Nightmare drawings (a couple of NSFW ones)

The deadline for The Sketchbook Project 2011 has come around, alas, and I have to say that I am disappointed in myself…I had hoped to do so much more for this project, but with just 6 weeks to work on it, I have done very poorly. I took the topic too seriously, and because I don’t actually have nightmares, it was difficult to come up with anything I felt strongly about.

Oh, well, at least the paper’s fabulous! (I used a gorgeous ivory-toned translucent Gilclear vellum) and there are a few humdingers among these mediocre drawings, if I do say so myself!  The NSFW ones are on the second page, so if you don’t think you have the stomach for sexually-explicit-meets-slimy-creatures, then stay on Page 1!

I started out with a few copies of old engravings of lovely women, filling their heads in with things seen in Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur…by the third woman I was bored shitless. Even with the heads of bats or buffaloes, these genteel Frauen manage to come across as perfectly bland, and as though they’d still behave better than I would at a High Tea. Maybe its in the body language?

I tried working on my own nightmares, but I don’t really have nightmares…certainly not the horror-type nightmares. Mine are so grounded in reality that it’s depressing. I’m screaming, but no sound is coming out, at my parents, or at a brick wall (same damn thing).

I DO dream about blood, raw meat, murder, and gore, but they aren’t nightmares because I’m usually the one doing all the murdering, and I’m enjoying it, and I wake up feeling absolutely WONDERFUL after some of those dreams. Go figure…

And then I have the inanimate object nightmare, where I am looking at some ordinary household object, and it starts to move toward me. The terror is incredible, my mouth goes dry, my heart rate speeds up…it’s just…ridiculous.

From a dream I had last night. Not scary, just weird. It felt so real, too…

And that’s it (apart from the two on teh next page…ahem)!

Just 9 drawings, so half-heartedly done and so uninspired…too bad. Oh, well, it’s just what it is. I really loved the covers for this sketchbook, though! I will do one of my own, I think, and I’ll have untramelled fun with that! And no, no more manga-meets-seafood, I promise! My Sketchbook Project goes in the mail tomorrow.


The Nightmare :: beating it into submission

The cover’s almost there…I’ll be working it into the corners, today…

soon, my lovelies, soon…. (cackle)

(oh, and psst! there’s a tutorial for blackwork on paper on my other blog)

and for those embroiderers out there…here’s the Back Side of the Dark Side:

The Nightmare begins…

The Nightmare
Image via Wikipedia

I spent this past weekend at a two-day Handmade Christmas craft fair. I always sell out at craft fairs because I don’t make very much to begin with, but what little I do make is well-wrought, one-of-a-kind, and so special that I don’t have to hawk my wares, demonstrate anything, deliver a non-stop sales spiel, or offer bargain deals on things. The sort of folks who buy my stuff know exactly what they want, don’t question the prices, and often come to the annual two-day Marara Christmas craft fair looking for me.

A handbound journal

In between meetings with these particular customers, I spend a lot of time just waiting and watching the rest of the holiday shoppers flow past me like a river. I try to bring something to work on every year (because it looks less awkward than standing at your table with your hands behind your back, smiling at every passerby, or having to converse with lonely people who pretend to be interested in your work when they really just want to tell you about themselves) and this year I took the black cover of my Sketchbook Project 2011 to work on.

I used graph paper as a guide, and pricked all the holes out beforehand with a bookbinder’s awl; then I worked an allover blackwork pattern—reminiscent of buttons now I think on it—in black embroidery floss with a tapestry needle. It was very soothing, repetitive work that made the hours fly by quickly. I wandered off in my own thoughts about Nightmare, and escaped the horror of hearing “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree” 27 times in a day.

It’s a quiet, rich, and serious start on the sketchbook, and I am loving the subtle black-on-black (yet highly tactile) effect on the back cover. No doubt I will continue to work with thread on the front cover, but the monotony of the pattern needs a focal point.