Artist Profile: Jim Daly

In our last post, we featured a puzzle with the artwork of Jim Daly. Barbara’s comment that she loved the puzzle of the little boy taking a bath inspired me to look up what other Jim Daly art we have. Turns out, there’s quite a few! Some of them I’d even saved to my wishlist without realizing that they were from the same artist.

If you like art that “shows life as good, honest, wholesome and clean, full of hope and inspiration,” then Jim Daly’s art is for you. He says that if he can attract people to these kinds of principles then “I feel as if I’ve said something in my art.”

jim daly art, children puzzles, people theme puzzles, cats

A Quick Sniff by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

Jim Daly’s images feature a lot of children. Of them he says, “In a sense my paintings are just me reliving my own childhood and my own life experiences, or maybe the way I would have liked it to be. I’m really moved by the memories of days gone by. Sometimes I think the memories are better than the reality. I love to paint children. There’s an innocence they have that I never get tired of trying to put on canvas.”

Childhood Friends by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

Daly knew he wanted to be an artist even when he was a young boy. He was born in Oklahoma but moved to Los Angeles at an early age in the years right after WWII. Of his childhood, Daly remembers that he was always drawing—and his mom was always encouraging.

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing. My Mom was always telling me what a great artist I was. She would make so much out of my drawings that I believed her. She made [my brother] Clayne and I think we were great.”

Back to the Barn by SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

“My paintings are just a reflection of my boyhood,” Daly says. “We rode our bikes, played baseball in vacant lots, and shot marbles, all the things kids do, and there was always a dog following us around.”

Pep Talk by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

Before becoming an artist, Daly dropped out of school to join the army, then while stationed in Panama in the infantry division, he joined the boxing team. He considered becoming a professional boxer, but went to art school instead.

Just a Cowboy Buckeroo by SunsOut. 550 pieces.

He married and had four children, but tragically lost his youngest at the age of six years old. After he divorced his first wife, he married his second wife, Carol. They have been together for 33 years. She teaches at the University of Oregon.

Just Hanging Around by SunsOut. 500 pieces.

Daly finds that his work and art is always evolving.

“Art for me is a continuous search,” he says. “When I was young and starting out as an artist I wanted to learn everything I could. I wanted to know exactly what I was doing but every time I finished a painting it never met up to my expectations and I felt like a failure. As time went by it didn’t get any easier and I still didn’t understand what I was doing. When I heard the joke, ‘By the time I found out I had no talent it was to late; I was already famous’ it scared the heck out of me. Then one day I was watching TV and I happened to catch Allan Alda giving the commencement speech at his daughter’s graduation and he said a sentence that changed my life: ‘CREATIVITY IS NEVER QUITE KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE DOING.’ I then realized that it’s not desirable to know exactly what I’m doing and I’ve never looked back.”

To learn more about Jim Daly, check out his website’s autobiography section. And remember that all the Jim Daly puzzles are offered by SunsOut and right now we are running a special where you can buy 3 SunsOut puzzles and get one FREE!

 

Holiday Gift Ideas: For Ages 8+

We have another collection of gift ideas for the children in your life, this time for ages 8+! Featuring a selection of popular items from Pixar and Disney, these puzzles are sure to be a favorite among the youngsters.

Real 3D Breakthrough Mickey Mouse by MEGA Puzzles. $21.99. 250+ pieces.

Peter Pan by Sunsout. $5.99. 100 pieces. Finished size: 10″ x 16″.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by USAopoly. $14.99. 200 pieces. Finished size: 17″ x 24″.


Sonic the Hedgehog Shaped Puzzle by USAopoly. $14.99. 200 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 18.5″.


Mario Shaped by USAopoly. $14.99. 200 pieces. Finished size: 11″ x 24″.


Real 3D Breakthrough – A Hug for Mother by MEGA Puzzles. $21.99. 250+ pieces.


Sporting Fun by Ravensburger. $9.99. 200 pieces. Finished size: 19.25″ x 14.25″.


Animal Planet – Jungle Friends by Ravensburger. $11.99. 200 pieces. Finished size: 14.45″ x 10.25″.


Carousel by Ravensburger. $9.99. 200 pieces. Finished size: 19.25″ x 14.25″.


Dragon Voyage by Cobble Hill. $11.99. 180 pieces. Finished size: 19″ x 12.5″.

Holiday Gift Ideas: For Ages 10+

Do you have a child in your family or circle that you have to buy a gift for, but you don’t know exactly what to get? It can be difficult to think of a present for someone if they seem to already have everything, but a puzzle can be a unique gift that challenges their brain as well!

We will do a series of some of our top puzzles for several age groups as we get closer to the holiday season. Today we showcase some of our best puzzles for kids aged 10+.

 

Disney Portrait Series – Snow White by MEGA Puzzles. $12.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 13″ x 19″.

Disney Poster Puzzle – Toy Story Tunes by MEGA Puzzles. $6.99. 300 pieces. Finished size: 19″ x 26.75″.

Curious Lila by Sunsout. $9.99. 300 pieces. Finished size 15″ x 29″.

Merlin and Arthur by Cobble Hill. $14.99. 400 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 18″.

Tea With Grandpa by Cobble Hill. $14.99. 275 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 18″.

Beatrix Potter – Peter Rabbit Character Vignettes by New York Puzzle Co. $16.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 18″

Puzzle Pyramid: Essence of Egypt by Ravensburger. $23.99. 216 pieces. Compete size is 6.5″ x 6.5″

3D Puzzle – Eiffel Tower by Daron Worldwide Trading. $9.99. 37 pieces. Finished size: 9″ x 6.6″ x 20.5″.

11 Fun Brain Activities for Children

Puzzles and brainteasers are great for helping young brains develop and grow. They teach problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, sorting, pattern recognition and more! The best part? There are so many different types of puzzles and images on puzzles that they are certain to entertain as much as they educate. While puzzles will help develop reading, math and logic skills – they also provide a feeling of accomplishment and achievement when the puzzle is solved – which is why kid’s love to do them over and over – and might just give them a confidence boost too!

Putting together jigsaw puzzles and other types of puzzle brainteasers can also be a great family or group play activity, along with individual play. But how do you pick a good puzzle for your youngster? Here are few tips from an article in a Young Children periodical.

1. Small knobs for toddlers. Knobs or chunky puzzles help small fingers with coordination and strengthen the grips used for writing. These are the first puzzle children 2-3 year’s old will enjoy putting together over and over.

2. Children like puzzles of things they know, animals, shapes, story scenes and bright colors.

3. Well designed, sturdy pieces that will withstand some wear and tear are a must. Wooden puzzles from Melissa and Doug, for example, make great starter puzzles for younger puzzlers.

4. When they get bored – it just means they need a step up in challenge – find a puzzle with more pieces, without frames, knobs or trays, or with new topics like letters, numbers or anatomy.

Here are 11 Great Kid’s Puzzles and Games for Brain Development

Five progressive puzzles from 2 to 5 pieces. The pieces are larger, thicker and easier to handle, stimulating attention, curiosity and imagination in children 12 months and older.

Getting dressed won't be such a puzzle once zipping, buckling, snapping, lacing and tying, and other dressing skills are mastered. Each skill is contained on a separate, wooden puzzle piece for easy practice. Develop fine motor and life skills with this great activity. For ages 3+.

Hear the sounds of six favorite vehicles when the two wooden cubes are properly placed in the wooden tray! Find the halves that match and hear six different, realistic sounds. Develops visual perception and fine motor skills. For ages 2+

Easy to grasp, thick chunky pieces fit perfectly into a background tray and help teach kids as young as two about life under the sea! For ages 2 and up.

From Acrobatic Alligator all the way to Zigzag Zebra, this colorful wooden alphabet puzzle has beautifully detailed pictures. When the piece is removed, a full color illustration with a matching image helps children find every letter its home. For ages 3 and up.

 

Ideal for travel, this wooden magnetic board includes three interchangeable animal habitat cards, farm, sea and savanna, and 26 magnetic, wooden play pieces for educational and creative play. For ages 3 and up.

Designed for hours of play and ideal for travel, this wooden magnetic board includes 120 colorful geometric magnets. Younger children (3+) will enjoy using the shapes to replicate the 12 geometric pictures included, while older children will enjoy creating mosaic patterns and pictures directly on the magnetic board.

Fun and fact filled card games for kids of all ages! Features great topics like Lost Civilizations, The Human Body, Earth Science, Sports and more! For ages 8 and up.

PlaySmart Digits in a Box Puzzle Game. First, spill the ten digits (0-9) from the box and give them a scramble. Then, place the pieces back in the box so that the lid closes flat. There are over 4000 possible solutions. For ages 6-8.

The incredible inner workings of the human body are beautifully portrayed in this double - sided educational floor puzzle. One side of this 100 - piece cardboard puzzle features the skeletal structure, and the other side shows internal organs and the circulatory system. For ages 8+.

New & Popular

We have added literally thousands of new items since January, with all of our favorite brands releasing new puzzles and games – so we thought we would collect all of our favorite new items, as well as the ones we have sold the most of since bring them in – so you know what jigsaws are currently hot on the radar!

1. A License to Life 
Ravensburger, 500 pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Busy Bee Quilting Club
SunsOut, 300 pieces. This one is not new, but it one of our highest sellers, and it has been discontinued by SunsOut – so we have ordered up extra – better grab it while you can!

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