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My Blog

Worth an ARM and a LEG

Well good morning to all.  What a lovely, sunny day here in the Niles, Illinois area.  I have prepped for todays performance at the Niles Historical Museum and am ready to roll!  Every time I go through my prep papers...I laugh over and over again at some of the crazy things about Jack Benny.  What an entertainer.  So, if you are looking for something to do...come on out today and enjoy an hour of fun as I take you back in time.  2:00 at the Niles Museum. 
As for today's blog, I decided to write about the phrase "It will cost you an arm and a leg". 
How many times have we referred to something that was way too expensive...or way over the top as to how much we would want to spend and have used the phrase...that will cost an arm and a leg!   I have always been intrigued as to where certain saying come from and why they became so common of a phrase. 
Well, this particular phrase was one I should have known it origin...especially since I am a painter.  You see....long ago, and I do mean LONG ago, photographs were not yet in use...so a portrait would have been painted by an artist.  Of course the artist would be paid for their work, but the cost of the portrait depended totally on the appendages that needed to be included. 
As an artist and an artist in the Helping Artist Program with DecoArt...you would think that this would be one that I would have heard somewhere along the line...but no....I have leaned about this much later in m painting career, You see, one of the most difficult things to learn to paint are hands/arms and legs.  I myself tackle these appendages from time to time.  Well, because they are so difficult to paint...artists of the times charged extra money if you wanted to have arms or legs in the portrait.  When you look at a portrait from long ago...they are generally done with out the extra appendages, hence, making them more affordable.   Now they say that this could just be a fallacy..I think it should be the case.  I find some things just more time consuming and needing much more accuracy.  there is much more study and practice that goes into doing hands than the average person may think.. 
Well, at any rate...when something costs an arm and a leg...it plainly means a fortune!  And well...some of those works of art are exactly that...they are worth their weight in gold...including their arms/hands and legs. 

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