Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A spider's home


...that October can be more than just a rainy, dreary, cold month.
At least for one day out of 31 anyway.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Steampunk Fish Head: the sequel

Another fish subjected to inhumane experimentation. What is this world coming to?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Steampunk Fish Head

What evil scientific experiment is this? What dastardly purpose could it possibly serve? Apparently there is a mad scientist on the loose at The Shadow Farm, and his intentions are not quite clear.
The Steampunk Fish Head is an extremely unique, eclectic, one of a kind item. He has been painstakingly sculpted and detailed with psuedoscientific gak. He has a heavy application of faux rust on his metal apparatus with an authentic antique glass bottle strapped to his side.The copper and brass accents have been treated to age, and will continue to develop a rich patina. His eyes are handpainted, and seem to follow you. This fish is not happy to have been part of the experiment.
Steampunk Fish Head is approximately 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide, and is quite heavy for his size. He will make a fantastic accent for any mad scientist or collector of unusual curiosities and ephemera.

Steampunk Fish Head is available for sale on Etsy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mr Sandman in the morning

I caught this picture of Mr. Sandman just after sunrise this morning. The maples in the backyard never seem to have much color, but the morning sun seemed to bring out what little color they have.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Two strangers meet at a traffic light

One has a conspicuous severed arm and leg hanging from her trunk and a large spider tethered to her hood. The other has a three foot tall cartoonish maggot buckled into his passenger seat. They notice each other's festive display of the impending holiday. They smile, give each other a friendly wave and a thumbs up. The light changes to green and their momentary meeting is over. They each go about their lives, feeling validated and completely charged with the holiday spirit, knowing that somebody in this strange, strange world shares in their passion. Somebody else out there 'gets it'.

It is fantastic how a mere 30 seconds can alter the course of an entire month. To the lady in the jeep with the spider and severed body parts, rock on! keep sharing the morbid joy that only October can bring!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Building Large Props with Storage in Mind

One of the most common questions I am asked is where do I store all this huge stuff? Answer: I design it to break down to fit in a small space. I learned this lesson only after building several really big pieces that wouldn't break down and running out of storage space. I took these pix today to share some experience and encourage folks to make some bigger pieces. The hearse breaks down into flat panels, and assembles easily with only 10 bolts...a one person operation.

My next lesson learned...when a wheel says "for decorative purposes only" better believe it! I broke one wheel today setting this up in my front yard. I will reinforce it and reinstall, but will no longer use them for more than holding the hearse up.

Skeletal Cat

I just finished this piece. For some reason, I really struggled with the pose on this one. I opted for the classic 'Halloween Cat" pose with arched back and bared teeth. There is something about the ribs and legs that has me thinking I may make a try at a werewolf in a coming project. This piece is available for sale on Etsy.

The Artistic Process: Dave the Dead style

I was reading the post by Grim over at Grimvisions this morning about his artistic process and it prompted me to think about my own style. Grim stated this about his artwork:
"I have always felt that my artwork unfolds in almost an accidental way. That it is the culmination of many unplanned acts that fortunately work together in the end."
In many ways, I feel the same about the way I work. I use a very loose ""stream of consciousness" type of style when I sculpt and create. Many times I only have the vaguest idea of what I intend to create, but use the style to discover what has been gnawing at my mind. It is akin to waking from a dream and remembering only bits and pieces. As I work on a piece, the details become clear as the piece starts to unfold. I may start with a basic form or concept, and the creative process flows my idea into something completely different.

As a child, I used to play a game where my Mom would scribble a few small random lines on a piece of paper. It was my job to take those lines and turn them into a drawing. It is similar to gazing at clouds in the sky and letting your imagination flow freely until you can see the random shapes turn into objects. I have never been much for drawing or painting, as I find it difficult to convey my ideas in a two dimensional fashion. I have adapted the 'scribble game' to my creative process. I feel that this lends a very dreamlike surreal quality to my artwork that would be difficult for me to achieve if I adopted a more structured artistic process.

In the end, it all comes down to using what works best for you. It is great to explore many different methods until you find one ( or more than one) that you are comfortable with.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grimvisions Ghastly Giveaway

Tic toc, tic toc....It's almost over folks. If you haven't yet entered Grim's Ghastly Giveaway, then you better hurry over there fast!

Grimvisions Ghastly Giveaway

To everyone who has signed on as a follower of The Shadow Farm as part of this contest I would like to say welcome! I hope you are enjoying your stay. Things are about to speed up dramatically here on the farm with a big set-up day on my display tomorrow. I'll do my best to remeber to take plenty of pictures and stop every now and then to share my progress.

Good luck in the contest!

Dave the Dead

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October Winds

Every year they seem to hit at one time or another in my area. This year it happened early. Last night was a frightfully blustery night. While I had only put out a few tombstones in my cemetery, every one of them are now laying flat. In my rush to get off to work, I have left them at the whim of the elements. Hopefully the fence will keep them confined to my yard.

It seems by now I would have learned that just because they look like stone doesn't mean they are actually heavy like stone.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Boris Lynch

Boris was a mean bugger. So mean, in fact, the he just wouldn't die. His parents tried to drown him in a flour sack when he was a baby. Boris didn't die. The kids he bullied in school pushed him in front of a train. Boris didn't die. Boris was stabbed, shot, kicked, crushed, twisted, and pinched. Boris wouldn't die. An angry mob carrying torches and pitchforks tried to hang him, and Boris didn't die. To this day, Boris skulks around town, wearing his noose in defiance, waiting for the next attempt at his life...knowing that he is just too mean to die.

Yard Haunt 2009. Humble Beginings

I have started to set up my Graveyard! Above, the Flagbearer gives me a pleading look from the confines of the shed as I drag the lawnmower out to give the front yard the last cut it will get for a month.

The sparse archway and fencing provide a frame for "Mr. Sandman" ( in the distance, up on the roof). Mr. Sandman will stand guard throughout October. The neighbor kids have already noticed that "the Halloween Guy" has started to set up his yard. I will be adding a prop or two every day now until the big night.

On a side note, I spotted a female Carolina Mantis on the overgrowth next to my house. She is heavy with eggs, and stands ready for her next meal. During the day I saw her catch and eat several spiders and a small fly. What a cool little creature...she seems so intelligent and yet so alien. While I am setting up my yard, she will be busy feeding on insects and preparing to lay her eggs. Maybe I will be able to keep track of her progress thru the month.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ahhhh, October.

I feel it in the nights, clear skies, dry leaves.
Orion stands guard over my front yard in the dark, looking down from the morning sky, anxiously awaiting the coming festivities.
The yellowjackets are becoming frantic as the days get shorter,
the cool air making them slow and stupid
as they search for the last meals of the season before they hibernate.
A large black cricket chirps out a steady anthem
in the dusty corners of my garage.
Blue skies blaze as the cold winter air and the relentless sun battle each other.
The change of seasons is upon us.
Ahhh, October.