DEAR SUN SPOTS: I got four prints after my mom passed away. They are done by Maurice “Jake” Day. They are four different seasons and raccoons, chipmunks, rabbits, ladybug, etc. I think they are water prints.

I know that he was an artist for Walt Disney at one time. I’d like to know anything about him and if the prints are worth anything. No name please. — Wondering via email

ANSWER: Sun Spots suggests you visit www.mauricejakeday.com and see if you can find your prints there. You can find the Maine Art Prints Shop at 20 Bristol Road, Damariscotta, ME 04543, 563-5516, [email protected]

If you can’t find your prints online, your best bet is probably to take photos of them and email or mail them to the Day grandchildren, who manage his legacy.

The prints on the website are priced from about $25 to $35.

You are right about Day working for Disney. The website offers a full biography; here are a few highlights:

“Maurice Day, descended from a long line of shipbuilders who settled in Damariscotta, was born in Damariscotta in 1892. A prolific artist, sculptor, photographer and naturalist, his work mirrored his passion for Maine’s landscapes and creatures. Also known as ‘Jake’ colonel of ‘Jake’s Rangers,’ he and his band of local sportsmen were central characters in many of Edmund Ware Smith’s hunting and fishing stories.

“He graduated from the school of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1915.

“In 1938, Jake , his wife, Bea, and sons, Mc Clure and Richard, left Maine and traveled to Laguna Beach, Calif., where his art caught the attention of the Harmon-Ising Studio. That job led to his employment by several other top studios including, Walt Disney, MGM and Hanna Barbara.

“While working for the Disney studio, Jake convinced Walk Disney that Bambi should be a white-tailed and not a mule deer. Jake then arranged for two orphaned Maine deer, Bambi and Faline, to be shipped to California as models for the illustrators. During production, Disney commissioned Jake and his closest friend, Lester Hall, to photograph the flora and fauna in the Katahdin region for the upcoming movie. As a result, many of the scenes and wildlife in Bambi are from the Baxter Park area.

“In 1944, homesick for Maine, Jake and his family returned to their Damariscotta home, built in 1798 by his great-grandfather. Soon he opened the Whittle Shop where he sold miniature birds, animals and coastal scenes he’d carved from balsa wood. He was a pioneer in the use of driftwood, and his chickadees, perched delicately on weathered wood, quickly became his signature carving.

“Eventually, Jake found he had too little time for this first love, painting; so, he closed the Whittle Shop and returned to painting his beloved Maine mountain, the coast and imaginative scenes. Often he would escape with his camera and tent to the Katahdin region or islands for inspiration. Jake’s sense of humor was captured in his imaginative watercolors, personifying wild animals in very human escapades.

“Jake was also recognized as a leader in the field of photography.

“During December, from the 1950s through the 1970s, Jake adorned his Bristol Road windows with enchanting carved dioramas, depicting a variety of holiday scenes. Many traveled great distances to peek into Jake’s magical windows. Since 1998 the family has displayed the dioramas each year during the month of December at the Day Homestead on the Bristol Road in Damariscotta.

“In May 1983, at the age of 90, Jake passed away at his Damariscotta home leaving a legacy of his art, carvings, and photography which captured the Maine scenes and animals he so loved.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Many thanks for the great service you provide this community. Can you help? I am looking for a person who can make a one-page collage with about 30 black-and-white photos? I know we have many talented craft people in this area and wonder if someone can help.

I’m also looking for an interested person who, on a temporary basis, according to season, would be interested in earning extra money by providing yard and cleanup service and other household tasks? Would love to hear from someone at 782-6373. Thanks. — No Name via email

ANSWER: Sun Spots doesn’t know of anyone, but she predicts you will be inundated with offers.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]


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