The Sleeping Juggler

Submitted by Michael Ely December 15th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner
I am the proud owner of this painting titled ‘The Sleeping Juggler.’ It hangs in my green kitchen above a red pantry door. It was painted by Dennis McLain. Denny is a Facebook pal and a fellow devotee of Allee Willis. In fact, it was the artwork of Allee’s alter-ego Bubbles that inspired Denny to try his hand at painting. I think it’s wonderful when one artist inspires another. It is the highest compliment. I love everything about this painting from the vibrant colors to the circus theme. To me, the painting has a dream within a dream feel.

10 Responses to “The Sleeping Juggler”

  1. Allee Willis

    This is one of my absolute favorites of Denny’s paintings that I’ve seen. I didn’t realize it was so big, which makes me like it even more. The colors are fantastic, everything about the juggler’s face drives me wild, and those shoes are killing me.

    This looks completely perfect against your green wall. I love how the eyes on the cat clock are looking right at the painting. If only Minnie Pearl was looking the other way.

    Which brings me to the fact that both the clock and Minnie Pearl need to be here at AWMOK.

    I’m also pretty crazy about vintage washboards. I collected a bunch of them while I was writing The Color Purple. We used them a lot on our demos. I wish they had stayed in the arrangements for the real show but, unfortunately, we didn’t have enough say about how our own music was interpreted. But that’s not a topic you want to get me started on now! Suffice it to say, I absolutely love The Sleeping Juggler and absolutely want to see the ticking kitty cat and the country lady here at AWMOK.

  2. denny

    Can we have a “makes me happy” button here at

    I cannot and (will not) ever be able to thank Allee for bringing such inspiration into my life. I NEVER thought I would EVER be painting….

    I also want to say thank you to Snappy-P too, you have also been an amazing and incredible source of inspiration to me.

    Michael, I am so glad you love this painting so much. I almost dumped him in a “frustrated artist” mood. I can’t wait to see him hanging in person! I think I may have to do a pit stop to AZ when on my next LA trip.

    K2 – the shoes were always my favorite too! I wish I had a pair just like them.

  3. windupkitty

    Wow, Denny, every time I see another of your paintings, I think, “that’s my favorite” I don’t think I could ever choose! I truly love this one though (as I do Animal Crackers? Is that the name?! I can’t remember…it’s an orange Mouse dude and I love him….sorry, my mind doesn’t work, but I have the picture clearly in my head!)…The description “dream within a dream” fits this one so well….wow, i love him and am also thankful for the amazing folks here at the awmok….It’s a dream come true to find so much inspiration, in so many ways, from so many people…..As for the Kit-Cat Clock, don’t get me started…Iv’e been obsessed with these since childhood and especially love the ones form the 60’s…..they are all carefully stored now, but I have, I think, around 8? of them in various forms….i love the original black and white kitty, but I also have the poodle and the owl…all in various colors with various jewels…I really will spare you the details until I find them…I am seriously obsessed with these and have been a member of their fan club for ages, know the histroy etc….they have gotten really expensive to collect, so now I just enjoy watching them on ebay etc….They are still made here in California too….I like that :)

    • Michael Ely

      I love ‘Animal Cracker’ too. I also love ‘Penwheel.’ Nice to be connected with someone else who loves the Kit Cat clocks. Wow, you have the poodle and the owl! You must get out your clocks and share them with us! I have several (including four in the kitchen alone), but most of mine are more recent (in rare colors). I used to have a collection of older ones (some that plugged in), but I sold them all for cheap at a yard sale before we moved to AZ. I have regretted that ever since. btw, The clock in the photo is a Kitty Cat clock, a smaller version of the black and white Kit Cat clock. Don’t think they make them anymore.

      • windupkitty

        haahh! right on! yeah, i’m a kit cat fan, for sure! wow, i’d love to see the ones you have!!! yeah, like allee says, post them as a litter!!! i love my vintage ones, but hey, the colors they have now are fantastic! and they’ve recently brought back the kitty clock, but you’ve got an original, i’m sure!!!! i’ll have to get a head lamp and a pick ax to find mine in my garage, so might not be until the weather gets better, but i promise to post…i do a have one out that i’ll put up here in a day or so …..