#74 Creak & Quake

AmperArt 74 Creak & Quake


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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 …

#53 Deep Dark & Mysterious

Deep Dark & Mysterious

Haunt­ing Hal­loween. This Amper­Art piece dou­bles as a Hal­loween theme & a pos­si­ble entry in my Adver­tis­ing Slo­gans series, as I vague­ly recall see­ing this a long time ago adver­tis­ing who-​knows-​what. We’ll let that be a deep, dark mystery.

Coin­ci­den­tal­ly, my main graph­ics com­put­er went dark yes­ter­day for no appar­ent rea­son. After unsuc­cess­ful­ly reviv­ing it after 4 hours of prob­ing & tin­ker­ing, it remains a deep, dark unsolved mys­tery. Which is why, hav­ing to use a less-​than-​optimal com­put­er for graph­ic design, this Amper­Art mate­ri­al­ized at the mid­night hour on Halloween.

PRODUCTION NOTES
Orig­i­nal size: 20x30”
Pro­gram: Photoshop
Fonts: Univers, Ush­er­wood (amper­sand)

#31 Bats Rats & Black Cats

#31 Bats Rats & Black Cats
#31 Bats Rats & Black Cats
Click image to view full-​size or download hi-​rez file 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.

As if planned by the spir­its them­selves, this edi­tion of Amper­Art hap­pens to be #31, the very date of the hol­i­day it was haunt­ing­ly designed for.


Bats Rats & Black Cats…
Lizards Gophers Birds & Snakes

JeepersCreepers

These are Hal­loween creatures?

No, not all of them, but they are all “gifts” that my black cat, Jeep­ers Creep­ers, proud­ly brings me once or twice a week. Yes, bats and snakes. Def­i­nite­ly ejects me out of bed faster than my shrill alarm clock.

Jeep­ers Creep­ers, 3 years old, was named after my black Jeep (he can plow through any­thing to get to food), but this time of year his name takes on the spooky mean­ing of Octo­ber 31.


PRODUCTION NOTES:
Program: Photoshop
Original dimensions: 20″ x 30″
Fonts: Visigoth, French Script, both modified
Images: Traced and modified from reference
Effects: Noise added to background layer