Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dark side of the holidays

I'm delighted to now be a member of the Etsy Dark Team - still dotting a few i's as I update all my pages to reflect that, but I thought I'd celebrate by posting a few "dark" items of gothic sensibility that I haven't shared in awhile. Above, "Mistress of the Purple Tower" was the first painting that I did in 2010 or the last in 2009 -- I remember working on it right on New Year's Eve into the morning.

For a sampling of the kind of things the team offers, just type EtsyDarkTeam in the search field in Etsy, visit the Facebook page at or the blog page at

"She felt bad for the beetle and wished to release it from its glass prison" is the overlong title for this little painting, which I did in 2008 when I started doing small paintings to illustrate little images that seemed like they belonged in old gothic stories. Women with candles, ghosts wandering through towers, and all the other things that have come to dominate my recent doodles. I wanted to give them names that sounded like sentences from a strange story.

"The pomegranate seeds glistened like blood" is another in this little series -- a ghost haunted by the blood red fruit of the pomegranate in a cold tower. As a side note, this has very wintry colors to my mind -- the ice blues and the berry blood red.

"Alone Again" is a 9 x 12 painted in very early 2009 to reflect the cold and distant feeling of winter. I like that feeling in winter actually -- in January, when the holidays are over and there's nothing but a dismal grey sky, grey trees and maybe snow, depending on where you are. I would always take a vacation week at that time of year just to be alone and read and paint. This is a nice little reflection of that feeling.

My coupon code HOLIDAY20 good for 20% off is still active as of this writing, Dec. 3, and I will leave it active at least for a little while longer, in the spirit of things...because why not!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Handmade for the Holidays

Candy Cane Witch makes me want to eat the gingerbread house I have in the other room! Well here we are, the big weekend, the weekend in which I will probably not venture out of the house/woods because I don't like crowds and I don't need anything they sell in the mall. Because like many people, I would rather give and receive something that is made by myself, by a person I know or an artisan or craftsperson who cares about their work, than something produced en masse. These gifts don't have to be expensive, and thanks to the Internet, you can get a gift from far away from a like-minded Maker-of-Things, without having to leave the house. That's what the Handmade for the Holidays idea is all about.

Handmade for the Holidays with

I won't be able to spend any money myself this holiday season, but I do have a variety of original art and prints available in my Etsy shop if anyone would like to give the gift of art this year, some with a winter theme, many with a year-round appeal if you like fantasy, gothic, fairytale and psychedelic art. See my Winter Art Round-Up post for a winter-focused list, or just browse my shop. The prints are all of a size you can easily get a pre-made frame for, and much of the original art is also a standard size.

For the people close to me, I will be making gifts this year, either artwork or knit/crocheted items. Last year I was able to give something to many people I know, because I spend my free time at home knitting instead of grappling for position in an overcrowded store.

Here is a selection of some of the handmade items that some of my friends and online acquaintances offer. Art, music, fiction, scented goodies, graphic arts, handspun fiber and much more. And I included some interesting blogs and podcasts that friends of mine are involved with as well. I will keep adding to this as more friends make suggestions to me, and I will link back to this post.


Bethy Williams Interdimensional Art


Deirdre Ryan Photography (New Jersey area)


Dark Holler Arts
(including the band I am in, Stone Breath, and friends)


Mike Hamel and the Amber Lamps:


Lettering and Letterpress:

Word Illusions (custom ambigrams):

Presse Dufour (design and letterpress)


Hyacinthe Raven (her new book is "Dial 999")

Tara VanFlower ("Violent Violet")

Fiber Arts (art yarn):

Three Ravens:

Terry Had a Little Lamb:

Perfumery and Bath:

13 Gypsies Perfumery:

Sideshow Soap Co.

Conjure Oils

Possets Perfumes

Jewelry and Accessories:

Od Peacock Jewelry:

Peach Fuzz Jewelry:

And I also wanted to promote some friends' work on the internet, in blog and podcast form, here are some projects that some friends of mine are involved with:

Painted Lady Finger (nail polish and beauty products blog):

Pre-Recorded Late Night (free improv comedy podcast)

Miss Gender: A Transgender Woman Tells Her Story

Thanks for looking, and happy holidays!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winter art round-up

Everyone already seems ready to start in on the holiday season in the first days of November, and since mail order can take time, I'm not going to wait any longer to launch my own winter art for the season! I'll continue to post new things as they become available, since I have a lot of painting planned. I will link back to this post whenever I post new winter art though, since it's nice to have it all in one place. I love painting snow for some reason -- that color scheme really appeals to me and I love the magical worlds that can be created with snow and ice as the themes. I hope to offer some more child-friendly art with snowy witch themes, maybe some winter animals like owls and penguins, and some gothic graveyard in the snow art as well, as the season progresses.

Commissions for the holidays can be accepted at least through the end of this month, looking at my schedule so far...I'll post a note if I get too busy to take on new ones but for now, I'm good to go!

Above, "Haunted by Snow Ghosts" is the newest original painting I have in my shop with a winter/snow theme. It is 7 x 9 inches which is a nice size for gift giving. Ghosts aren't just for Halloween, I think they are wonderful in winter too!

"Snowflake Witch" is an original 9 x 12 painting currently available. I have previously painted a very similar image but I wanted to create a new one so that I can offer her again, and also have new high resolution images available for future print-making. Right now if anyone wants a print, contact me and I can make one up in 5 x 7 or 8 x 10; they will be added to my regular shop stock in the future.

"Shards of Color" is another original currently available in 9 x 12 with snow, ice and pastel colors - great for kids or adults, a gentle but surreal little piece.

"Snow Snail" is another surreal snow painting, and the newest print I've added from a relatively recent painting (I sold the original about two years ago I think). A faceless figure is led through a snowy landscape by a strange snail. I have a 5 x 7 in stock but since the original was 8 x 10 I can make that size upon request as well.

"Snow Cauldron," also in stock as an 8 x 10.

"Candy Cane Path" has a childlike feel and would fit nicely in a kid's room or for a witch-loving adult.

"Valentine Witch" doesn't have to wait until February, she's a winter witch who just happens to have some hears on her wings and dress. :)

I'll post more as I do them, and probably continue with winter art well past the holidays if the mood strikes's hard to stop once I get started!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little tiny canvases and movie-inspired art

A local art store was having a special on wee tiny 2 x 3 canvases so I have loaded up on them and am obsessed with the idea of making "quadtychs" -- like a triptych, I guess, but there are four paintings in each. This is my first one but there will be more -- basically each will show a continuous scene, but in four parts. They can be displayed side by side continuously, like so:

Or framed individually, or arranged as a square, or whatever! I am very thrilled by them anyway . :P More are planned!

I keep uncovering more and more images that I needed to either update or post anew -- for instance I had some paintings on ArtFire, but I closed that shop for now and I never moved the art back to my Etsy shop. I'm in the process of doing that but in the spirit of Halloween here are a couple that I put up with sort of horror themes.

"She Kills With Colors" has a title inspired by giallo movies, though the image suggests sort of a devil woman who hypnotized her victims with psychedelics. Doesn't it? If it was a movie ~I'D~ want to see it, that's for sure.

And "The Devil Wants a Wife" is inspired by things like pulp horror book/magazine covers or movie posters, from anywhere in the mid-20th century. I've always wanted to do lots of things along those lines but I keep getting sidetracked...

While we're at it I also was able to update the image for this piece, which I had previously photographed but the scan gives it a much more clear and crisp appearance on a computer monitor. This was inspired by the Jean Rollin film "Fascination" which features a cloaked woman with a scythe, but I wouldn't suggest searching for the film if you're at work or in another environment where naked ladies might not be good to have on your screen, because Jean Rollin films are full of them.

And with that we are one day closer to actual Halloween, which is different from the one that I celebrate which is pretty much continuous, though I still never go to parties. :P

Friday, October 28, 2011


"A lantern lit the shadows" - now available as a 5 x 7 photo print.

Ok yes I am not the first person to use the phrase "Halloweekend," I admit. :P

I have a pile of new art waiting to scan and post, that is very much along Halloween lines but of course I am posting it just right around the big day itself. No matter! I pretty much observe Halloween all year long -- it just dropped to 57 degrees in Texas today and I hear it is supposed to be snowing this weekend up north where my mom, cats and turtles are hopefully putting on sweaters.

I can't wait to share some of my new work, which ranges from cute to grimly gothic, and some completely unrelated somewhat abstract things, and a little sci fi, but I've been going through my winter art box and finding a few treats to put back in my shop for the season as well.

In the meantime I thought I would gather all of my monochrome ghost paintings/prints here in one spot for fun and for reference in case anyone wanted to see them. Up top is a new print of a painting that sold a little while back -- I wasn't sure how the dark colors would reproduce in a print but I think it worked out just fine! Right below are a couple of more recent pieces still available as originals:

Now, below here is a ghost I painted several years ago who is still available -- again, I think watching too much Dark Shadows inspired it. I also did a commission recently for a variation on this image, of the goddess Hekate, which I will post just below it with some of her symbols around her. It was a joy to create this image and I am grateful to the person who wanted it, for entrusting me with it!

And now, the Hekate variation:

Finally, my most popular piece, the original sold three years ago to a friend and I didn't think it would reproduce as a print because there's so much dark coloring, but another friend asked for a print so I made one and it looked great! Now it has more views, hearts and treasuries than anything else I have on Etsy, and whenever one sells I list another. The original was 8 x 10 so I probably won't offer prints larger than that, but right now I still have a 5 x 7 up for sale.

So there is some grim and occasionally cute dark gothic ghostly stuff for you -- I keep this stuff available all year of course, but for some reason people seem to be more interested in it in October...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What does this have to do with Halloween!

I've been busy with some commissions lately but somewhere in there I was completely distracted from my usual haunted activities by thinking about really, really colorful things. With only a few days until Halloween I should be talking about my usual ghosts and haunted houses, but I wanted to share this before any more time passed, just because! And anyway I think something strange with stripes and a devil face in it is kind of seasonal too...At any rate, this painting was inspired by listening to electronic music and thinking about early 80s video games, the ones where you are trying to build things with pipes, for instance -- but things went haywire and some flowers crept in.

Where I am right now the leaves don't change and there's not a crisp note of autumn in the air quite yet (maybe late a night, when the armadillos come out) but I am still in a fall frame of mind, watching Dark Shadows at night and various movies with the words "vampire" and "Dracula" in them.

Nothing new, of course -- recent viewings include the favorite La Vampire Nue, a couple versions of Dracula; Dracula AD 1972 and other Hammer offerings. And my reading for the moment is still Salem's Lot, which I started several weeks ago in a strange fit of not reading something from the 19th century! But I'll be back there soon!

More haunted art coming soon, into the winter months...because Christmas was always a time for telling ghost stories in Victorian times!...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A few more ghosts...

I have been loading up on ghost/haunted house movies lately, as that has been my favorite motif at Halloween time for some years lately. Ever since I read "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson and the Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories, that has been chief among my obsessions.

I love walls with brocade wallpaper, candelabras, oval portraits, mysterious bookshelves and of course what lurks beyond locked doors and in basements. Normally this time of year I'd also be watching Dark Shadows so that will have to start up soon too.

A few movies that have been watched lately: The House on Haunted Hill, The Legend of Hell House, Thirteen Ghosts, to name a few. Another, Burnt Offerings, was made a little later and didn't quite hit the marks we were looking for, but it had some interesting atmosphere as well. "Thirteen Ghosts" particularly inspired me with an idea for something I plan to paint very soon...

Right now I am also offering up a repainted version of a ghost painting I did about 9 years ago, "Ghost Sisters of the Tower." I've done at least one other repaint of it since then but I wanted to make sure to have a nice fresh version of it that I can take scans from, and of course the painting itself is available -- I love my blue and purple ghost girls!

I'm taking a break from 19th century literature to read Salem's Lot by Stephen King as well, but my movie choices are likely to stay firmly rooted around the 60s/early 70s...which is about as modern as I get.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Curse of the Lost Print of the Ruby Skull

When I was getting prints made up a while ago I didn't put all of them out for sale immediately and I just realized this one has not been listed! I loved doing this painting -- I did it twice, as I had a commission for it once as well -- and I am happy to be able to offer a print now.

In addition to loving '70s craft books I also love pulp adventure stories from the first half of the 20th century. You know, the kind of things with titles like Spicy Mystery Stories - here's a site with a selection of them, though some of the art may be not-suitable-for-all-audiences, if you know what I mean. And also, many are public domain, so here is one of my faves:

There's also a thick, heavy and somewhat affordable book out called the Big Book of Adventure Stories that collects some choice tales from the past century. Fine literature is it not, necessarily, but it's a bloody good time. Sheena, Queen of the Jungle; Tarzan; The Scarlet Pimpernel; Conan the Barbarian and many more are in its pages.

I tend to read the turn of the century stories by people like H. Rider Haggard, which are admittedly antiquated by today's standards, but display a kind of creativity and curiosity about unexplored regions of the world that we just don't have today, since you can pretty much see the whole thing on Google Maps.

Finally, I love terrible movies, like Night of the Sorcerers, which is also not-for-all-audiences, but includes vampire women running around in slow motion in leopard skin bikinis. I still harbor some vague notion of making such an outfit for myself for Halloween. :P

I will probably do some more things inspired by this kind of crazy stuff, but I like it best when the ladies are in charge, and not being menaced by goons.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New painting of my purple fairy

I've been working for some time on doing new paintings of some of the favorite images from my gallery, where I've collected some of the paintings I've sold over the last ten years. Above is "Dark Lanterns," which I have painted on several occasions, but until this new version I haven't been able to take a high-res scan of it.

Here's the gallery with my older works in it:

The scans that I made before the paintings were sold in 2001-2003, were not really of a quality that I could make prints from. So although I've had many requests for prints or other reproductions of them, I couldn't offer them.

I have a few things in my Etsy shop as "photographs/prints" but I really want to add to that and offer more things in the future. I didn't have much interest from a Cafepress shop, though it still exists:

But I would like to be able to offer my own reproductions of things in various forms, some day. Maybe little necklaces, in addition to things like postcards, notecards and the current photographic prints.

So far, the fairy painting above, and these two below, are the repaints I've done for Halloween, so I will be able to do more with these images in the future. I've also done several for winter.

As always, if anyone sees anything in my gallery (above) that you think would make a good offering as a print, please let me know and I'll put it on my list for consideration!

Friday, September 30, 2011

My love of '70s craft books

It's Katamari Damacy! In the living room! And it's about to roll over that lady!

My pictures here today are from "The Great Granny Crochet" book by the American School of Needlework, 1979. As a child, I thrived (throve?) on 1960s and 1970s craft books that had lingered on shelves into the early 80s. I would go from front to back, exploring every craft within. Papier mache elephant pencil holder? Done. Painted a rock to look like a bug? Many times.

The look of those books had something really unique to it -- the avocado green, mustard yellow, that kind of bronzy pumpkiny orange, and of course the most disagreeable shades of brown imaginable. There was lighting that never quite illuminated the subject. Worst of all were the photos of food, of course. There is an entire blog and several books devoted to the subject of horrifying food art from cookbooks of the past. I have my own collection of those kind of cookbooks, because I am enchanted by the wibbly, wobbly, gelatinous horror of the endless "jello molds full of hot dogs" that apparently passed as food in the decade of my birth.

There are four pictures of this kid and a can of soda in this book. See, teens used to be so well behaved!

I've worn some pretty strange outfits in my time but I think this is probably the most daring fashion feat I have ever seen perpetrated.

Start making one of these cuddly robots now and it might be finished before the real robots become super-intelligent and start to take over!

Anyway, you get the idea! Most of my '70s craft books are lodged at the bottom of many boxes of books I have stored away right now but I am inspired to keep finding and scanning my favorites. Except to find some of them in your Christmas stocking this year if I know you! And I'll have to make the stocking too of course.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy autumn!

It was humid enough to warrant air conditioning but it's officially fall! Us redheads born in the autumn months are inordinately fond of fall. Here is some fall art to look at while I get some more projects finished! I'm working on multiple art and sewing commissions and making some Fair Isle socks for myself, for fun. These images are all still available on Etsy, with prints available of the woodpecker painting as well.

And soon, the October horror movies will begin...

But for now, some trees, which are still in their green glory last time I looked, but it's nice to think of what awaits in a few weeks!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three new pieces of surreal, dark and ghostly art

Autumn makes me paint, so I have a few new pieces to throw at the Internet this week. First here's an 8 x 10 on stretched canvas called "Glass Worm of the Rainbow Caverns." It sounds like the name of an old D&D/AD&D module and maybe this does look a little like it could be the cover art for any rate, it's my nightmare landscape of the moment. I like things that are both dark and colorful at the same time, with colors emerging from a mostly grey landscape. This is also kind of influenced by cleaning out the basement lately after flooding. No, I didn't see anything living down there, but the subconscious mind does strange things sometimes.

"The one that didn't get away" is a little 5 x 7 ghost bottle, a wispy little sheet ghost held in by a cork while other spirits frolic in the distance.

"The Haunted Orchard" is another little surreal dream world for Halloween and autumn enjoyment. It's also 5 x 7. I read an Algernon Blackwood story that took place in an orchard and it suggested this image, though I can't recall the details of the story since I've read about 20 ghost stories in the last week and they are all blending together!

I'm running out of dark paint, better get some more. :P

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the spirit

I've noticed that the cable channel TCM has been running horror movies already this year -- some zombie movies, and the Blob is scheduled to be on tonight (one of my favorites!!). I think that's the only TV channel I could be persuaded to watch on a regular basis right now aside from the shows about ghosts and slobs and people who eat drywall, which I find very interesting as an armchair psychologist.

At any rate, if I were to turn on the TV right now I am informed that Forbidden Planet would be on, but I am enjoying the fact that it's rainy and quiet outside so I'm not likely to interrupt that.

And in the spirit of things, I have a lot of new ghostly art for the season, including this repaint -- I originally painted this image two years ago and gave it to a friend after displaying it in my online shop for a little while. But I thought I would do a new version and offer it again for interested parties. It's small and easy to frame, and it just couldn't be more autumnal!

I may or may not have given it the same name, the second time around. I have a habit of renaming things constantly.

For now, I am going to go investigate the possibility of learning how to knit gloves with fingers, since that's one of the only things i didn't learn to knit in the past year -- and today's sudden dip in temperature has me thinking that might be a useful skill to have.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The rest of the Halloween prints!

I will likely have more before the season is over but I've listed all the Halloween art prints that I have in stock - and of course as soon as one sells I will relist.  Although these are 5 x 7 and are listed one at a time I can get multiple copies made, in matte or glossy, and well as 8 x 10s on demand.

I am reading "The Mammoth Book of Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories" right now -- I know I read most of it before and many of the stories are in other collections, but they are still seeming very fresh and new to me so I guess it's been awhile since I read some of them.  Included are the classic "Schalken the Painter" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu and my favorite thus far is "The Lost Room" by Fitz-James O'Brien, because it has elements of both surrealism and decadent literature in its dreamlike narrative.

I've also recently watched a lot of older horror movies so I was glad to find I still had a scan of this painting below, inspired not by any particular film but by the idea of silent or classic black and white horror movies.

The Silent Grave
Tower of the Zombie Girl

 The painting above was simply titled "Zombie Girl" on my art gallery website but I added "tower" to spruce it up. :)
The Haunted Windmill
And finally, a ghost bride and a haunted windmill.  I am rather fond of this one as well.

These paintings are all from a few years ago. I don't have the specific dates but I think it may have been 2004 because I remember painting them at my first apartment.  The originals are sold but I enjoy repainting images and I'm happy to finally be able to offer prints of these, which are done on matte photo paper through a service that I use. 

That's all for now - I think Labor Day is the unofficial start of fall, and it certainly feels like it with cooling air and rustling leaves.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some more Halloween prints

I've recovered some more of the original scans of paintings I did a few years ago and I am offering prints of them! There's one of them, right above here...

When I started selling art online about 10 years ago the scanner that I had access to was fairly low-res but the big problem was that the computer where they were stored was old, and there was no way to move the images elsewhere...they were too big for a floppy disc, and there was no cd-burning capability. I'm sure there are other ways to deal with that, so hopefully I can retrieve them some day, but in the meantime I have at least been able to recover images that I DID get high-res scans of, and I can now offer them as prints.

And for fun, I've been repainting some of those 2001-2003 paintings that I did as well, so I can capture them with the latest in last year's technology. :P

Here's one of my black and white/monochrome "silent film" paintings from a few years ago, this one is Silent Laboratory. I have one more of these images coming soon to my shop in print form too.

And this one has been offered before but now I have matte prints of it with borders. Very autumnal don't you think?

That's the shameless plug for today. Just want to let people know that there's Halloween art out there if they need it! It's a public service!

Monday, August 29, 2011


I'm trying out this widget (look to the right) from Craftcult, which shows a slideshow of items in my Etsy store and lets you see the prices, feedback, hearts, and other stuff. I thought it was pretty useful, let me know if you see if and have an opinion either way!

As I mentioned before, I will close my Artfire store until further notice around Sept. 19, since they only have Pro accounts and since my online sales activity is fairly sporadic and not a fulltime pursuit, I don't want to have a monthly charge at this point in time if I can't devote a lot of time to promoting it. I am going to keep working on making my Etsy offerings better and more diverse.

That reminds me, I have some UFO and alien themed things up right now -- the second in a series of UFO/Alien/Conspiracy theory paintings that I meant to get cracking on a long time ago, and I relisted some ACEOs that I haven't had in the shop in awhile.

First here is a new 6 x 8 inch painting with a bug-like lizard alien, Saturn and stonehenge that will make you look crazy for buying it and me crazy for painting it. Who can resist!!

Since everyone loves ghost bottles, I did a couple of ghost bottle ACEOs a couple years ago too but I didn't quite get around to selling them. These were hand-cut art paper, and although it looks like watercolor it was watered down acrylic paint.

More UFO abduction...

And more!...

Anyway I did these a couple of years ago but I had them tucked away for awhile and they are ready for sale again!