This is my entry for the Mama Scared Stiff Contest.
Lil bit about the piece: I had plenty of nightmares as a child, but there was always a common factor with most of them; ragged, scratchy, heavy breathing. Didn't matter if I was swimming in the dream, being chased, what have you, there was always a demon/creature that would come up close behind or near me and all I would hear is the the breathing. I'd turn around real slowly, the tension and fear building in the dream, and these black, soulless eyes would be right up close to my face. Then it would lunge at me, it's teeth and black mouth swallowing my vision. Naturally, I would wake up gasping, panting, in a cold sweat, and yes, sometimes crying.
That being said, the scariest times for me as a child were when I would have these dreams and the next week before I went to sleep each night the dream was all I would think about. I have a very strong imagination, hard to control sometimes, and I could swear as I was trying to sleep i would hear a creek in the floor boards or hear a rustle in the corner. I would sleep facing the wall, trying to shut it all out, but sure enough i would hear something, even the breathing, and I would turn around, almost positive I would see this guy or something like it, right at the edge of the bed. Never saw anything though, to the benefit of my sanity.
Thank you for viewing!
This piece was all Graphite and pen, with small digital adjustments to brightness and contrast. I used photos of my room as reference.
The thing that creeps me out the most is when you are sleeping, and you get this feeling that there is something else with you, and you really REALLY don't want to wake up or open your eyes. So I did this piece where this guy is just chilling out on his porch reading/listening to music, and of course.. he has to fall asleep. And what do you know, evil grandma there wants to pay him a visit.. maybe stick around and bake him a pie. ;D
What brings most monsters to life for us is watching them on tv. This poor little boy had an insidious encounter with his late night viewing. The image quite literally decides to come out after him. Gradual at first. In utter shock he stairs and hopes he's just sleepy...but the television has become a nightmarish portal. Acrylic on canvas. Hope I have a shot, good luck everyone!!!
Update: Got some great feedback from Ricky Martinez and Luke Schroder over on Facebook, and updated accordingly. I think it strengthened the piece considerably.
I keep telling myself I’m not going to enter these contests, but I keep coming up with reasons to do so.
This one in particular hit home with me. I’ve been a smoker (albeit not a heavy one) since I was a kid, and now that I’m a dad it scares me to death that my son will pick it up. I try not to do it around him, and I’ve had “the talk” with him a few times, but who knows if it’s sticking? He still sees me doing it, even if I go out back and keep it away from him. What kind of message does that send?
I’ve quit smoking before, but I have the same problem with cigarettes that I do with some foods and beer. I know they’re horrible for me, yet I enjoy them, so it’s hard to stay away. I try to take the same approach to both, in that I limit myself to one bad meal a week, or 1-2 cigarettes a week. I can see why people have so much trouble quitting. Even knowing the risks, it’s too tempting when the product is reasonably cheap, addictive, and shoved in your face constantly. And yeah, even the anti-smoking stuff is still shoving cigarettes in your face.
Anyway, the theme was to portray an anti-smoking message through one of four themes: Monster, Giant, Undead or Mutant. I went with Monster to begin with. I reworked it and added in the Undead theme. From an emotional standpoint, that was seriously difficult to paint, let me tell you.