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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

New Website Section: Brains vs. Coffee

on March 10, 2009 - 12:23pm

Brains Vs. Coffee logo
I wanted to direct your attention to the new section on the website called Brains vs. Coffee. It started on on Feb 20, 2009 when I typed the following tweet:

"Coffee...*stumble*...coooffee...*stumble*...braiiins *shakes head* COFFEE.."

I found myself starting the day addressing the same question: Brains or Coffee? What's a ghoul to do? Can coffee really help me resist the urge for brains as I wake in a zombified state?

And now I'm posting these ponderings (containing 140 characters or less) daily to the website. The most recent post will be displayed in the block to the right. If you miss a couple or want to see all of them, click on the "more" link or the picture of the brain itself.

Hopefully some of you will get a kick out of it.

Oh Vincent Price

on March 9, 2009 - 11:22am

Lots of art being posted lately, so here's some frighteningly frivolous fun.

Presenting Vincent Price in a commercial for "Tilex".


Here's something more enjoyable: Vincent Price hosts the Muppet show (Part 1).

Ahhh. Much better.

Watch Part 2.

Watch Part 3.

The Macabre Mind of Joe Vaux

on March 8, 2009 - 12:05pm

Joe Vaux Art: Meeting in the mind
For all my creepy kittens and ghoulish guys, I happily present the work of Joe Vaux.

First, a tiny complaint. What is it with artists and hip designers making their entire site flash-based? While flash-flooded sites are entertaining for a moment (I did enjoy the little critters waving at me on Vaux's site), it can make for tedious navigation (terrible from an accessibility standpoint). Tip for when you visit his site: the barely-visible button to turn off the sound is in the top left corner.

All this was forgiven once I got to the good stuff: his art.

Vaux's work reminds me of Salvador Dali meets Disney's Night on Bald Mountain. There's loads going on visually and so many characters to discover in one piece.

The Art of Mike Mitchell

on March 7, 2009 - 1:01pm

Mike Mitchell's King Skully
Lighthearted, pretty and fun. Those are the words I would use to describe the art of Mike Mitchell (or Sir Mitchell, or Sir Mike of Mitchell as he sometimes calls himself).

I'm drawn to the warm tones used and the overall softness of the images. I always enjoy when an artist knows how to effectively use shadow without making it feel too dark or sinister.

Little to be found bio-wise, with the exception that he's male, 26, from the States and was born close to Halloween.

I can tell you he has a blog and an etsy shop.

Currently, it doesn't look like you can buy King Skully (pictured left) or Little Pilot Skullington (pictured below).

But if you're determined to purchase something and are looking for gift ideas (I like to pretend everyone wants to buy me presents), I'll take the limited print of Their Day Will Come showcasing a wine-swigging cockroach atop a skull, exclaiming "Marvellous!".

Marmota Monax: Debating When a Prop is Done

on March 6, 2009 - 11:22am

Marmot prop. Paper mache, clay and fur
While my props don't usually see the light of day, I make it a point to bring them outside near the end of completion. Sunshine is an unapologetic critic; it shows all the warts (and not the good kind like you find on witches).

It's amazing how different a prop looks in the daylight.

I use this time to scrutinize him. I note elements that worked in low light but fail when spotlighted. I then decide how much I will adjust it.

I am over the moon with how the dog fur looks on him. I think it's the best idea I've ever had. Hands down. While I'm sure it's been done before, I've never seen anyone else use this technique, so there was an undercurrent of hesitation under my enthusiasm as I glued the pieces on. I promise to include more pictures that showcase his fur.

I don't want to ruin how he looks in darker environments, but I want him to hold up when there's no hiding in shadow. This is especially true for Marmota Monax because I think he'll be living a lot of his life in the light.

Painting for the dark is very different from painting for the light.

David MacDowell: A New Look at Atticus Finch

on March 5, 2009 - 12:54pm

David MacDowell art - Parents Just Don't Understand
David MacDowell describes his art as a fun-loving poke at consumerism, pop culture and the cult of personality. His newest show is called The Sins of Atticus Finch, and I love the piece "Parents Just Don't Understand" (pictured right).

Note the mockingbirds on his tie, and the ad on the back of the book he's reading. Details, folks, it's all in the details.

Most of his subjects are from the media - various movies and celebrities. It's a very entertaining portfolio to peruse.

Loved to Death: Taxidermy Art

on March 3, 2009 - 7:54am

Victorian Top Hat with Squirrel tail, hands and heart
Step right up and pick a door on the Loved to Death website.

Who likes a good riddle? Tell me, which door leads to taxidermy: the one labelled "art", "antiques", "jewelry" or "taxidermy"?

If you said all of them, you win!

Let's start with the 1930's vintage top hat (pictured right). The hat is described as such:

A Victorian inspired framed squirrel taxidermy memento mori piece on the side with a genuine preserved squirrel tail accent in place of a traditional feather. The frame is set on a blood red burgundy velvet backing with genuine taxidermy squirrel feet, a gold genuine squirrel heart and handmade calalily flowers.

Artist Subodh Gupta: Very Hungry God

on March 2, 2009 - 7:53am

Subodh Gupta's
Like most children of India in the little village of Bihar, Subodh Gupta grew up carrying a tiffin pot (a three-tiered tin) containing his lunch. Unlike his peers, he became a world class artist and used those same tiffin pots to create Very Hungry God (pictured left).

Many of Gupta's sculptures are made with cooking utensils and other mundane, common household items.

His life is an honest-to-goodness story of rags to riches full of determination, conflict, and even a shady plot point to keep you interested.

I'd send you to the artist's website, but he doesn't appear to have one. Granted, I'm a bit pressed for time today so I didn't dig too far down in my search.

For those of you who wish to know more about the artist, I suggest reading an article written by Tara Kilachand on

Visual art takes time. It took me four years to reach somewhere to change, and in between I made so much not good art. When you lose something and become empty, something new comes out.

Darkside of Depeche Mode: "Wrong"

on February 28, 2009 - 9:15am

I just came across Depeche Mode's video for "Wrong".

It's fairly violent and a tad disturbing, so the faint of heart or sensitive soul may want to skip this one. It's also very effective. It grabs your attention and curiosity.

It's like watching a mini horror movie. I couldn't take my eyes off it.

I've watched it three times, a little hypnotized.

I also like the song itself. But maybe it's just because I haven't had enough electric keyboard and drum machine in my life since Depeche Mode went on hiatus.

Halloween Prop Update: Marmota Monax

on February 27, 2009 - 1:06pm

Marmota Monax Halloween Prop on
Normally I get impatient during the prop making process, but it's been different with Marmota Monax. Every stage has been at a slower pace, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

He now has feet and a base coat (white latex primer for the head, hands and feet; black acrylic for the body).

He can hold his little lantern well, and I can easily slip it in and out of his hand.

It's the next step that I am debating. Originally, I had planned on having all his body cloaked but I've been hit with some (slightly odd) inspiration. What if I covered him with fur?

I don't like most of the fake fur products out there, and I really can't justify spending extra money on it at the moment. But...what if...I covered him in real fur?

I'm not talking about buying the hide of an animal, nor using an old fur coat from a thrift shop. I'm talking about the thick hair of a dog.