Sunday, October 23, 2011

Picture Story: pumpkin harvest

I used to work in a particular location. It was 33 miles from home, and driving there meant passing through several farm fields. One of those farms was a pumpkin farm. So, every fall, there would be a field of pumpkins. I think one time when I was a teenager my mother tried to grow pumpkins which was probably when I first learned that they kind of form on a long vine, as opposed to say the way that strawberries or tomatoes grow off a stalk. I don't think we actually got a pumpkin out of the experience, but well, that's why there are farms. Sometimes just leave it to the professionals.

By the time the pumpkins have matured - the leaves are pretty much dead and crispy. Which one can see, even if they are driving by at 55mph. I say this in the event that anyone wonders whether or not this is what a pumpkin patch really looks like because that's why it looks that way in my picture.

I drew the picture as a graphic for my yearly family Christmas gift calendar. Obviously this was the Halloween picture. I saw some picture of a scarecrow somewhere and thought it'd be cool to draw a scarecrow... and typing that I kind of laugh. I've been on etsy too long where apparently everyone has lost their frigging mind and mistakes the notion of inspiration for the dreaded copying. You know, because if I was going to draw a Halloween picture, clearly whoever listed one on etsy did it first, not that Halloween has been celebrated since (apparently, thanks Wikipedia) the Romans.

Author's note: I've decided to purge myself of all notions that I should hold back on the sarcasm.
If you've been on etsy long enough and ever visited the forums, you may be familiar with the notion that every fifteen minutes someone discovers that someone is "copying me!!!!!!" As if no arts or crafts had ever existed before 2005 when etsy went live on the internet, and obviously, whoever listed whatever it is on there was doing it first, even if it was like shrinky dinks or something. You know, nevermind that if you've ever taken an art history class they start you off with those cave paintings in France from before people were officially noting time in terms of days and months... no, time began in 2005 when etsy launched. There there, drink your Kool-Aid.

Author's note: I actually like Kool-Aid, Soarin' Strawberry Lemonade is really good ; )

Anyway, so I think this illustration was done in 2009 for my 2010 calendar. Yes, the October graphic for Halloween. So, it's a scarecrow in a pumpkin patch - because pumpkins are easier to draw that corn fields. They just are.

Amusingly, from a technical standpoint, this was a difficult illustration to execute because it was one of my early experiments in coloring over print outs like for almost the whole graphic (as opposed to doing just like one bird that takes up like 2 square inches on a page). Let's just say that there was a lot of selecting and blocking and layer fills and styles that happened in photoshop which is technical stuff that isn't that interesting.

So, the ghost clouds - at least I think of them as ghost clouds - are something that have been in my Halloween pictures for several years. Sitting here right now at the computer I don't exactly remember when I got the idea... just that I used to draw a lot of pictures with weird clouds when I hit my big prismacolor illustration phase when I was about 16. I liked making magenta colored clouds with holes in them... all I know is that from 2006 on - most of the Halloween pictures have ghost clouds.

And, of course, the sky is violet. Violet is a Halloween theme color, and well, it's my favorite color. I was reading some interview blurb in People or Time or Us or one of those magazines where they ask like 20 questions of some celebrity and of course, they answer. The one I'm thinking of was Jewel and she was asked what her favorite color was, and she said she didn't have one... and I found that amusing. Violet is my favorite color, but I like all colors and quite frankly have never had a limited color palette in anything.

So, yes, the sky is violet, that was inherent somehow. I cannot actually imagine making it black or navy blue or gray or slate or any color other than violet. And I suppose, decisions like that aren't something I even consider until years after the fact.

Anyway, I was pleased with the way the image turned out.

I hope everyone has a Happy and Fun Halloween! And even if you don't officially celebrate it, just have some candy on the 31st :D

I've been enjoying some of the candy that I bought to hand out to the trick-or-treaters who visit the neighborhood. Don't worry, I bought a lot of candy. As per the usual I'll be dressing up to hand it out. And probably enjoying a fine horror movie as I do.

I finally had a moment to sit down and relax and watch some television yesterday and caught up on a couple episodes of "American Horror Story." I was intrigued when I saw the ad for the show... and kind of annoyed to see it was on Wednesday night - which is in competition with like "Revenge" or "CSI" or some other show... anyway, it's content is a little risque - I think it has one of those tv MA ratings, but I'm 32 and a life long fan of horror movies, Hunter S. Thompson, and Pink Floyd, so it isn't exactly shocking to me. Anyway, I seem to be hooked - it's a really interesting show.

I'm hoping to be able to fine "Grimm" either on onDemand or hulu... because, of course, it's on on Friday night at the same time as Supernatural and Fringe. *shakes fist at networks* Seriously, people, there is nothing airing on Tuesday or Saturday.

Oh, October, the time when it's acceptable to enjoy horror movies and scary tv shows. If only the month was longer...


Becca said...

Hi Sarah! Love the story and artwork. The purple ghost sky is my favorite, I also enjoyed lookiing around your Etsy shop. You are so talented. Awesome work!

Krystal Lee said...

i really like your concept and explanation behind your art. looks great, love the 'ghost clouds'

krystal x

Out on the prairie said...

Don't think i had seen ghost clouds, nice effect. I have went through one bag of candy and had to get 3 more.I live rural so don't get any kids, I just eat lots of candy.

Treehugger_31 said...

The ghost clouds are great!!!

Bob Bushell said...

I love that story, eerie though nice.

artangel said...

Fabulous art - those contrasting colours give it a more spooky edge somehow! And the "ghost clouds" are amazing!

tinajo said...

Great colors in this artwork! :-)

SueAnn said...

Thank God for my DVR!! I can record up to two shows while watching another. Whew!!
The new shows are coming fast and furious! Hard to keep up!
I love your piece!! Fabulous!!
Yes I do love it too when people say they have been copied! Sheesh!! Open thine eyes artists!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cool purple ghost clouds :)

Frannie said...

Hi Sarah,
Great story. Love those ghosts. Perfect in purple.