What I did on my summer vacation

Well dear readers, it is time to explore the dusty traces of this blog, and peel the aged veneer back to show yet more wondrous and terrible things.

Something I’ve been fixated on for a while now is odd feeling I get when confronted with ancient art. From the stone age cave paintings with their Therianthropes, Shamans, and Sorcerers to the Ukok Princess and her tattoos, along through strange disquieted eras that produced the fanciful interweavings of human and creature present in the Staffordshire Hoard artifacts… and the body-art of the bronze age Picts.

Combining some of the tropes present in the Staffordshire Hoard with some Pictish imagery, I came upon a card-case design for a friend of mine. It’s not finished yet, but just to give a taste to what I’ve doing with my months of silence.

design cut in with a swivel knife
Once the leather is properly moistened, the design get cut in with a special knife.

half complete!
About half way there

This stage is now complete.

The band closing the case will be a snake eating its tail. The part that holds the card deck is wet molded leather, laid to dry in the blistering sun.

so pretty!

Paleo art pt. 3

Lovecraft is timeless.

Hey did you know when you schedule posts its hit or miss that it works? (Notice how I blame the program. See, it’s INCONCEIVABLE that I would have made a mistake).

Anyhow, I left off with a heart full of despair, so much so that not even beating on the design I didn’t like could fix that feeling. The Hounds looked OK, they really were a nice translation of the Chaveut Cave art. Next up was to find a way to paint with clays and glue, using sticks and grass tufts as brushes. This was a fun problem to solve- how to get the pigment the right consistency, would temperature have an effect, how would the clays differ from eachother. Really, however I justify it now, it was really just an excuse to play with dirt. .

Laying in the pigments.
Thiner mixtures gave a nice feather affect, while thicker mixes were good for
more complete coverage. Colder glues led to the chunkiness in the tentacles.

Some sort of now banished Old One.

Cultists always get eaten first, even when they are shaman.

The images tell a story, and the cultists (potrayed as renegade shamans) are an important part of the story.
The pregnant shaman/cultist is a paleolithic Lavinia Whateley.

The first of the Whateleys

Paleolithic Venus’ starting the genetic line that would someday see Wilbur and his brother being brought to Dunwich.

Black Goat with her young.

Not quite 1000, but I was running out of light.

Paleolithic Cthulhu mural on leather, complete.

Cave art is amazing stuff. It’s not a huge jump to put some of our favorite nightmares inspired by the best wordsmiths of our age to this sort of visual storytelling. The material that is already out there- depictions of shamans and water demons, star charts and ghosts, show how much our species has always held a relationship with the mysterious, sometimes spooky, aspects of life.