#74 Creak & Quake

AmperArt 74 Creak & Quake


Click to view full size  without watermark & download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Greet­ings, mor­tals.

This mor­bid install­ment of my Amper­Art series could have been enti­tled “Crypt Doors & Tomb­stones” but I chose the just-​as-​eerie verbs over the nouns “Creak & Quake.” These words are all from the first stan­za of Grim Grin­ning Ghosts, the theme song per­me­at­ing Walt Dis­ney’s Haunt­ed Man­sion. 

Truth be told, I’m still only 99% sure that the song starts with 

When the crypt doors creak & the tomb­stones quake…” or
“When the crypt goes creak & the tomb­stones quake…”

Why? Because after vis­it­ing sev­er­al web­sites to make sure I got the lyrics right (even though I’ve heard the song hun­dreds of times, it’s not embed­ded into the skull like “It’s a Small World”) there were dis­crep­an­cies. The first site which sound­ed like an offi­cial lyrics site is what threw me off: It read “…goes creak” which was sur­pris­ing, as I’ve always heard, so I thought, “When the crypt doors creak…” The orig­i­nal song­writ­ers — Bud­dy Bak­er, melody, and lyrics by Xavier “X” Aten­cio, the Dis­ney leg­end — were list­ed, along with dates and oth­er infor­ma­tion.  So I fig­ured that was what they wrote, and every­one just adapt­ed what they thought they heard. 

Until I vis­it­ed a few more sites. Every­where else the song goes “…doors creak…” which sounds so much bet­ter; is part of the Dis­ney fans’ venac­u­lar; and what I chose to use in my piece of art­work. (It’s prob­a­bly the cor­rect choice.)

William Shake­speare & his poem, Venus & Ado­nis, influ­enced the title of the Haunt­ed Man­sion’s theme song:

Look, how the world’s poor peo­ple are amaz’d
At appari­tions, signs, and prodi­gies,
Where­on with fear­ful eyes they long have gaz’d,
Infus­ing them with dread­ful prophe­cies;
So she at these sad sighs draws up her breath,
And, sigh­ing it again, exclaims on Death.
Hard-​favour’d tyrant, ugly, mea­gre, lean,
Hate­ful divorce of love,’ — thus chides she Death,—
Grim-​grinning ghost, earth­’s worm, what dost thou mean
To sti­fle beau­ty and to steal his breath,
Who when he liv’d, his breath and beau­ty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the vio­let?

The tomb­stone and grave­yard in this piece real­ly do exist: The Gra­nary Ceme­tery, Boston, Mass. Well, almost. The top and bor­ders of the tomb­stone are authen­tic (except for the icon­ic “D” under the skull); I elon­gat­ed the entire mon­u­ment and replaced the somber inscrip­tion with sil­ly lyrics. So much for rev­er­ence. I wish to give cred­it to an incred­i­ble pho­tog­ra­ph­er, whose image I came across on the Inter­net and used as ref­er­ence for this piece. Her name is Del­la Huff. Her pho­tog­ra­phy is spec­tac­u­lar. See it at http://​del​lahuff​pho​to​.zen​fo​lio​.com/ I had no idea such mor­bid tomb­stones actu­al­ly exist­ed. The grave­yard, though heav­i­ly dis­tort­ed by my twist­ed mind, is among many won­der­ful pho­tographs I found at https://​www​.flickr​.com/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​m​b​d​e​z​i​n​e​s​/​s​e​t​s​/​7​2​1​5​7​6​0​7​8​5​7​0​0​8​0​82/


listen up!

As much as I detest innacu­ra­cy (why can’t oth­ers do a lit­tle research like I did, even though it took longer than the art­work?) it led me to sev­er­al inter­est­ing haunts:

I dis­cov­ered alter­nate, high­ly enter­tain­ing ver­sions of Grim Grin­ning Ghosts; a great video for the kids (and the grown-​up kids); and of course it was haunt­ing­ly won­der­ful to hear the orig­i­nal sound­track again (where I could swear they enun­ci­ate “doors”). Here are those sites:

Turn off the lights and turn up the sound:

Enter­tain­ing a capel­la from Voice­Play:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​j​p​w​0​y​Q​p​v​b_c

Here’s the orig­i­nal sound­track fol­lowed by a cool alter­nate ver­sion (which seems to have been pro­duced by James Pres­ley) and some of the begin­ning and end­ing nar­ra­tive:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​X​S​a​q​SVi – Ms

The kids will enjoy this sin­ga­long video: https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​e​a​v​o​0​8​I​X​duQ (I like it very much myself.)

And some­thing real­ly enter­tain­ing — spooky at first with organ and choir, then wild­ly zany with unique voic­es, and all sorts of oth­er sounds…produced by James Pres­ley:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​I​_​4​v​z​q​e​vLg


Production notes:
Original size: 10x15 inches
Program: Photoshop, Illustrator (for the dingbats)
Fonts: Willow, Eccentric, Harrington
Ampersand: Harrington (line shadow added)
Images:
Tombstone & graveyard  reference: Granary Cemetery, Boston, Massachussetts, USA

Della Huff is the photographer whose tombstone photo was used for reference and sampling by the artist. See her spectacular fine art photography at http://​del​lahuff​pho​to​.zen​fo​lio​.com/  Della’s original photo that made this AmperArt piece possible:
http://​www​.pbase​.com/​d​e​l​l​y​b​e​a​n​/​i​m​a​g​e​/​4​0​9​4​6​116
Graveyard background: mbdezines Image modified so extensively it does not resemble the original photograph…but the background would  not be “authentic” without this photographer’s contribution.
Artist discovered that crypts do have doors at:
http://​idiot​pho​tog​ra​ph​er​.word​press​.com/​2​0​1​4​/​0​5​/​2​8​/​t​h​e​-​c​r​y​p​t​-​d​o​o​r​s​-​o​f​-​r​i​c​o​l​e​ta/
Music and lyrics sites visited for reference:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​j​p​w​0​y​Q​p​v​b_c
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​X​S​a​q​SVi – Ms
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​e​a​v​o​0​8​I​X​duQ
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​I​_​4​v​z​q​e​vLg

H u r r y  b a c k …

#68 Knife Fork & Spoon

68 Knife Fork & Spoon


Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

This edi­tion should be titled “Lar­ry & Susie” because what these peo­ple stand for is far more sig­nif­i­cant and inspir­ing than a lit­tle piece of art­work with an amper­sand in it. But since Lar­ry’s trea­sure to me inspired this work, I did make it as spe­cial as I could (and learned a cou­ple new Pho­to­shop effects in the process).

 Before I pro­ceed with their sto­ries, here’s an invi­ta­tion to attend Susie’s “Use Me & Abuse Me” par­ty between Wednes­day, Octo­ber 24, 2014 and until all the guests have left or are passed out, which is sev­er­al days lat­er, where she invites you to shame­less­ly plug your own web­site or blog. Go there right now and join in the fun, but don’t for­get to come back here. If you miss this par­ty, sub­scribe to her blog and you’ll get an invi­ta­tion to the next one.

Mention your own blog or website at Susie’s
“Use Me & Abuse Me” party:
susielin​dau​.com

Like I said, this edi­tion is about  two very spe­cial peo­ple, both of whom I admire great­ly for their courage, faith, and inspi­ra­tion; both of whom I met online some­how; and both of whom I’ve nev­er met in person…but I feel like they’re my next door neigh­bors.


LARRY

I’ll start with Lar­ry, because he’s the inspi­ra­tion for this Amper­Art piece. A few years ago my broth­er Andy gave me very designer-​style Mick­ey Mouse cof­fee mug, which I love and use every sin­gle day (unless I need just a tiny jolt, then I grab my small­er cof­fee mug from The Orig­i­nal Pantry, old­est restau­rant in Los Ange­les – just so you know, I pur­chased the mug; had to, as I exam­ined a case of 60 to find the per­fect print­ing). I thought it would be cool to have a Mick­ey Mouse cof­fee spoon, not think­ing I’d actu­al­ly find one. Well, I did, on ebay, from this guy named Lar­ry who I knew was going to send me a spec­tac­tu­lar piece after a cou­ple con­ver­sa­tions with him. He real­ly want­ed me to be hap­py! And when it arrived – hap­py I was! For a moment my kitchen was the hap­pi­est place on earth! Not only is it the clas­sic “old” Mick­ey, the spoon is a real tea­spoon size, per­fect for a cup o’ joe, it’s in excel­lent con­di­ton, and states the copy­right is owned by that revered name of old, “Walt Dis­ney Pro­duc­tions.”

So Lar­ry real­ly made me very, very hap­py with that spec­tac­u­lar, col­lectible mas­ter­piece that I stir my cof­fee with every sin­gle day, no mat­ter which mug I use.

mickeyspoon

Lar­ry also sub­scribed to Amper­Art, and always leaves a nice com­ment.

We began com­mu­ni­cat­ing, and what an inspi­ra­tion this man is.

What a bat­tle Lar­ry has gone through, hav­ing con­tract­ed an entire body worth’s of can­cer from serv­ing our coun­try for over 20 years – in the prox­im­i­ty of Agent Orange. He’s told me hor­ror sto­ries that are out of a sci-​fi movie, but unfor­tu­nate­ly he real­ly lived them. He’s been in and out of the hos­pi­tal dozens of  times for can­cer treat­ment, each time pulling some­thing else out or treat­ing this or radi­at­ing that. I was shocked to find out that this poor guy was only the same age as me, when the descrip­tion of his health has him sound­ing 80 years old.

But don’t let him hear you or me call him “poor guy,” because just like Susie, Lar­ry lives life to the fullest. He’s a fight­er, a believ­er, and says he would­n’t trade his life in for any­thing. He says he’s been in some awe­some places, thanks to the ser­vice, that peo­ple only dream about. And if you enjoy my Amper­Art, you can thank Lar­ry: he says each one brings him so much joy, there’s no way I can stop doing them. That sure makes me feel good, too.

Lar­ry is in and out of the hos­pi­tal almost con­stant­ly. And although today he said things are look­ing pos­i­tive and he’s feel­ing bet­ter (he says he hopes it’s not a dream), I urge you to please pray for this gen­tle­man. He has been an inspi­ra­tion to me, and I’m sure to every­one who knows him. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you: Ljvsfc@​aol.​com


 

SUSIE

Susie Lin­dau is a self-​professed wild child, and she has her read­ers in stitch­es with each and every sto­ry on her high­ly enter­tain­ing blog.

Then last year she endured a dou­ble mas­tec­to­my, and with­out miss­ing a beat she laughed and joked through­out the entire ordeal, edu­cat­ing, enlight­en­ing and  inspir­ing oth­ers with unbe­liev­able spir­it. That over­with, Susie con­tin­ues to write about all her incred­i­ble adven­tures that are dar­ing, amaz­ing, and even sil­ly. But always fun. And wild. There’s even a pho­to of her dou­ble implants on her web­site. Check that out.

If you haven’t already, join the par­ty at susielin​dau​.com. Oh, and about the mid­night curfew…not so, Susie’s guests par­ty into the wee hours and even for days after­wards.


These are two very spe­cial peo­ple, and I could write a lot more about each of them. But I have a par­ty to crash…


 

Production notes:
Original size: 10x15 inches
Program: Photoshop
Font: Goudy Oldstyle bold
Images:
Lace pattern: obsid​ian​dawn​.com (many exquisite Photoshop patterns and excellent instructions on how to install them)
Antique silver cutlery: 123rf​.com /​ photo by martinak
Special thanks to Mike McHugh at cre​ativesweettv​.com for tutorial on bending spoons with the Photoshop Puppet Warp tool.
No dinnerware was harmed in the making of this art.