Saturday, November 05, 2005

Illustration Friday


This week's topic is "Night". It got me thinking about a painting I did for my mom last year for her birthday. I just started using Painter and thought it might be fun to try recreating that piece, which I did in oils, in Painter - using virtual oils.

My wife and kids call my mom "Scary Omi", because of her love of all things creepy. Not slasher movie creepy, but "Nightmare Before Christmas" creepy. I think its a sensability that comes from her childhood growing up in war torn Germany. She's described to me what it was like to be a little girl living in bombed out cellars in ancient cities that had been completely flattened by Allied bombers. About waking up in the middle of the night with a rat on her chest. About her brother and his little friends using a skull from the ancient town cemetary as a soccer ball. The explosions had turned over all the hundereds-of-years-old graves. About digging in the rubble for "treasure" - other people's silverware and jewellery buried under their flattened homes.

Not to mention the Grimm's Fairy Tales - the unabridged Grimm's fairy tales - that were her bedtime stories. Macabre stuff.

Even back in the sixties, as a young child myself, I got to enjoy a taste of those scary stories. We had this children's book that was read to me over and over - "Der Struwwelpeter" - Bbrrr! - and I loved it!

Which is why no doubt one day my grandchildren will call me "Scary Opa"!

19 comments:

Holly said...

Nice to see a fellow hamiltonian! Great work.

Carha said...

Creepy little monster. *g* It's lovely.

(Oh and when I was little, they read Struwwelpeter to me, too. I was quite scared for a bit that there might be some guy coming to cut of my thumbs.)

Catnapping said...

I - love - that - MOOOOOOOOOOOOON.

this is a great illustration. I'm gonna hafta check out your other stuff again.

Don said...

Love the tree... they can be hard to do.

Doug said...

Great illo there... and any friend of Mac is a friend of mine! :) Welcome to blogging... I'm new at it myself. See you around.

Tony Sarrecchia said...

That's scary. Very nice job.

Toni said...

Love how you did the sky!
great colors
have fun with your new mac!
I love macs ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow - I grew with the same stories during the same time - Dad went from Bohemia to Austria as a child. We also read stories from Der Struwwelpeter - favourite is the boy who didn't cut his hair or nails - and the girl who played with matches! I'm turning into a scary Oma myself };-} Great arms on the tree, beautiful full moon ... they are going to get you!

Harrison said...

Hey there - phat pic bro! totally dig everything about it - well done! Old Struwwelpeter would be proud - my mother is German and also subjected me to horrific children's stories...how else are you supposed to teach a kid lessons, right?
Peace.
Little Johnny Suck-a-Thumb

Drazen said...

Great piece Leif! and great story.
I love all my grandmas old stories from Croatia

leif said...

Wow! Thanks to everybody who left me comments for my first "real" post. Your kind words and encouragement made me feel very welcome in this corner of the blogoshere - and I really enjoyed visiting all your blogs as well! So... thanks!

SoPieEE said...

love it

SoPieEE said...

love it

Isa said...

Ohhh, I love the moon!! with all those spirals. Thank you for visiting my blog. Very nice illo.

ryuku said...

so cooool!
I love your work.

carla said...

This is really wonderful, and I enjoyed looking at what you did with it above. The tree is very impressive, and the swirling patterns on the moon create a great feeling of agitation. I definitely like the guy behind the tree...this is a really great illustration

coffee81 said...

ooo...that's spooky...

Fancy World said...

I agree this is very spooky and I like the term "Scary Opa". Thats funny!! I'm looking forward to see more of your drawings.

Fancy World said...

I agree thats very spooky and I like the term "Scary Opa". Thats very funny. I'm looking forward to see more from you.