Tag Archives: artists

The Faerie Realm of Angelique Duncan

Angelique Duncan, aka Twilight Faerie, is a gifted Halloween artist who creates a variety of inspiring Halloween objects, such as porcelain faeries, costume accessories, ornaments and decoupage. Her inspiration comes from vintage works and styles, and everything is handmade with loving detail. Through networking with other Halloween artists, she launched Halloween Artist Bazaar to showcase handcrafted works from other artists.

As far back as I can remember Halloween and winged things have intrigued me. I found a certain unconventional beauty in the imagery of autumn and Halloween. Equally so, I have had a fascination with the mythology of fairy tales and winged creatures. While other kids were running, skipping and climbing trees, I was content playing with colors and textures and challenging myself to create what was stirring around in my mind. This usually resulted in Halloween or whimsical imagery.

Ghost Party Hat by Twilight FaerieI always had a natural inclination to create. I could spend hours on end with scissors and construction paper just making things or drawing. Somewhere I along the line I kept making Halloween things. I would, and still do today, have images of a something I want to make rattling around in my head that won’t stop haunting me until I bring it to life.

I read a lot of science fiction and physiological fantasy as a kid. I found Ray Bradbury and fell in love with the stories. The “Green Town” series of short stories spoke to me. The imagery of stories like “Halloween Tree” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” stuck with me. I read old classic fairy tales and there seemed to be a lot of wisdom in the pages. The illustrations of old books had an influence on me. I have always loved the idea that there is something more fantastic than the everyday world. I think that is where my creative inspiration comes from, the notion that that there could be a world where animals speak, fairies have guardianship over wooded places and Jack O Lanterns have magical powers.

I remember as a kid growing up in the 1970’s when Halloween was a big deal. There were a lot of homemade costumes and decorations. What one could buy in a store was well designed and had a classic quality to it. Holiday decorations were just that, holiday decorations. It was great. There was certain sincerity about the atmosphere surrounding it all. As I got older things became more and more commercial and Halloween like other holidays became more of a mass-produced corporate profit maker for merchandising the latest big movie, television shows and their celebrities. The spirit of the thing has just gotten lost.

This is how I arrived at creating hand made Halloween, holiday and faerie objects. I realized the market for what I create, those who grew up with fantastic stories and faerie tales, our grandparent’s decorations and childhood Halloweens, hence the creation of Twilight Faerie. My business became a way to preserve a history and imagery that was important to me and share it with others. My hours on end drawing, cutting and pasting found a noble purpose.

Jack o Lantern Circle by Twilight Faerie Vinyl Bat by Twilight Faerie

I founded Halloween Artist Bazaar in February 2012. I want to help other professional Halloween Artists promote their works and help them to succeed in their business so they can continue to do what they do. Through Halloween Artist Bazaar the tradition of handcrafted Halloween and fantasy art can be perpetuated. The retail market is flooded with mass produced generic Halloween and holiday goods. It is very hard for self-representing artist and small business owners to compete against the corporate giants when going it alone. It is also become harder for collectors to find unique one of a kind decorations. Gathered together we can help cross-promote each other and promote handcrafted goods. In our own way as a Halloween artist group, we can keep the spirit of Halloween imagery alive and available for collectors who are seeking it out.

The average demographic for Halloween Art is between the ages of 34 to 45 years of age. This tells me, folks like myself are a generation with a particular love of Halloween. My guestimation is that it comes from that common experience of Halloween being a big deal when we were kids. I hope that we can pass the same sort of memories on so that the generations after we are done and gone will have the same appreciation for the history and imagery of the holiday. It would be quite sad to see the tradition of hand made Halloween get lost completely from our culture.

Twilight Faerie can be found online at: http://www.twilightfaerie.com/

Her Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TwilightFaerie

Beading Jewelry for Halloween

Each year I try to find interesting Halloween jewelry but all I find is lots of cheap trinkets.  So last April I decided to take up beading.  Now I make my own amazing Halloween jewelry.

String of Skulls Bracelet

If you can thread a needle and tie a knot, you can bead! One of my favorites is this ‘String of Skulls Bracelet. Its simply a matter of stringing an interesting set of beads for the main line, then stringing smaller sections and sewing through one little bead at set intervals. Its quick, simple and great looking.

A slightly more interactive stringing job produces this unusual ‘Pumpkin Shroud Wine Jewelry’.

Pumpkin Shroud Wine Jewelry

Beware though as beading can become addictive.  Suddenly you’ll find the simple stringing isn’t enough and you’ll want to try your hand at more intriguing stitches.  Written and video instructions are available all over the Internet and can produce items fairly simple such as my beaded ‘Vampire Bite Choker’ or the somewhat more difficult ‘Bat Wing Bottle Jewelry’.

Bat Wing Bottle Jewelry

Vampire Bite Choker

I love the fact that I can design my own beadwork items or purchase other people’s inexpensive patterns online.  Along that line take a look at my creations and patterns at www.DebrisDeCollette.com and have a bloody good Halloween!

Halloween Clock – Repurposed Home Decor

The following spooky tutorial was submitted by artist Cindy Tevis. Enjoy!

What a better way to create Halloween décor than by digging something up and reviving it? (Dr. Frankenstein would be proud!) Take some of your old discarded items and bring them “back to life” with the following tutorial.

Making Your Vintage “Haunted” Clock

This old plastic barometer is about to become a vintage-syle Halloween clock. Find an old timepiece of your own at a garage sale or thrift shop (or look online for a starter piece):

Old plastic barometer

After finding your treasure, you must disassemble the piece. I took the back off, and pulled all of the “barometer” coils, and such out. I found that I needed to replace the plexiglass, since it had a hole in it to allow the dial to stick out. This only cost a couple of dollars at the hardware store.

Disassembling the barometer

Choose Your Colors

Next I painted the entire surface orange. I usually do not use primers. Priming first makes the item appear
new, and I am going for an “old as the hills” look. Another option is “distress paint,” which gives a weathered, slightly haunted look.

For this project, I found a simple color scheme worked best for me. I chose three colors – orange, black and off-white.

Apply several coats of base color, and sand between each coat. If you are as impatient as I am (guilty as charged), you may use a hairdryer between coats to speed the drying time.

orange Halloween clock frame   Halloween clock, with painted decor

Make sure you allow the paint to cool before sanding, because warm paint will pull from the surface.

Sand the last coat rather roughly around the edges to remove paint in select spots, to age the piece. After achieving the desired result, you can begin to decorate your creation.

I was lucky to have the designs already raised on the surface of this clock. That made it much easier to decide how to detail it. If this is the case with your timepiece, take advantage of this in the following or a similar way:

I painted the raised areas in either black or white (as shown). I also painted in some bat silhouettes. You can create your own stencil by cutting out the shape of a bat you had traced, then placing the paper (not the cutout) on the clock. Then, simply paint! Easy, even for the novice painter.

Then I added the Halloween phrase “There is always time for Halloween.”

Finishing the Transformation

This clock face was painted on balsa wood, and a hole drilled in the center. You can use a printed image for the face, if you like.

Attach it with glue dots. Do not try to glue it completely down on the surface, or it WILL bubble. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a warped, distressed look, this effect along with your distress paint can be an eerily cool effect.

I myself ran into a slight problem when assembling this finished clock. Being a barometer in its first life, this clock had very little space between the face and the glass. There just wasn’t enough room for clock hands.

But I turned lemon into gristly demon blood…er, I turned lemon into lemonade in the following way (you too may run into glitches; use them to make your clock even cooler!):

I epoxy-glued square wood pieces on the edges of the surface that the face was going to lie over. This brought the face back enough to allow the hands to turn freely. I then reattached the original back
and voila! A very nice Halloween décor item for less than ten dollars

TIP: It is sometimes difficult for novice crafters to find designs to paint. Look up vintage Halloween images, or novelties online. You will find many ideas that way. You can trace around most images, and use them as silhouettes. A lot of royalty free vintage Halloween designs are available.

Do not be afraid to mess up, and do not try to paint too perfectly. Flaws are a charming addition to a primitive
style fold art painting. Start with simple designs, black cats, bats, and spiders are good.

Finished Halloween clock - Looks like a vintage antique!

My creature … I mean creation! It lives!

About the Author: My name is Cindy Tevis. I am a Halloween artist. I re-paint vintage décor in a style that I call “ShabbyHag”
You can find my art on ebay, under the ID “halloweenspirit01”

I also have a showcase blog here: http://www.shabbyhagdecor.blogspot.com

I also create Halloween poetry at http://www.idreamofhalloween.blogspot.com

 

Thank you, Cindy, for your excellent submission!

Interview with Lew Lehrman – Painter of the Dark

 

We recently had a chat with Lewis Lehrman, professional watercolor artist, teacher, author and Halloween painter who showcases his work on  a dedicated Facebook page.

Mr. Lehrman has created an incredibly rewarding niche for himself, working one-on-one to recreate clients’ memories.

From these recollections or entirely from the client’s and artist’s imagination, Lew creates a custom spooky painting, complete with a haunting backdrop, pets, hidden ghosts, people and decor. So cool!

His trademarked self-moniker is “Painter of Dark”, and that is exactly what this awesomely dark artist is! We were honored to have Lew for an interview here at Halloween Alliance. Here’s what he had to say.

HA: Your first commissioned work was to paint a Halloween scene as your client recalled it as a child. This looks to be a recurring theme in your work. Does your inspiration come from your own memories? 

Lew: From as early as I can remember, I have always been an artist. Even before my kindergarten and first-grade years, when a very special teacher, Mrs. Levy, encouraged my art, I found approval, and my parents were supportive, and my interest grew as the years went by.

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher took a group of her students to visit her sister, who was a watercolorist and whose home and studio were located high overlooking New York City’s Central Park. I watched, entranced, as she created a sailboat on blue water on a blank piece of paper. I was hooked!

A year later, in 1944, I was 11 years old, and my parents entrusted me to a Pullman car porter aboard The Wolverine Limited, en route to Battle Creek, Michigan where I was to meet my aunt and uncle. I spent a month at the farmhouse where they were staying while my uncle was enrolled in a special training program.

It was pretty special, but what really stays with me to this day, and directly answers your question, was that night in the Pullman berth, where I spent the night staring out of the window, watching the lights in farm house windows as they glided past in the indigo darkness. There was something in those lonely windows that touched me deeply, and I have never forgotten that night. I can still picture it clearly.

Tilted Angel by Lew LehrmanIt was years before I was able to devote any serious time to watercolor. Oh, maybe I did three or four paintings a year… high school, then college, then a couple of years in the army, then establishing a business, then a family. By the late 1950’s I had begun a freelance art business, and grew it into a substantial business over the years until 1984, when my wife and I decided upon pursuing a new life (another long story for another day) in which I could become a full-time professional artist.

Through all those tumultuous years, I had always nibbled around the edges of art. And night scenes, some of which were Halloween scenes, were a recurrent theme.

By the late 80’s, I was on my way to becoming a serious watercolorist. We had moved in ’84 to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, buying and rehabbing a 200 year old Colonial, and turning our barn into a dream studio and gallery. My art began selling well, and when color Xeroxing came in, I made a few prints of a Halloween painting (which I had borrowed back from its purchaser, a friend).

I sold a few prints at the Gallery, where Halloween paintings were always popular, but when we decided to sell our Mass. home and move to Arizona, where we’d been wintering, those unsold prints came with me.

Then one day I decided to see if I could sell them on eBay. Each time I listed one, it received a load of bids, and the price shot way up. I knew I was on to something, and so The Haunted Studio was born.

But to anwer your question, which I realize I’ve completely bypassed:

Honestly, though I did enjoy the spectator aspects of Halloween, it was never a big participatory holiday when I was a kid. That was left to the rowdier element of my contemporaries, but it just wasn’t me, nor the kids I ran with. Occasional trick-or-treating with friends, or doing spooky stuff to other kids who came to our house, but nothing more. I don’t think my mother approved.

HA: How does the surrounding environment affect your paintings? Now that you reside in Scottsdale, how does this affect your work?

Lew: We discovered Scottsdale in 1987, when (my wife) Lola and I decided to get away for a month from another long, cold, snowy Massachusetts winter. Arizona was our choice. We fell in love with the light, the weather, the arts community, and everything else here. We “snow-birded” for six years, and moved here full-time in 1993.

Though cacti rarely show up in my spooky paintings, I did create a very spooky stand of sahuaros as landscaping for a commission from a fan west of Phoenix. But you’re correct: the great majority of my work shows a strong eastern influence.

HA: Have you always been interested in Halloween? Have you seen a change in Halloween from your childhood to today?

Lew: For people who love Halloween, their interest withstands time, as they’re usually based on a tradition of celebrating this holiday that goes back at least a generation, sometimes two or more.

As one of my fans told me, “It’s the only holiday that’s pure fun! You don’t have to buy gifts. You get to dress up in a crazy costume and go out and scare people! You go to fun parties with friends! And there’s all that candy!”

HA: That perfectly describes Halloween! Also, each of your paintings have a backstory, which really brings them to life. Do you think of a story first, and paint the scene, or is there another “kernel” that inspires you? A single scene, an emotion, a mood, a dream?

Lew: Sometimes there’s a story I want to tell, but more often, the painting tells me all I need to know. It’s strange. I may start with an inspiration because I’ve seen a spooky photo, or maybe a painting or a photo with peculiar lighting I’ve encountered in a museum or gallery. It could be a poem, or a photo and story a fan has sent me.

Or I might select a picture of an old Victorian, or a castle, or some other resource from our travels, and start painting it to see what develops. Or maybe just to express a mood, like “The Last Witness” or “Phantoms.”

It can begin with a kind of crazy “What if?” For example: What if there were a haunted tree house to frighten the kids? Or – What if all the movie monsters we feared as kids assembled for a reunion?

“What’s going on here?” Is a question that’s always in my mind as I work on a painting, so it’s not always under my control. Sometimes, in a way, the painting paints me.

HA: “The painting paints me” – I like that. What painting techniques do you use to create the “Gothic feel” in your works?

The Enduring Mysteries Of The McPike MansionLew: I use one of two painting techniques, each of them a different approach to watercolor.

Traditional watercolor, for me, is a very intellectual and controlled medium. I plan, and execute, each painting in a very specific way that has been used by American and European watercolorists for centuries.

Then there is an Oriental-based approach I learned from a master of the technique a dozen years ago, and which is much more emotionally satisfying. It requires a risky entrusting of what emerges to the vagaries of water on paper.

It’s very exciting, with an element of happenstance that appeals to me. I don’t usually know how the painting will look until I’m finished, though I’m never disappointed. And I love the look.

HA: How do you create a work of art for a client? When listening to clients describe what they would like to see in a painting, what cues and techniques do you practice to render what is in their imagination?

Lew: Most commissions begin with a fairly detailed email, or a package in the mail, describing what makes my client emotional about Halloweens of his/her own childhood, or of his or her experience with their own children’s Halloweens. Or of their own love of decorating the lawn and having great, fun parties.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with memories of a specific Halloween at all. They just want to see their home as a spooky, haunted, maybe ramshackle wreck at some time in the future. Some people are quite specific. Some have no idea. When that happens, I help them with suggestions

Other than Halloween, each commission seems to tap into deep feelings for the occult, or personal memories, or a personal vision they’d like to see brought to life. It’s my task to bring out their wishes, desires, and images, and express them in paint. I love providing a treasured heirloom – and making new Halloween memories for my fans through art.

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