Thursday, October 31, 2013

Month of Fear #6: Scary Story

9" x 15" oil and acrylic on board
I chose to do a collaborate story/illustration with my boyfriend John taking the role of author and me, the illustrator. Here is his short story:

The Lamppost

The inky black of the side street was broken only by a single light. Its amber glow touched down on the recently disturbed side walk. The concrete had within the circle of light only one tenant, a young man who could barely have stepped foot into his twenties. His solid form created an oasis of shadow contained by the light. The lamppost stood above him, a sentinel in the dark. It was doing its job well.

The lamppost’s warm light fell upon the messy mop of hair that capped the still head of the young man. The light slid deep into his increasingly pale skin, and collected on his cheeks and forearms. He was well lit from above, and not a visible inch of him was outside the reach of the lamppost’s light. The mercury vapor bulb continued to shine. Years of wear had done little to hamper its effectiveness. It was a good lamp; it did its job well.

As the night drew on, the ground beneath the young man continued to darken. This was not by fault of the lamp. The dark spot was fluidic, and flared with the reflected amber light. With deep red hue, the darkness continued to spread. It trailed off beyond the faint boundary of where the light met the dark.

The young man began to stir. Tonight, the constant drone of the lamppost’s bulb was accompanied by a soft gurgling. This could be traced to its source, deep within the lungs of the slumped figure. His tensed shoulders loosened against the grey steel of the lamppost’s supporting pole. It was a very sturdy pole, and it had aided the lamp in its years of hard work. Held aloft by the pole; the lamp shone on in the dark night as it had for years and as it would.

Now the gurgling, caused by the dark hole through his abdomen, slowed. The wound was ragged and deep, and well lit on the surface. The depths of the hole were lost to the pervasive dark. The deep red of his blood seeped into his once white shirt. Perhaps a surgical lamp would have revealed more of the grievous wound, but the lamp had done all it was required to. The lamp was not ambitious, nor was it able to be. It was a good lamp, and it did only the job it was made to do.
The cold sweat of the young dying man slid down from his brow to the end of his sharp nose. Illuminated along its path and reflecting tiny splashes of light across his pale lips and sunken cheeks. His unremarkable brown eyes began to glaze, and the light of dawn swept the sky. His breath rattled once more, a soft vapor caught in the constant illumination. His life left him as the surrounding dark peeled away like an orange, revealing a fresh day. The streetlight fell dark. It was a good lamp; it did its job well, and now that job was done. Now left in the brightening world was a warm corpse against a cold grey lamppost.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Month of Fear #5: Trypophobia

2.5" x 3.5" oil and acrylic on board
Trypophobia: a combination of the Greek trypo (punching, drilling or boring holes) and phobia (fear/morbid fear).

This particular phobia is very young--coined 8 years ago--in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This particular phobia is also known as repetitive pattern phobia, in which people become repulsed by looking at clustered holes such as honeycomb, lotus pods, coral, et cetera, or repeating patterns seen in large amounts of grains/legumes, amphibian egg clusters, and the like.

It's a very interesting, unique phobia to me, because it is so out of the ordinary. It is mainly described as a primal reaction relating to visual signs of danger. What that danger could be, who knows!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Month of Fear #4: What Terrified You as a Child?

8"x10" oil and acrylic on board

I had no irrational fears growing up other than the existential mystery of death after losing relatives and pets at a young age. Now that life is a little more complicated than it was in childhood, I have more complex fears that every adult has. My greatest fear is losing hope; losing that spark I work hard to maintain, giving into stress and anxiety and just plain giving up.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Month of Fear #3: My Favorite Horror Story

20"x16" oil and acrylic on board

Most of my favorite horror stories are written by Junji Ito, a Japanese manga artist known for his uniquely bizarre but genuinely creepy horror stories. His most well-known compilation is "Uzumaki"--which was actually made into a live-action movie--about a town that became cursed by an obsession with spirals. One girl's hair in particular began to curl, becoming a hypnotic obsession to her schoolmates at the cost of her life.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Month of Fear #2: What is your recurring nightmare?

7"x5" oil and acrylic on board
This week's theme was: What's your recurring nightmare? Here's my story...

When I was very young--preschool/kindergarten age--once or twice a month for about two years I would relive a very abstract, but very traumatic recurring nightmare. My dream would begin with me, in bed, the house very dark. I would hear the wind howling outside, making the house creak, the windows shake. In an instant time blurred into an abstract movement, all of the trees surrounding my home would grow in enormous size and then succumb to the wind, collapsing onto the house and demolishing it in a cold tangle of twisted debris and tree limbs. I would then manage to crawl out of what must have been my bed, crying, calling for my mom, but hearing nothing in return, not even the wind. I then became overwhelmed with an intense feeling of guilt, and would eventually give up looking for any signs of life between the mess of what was once my house, bawling "I'm sorry" over and over again until I would be woken up by my mom, who would later on tell me she would wake up hearing me crying "I'm sorry" repeatedly in the middle of the night.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Month of Fear #1: What Lives Under My Bed?

11"x20" oil and acrylic on panel
The Month of Fear project has begun! This week's theme was What Lives Under Your Bed?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Dream Predation and Getting Busy!

Dream Predation 16"x20" oil and acrylic on board
I did this piece for Forest to Shore's Cursed show last month and I have yet to properly upload a photograph of it up on my site. This is actually a springboard piece for a solo show coming up in January that I still need to get off my arse and begin work on the pieces! 

However, I am fortunate enough to say that as of late I have been incredibly busy working on and finishing painting after painting for numerous projects! I have never felt so happy :D