Thursday, December 29, 2011

K is for Krampus

A belated entry for this week's AlphaBeasts! I couldn't resist taking a brief vacation from the Japanese Hokai to pay tribute to a rather sinister holiday character.

I was inspired by this book that I found at the Flea Market. The torn part of the cover seemed to cry out for a Krampus. Even the moon wanted to be a horn, & the sleigh runner made me think of his beard. Santa's baleful expression seemed to fit right in too.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Krampus, he's St. Nick's "bad cop" partner in Alpine tradition. He punishes naughty children by stuffing them into his sack. Whatever becomes of them after that, it can't be very jolly!

I've spent a little time in Germany & Austria near Christmas, & Krampus is everywhere. Chocolates, cookies, decorations-- pretty much any place you'd find Santa. He even gets his own parade!

If you'd like to see the astounding Krampus parade in Graz, Austria, check out this video.

Acrylic on text from a German-English dictionary, with found book cover.

Edit: I've added an animated version, just for further mischief!


  1. I did not know about Krampus and enjoyed the video link. Your artwork is just fantastic ! I subscribe to word a day and am glad you appeared there.

  2. I really like the way you used / modified the torn cover. Go Krampus!

  3. ha ha, indeed , some people have strange ideas about christmas Joy!!!

    Happy new year!!!!!!!!

  4. A child's dilemma; do I want lots of presents from Saint Nick, or to be tied up and hauled to Hell to be beaten for an eternity by Krampus?? Yeah, I think I'll be good this year.

    I have a book on Krampus art, it's COOL! He usually carries a switch with him that he beats children with. One of my favorite paintings is of a little victorian girl who has stolen his switch and is looking to beat him with it.

  5. I'm suprised you were able to resist all those fascinating Japanese K creatures!

    (not that I'm complaining--you know how I love Krampus!)

  6. Wow...this is fascinating! I love learning about holiday traditiions in other cultures, but have never heard of Krampus. So perfect with the vintage book cover.