash hit shows on Broadway, before John Travolta played Edna Turnblad.

Water’s work in the 70s was more radical and the times were more restrictive.

The problem came when commercial outlets  wishing to stock more Water’s films started ordering copies of Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble.  WalMart-like places and grocery stores even put them near the check out counter as a last minute impulse buy, said Waters.

Unsuspecting new Hairspray fans would pick them up, take them home and often at some point in the film, call the cops.

“Call the cops,” said Waters to Mitchell, amazed. “Can you believe it? I mean, I didn’t call the cops when Forrest Gump started running.”


Thinking about John’s saintly area of spiritual expertise is entertaining.

I guess if you had a crushing concern related to bad pulp fiction, realistic Japanese fake food, or creepy crime memorabilia, he’d be your man.

I love John Waters. He’s the best thing ever produced by Baltimore.




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