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The Artist as Predator

Tribly, artist figure model

If I was good at writing I’d spend a lot of space here talking about how movies and drama have treated the artist as a madman(rather than woman) similarly to the mad scientist of many a horror film and book. The below examples don’t necessarily match that concept, but they are creepy stories featuring artists and art.

Trilby, pictured above and played by Marian Marsh, is a story by George Du Maurier and published in the early 20th century. Trilby, the protagonist, is a young English girl living in Paris and earning a living as a figure model. She is hypnotized by the evil Svengali, a brilliant but villainess musician…

I believe you can watch the movie version of Trilby on Netflix under the title Svengali. Better yet, read it for free through Google books. You can download a pdf of it. I’m honestly only halfway through it and have been reading it on my nook.
Trilby by George Du Maurier

Bluebeard, a story about a man who … ya know, kills his wives, was made into a movie. The villain’s role was changed into that of an artist. He paints portraits of women then murders them. Freaky puppets are also involved. Watch the 1944 version of Bluebeard on Hulu.

I also collect radio horror plays. The two linked below are on topic! The First is a story about two French art students who roam the countryside in search of inspiration. The second play is about a ceramicist searching for a perfect ingredient in order to achieve an unusual glaze to his work. You can download the plays or listen to them online.

Fear on Four’s By the River Fountainebleau

Nightfall’s Glaze of Perfect Beauty

There are many other examples of creepy stories where either the art or artist is menacing, like Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray or just about any movie that involves ventriloquists and dummies.

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Dirty Thirty

So yeah, I’m 30 years old now. That’s weird and stuff. The new semester has started, and with it a fresh crop of baby art students full of naked anime elves shining in their eyes!

In the photo above is a book I found at Border’s, after descending upon it’s bankrupt book corpse. I had first seen and coveted it on awesome art blog Phantasmaphile. Also in the picture is a necklace made by Blood Milk Jewelry. It’s beautiful. There is even a small round piece of glass in the viewer. Next to it is a piece of coal Jason and I scavenged from Centralia, PA.

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The Symbolist Sphinx

The Symbolist Sphinx

1. Fernand_Khnopff – The Caress, 2. Sphinx , 3. bernard1, 4. the sphinx by Von Stuck

Not much to say, just pretty things to see.

I really wish I knew more about the lower left image. Supposedly it’s a black and white image of a painting by William Sargeant Kendall, and is called The Sphinx. This is kinda believable and kinda not. If you look at other black and white images of his work, you can see some similarities, but this work was supposedly done at a time when photography was new and also when similar images were taken of actress Theda Bara, as Suzanne of Wurzeltod points out to me here. Perhaps Kendall had seen those images and was also inspired by other symbolist sphinx works by Knopf, Von Stuck and other artists.

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Odds & Ends

Jason and I are still preparing for Stuntkid & Friends Show this coming saturday in Norfolk VA. It’s pretty rad having a bedroom full of art by artists that you’ve admired for a long time through the warped lens of the internet. It’s better in real life.

In stark comparison my studio area seems to be full of unfinshed paintings. I may need to get a dehumidifier to deal with my paint refusing to dry to workable point.

This weekend I got to take some concept photos with the adorable burlesque performer Marla Meringue. Which means no one will see anything that came out of it for quite a while, but she definitely helped me plan on a few future paintings.

Here’s a peak at some portrait studies from school and home.


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ouija ouija ouija


Who knew Norman Rockwell illustrated a couple playing with a Ouija board? I love this. I hope I can find a print of it someday. Once upon a time I wanted to arrange a talking board show where artists designed their own versions. Someone else beat me to it. Copronason put on a rad show dealing with that exact subject. Maybe I could arrange another one in the future. There are also some great sites out there that catalog all the different versions of spirit boards and their history. If interested you should check out the Museum of Talking Boards or WilliamFuld.com. I also recently purchased a hand carved planchette on Etsy.com from Lejans Wood Creations and am eager to get it.