Sleepy Sundays: Roses

Roses have always been symbolic to me. Some give them as gifts. We see them at weddings; funerals.

I’m sharing an older, more simple design today that some of you may have already seen if you follow any of my “Daydreams” accounts on social media.

I share this in memory of my late father, for Father’s Day. & Also for my Uncle Pat, who passed away in January. My great uncle was another one of the amazing father figures I’ve been blessed with in this life.

I miss them both terribly, but they’ve made me realize just how lucky I am to still have some special men in my life that hold the title of “father” in more way than one.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there

& roses, for all the ones we’ve lost.

Have a special Sunday.

Sleepy Sundays: Visitors

Visitors

This design almost didn’t happen but I usually do something in tribute to my father sometimes near Father’s Day each year. It’s almost become tradition here at CardCastles. He did, after all inspire the name Snapping Turtle, my design company & sort of production hub for the last year & a half or so.

I couldn’t help but think of all of the daughters and sons that may have lost their fathers in recent years or over the years these past few days. This design inspired by my late father is dedicated today to all of them.

31 Nightmares 2016: The 31st

Once again it seems like we traveled here at light speed, and I’ve loved every passing moment of it with you.

Today is the final nightmare of our

31nightmares-logo

Intro

So there you have it, friends. I am working on a little side-project web cartoon that I will be featuring here on CardCastles. Some friends of mine have showed interest in chiming in on this. I’ve already been working on storyboard concepts and comic-style sketches of this for months.

Recently, little Alicia took a breather since I just took on some important clients but she is still being stitched together behind the scenes.


Bittersweet Conclusion

With all that said, I would like to thank all of you for your support during these last few months and during all 31Nightmares.

All of your kind words, enthusiam, emails, social sharing, and referrals have not gone unnoticed. There are some wonderful people watching here and you all have me so proud to call this series my brainchild. That being stated, you all know we are here for one reason, and this year another special reason—to pay tribute to Master of Horror, one of my greatest inspirations, Mr. Wes Craven—and a masterfully gifted Sorcerer of Horror himself, Mr. Grayson Queen.

Before Grayson passed on, one of the last conversations I had with him was a nerdy exchange (often our preferred, favorite and only type of conversation) about The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I joked to him after he posted about zodiac, tarot, and his beautiful Ra. I said “You seem more like a mystic than an agnostic.”

Anyone that knew Grayson as Dave knew he was a stark atheist, but his mind had a way of needing to know every which and possible possibility. I always knew Dave had read something I wrote because he had a way of letting me know. The “horror” tag would always be clicked on & one or two pieces in the genre had also been read. It was his stealth-like way of saying “Hey friend. I’ve been here. I hear you.”

When October began and I set things in motion to be dedicated in our friend’s memory also, I remembered back to that conversation that went on for months that we never got to finish. Always two sentences at a time.

Then the final quote from the movie popped into my head and I thought of Dave.

I had a fear of going as far as I could once.

It was a fear that gripped me and kept me from my dreams.

Now I am no longer afraid.

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

– The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Vines

~For Dave and Wes~


This has been Day 31, The Final Nightmare.

31nightmares-logo_invertMissed any? Catch up here.

31 Nightmares 2016: The 28th

Not Forgotten
Not Forgotten

Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had started with exchanging ghost stories. There’s always the skeptic, the non-believer, and the “on-the-fence” person. Still, a striking amount of people I’ve come into contact with have these stories to share, whether they believe it was something otherworldly or not.

This piece is based off of a story exchanged between friends. My friend was both the skeptic and the storyteller. According to him, whatever it was at the end of his hall, had a staring contest with him for a good thirty seconds before he moved into the next room. When he returned to the hall, whatever it was had departed.


This has been Day 28 of

31nightmares-logo_transparent

31 Nightmares 2016: The 10th

Vines
You’ve heard me speak of Grayson here on CardCastles before. In fact, his work has been highlighted here enough times that it can be found within the archives. If you didn’t know of his extensive list of gifts within the horror genre, today with the blessing of his beautiful wife Ra, I get to show them to you.

Vines

Masters of Horror

As you know this year’s 31 Nightmares has been dedicated to him along with Wes. Soon you’ll see why I think he is just as worthy to hold this place with Wes—someone you all know I respected and admired deeply.

Many may not know Grayson had a background in film. Those gifts and tips and tricks clearly didn’t disappear through the years as he kept them alive through his writing within the genre.

Here is a short Grayson made a few years back to highlight his short story (one of my favorites) The Eater.

The Eater, like many of the works here this October, was inspired by a nightmare. Something Wes believed very heavily in doing was recording his dreams and nightmares. Our friend knew of this trick and knew how to spin it into a sort of horrific fairy tale.

Grayson also produced the eerily wonderful soundtrack to this short.

Friend, you are deeply missed.

This has been Day 10 of

31nightmares-logo_invert

31 Nightmares 2016: The 7th

It appears there’s been a tear through our world here. Another radio transmission has been discovered in the clouds…

I’m not sure yet if this is a positive change or a negative one. A single fact remains. We will never be the same again. I wonder if she will return?


It is my pleasure to finally introduce you to Nightmares. I promise you will see more from her in the future. This is simply her “greeting” to you all. What a proper time to finally get in touch with her as well, during our 31 Nightmares.

There is so much more to come.

In Loving Memory of

Wes Craven and Grayson Queen


This has been Day 7 of

31nightmares-logo

31 Nightmares 2016: The 1st

Today is October 1st and that can only mean one thing here at CardCastles.

31 Nightmares is here!

[For those new to the site you can read about its origins in Dare to Dream: A Tribute to Wes Craven]

Due to reader demand and all of the lovely, kind-hearted words received afterward, it became clear that the series would return this year. Wes was one of the main forces that inspired me to write at a young age. He was also one of the reasons I began specializing in the horror genre at times.

This year, with those thoughts in mind, we will also be dedicating the series to another gifted horror writer and artist and sharing these projects in their collective memory. That writer just so happened to be a good friend of mine. He was driven by the pen as Grayson Queen, but a lucky number of people knew him as Dave. Some of you that read here had the pleasure of knowing his undeniable gift for horror writing. We wanted to honor Grayson last year as well, although the wounds from losing such a profound piece of what has become a family in many ways—were still withered raw.

We will honor these masters of horror and carry on what we all do best. They live on through this art.

Blessed be.

~Daydreams


Happy October, everyone and welcome to Day 1!

This piece was designed as wall art and inspired by one of my most terrifying of recent nightmares. Have you ever traveled to a place in reality only to return to a warped version of it in your sleep? This is exactly the inspiration behind this surrealistic twist on the strange figure that showed up along the side of a road lined by woods close by a place I actually visited.

nightcrawl
Nightcrawl

There was a dense mist that waltzed around with the cold air that made my bones ache. There was a sensation of the cold in the dream itself. That figure drew closer. I awoke before getting a clear look at its face. Whatever it was, it definitely wasn’t human since it appeared about ten feet tall and thinner than any living human I’d ever seen.

This has been Day 1

of

31nightmares-logo

Sleepy Sundays: A Garden Gathering

A Garden Gathering
A Garden Gathering © 2016 cardcastlesinthesky.com | Snapping Turtle Publishing

A few nights back I had a strange dream. As I laid out the groundwork for this artwork pictured above in my head, I slowly drifted off to sleep. My mind traveled back to a place I hadn’t been in a very long time. Rows upon rows of white wildflowers all dancing simultaneously in the night breeze.

This was an actual early evening once in my life that took place many moons ago when my father was still alive. I faintly remember the sound of the radio softly playing some soothing little tune. She’d been in the doctor’s office building just beneath the hill we stared at, so we waited patiently in the car. My mom always did have a habit of taking forever. She was a friendly chatterbox and had to greet just about everyone.

After waiting for well over an hour, we stepped out to stretch our legs and yawn. I remember the sweet smell of the wild flowers in the air.

The warm, nightly, summer breeze that had been happening that year seemed to kick it all around. My father and I ran through the flowers for a good twenty minutes until my mother appeared.

That small moment in time was one of the happiest moments I had with my father.

That day still replays in my dreams at times and it inspired this artwork.

Happy Father’s Day

to all of the fathers out there, to those who have lost fathers, to those who are new fathers, and those who are fathers of fathers. You are all so special to us.

Have a warm, loving Sunday!


While I created this, I listened to this:

Float Like a Butterfly

butterfly art, Floating Daydream

This was my reaction when I first heard the news late last night:

Though, it’s hard to express all of the emotion and feelings that were running through me in just 150 characters.

I remember first hearing a few days back that The Champ was in critical condition. This had me thinking back to those times as a child where my grandfather and I would sit in front of the TV in sheer amazement over old footage of Ali’s greatness in the ring. My grandfather loved boxing, and Ali was a hero of his. That love of not only the sport, but the man himself, got passed down to me.

He was a graceful giant, who danced around that ring like as he so beautifully said—a butterfly, in his iconic quote:

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

The world is outpouring with love and support for this man and his family—as it should be. I only hope his messages of loving one another resonate with all of us. That way maybe we can change the condition of the current state of our world. I’ve seen a beautiful thing today with people of every race, color, and creed coming together to mourn the loss of such a great and powerful human being.

Float like a butterfly, Great One.

butterfly art, Floating Daydream
Floating Daydream © 2013 CardCastlesInTheSky