Saturday, December 31, 2011

Old & New

No time for Oddmentification today, so instead I'll share one of my favorite old postcards. It was made in Germany & postmarked 1907.

May all of you stellar beings slide happily into the New Year without being knocked down by passing meteors!

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!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Feeling considerably merrier today-- & my to-do list is looking just a skinch less panic-worthy-- so I decided I had time to whip up a jolly little critter for the tree, & for all of you lovely people! I hope your holidays are full of warmth, revelry & good humor.

Acrylic on paper recycled from discarded manila folder, about 2"x2.5"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh Joy...

I have an oddment in the works but at the moment things are just too hectic with work deadlines, house guests & holiday madness. So instead I'm posting a teaser. I found this delightful relic at the Fleam. To me Santa's weary expression juxtaposed with the title is hilarious.

I have a little something in mind for this but I may not get it done by Christmas at this rate! So just enjoy it as is for the moment. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Solstice, & whatever else you choose to celebrate!

Monday, December 19, 2011

J is for Jinmenju

Hobbling in late in the day for this week's AlphaBeasts! is the curious Jinmenju or head tree. Please forgive my tardiness... trees do move rather slowly, after all. (For instance, our Christmas tree still hasn't managed to make it through the door.)

Instead of the usual fruit, or shiny baubles in the holiday spirit, this particular tree sports living human(ish) heads. Traditionally they are all smiling & laughing, but I've been going through a lot of mood swings lately despite the seasonal ho-ho-hoing, so I decided to let them emote as they would.

I really should have done this one in Photoshop for speed & tweakability, but no, I had to go & do it in acrylic, on a page scanned from Jim Brown's Catalogue, 1939. ~4.5"x7" When I realized I was running late, I rushed through it, & I'm not very pleased with the results... oh well.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This fellow climbed out of a painting-in-progress to hang out here for a bit... keeping an eye on things while I attend to other pressing matters.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

H is also for Hadpanagus!!!

At this time of year, some may have visions of sugarplums... but not Hadpanagus!

This fan-oddment was inspired by the amazing AZ, whose contributions to AlphaBeasts are truly nonpareil & have engendered some pretty unusual fan art too. I tried to resist, butt...

Photoshop with text from The Practical Standard Dictionary.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

H is for Hakutaku

This is a belated entry for last week's AlphaBeasts!

Hakutaku is the Japanese name for a Chinese monster, Baí Zé, who supposedly dictated a legendary demonography. The original Chinese form of this creature was more lion-like, but in Japan it developed a more chimeric form, possessing nine eyes & six horns, a semi-human face & goat-like hooves. Further distorted by me. :-)

Acrylic on an ad scanned from a 1937 True Experiences magazine, ~5.5"x7.5"

I'm hoping to get back to my regular Oddments schedule now, but I am still running behind due to the dreadful computer crash, so please forgive me if I'm a tad erratic!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I is for Inu-gami

The oddments are back with a roar!!!! That is to say, with a ferocious entry for AlphaBeasts!

This avenging beast is the Inu-gami, a dog spirit.  Frankly this one really terrifies me.

I have a mild fear of dogs to begin with, due to the many attacks engraved on my memory from one traumatic teenage year as a bicycle-riding paper carrier-- but that's not why-- it is the way these creatures are created that really give me the creeps:

According to the Obakemono Project: "One method for creating an inu-gami, it is said, is to tie a hungry dog and place a bowl of food just out of its reach. When its desire is thus focused, its head must be cut off and enshrined, moving its ravenousneeds into the spirit world and creating a terrible weapon for the dog's former master."

Other sources suggested burying a dog up to its neck with food just out of reach, then beheading it. :-O

That's what I call a horror story! I fervently hope people didn't actually do this sort of thing... please let it just be mythological...

Acrylic on cover illustration scanned from St. Nicholas Illustrated Magazine, September 1908. Why these finely-clad youngsters were weighing their puppy, I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure they weren't expecting this fellow to barge in.

p.s. Yes, my computer is working again! My electrical engineer brother heroically nursed it back to life. I have a lot of catching up to do, but I'm so happy to be back in action! Thanks "Byte Barn"! (That's what he calls his all-too-busy family-&-friends tech service company, ha!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gravity's Rainbow :-(

Oh what a crazy arc this week has taken. It was off to a soaring start with A Word A Day & the new Etsy shop. I've conversed with many wonderful people since Monday & had quite a few Etsy orders. I found some beautiful archival paper for my prints. I had just loaded it into my printer-- & then my computer crashed. Utterly, completely, horribly. I was on the phone with Dell for hours to no avail. There are still a couple of tiny threads of hope that I'll be following, & thank goodness, I do have Crashplan, although I'm not sure how much recent data was lost before it could be captured... we shall see, if it comes to that...

I have to admit there was a moment there when I seriously thought "Am I being punished for selling my work?" I'm trying to quash that line of thinking-- especially because, if all else fails, the Etsy orders will go a long way to paying for a new computer, haha! People have been remarkably patient, kind & understanding about the delay, I must say. I spent a sleepless night worrying that they'd think I was hopelessly incompetent, or worse, running some sort of scam!

Needless to say, Oddments will be on hold for a bit.

I'm told that rainbows are actually circular... like that ol' wheel of fortune.