24 Jul
2011

JL Schnabel’s “Darker My Love” series

I have always tried to make a point to surround myself with beautiful things.

If they are pieces of art created by passionate peers and visionary friends, all the better! My goal has been to fill an entire room with the various paintings and illustrations and mixed-media art I have collected over the years; so far I am at one wall and a half.  Though I do have a few more that need framing, I will hold off on that until I have relocated.  It hardly makes sense to rearrange everything to accommodate a few more prints when I am only going to be here for two months.

My personal aesthetic is forever in flux, but there are certain kinds of imagery that will always catch my eye and call to me: dark dreams, hidden things & secrets & esoteric knowledge, haunted places, shades & shadows, the supernatural & the surreal, magics macabre and melancholy,  and the grotesque transfigured into things of incomparable loveliness.

 

I currently have a few things that need framing, and honestly I find that whole process incredibly tedious.  I never know what size frame to get (and I usually have the chop the print up to fit – artists please don’t read that!  I am so ashamed).  But worse than that, I have a terrible time in general matching the pieces of art with a suitable, yet inexpensive frame!  Any tips?  These are the three I am working with now:

“Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte”, by Mon Petit Fantome

 

“Three Seekers Dreaming”, by swanbones

 

Family Portrait by Caryn Drexl

 

I have been collecting ideas for futures spaces on my walls, as well. Here is a small selection from my feverish wish-list.  With what wonderful arts do you adorn your abode?  Tell me all!
 

“some ghosts are women II” by Kristamas Klousch

 

“Pink Twin Rainbow”, Camilla d’Errico

 

“Runa” by Ellen Rogers photography

 

“The Bride” by Charmaine Olivia

 

“Duncan Takes a Break” by KipHolmPhotography

 

Where to find the artists mentioned within this post:

 

 

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24 Dec
2010

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People say that long ago the dead held a service on the night before Christmas.  Once a woman arrived too early for Christmas service.  When she entered the church she found it lit up and full of dead people, singing:

Here we sing, our bones all bleached,
Here we sing with beautiful voice,
When shall the day of judgment come,
What yet have you to say?

The story continues on as the woman recognizes her dead sister among the congregation. Warned by her sister that she must flee, for the dead will take her life, the woman escapes, dropping her shawl behind her to confuse her cadaverous pursuers.  When the churchwarden arrives on Christmas morning and puts the lights on, he spies the shawl in the empty chapel, torn almost beyond recognition.

This tale is widely spread in Europe and is extremely old, having been set in Autun, Burgandy, by Gregory of Tours in his De Gloria Confessorum.  See below for an illustrated version of the best-known Scandinavian variant of this migratory legend, “The Midnight Mass of the Dead” from Asbørnsen’s “En gammelgags juleaften” (“An Old Fashioned Christmas Eve”).  These wonderfully evocative images, full of dim shades, grim shadows and midwinter’s eerie light, were created by brilliant artist Chris Van Allsburg  (JumangiThe Polar Express) and can be found in Ghosts” volume from the Time Life Enchanted World series.  These scans are from my personal collection; higher-resolution, more detailed versions can be found here.

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Wishing you peace and light in this dark, dying time of the year, and may you not be without your shawl or other talisman this winter holiday when the dead are afoot and hungry for your company.

-S. Elizabeth

Sources: Swedish Legends and Folktales by John Lindow

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