Cracker Jack wonderA person or thing of marked excellence is Mirriam-Webster’s definition for crackerjack. Maybe that’s what inspired Frederick and Louis Rueckheim to name their popcorn and peanut treat Cracker Jack.back at the turn of the last century.

But that’s not why I chose to do a Cracker Jack still life, although I hope this Cracker Jack portrait turns out to be a crackerjack painting.Again this goes back to thinking about advertising from the ’60s when I was a kid and my fascination with how they sold you the idea of their product. As with all consumed goods whether toys or snack foods, advertisers were trying to find the holy grail of buyer’s impulse.

As with all consumed goods whether toys or snack foods, advertisers were trying to find the holy grail of buyer’s impulse.

With Cracker Jack it was the free toy inside. And they were pretty cool toys, plastic rings, etc. I stopped buying Cracker Jack when I got into late grade school because the prize inside was a “gip” as we kids called it and their popcorn/nut treat wasn’t tasting that great by then.

Cracker Jack guy

Dousing myself with a poor “jack” of Cracker Jack.

Much more so these days. The packs of Cracker Jack I bought for this still life are awful. The popcorn is tough, dry, nearly tasteless and getting some little piece of paper that had no imagination was even more disappointing. But they’ve pretty much lost pace with modern gradeschoolers anyway. Kids who carry cel phones, have a larger weekly allowance than I made in a month of delivering the shopper door-to-door in gradeschool.

Here’s the preliminary drawing.on an 18″ x 24″ panel.

Cracker Jack drawing

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