You can’t write or make art without collecting some things now and then, and I have amassed quite the assortment of unique odds and ends… I am an avid junk thrift fiend, and I cannot help but pick things up, especially the more unusual they are. Here are a few glimpses into my art collection of some of my more macabre findings.
From left to right: a very old doll with those eyes that open and close but with no eyewhites who a friend described as a laudanum addict; a tiny Buddha figure with hands over the face and surrounded by a cobra (if anyone knows what specific deific representation this is please let me know); a photograph by my friend Cindy Royal of her rescued Cedar Waxwing and one of her creatures (I love her creatures so much); a doll I made based on my Unselfie avatar in costume regalia with mirror over the face; and a graphite drawing by Kathy Gomric of a demonic rendition of my friend Cindy
From left to right: a pair of brass bookends I altered to lose their hands and faces as a found object artwork later shown in response to COVID; a photocopy montage by my friend Jonathan Stangroom of his face with a drawing of an eye Xeroxed on clear and superimposed over his closed eye; Triple Moon Goddess bas relief sculpture by Wild Goose Studio; alien abduction with volcano by Ra De; Baby Metropolis – a Precious Moments head given to me by my friend Cindy and altered by myself
From left to right: Gods and Monsters original canvas of Frankenstein’s Bride by my friend Aunia Kahn; Fuggler funny ugly monster plush of Bigfoot with “stolen” teeth; photo of the Berlin Wall graffiti from before the wall was dismantled by Ed Murray; found photo postcard of Frankenstein and his bride superimposed on famous image of Navy sailor and nurse kissing after WWII; clown tipping his hat by Mildred Barone
Skeleton Key ceramic by myself; Sinister serpent wood staff held by the Grim Reaper by Beth Vannatta; skull painted rock by Jane Wees Martin; blue and white porcelain snake headed man in Asian robe; cultist ceramic commissioned from Clayworks; All Seeing Monkey Paw hamsa with eye on monkey hand by Caitlin Zachow; decorated plaster skull mail art sent by William Evertson and friends; computer mouse crab by Bruce Wood of the Glass Ingot
And the pièce de résistance… a real life taxidermy shih tzu. I kid you not, this was an actual dog, and not a recent under-the-rug China-imported real dog pretending to come from another fur bearing animal, but a prized pet that the inheritors of the estate likely didn’t know what to do with. I found Da Ting at an antique mall and splurged on her for my birthday, much to my mother’s chagrin. (For those of you in the know, these kinds of things aren’t easy to come by; they are often buried with their beloved owners or stay in the family.) I even held a naming contest for her on Facebook which is how she wound up with her name, Duchess Mitsi Posh von Schitz III (otherwise known as Da Ting). Here she models a pastel purple boa; she also borrows my rhinestone princess crown from time to time…
What do you collect? What skeletons lurk in your closet, or even out in the open in the parlor?…
Nightmarish Nature: Zombie Snails
This time on Nightmarish Nature, we will look into zombie snails, because we were having so much with the Whore Snails recently. So this is a lot like the Freaky Fungus except that this time it’s a parasitic worm that is the cause of the horror… Leucochloridium paradoxum, the green-banded broodsac worm, forces snails to be a part of its nefarious plans to take over the world (well, really more just continue on keeping on in its strange and bizarre life cycle).
This Is What We Get for Eating Poop
The worm, which spends much of its life as a parasite in birds’ digestive systems, is part of a weird cycle that includes both birds and snails, though the snail end is much creepier. It starts when a snail ingests worm eggs in bird droppings. These eggs hatch into worm larvae that eventually turn the poor hosts into zombie snails! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The worm larvae work their way up into the snails’ brains and take over, hijacking them on suicide missions to continue their own life cycle. These worm larvae eventually grow large and worm their way into the poor snail’s eye stalks, pulsing and throbbing therein to resemble maggots or other tasty treats.
The worms use the zombie snails to get into their bird hosts by mind-controlling them into climbing out of the shady undergrowth where they will be easily spotted by bird predators which will feed on them, ingesting the eye stalks and continuing the worm’s life cycle as it gets into the bird’s digestive tract. The huge, bulging eye stalks are irresistible to birds looking to snatch maggots and other delicious delicacies. Eventually, after the worms are well ensconced in its bird hosts, the bird poops out more worm eggs for unsuspecting snails to ingest, completing the cycle.
You can watch this in action on Nat Geo Wild: World’s Deadliest here, if you dare. Warning, it’s a little gross but not near so much as some of the other topics we’ve covered. If you enjoyed this slimy segment of Nightmarish Nature, please check out past segments:
Snails a Whorl Whirl Whore World…
So a friend and I made some artsy snails awhile back. Essentially this was in response to her granddaughter proclaiming that her favorite animals are whorl snails. My friend heard “whore snails” and was a bit perturbed that the child would use such a word so nonchalantly, whether or not she knew what it meant. But then again toddler-speak is like that sometimes… Anyway, it stuck.
So we made some whore snails, all glammed up and ready to go. We started with these flat metal snails and then painted and decorated them, to whore them up a bit. I figured this would be apropos after my recent Valentine’s Day posts and that the end results were horrifying enough to appear here.
This is my friend’s creation. I especially like the David Bowie star and cherry bling to match her cherry red lipstick. The purple shell is a great color on her too. I think my friend went back and decorated her shell more after the fact, but I didn’t see the snail after those changes.
And here’s my whore snail. She’s a bit more of an ice queen with her deceptively lovey-dovey eyes and mouth full of poison darts, like the underwater snails do. I believe I called her a Hoar Whore Whorl Snail as when the discussion first came up I heard “hoar” and thought of hoarfrost. Hence the ice queen take…
And another friend joined us via Zoom just to visit and have fun making art together.
This little Zoomed in snail is kinda cute, like she’s out on the beach in her bikini… Mixed media on paper.
So if that wasn’t disturbing enough, check out my inappropriate Shrinky Dinks posted here before, or maybe this Eye Candy Peeps Easter basket, both taking some innocuous thing(s) turning into something… else…
Have a Dystopian Girls on Film Valentine’s Day
So it’s finally actually Valentine’s Day, and thus marks the final segment of our dysfunctional dystopian romance. So far, we’ve survived both Gen X and Krampusnacht, what else could possibly be in store? Girls on Film…
Image description: Video camera umbrella shower succubus stares through the lens at the viewer, surrounded by eerie Cthulhoid horror embellishments with text.
Text reads: Happy Valentine’s Day; lipstick cherry all over the lens as she’s falling; give me shudders in a whisper; take me up ’til I’m shooting a star; (she’s more than a lady)
OK so this Valentine’s Day dystopia ends in a Duran Duran video, because of course it does. If the video doesn’t load properly, you can find it by following this link. Girls on Film.
Here’s the camera eye succubus all by itself, for your viewing pleasure. Actually this is the original original image from an Unselfie performance art piece in the shower before I decided to forego the umbrella. Girls on Film.