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!