Skip directly to content

Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Pumpkins in Black and White

on May 14, 2009 - 9:38am

White little sculpey pumpkins by Ghoul Friday

Here is a perfect example of projects gone wrong. These little pumpkins were going to be painted in a completely different style than what you see here. Yes, they were going to be black and white. Overall, it's not how I had imagined it.

Artist Highlight: Brandon Ragnar Johnson

on May 13, 2009 - 12:33pm

Notte De Fantami - Retro Frankenstein Monster
Brandon Ragnar Johnson has worked in fashion, illustration, and cartooning. He's influenced by fine art (via his father) as well as modern design.

And he makes some wonderful retro-style images.

Here are three of my favourites from his Phantomime collection. This one (pictured right) is called Notte De Fantami.

I probably should mention that the collection gets a little saucy. It's tasteful and beautiful, and is more sexy and suggestive than revealing, but if you're not one who appreciates the whole pin-up girl genre, you may want to skip the collection altogether and just smile at the ones I have posted here.

Starting from left to right, the images posted below are called El Goblino and Spookini.

Nature Trumps Me Everytime: Bird Skeleton

on May 12, 2009 - 10:07am

I am mesmerized by this photograph taken by Tom Pakeman.

Bird Skeleton by Tom Pakeman

Little Pumpkins - How To

on May 11, 2009 - 1:23pm

Little Pumpkin made with Sculpey by Ghoul Friday
I've just posted a how-to for my sculpey pumpkins.

I focus on the sculpting rather than the painting. I hope you find it useful.

Gotta run!

Vintage Halloween

on May 11, 2009 - 9:52am

Timeless Halloween Collectibles, 1920 To 1949: A Halloween Reference Book From The Beistle Company Archive With Price Guide
I mentioned recently that I've had the intention of making vintage-style Halloween decorations for quite some time now. Over the past few months I've done online searches of iconic Halloween imagery, which has given me a better sense of the 'style' that defines what makes an item 'vintage'.

I love the Internet, don't get me wrong, but seeing images on the screen does not compare to holding a book in your hands.

With the library offering little selection, it was plain to see I was going to have to make a purchase. But which ones?

I narrowed it down to two.

First is Timeless Halloween Collectibles, 1920 To 1949: A Halloween Reference Book From The Beistle Company Archive With Price Guide (pictured right).

Love Your Mummy

on May 10, 2009 - 8:43am

It's Mother's Day, and I'm off to see my mummy this afternoon.

Yes, yes. This pun will be done to death in the next few hours. This is why I'm posting so early *wink*. Get in there while I still have a chance to make someone smile.

In honour of the holiday, I thought I would take a few minutes to gather some lovely female mummy pictures from across the Internet to create a little collage (posted below).

I'm not positive the one on the right is a female, but it does have that "Oh! I can't believe you surprised me!" Mother's day quality so I couldn't resist.

To all the mothers out there, have a lovely day.

The Happy Undertaker

on May 8, 2009 - 9:58am

the Happy Undertaker
It's been almost two years since the last instalment of The Happy Undertaker was published to his blog, but I still wanted to draw your attention to these illustrations by Drazen Kojan.

The layout is reminiscent of Sunday paper comic strip cartoons; each issue an episode, each episode with it's own plot surrounding the same whistling Undertaker.

For me, the Happy Undertaker is a bit of a surrealistic melting pot of anything that might pop into my head and onto the page and does not necessarily need to be explained. I try to keep this sense of adventure, surprise and a good (if mysterious) story, with the best drawings I can muster in all my work from children's book illustration to single image illustration and paintings. It's always wonderful to watch an idea grow.

Drazen, originally from Croatia, has called Canada his home for many years. In 2005 he began illustrating children's books and continues to do so. You can see his recent work on his active blog Hypnotik Eye.

But first, do yourself a favour and spend some time going through the Happy Undertaker issues.

Prop Update: Aucellus

on May 7, 2009 - 1:45pm

I'll be cleaning up feathers for the next few weeks, but I suppose it's worth it.

Here is a progress picture of Aucellus or Aucky, as I've started to call him. He's been on the back burner for a while now. I decided it was time to tackle what I'd been avoiding. You see, I've been stumped when it came to making the wings and also attaching the feathers. I didn't know how I wanted to (or how I could) do either.

The only way to get over a problem like that is to run straight at it. Ignore the doubting voice and just do it. I hummed and hawed with the wire armature for a long time, and finally told myself to just put some clay on it to see how it looked. Thank goodness I did, or I'd still be sitting and staring at a featherless bird.

When you're stuck, just experiment. Just 'do'. And trust yourself.


on May 5, 2009 - 4:24pm

Circus Punk doll by Monsterdecay
When you have some time and want to fill up on some ghoulish goodies, check out the Monsterdecay blog. You'll find a mix of artistic mediums by the same artist.

Highlights include this circus punk (pictured right). I'd wanted to create something similar last year for the Halloween game room, but just didn't have the time or resources. I'd love to have this in my office.

Monsterdecay, like many of the other artists highlighted in my blog, has a background in graffiti art and tattooing:

I'm a self-taught artist. I think being a self-taught artist may be harder to learn certain things but in the end you can say you really didn't have any help or brainwashing. I've met many people that have 'fine art' backgrounds and it seems that many of them have been taught that you have to do things for certain reasons, which I think is stupid. If you wanna do something do it because you want to not because a teacher told you to.

Kathie Olivas Sculpture

on May 4, 2009 - 9:25am

Kathie Olivas SculptureSpankystokes somehow got the scoop on this, and since the artist's website is rarely updated, I haven't been able to find out more information about the sculpture.

I've blogged about Kathie Olivas in the past (and how I'm a big fan). I own a limited print of hers and have been salivating over her designer toys, plotting ways to add them to my collection.

I don't think I'm going to be able to afford this new piece.

She has taken her Elizabeth figure and created a 3 foot fibreglass sculpture.

I can only imagine how wonderful it must look in person, with her perfect petticoat and tentacles.

Where do you put something like that? Not outside, else it gets stolen. You make room for it inside. Somewhere grand. I don't care if you have to throw out an armchair.

Of course, if you can afford this piece I imagine you have enough square feet to incorporate it into your living space without chucking furniture (or by simply buying new, more accommodating furniture).