Caption Contest – What are they saying?

Hello Napkin Kin!

I have had this drawing in my sketchbook for quite a while. I hadn’t been able to come up with what I wanted to be in the word bubbles. Recently I went to a lecture by Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for The New Yorker magazine. He was the one who started the caption contest that is always on the back page of the magazine. It sparked the idea for this post.  Why don’t I have you all write the caption for the drawing!

And guess what? The winner will receive a print of this drawing!


So, here it is.  the quotes can be your original idea or quotes from elsewhere. It can be one saying divided into 2 parts (which I do frequently in my drawings) or it can be 2 distinctly different quotes.  It can be funny, profound, quirky, etc.  If your quote is from someone else, please let me know who said it.

I am looking for is something that amplifies and clarifies the image (and vice versa).  So, look at the image and think about it. What is it saying to you and others?

To submit your idea just put it in the comments below. Designate the part of the quote you want in the top and bottom by just putting a 1 and 2 before the various parts. Ok? then let’s GO!  Also, I would love it if you shared this with your social media channels because the more the merrier when playing this sort of game, right?

Drawing by Marty Coleman © 2016

Quote by ? – it may be you!


A Difficult Trade – Women vs Men #6


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The Giant Clay Penis

When I was in High School I was in the second tier cool group. We weren’t in the ‘popular bad boys’ group, we were the ‘make everyone laugh until they blew milk out their nose’ group. We were the group who would do anything funny to get attention. Once, when we were in art class and working with clay I made a giant penis. Why? Because I could and I knew everyone would think it was funny. And they did. Well, except for the teacher. She came over, grabbed the dick and folded it in two, breaking it, right in front of us. This of course made the whole thing even funnier. We seriously laughed until we couldn’t breathe. I probably went to the Principals office, I don’t remember. But it was worth it. 

For Girls

But who was I being funny for? I assume there had to be another guy there in the classroom that day but I would never have known. I was doing it for the girls. That’s what mattered to me. And to show you my amazing gain in maturity and wisdom over the years, it’s still what matters to me.

Getting Attention

But it wasn’t just about being funny to get attention. It was about making plans to fight a rival at the baseball diamond across from our elementary school. It was about dancing better than some other doofus at the school dance. It was about finding some really cool shirt or pair of pants I knew would impress. It was about doing daredevil stunts.  

A Dark and Stormy Night

Once it was about walking around with a baseball bat in the dark when a girl was scared about a mystery figure supposedly lurking outside her apartment. It turns out her college roomies and she invented the story to get us boys down the street to come out and act macho for them. Sheesh, what college kids will do. I did get my one and only kiss from that girl as a result so that was cool.

They Know It When They See It

Now that I am older and wiser (depending on who you speak to) I have seen that this is a pretty universal trait. Men do funny and stupid things to impress women. I used to try to explain this to my younger female friends then I realized that women see it almost every day and don’t need it explained. They know it.

That’s why the eye roll was invented after all, right?

Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman |

Quote by Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924, Polish-British Writer. Author of ‘Heart of Darkness’ and ‘Lord Jim’.


My Creative Way


This is how I create.  I find something and I do something with it. It might be a napkin, a quote, an object, a person, or a combination of all of them.  But whatever or whoever it is, I will transform it.  I will combine, destroy, build, repurpose, take apart, hide, reveal and more. It’s what makes art fun and interesting for me. It’s how I think about things and people I see. I think about what I can do with them visually to say something of interest to me and others.

Here are some of the things I have transformed over the years. There are more, most of which you can see at the same site that these links go to.

Rejection letters – a series I did in response to hundreds of rejection letters I got while applying for full-time teaching positions in the 80s and 90s.

Now You Know

Faces – A recent series I am doing on my iPad using my fingers (in most cases) to paint portraits based on photos and/or screenshots.

Digital Portrait #24

Mannequins and Games – Three Dimensional artwork that started with plastic or modeled mannequin heads that I turned into light boxes.  Also a foosball table I turned into a self-portrait.

Woman with Hands Reaching - on

Bible – Drawings done in the bible I used from the mid-90s until about 2000 or so.
A Woman Thinking Things

Book – I started with the book titled ‘Of Human Bondage’ and collaged into various pages photographs of the body in bondage.

Teeth in Bondage 2

Famous artwork – I started with a book on Impressionism and glued onto the images photos of body impressions.

Impressionist Composition 6

Drawing, commentary and all artwork © 2016 Marty Coleman |

Quote by James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891, American poet


Wild and Free

I did a drawing of a woman at Starbucks today. I didn’t know her. All I knew was she was writing on her laptop and had a journal style book open with writing in it. She did some sort of writing I assumed, but didn’t know what sort. 

What Was She Thinking?

I was Periscoping as I was drawing, so I was talking out loud to my viewers.  As I finished the drawing I added a thought bubble above her head. I asked my viewers, “I wonder what she is thinking” and a thought occurred to me. What if I had the woman I was drawing fill in the thought bubble above her head instead of me making something up?  I thought it would be a pretty cool idea. And so I asked her. What would she choose to say she was thinking? 



This is what she wrote, “I want people to know the wild and free love of God. Because he loves them!”


I asked her some questions at that point, about the seeming contradiction between typical Christian talk and the words ‘wild and free’.  Wild and free are not two words typically thought of when considering Christianity. As a matter of fact, most of the time those words would scare many Christians. They would make many a Christian wary of what was really meant by those words.  Are they code for sin and licentiousness?  Are they a way of avoiding personal accountability? What exactly do those two words mean when attached to God and the love of God?

Dreary Morals

I am pretty well-versed in the vocabulary of Christianity but I was sort of at a loss about what she meant.  Then I saw the drawing below again, which I did a few days ago but had not posted, and it clarified it for me.  


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Love and Joy

For me it’s about love and joy. It’s not about making your life, or the life of others, one of drudgery and obedience for no reason. It’s not about legalism, it’s not about a list of rules, it’s not about a set of cosmic instructions you must obey or you go to hell. It’s about enjoying and sharing your life, your creativity, your interests. It’s about acting as if you believe that.

Hate and Hurt

What it’s not about is giving yourself permission to hate, to be immoral or to hurt.  If those things ever do feel ‘free or wild’ to someone, they are temporary and at the expense of others. That isn’t true freedom. And it’s being wild in a positive sense either. Being wild in the positive sense is about being courageous enough to be who you want to be, even if it seems ‘wild’ to someone else. Even if they disapprove. Because an individual’s disapproval is not your own disapproval and it’s not God’s disapproval.

Drawings and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman |

Quote by Robert Louis Stevenson


Creativity – Theory and Practice


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I have a theory that if you are an artist, you are an artist whether you create art or not. This is because what counts is that you have an artistic mind.


In practice no one will ever call you an artist unless you actually create art. This is because without the creation of art, the artistic mind atrophies and dies.


My favorite passage in the New Testament of the Christian Bible is this passage in the book of James:

‘So too, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ James 2:17-18

What do you want to be?

You become what you practice.  Practice art, you become an artist. Practice running, you become a runner. Practice love, you become a lover.  It doesn’t matter what it is, if you want to become something practice is the only way to become it.

Drawing and commentary © 2016 Marty Coleman |

Quote by Yogi Berra, 1925 – 2015, American Baseball Player


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