Sunday, February 28, 2016

Potty Palz

Finally for sale at my ETSY SHOP SNAKEeyes.

 Custom stickers for your Potty...There's always a friend when you're down in the dumps... with POTTY PALZ!
Each package contains a set of stickers for a (1) toilet water tank. Please specify which pal you prefer...Happy Go, Sad Sac, Scream Dream, Squee, Stare Care or Winky! More Palz to come!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Cops and Whiskey Lake Screenprint on cotton. Mythos Merch 2016 Rhonda Ratray

Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fires were burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, "Boys, I'm not turning;
I'm headed for a land that's far away
Beside the crystal fountains
So come with me, we'll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains.
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There's a land that's fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night.
Where the boxcars all are empty
And the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers' trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh I'm bound to go
Where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall
The winds don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railway bulls are blind
There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around them
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.
There ain't no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws nor picks,
I'm bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains ...
I'll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, was first recorded by Harry McClintock in 1928, and appears to be a modern version of the medieval concept of Cockaigne. Cockaigne or Cockayne /kɒˈkeɪn/ is a land of plenty, an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease where physical comforts and pleasures are always at hand and where the harshness of peasant life does not exist. In Specimens of Early English Poets (1790)
George Ellis printed a 13th-century French poem called "The Land of Cockaigne" where "The houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing.”  Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting "Luilekkerland" (The Land of Cockaigne), 1567. Literally translated as, ”relaxed luscious, delicious land” pictures sleepy revelers lounging in abundance. The Brothers Grimm translated a similar fairy tale, Schlaraffenland  “The Land of milk and honey.” This story also describes a land of extreme abundance, as well as a land of opposites, where the weakest and meekest are the strongest.
What could be better for a person, than to have all their needs met? Is it the lap of luxury to live in a place where no one has to "work" for money with plenty of clean water, food, and ample alcohol?  Another kind of luxury, where the police are not a threat, where traveling is easy and sleeping under the stars every night is always warm and comfortable… That sounds like utopia. The land of milk and honey… Big Rock Candy Mountain is a Neverland.
 What is the message beyond reveling in the fantasy of a decadent Willy Wonka world, a place so opposite of the one we inhabit? Is it to imagine a world of pure wish fulfillment? A true escapist fantasy: escaping the human condition?  Is it in recognizing the actual abundance in nature?  Is it found the cliché’ “If something sounds too good to be true…it probably is.”  Does the song make a mark of you? In the tradition of Fairy tales, does it serve to be a warning for children, for teenagers and dreamers?  
The lesser known last verse reveals the cautionary nature of the song. Originally the song described a child being recruited into hobo life by tales of the "Big Rock Candy Mountain." McClintock sanitized the song considerably from the version he sang as a street busker in the 1890s.  When he appeared in court as part of a copyright dispute, he cited the original words of the song, the last stanza of which was:
The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
And said to the jocker, "Sandy,
I've hiked and hiked and wandered too,
But I ain't seen any candy.
I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
And I'll be damned if I hike any more
To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."
I created these pieces as part of the series, Mythos Merch These hankies incorporate some hobo symbols and commemorate some of my favorite attractions from Big Rock Candy Mountain. I love a good story and the tale of Big Rock Candy Mountain is just that, with its straight up tourist trap hucksterism and charm. I actually didn’t know about the final stanza until I began researching the song and I had been strictly thinking of BRCM as a vision of paradise. Anyway, this song always had a special place in my heart and I always like walking along railroad tracks. Please enjoy these hobo hankies from bum paradise.

 You can see more on my website: 

These will be on view at the Distillery in south Boston as part of the show "wish you were there."


The title of the show is a riff on Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here. That seminal album was composed of songs that expressed loss and disenchantment, much of which was directly about the absence and tragic life of Syd Barrett. Wish You Were There was chosen because of its power to suggest the past tense, alluding to an event that once was. Perhaps an event that was missed can never truly be understood or appreciated by the absent individual(s). The collective works in this exhibition strive to re-create or examine a shared experience that is hard to quantify or represent. These experiences all come from populist events such as: live music, theatre, film and sporting events.
David Armacost
Melanie Bernier
Jason Kalogiros
Middle Kingdom
Okay Mountain
Rhonda Ratray
Organized by Jack W Schneider
Show Dates: February 5 – March 12, 2016
Reception: Saturday, February 6, 7-9 PM

516 East 2nd Street, South Boston, MA 02127

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Right meow!

New tea towels in the KITCHEN! available in my ETSY shop : snakeEYES

PRINT show Benefit

Miracle Heart fortune Teller 2015 Rhonda Ratray

Jill Van Orden, Kristen Blaker  and Rhonda Ratray are presenting a collection of prints at Kevins in North Bennington for the month of February. 1/2 of the proceeds will benefit the Village School of North Bennington.