There is a wealth of literature, art and film dedicated to monsters. They are very much a part of human culture, from ancient myths of curses to modern incarnations such as Freddie Kruger. Children have an innate dialogue with monsters, lurking under the bed or in the shadows yet love being told stories with goblins and scary beasts.
Monsters arise from our own mind, an innate fear of the unknown, of disease, death and suffering. Yet it is these things that intrigue us and compel us to watch scary films or read Gothic novels. We are drawn to the strange, the peculiar and the unnatural. We are curious by nature about the world we live in and have a need to explain it – through stories, myths, art and religion.
This post is a reflection on monsters and my own passion for creating them in my artwork. Monsters are shadowy and take on many elements from a person’s mind. They are a combination of ideas, thoughts, feelings and of a time and place. Monsters from Medieval Europe are quite different from the creatures depicted in modern American film for example.
I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time to my art blog and have been thinking about different ways I want to develop it and enrich the content, but alas work and recent bad headaches have pushed Cherryblossom into the background recently. Summer graduations are happening at the University I work at soon which means lots of overtime for me (yay!) but no time for much else (boo!).
While I haven’t spend much time this week on my art projects or journal, I have been reading new books and browsing the web for art inspiration – which is addictive! Of course I keep going back to Pinterest, and the more pictures I find the more different boards I create. I love looking at other people’s work as well and found the following lovely blogs through Pinterest:
I also bought The Bird King by Shaun Tan, who is a wonderful and dreamy artist. I recommend everyone check out his work, which is a mixture of fantasy, animals and machines. I love this one:
Sometimes when I decide to create a project or art page I just go on an idea and see where it goes, which is relying on intuition. A part of me knows there is no wrong way to make something because even if I made a mistake, I can always fix it in a way. Yet I don’t even think something can be a mistake really. When I was coming up with my ideas for the nautical shadow box I had a very small matchstick type box and sprayed it a shimmery blue-green. When I got the little wooden boat it was ever so slightly bigger than the box. Crap! I had to use a bigger box. But what would I do with this one now it had already been sprayed? Playing around with some paper, I started to over it in small strips and decided it would make a great secret box for a mini album (pictures to come soon!). I started to decorate it with a woodland theme in mind and measured some chipboard to fit into the box. So even though it seemed like I had made a mistake, I was able to use that.
I found out about a creative writing competition at Manchester Met and have decided to enter. It has been ages since I’ve done any creative writing but I remembered that I really enjoyed it. I did some creative writing at University, and this is for a short story of 2,500 words or less. The prize is £10,000 so that is my incentive! I could buy loads of art supplies with that!
So it looks like I will be really busy over the next few weeks but I am going to squeeze time in for a new art journal page and finish the matchbox and mini album very soon. Watch this space guys!
A little while ago a colleague at work compared my paintings to an artist I hadn’t heard of called Tara McPherson, saying she did otherworldly women with strange cut outs. Well, I was more than flattered when I looked her up and then fell in love with her style immediately!