Monday, June 1, 2015

May Monster Madness 2015

'Tis that marvellously macabre time of year again - May Monster Madness time! Thank you to Annie Wells, Little Gothic Horrors and Something Wicked This Way Comes... for hosting this fab blog party for the fourth time, and thank you to Maynard from the Horror Movie Diary for suggesting this year's insect theme. 

As it so often does, my mind went straight to art, so I have gathered together my favourite creepy crawly pieces by some of my favourite artists, as well as a classic horror movie poster or two. Enjoy!

'Queen Bee' by Mark Ryden 
This piece was created for Mark Ryden's 'The Gay 90's: West' show held at Kohn Gallery last year, a continuation of his 2010 'The Gay 90s: Olde Tyme Art Show' at Paul Kasmin Gallery. The frames used were all either vintage or designed by Ryden, as this one was.

'Beehive Skull' by Jack of the Dust
Australian 'Skull Lord' Andy is the creative director behind Jack of the Dust, using plastic human anatomy skulls (moulded off real human skulls) to form the basis of his sculptures. 

'Cabinet of Curiosities Specimen No. 61 -
The Black Widow Spider' by Mab Graves
Each one of Mab Graves' Cabinet of Curiosities insect specimens has a tiny lover's eye cameo set into its back, painted with a one-haired brush. 

Beetle in resin necklace - oxidised silver
by William Llewellyn Griffith

Master jeweller William Llewellyn Griffiths recently received an order for another one of these, but said it took him months to find another beetle that was as amazing as this one.

'Herman And Morris' by Travis Louie
This piece was created for Travis Louie's 2011 show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery featuring characters with unusual pets. According to the artist, "Herman found his prized huntsman spider in the basement of his parents’ house. It followed him wherever he went for most of his adult life. He named it Morris because it reminded him of his Uncle Morris, who had long spindly legs and a strange gait that often confused people as to which direction he was about to step in. Although it was common to have large insects as pets in this town, it was frowned upon to have an arachnid as a pet. When they would go for a stroll or take in a show at the theatre, Morris would hide in Herman's stovepipe hat and watch through tiny holes near the top of the hat band. Herman could even hear him clapping at the close of the each performance. It made him laugh out loud every time."

'Spider' by Camille Rose Garcia
Camille Rose Garcia made this piece available as a digital download in her store for Halloween 2013.

A work in progress for Ryan Heshka's
'Mean Girls Club' comic extension
Last year, Ryan Heshka published a comic to accompany his 'Mean Girls Club' show at Wieden + Kennedy Gallery. He has recently completed work on an extension of the original comic for a UK publisher, sharing the above teaser with his Instagram followers in April.

'Halloween Girl Red' by Stephanie Buscema
Stephanie Buscema released this print for Halloween last year. 

'Shared Umbrella' by Mizna Wada
Mizna Wada shared this piece with her Instagram followers last year. Her drawings are available for purchase from Gallery Nucleus  

'The Society' by Kurono
This piece was part of Japanese artist Kurono's self-produced poster series in 2013. It was quickly noticed by Auguste Clown Gallery, and is now stocked there alongside several other Kurono works.

'The Silence of the Lambs' movie poster
And last but not least, here is the poster for one of my all-time favourite films, 'The Silence of the Lambs.' The skull on the moth used in this shot is a copy from a photograph entitled 'In Voluptas Mors' by Philippe Halsman. The original photo features Salvador Dalí with seven women posing to make a skull, itself inspired by a Dalí drawing - 'Human Skull Consisting of Seven Naked Women's Bodies'.

Thank you for joining me for May Monster Madness! The links below will take you to visit the other partygoers :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge

Dear Debi of Easel & Quill has given us all a Bleeding Hearts Day Challenge to complete this Valentine's weekend, and while the aim may have been to come up with an original pairing, I could not resist dedicating this post to my beloved Munsters, Lily and Herman.

Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo as Herman and Lily Munster

The original series comprised only 70 episodes and ran from September 1964 to May 1966, although it continued to grow in popularity and is still widely adored to this day. 

Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo as Herman and Lily Munster
Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo as Herman and Lily Munster

I was first introduced to this wonderful show when I was a small child, and have loved it ever since. The opening theme, below, never fails to put a smile on my face. :)

Of course, no post about 'The Munsters' would be complete without some gorgeous photos of the characters who inspired their creation. 

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride

Lily and Herman were based on Universal Studios' depictions of Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride in their 1930s films. 

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster and Bride

Not only did Universal Studios produce 'The Munsters', they also brought in Hollywood horror make-up legend Bud Westmore, who had pioneered many make-up effects and designs for Universal's Monster movies.

Bride, Lily, Frankenstein's Monster and Herman Munster
Thank you for hosting, dear Debi!  

The Vampire's Day Soiree 2015

Ah, Valentine's Day - the perfect day to celebrate one's love of vampires with one's fellow darklings! Thank you for hosting this fabulous event, lovely Holly - I am raising a glass of blood wine in your honour. ;D

My contribution to the evening's festivities is a collection of  gorgeous vampy art, created by some of my favourite artists.

First up this evening is Dark Shadows' Barnabas Collins by the queen of gothic illustrations, Abigail Larson:

'Barnabas Collins' by Abigail Larson
Next is a piece published earlier today by The Happy Undertaker, aka illustrator Drazen Kozjan - thank you my dear Little Gothic Horrors for introducing me to Drazen's work!

'V is for Vanya Vampire's Valentine Kiss'
by The Happy Undertaker
Lowbrow graphic artist and illustrator Marcus Jones, aka Screaming Demons, is responsible for more than a few items on my wishlist, but I particularly love his monster mugshots. Here is his Nosferatu:

'Nosferatu Mugshot' by Screaming Demons

Having only discovered his beautiful dark art earlier this year, I have fallen fast for the work of Rick "Dienzo" Blanco - I'm sure you can see why:

'Scarlotta' by Dienzo

Not technically a vampire painting, but this one features my favourite vampire slayer as depicted by the godfather of Pop Surrealism, Mr Mark Ryden

'Slayer' by Mark Ryden
This vampire bat painting is one of many gorgeous illustrations featured in Ryan Heshka's spooky-cute children's book, 'Welcome To Monster Town':

Illustration from 'Welcome To Monster Town' by Ryan Heshka
The next two pieces are the work of Mr Monsters 'n' Martinis himself, lowbrow painter Mike Bell:

'Marilyn Noir' by Mike Bell
'Smarmy Extraordinaire' by Mike Bell

Here is ladies' man Dracula again as depicted by the utterly fabulous painter, illustrator and designer Josh "Shag" Agle: 

'Dracula - Dark Hall Mansion's Universal Monsters X Shag'
Folio by Shag
And finally, speaking of fabulous, here are some vintage monster valentines:

Vintage monster valentines
Happy Vampire's Day everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Halloween Show at Auguste Clown Gallery

For this year's All Hallows Eve, I attended the fabulous opening night of the Halloween show at Auguste Clown Gallery. Over 70 painters and sculptors from around the world contributed spectacularly spooky pieces to this exhibition, which ran until the end of November. 
Auguste Clown Gallery front window, Halloween show
Auguste Clown Gallery Halloween show

As of this weekend, I have finally collected and hung the piece I bought that night in pride of place above my mantel. This fabulous creature, 'Spiderface', is a Yeti, handmade by the talented folks behind Yetis and Friends, Cody Williams and Nana Porcelaine. Cody and Nana make a wide variety of Yeti and Alp trophies, but when I spotted this particular red-eyed beast in the exhibition previews, it was love at first sight.

"Spiderface" by Cody Williams
Spiderface was in wonderful company - gallery owner Leigh Cornish gathered together a superb collection for Auguste Clown's first Halloween show. Aside from my furry new friend, these were my favourite pieces on the night:

"Wednesday Addams" by Mai-Ja
"The Mask Vendor" by Grayson Fogg
"Albino" by Cody Williams
"All Hallow's Eve" by Frank Forte
"Chicken Liver" by Chris Haas -
image courtesy of Auguste Clown Gallery
"Trece" by Kat Caro, mixed media painted Blythe

"Milo" by Grayson Fogg
"Mr. Bromwell" by Grayson Fogg
Auguste Clown Gallery owner Leigh Cornish
You can see the entire collection at 

Thank you for another brilliant show Leigh, and thank you to Cody and Nana for your Yeti-tastic creations - your little Spiderface has come to live with a family who really loves him. ❤

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gorgeous Gifts from Little Gothic Horrors

Good evening, dear fellow darklings. I hope you are all well.

While we don't officially celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, this post is my own little version of it, without the roast turkey dinner. ;) You see, I have recently been honoured to receive two of the best gifts anyone has ever given me, and I'd like to share with you all my gratitude for both the gifts and their giver. 

Everyone here in Blogland would be familiar with the incredibly generous, supportive and kind lady responsible for my recent surprises in the mail. The founder of the brilliant Little Gothic Horrors is known and loved all over the world, not just for the delightfully dark content she curates and creates, but also for her genuine friendship and support of fellow bloggers. 

For me personally, Emma has been a buddy for the past couple of years, but ever since I expressed an interest in starting a blog of my own, she has become my fabulous Fairy Blog-Mother. In fact, it was Emma and her wonderful graphic designer husband Danny who brought my baleful birdy and banners to life. Emma's friendship, advice and unwaveringly enthusiastic encouragement have been invaluable to me, both 'blog-ally' and personally, and I am blessed to have her in my life. 

You can imagine, then, how honoured I feel to be this little darling's new owner. He is the beautiful Little Gothic Crow Emma made for the recent Halloween Nevermore Rapport Blog Hop. Like everyone else, I fell in love with him the moment I saw him, and couldn't stop admiring the Gothy gorgeousness of Emma's latest creation. As Emma promised in her post, this birdy did indeed fly away after the P(oe)arty to the nest of a friend - and that friend still can't believe how lucky she is.

When this little chap arrived, I was so excited about meeting him that I didn't think to take a photo of the gorgeous Burton-esque wrapping, with tiny skulls adorning a red ribbon. This is my attempt at re-wrapping it afterwards, which of course is nowhere near as good as Emma's beautiful bow!  

I squealed for joy as I lifted my fabulous new friend out of his travel clothes, admiring the incredible craftsmanship of his construction, and hugged him while I opened Emma's lovely card.

I was already teary-eyed when I logged into Facebook to thank my dear friend for this P(oe)rfect little ray of sunshine. When Emma told me that the story of my childhood toy vulture, a gift from my grandmother, had sown the seed of this little crow's genesis and become her birdy Muse, the (happy) tears began to flow. If Grandma was still here, she'd be as delighted and touched as I am to hear that her vulture had inspired the creation of another darkly handsome birdy gentleman. :)

Soon afterwards, I discovered that Emma's generosity knows no bounds. Having found some birdy fabric she knew I would love, Emma created a friend for my little crow, at which point I decided I must be the luckiest 'mingo ever! 

I remembered to get a photo before opening my present this time. Wrapped in Burton-esque paper and red ribbon, this time Emma adorned the ribbon with a darling wee red-eyed crow.

I opened the card first, beaming, admiring the beauty and love that goes into everything Emma creates.

I have wanted to own at least one of Emma's dolls since first laying eyes on them two years ago, and this little love could not be more perfect. From her black and white birdy fabric to her spider button, from her black hair and red ribbon to her black lace collar, this dolly is exactly the one I would have chosen. I absolutely adore her! *more happy tears* :)

Emma, I cannot thank you enough for these two little darlings, they mean the world to me. I'm looking at them on my mantel now and I just can't believe they're really mine! They are absolutely P(oe)rfect, and I will treasure them as I treasure you and your wonderful friendship... Evermore! ❤