A Nostalgic Ice Cream Parlour Remembered
As a child, it was the pinnacle of perfection. Endless soda, hamburgers and fries, and most importantly, the reason for every six year olds existence, a massive hot fudge sundae. Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour first opened in 1963 in Portland, Oregon. At it's peak in popularity it celebrated 120 locations nationwide. As children of the 70's and 80's, to have your birthday party at this early 1900's themed eatery was one's greatest accomplishment yet.
From California to New Jersey, everyone loved Farrell's. The food, giant desserts, and singing staff made it a wonderous haven in of itself, but nothing topped the candy shop on the way out. Inside the corner alcove was every treat you could imagine; from Dime Store toys, to bags of gumballs, colorful pinwheels, twirly suckers and more. Farrell's had stand-alone locations as well as inside some shopping malls (how cool is that).
Farrell's is gone now. Even though it technically hung on until 2019, its decline started in the early 80s and picked up speed quickly. Over the years, different investors try to revive it, but it never took. Once it left its original ownership and was purchased by Marriott in 1982, things never went back to the way they were. The employees saying obnoxiously loud, the candy shop was poorly merchandise, and who knows what else. Almost all locations were closed by 1990. By then my childhood was all but gone to; I was nearly thirteen and all too consumed with fitting in and shopping with friends.
During the shutdown I had a lot of time to think about the direction of my art. It really became the perfect time to delve into not only a hefty illustration, but something that was near and dear to my heart. I am planning on doing a series of Ricky The Bear, and all the places he goes and things he does; some of them being memories from my own childhood and life. Someday I may put them into a book. For now I will have limited edition giclee prints available.
I've included some of the pictures I use as reference for the original painting. It was important to me to capture the feel of the original establishment, with a red and white striped wallpaper, the stained glass chandeliers, and the plethora of candy and desserts. The rabbit in the painting are part of a birthday party and although they should be eating their ice cream, they're more interested in the overload of food Ricky's indulging in. As usual he's completely oblivious.
Ricky The Bear is a Southern California grizzly who enjoys surfing, watching TV, and frequenting buffets.
"Ricky Goes To Farrell's" by Marisa Ray
Copyright 2020 Marisa Ray Art
Close up of Ricky eating (as usual)
Bunnies, Farrell's employee and jukebox