Sometimes the strange and otherworldly creeps into my head when I’ve had a particularly stressful period of time. My body will literally feel drained by the mental taxing and eventually it gives out and I’ll head into a deep sleep. This is the usual recipe for my nightmares.
You’ve heard me describe settings of hope within these dreams before here during #31Nightmares.
This artwork is the visual representation of a place that brought hope inside one of my most terrifying dreams. Myself and a group of friends were being chased by a lake like an old-school splatter movie. Though, from a first person perspective in my nightmares, this was not the sort of place I wanted to stay long. These little wisps were lights that helped lead us out of a barren area of the forest.
This artwork was meant to be shared later on in the #31Nightmares lineup, but due to some guest cancellations, changes made, & things currently going on, I shifted some of the slots with artwork in them to make up the next few days so we could keep up with a consistent theme each week this year.
This weekend going into next week, we’ll be diving into the surreal horror art genre, and I’ll be sharing some of my own work of the sort. This technique was something inspired by Wes Craven many years ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I record my dreams. Then sometimes, they become art.
This piece is no different. & The funny thing is I got to speak about it before we shared this piece with one of the members of our community. The character featured is based off of a nightmare I had of being burned as a witch out in the woods somewhere. It was a freakish nightmare that came out of nowhere. & It was interesting because my ancestors are not from the United States, where they actually burned women as witches in what is now considered the New England region of the northern east coast. Not too far from where I live today as I was born & raised in New Jersey, very close to/just outside of New York.
Early in my teens I remember a time where there were a lot of arguments with family members going on. There were a lot of changes taking place in my life due to deaths in the family and relocation. Being a wanderer, sometimes during all of the arguing, I’d slip away.
I’d often wander outside and go for walks, looking for some place of peace and quiet and calm. I often found it. On one particular morning, this started up once more. The coffee hadn’t even finished brewing and already they were at each other’s throats. So I took a thermos, snuck some coffee and headed out. No one bothered ask where I was going. It was common practice by this time.
I went up to a little hill area I’d found where we had just moved. If you went far enough up the hill, you could see the parts of the city and NY all from this lush forest that seemed worlds away from the bustling city.
It was a calm I hadn’t known before. A calm that became a welcome feeling. It was maybe my first small baby step toward breaking away from all that madness. As I sat there and took in the sounds of November’s rustling leaves being blown through the area, along with a few birds signaling each other for food, I noticed a rhythm.
The sound brought me far away from any troubles, if only just for some small moments in time.
This artwork was fully inspired by that day.
If you could write a song for something, what would it be?
One of the first “scary stories” I heard as a kid was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Shortly after this story was told to me, I would often have nightmares featuring creatures with pumpkins for heads. This artwork was inspired by those childhood night terrors.