Artwork: Pisces

The second piece of my Zodiac project. After Leo (found here:https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/11/29/artwork-zodiac-series-1/) I really wanted to clean up the line-work and composition. This almost ended up looking a little too clean for the style, I think. This is probably the first time where I’ve had a reverse fore-ground, where the background is so noisy that it draws attention to the undetailed focus of the painting, which is a weird but kinda cool effect. Sorry about my shadow on the bottom of the picture, I have a very dark room and the light is currently out, so I had to use the window!

Concept: Pisces are all about finding that one person who makes them feel whole, there yin or yang, so to speak. To a true Pisces, life may not seem worth living until they find that person or thing that drives them. You know what they say, life was built for two.

Love2

Artwork: Leo

The first piece of a conceptual project I was commissioned for. This represents the zodiac sign Leo. I wanted to get across the whole sense of individuality and feelings of not quite belonging where-ever you go.

Overall it went pretty well, a lot of pen and line errors, especially in the skeletal portion. Had a lot of fun and learned some new techniques with watercolor.

11×8 inches on blick watercolor paper. Done in watercolor and ballpoint pens. The word are an overlay comprised of typed text and a page from my dictionary.

Orphan2

The Whimsical Misadventures of Red and Blue (Ep. 1)

Episode 1: Death’s in the Mirror

Blue: Sweetie, don’t look now, but I think love wants us dead.

Red: You don’t say? (she smiled here)

Red: Wait, I see it too, that’s death in the green mini-van, right?

Blue: Yep. (Man, was Blue stony eyed, focused like an eagle)

Red: Well I mean, it had to happen eventually. (Giggle)

Blue: Yip.

Red: Just because love suddenly wants us dead doesn’t mean I’m going to let you get away with using words that aren’t words.

Blue: *Thinking…. (How best to trigger…)

Red: Okay, bud, death is literally in our fucking rear-view mirror and you’re choosing now to give me the silent treatment? Couldn’t you have done it yesterday, you know when you wouldn’t shut-up about how the particles at the center of a light bulb–

Blue: Yip!

Red: What the fuck! I wasn’t done… (Scrunches face in that cute way that makes Blue wanna flick her cheek)

Red: Hey! Stop flicking my damned cheek!

Blue: K.

10 slow seconds pass as the couple drive down the old 42. Blue notes the rugged and deep cracks whizzing by, trying to focus on individual cracks in detail, but failing each time. Red is seething, furiously slotting her brains available RAM into a single task: realizing a vicious yet sensitive retort to her lesser half. That was it! Her lesser half…perfect!

Red: Blue, before death catches up, I just want you to know that–

Blue: No need to say it, I wish we had time for Pistachio flavored Gelato too, in fact, I distinctly regret not binging on luscious Pistach–

Red: Honey! (Makes a sad face, the one with the faux-puppy dog eyes) Stop interrupting me when we are running from Dea–

Blue: You know, that was kind of rude, dear. I mean I appreciate and support what you have to say, but I was talking. These kinds of lapses in courtesy really grind my gears. Especially when Death is literally in our, and I can not stress this enough, the literal robed-life-snatching-scythe-guy is chasing us in a raggedy green mini-fucking-van.

Red: We should drive faster, shouldn’t we?

Blue: Do you really think we can outrun death?

Red: Yeah, he’s in a min-van.

Blue: Oh, wow. You’re right. Floor it!

And that Red did, floor it, that is. Blue, feeling a sudden rush of confidence, rolled down his window and waggled the center-most flesh-pointer of his right hand at the forlorn-fellow in the green mini-van.

Red: That’s a bit much, what if he makes it hurt more because of that? Wait, oh…shoot.

Blue: Nice going, how are we supposed to outrun death and the law? Especially when the law is in an armored Mustang with a shit-tier paint job?

Red: You gave me the go ahead to do this thing!

Blue: I don’t recall. Wait, don’t slow down! I already lost my licence, what do we do if you get too many points?

Red: Oh shit, you’re right!

As Red slammed on the accelerator, the Law-man, who’d started to pull left, mirrored her wanton acceleration with the vigor and poise befitting a man of his station. 

Blue: Oh shit baby, he’s swerving across traffic! Look Red!

Red: I’m going 98 in a 65, Blue, I can’t look right now!

Blue: !

Red: Why are you waiving your arms around like that?!

Blue: I can’t even right now…Baby, you can slow down.

Red: What? Why?!

Blue: Well death totally just broad-sided the law and the two cars are rolling down a cliff in a brutal and fiery, yet romantic, fashion.

Red: Well…I mean…that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? (Her brow had curled into a thoughtful furrow)

Blue: There are worse ways to go!

Suddenly, without a word, Red swerved left towards the cliff. If only I knew what the cliff meant to her. Maybe, it meant hope. As they fell, a stoic and euphoric haze engulfed the two lovers. Neither had ever felt so utterly complete, let alone content, with their menial lives. 

Wait, no. Actually, it was shit-show.

Blue: OH GOD!! What are you doing Red?! (A look of terror spread across Blue’s pubescent face as the ground disappeared from under the small car) 

Red: I THOUGHT THIS IS WHAT WE WANTED!

Blue: WHY WOULD YOU MAKE THIS KIND OF DECISION WITHOUT CONSULTING ME?!

Red: MAYBE IF YOU HADN’T KEPT INTERRUPTING M–

Unfortunately, the car’s impact against a jagged rock twice its size robbed Red of the chance to realize the irony of her last sentence. If the meaning of that last sentence wasn’t clear, here is Neil deGrasse Tyson with the details: 

Neil: The unrelenting G-force of the car’s descent through gravity whilst maintaining its significant velocity was met with an equal and opposite reaction from the rock. This collision, of sorts, caused Red’s head to meet the steering wheel with such a force that it immediately caved in, spraying her brain-stuff all over Blue, who miraculously, despite a really nasty sprained ankle, made a full recovery.

 

Battles

Everyday is an uphill battle, every stream a journey, and every hill is steepest near the peak. At the end of each battle, we get to rest. A momentary bliss before the next hill, a new peak, and after we’ve suffered enough, surmounted all our peaks, we get to rest forever.

So march-on through the black, for fear is an illusion, and strength is more than how you survive. It’s how you live.

A Serious Question #1

Is there anything more frightening than looking in the mirror, only to find a shadow cast?

The last of a mass where you lost your past, hoping against hope you can forage a new path.

Do you burn who you were,

rise through pain,

with nothing but hope to lose,

and a life to gain?

Do we need more?

 

 

The first step is always the hardest.

WallSpider

This is part one of a three-part short story. It’s well within the horror genre, so, be aware. This story is an interpretation of my drawing above. Having personally struggled with OCD and an eating disorder, this story is important to me. I wanted it to display the frustration, anger, and helplessness that OCD can cause. It can be a crippling disorder, but with the right therapy, can be diminished, made weak. It doesn’t have to control you, it is something that can be beaten.

*Trigger warning: This short story contains graphic depictions of bulimia nervosa and OCD. It also contains vulgar and unsavory language. If you find this type of content offensive, for any reason, please do not read the following paragraphs.

 

I

“You really should eat more of your dinner, dear. Your mother worked very hard to make it, and these sweet potatoes are delightful!” Frank Moore said, breaking the habitual dinner-time silence. Amy examined the red-orange mash she’d mixed her roast-beef into, forming a disgusting, muddy brown mass.

To Amy’s left, a black puddle materialized on the wall, a large object slithering into her periphery. Just what I need. As she kept her eyes on her food, the WallSpider crept forward. Pausing a foot away, its steamy breath harassed Amy’s bare shoulder, before whispering “You will not eat any more than you h…have, you fa…fatbulbous…whore.” Amy bit her lip, hard, focusing on ignoring the creature.

Looking up to her father, Amy matched his forced smile, responding “Yeah, Dad. It’s real good, I just ate a lot at lunch, you know I have an easier time eating at lunch. Having Derek and Samantha around calms me down, makes it easier to eat.” That fake-ass smile makes him look like a neurotic clown, even without makeup. Frank’s grin faded, changing to his normal, disappointed perma-frown gate. Sighing, he looked to Annie, Amy’s mother, who had her head down, quietly chewing her food.

Rolling his eyes, he looked back to his own food, muttering “Can’t even have a God-damned conversation in this house anymore.”

Annie paused, stricken, dropping her silverware with a loud clank. “Frank Moore, watch your language. This is God’s table, you foul man!” Annie half-shouted, as her hands twitched and her jowls quivered in anger. Oops, looks like you pissed mom off again, dad. Thanks for that.

Frank recoiled, slightly, and put his hands up, quickly apologizing “Sorry honey, I didn’t mean to take the lords name in vein, I was just frustrated.” Annie’s gaze tightened, teeth bared, and fists clenched. Frank bit his lip before continuing. “Amy, if you’re done with your mash and beef, why don’t you head to your room, do some school-work so your mother and I can talk.” Thank Christ. Two less monsters to deal with.

Amy pushed her seat back, stood up, and walked around the right side of her chair, away from the shadowy creature. As Amy walked through the dining-room door, into the worn living room, she could hear hisses and cracks as the creature forced its way through the wall. Amy tapped her fingers against her sides, quickening her pace, rushing for the curved stairs. As she got to the base of the stairs, a large black pool materialized above the first two steps, right before the stairs curved right. The WallSpider’s ugly head pushed through the tar-like puddle, oozing magma-like goo onto the ground, blocking the stairs. Jaw tightening, Amy whispered “What do you want now? I’ve eaten all of eight bites today? One for breakfast, four at lunch, and three small ones at dinner!”

WallSpider lifted its worm-esque body a few feet above Amy, looking down at her. It never fully leaves the wall, it’s like a giant, fucking snake. The creatures lower jaw was split by what looked to be a fibrous, folding gland. Its eight eyes studied Amy, appraisingly, before it said “You’re far too fat today, b…buttercup.” Amy’s lips quivered, as tears welled in her eyes. Don’t, make me do it, WallSpider. Please. “Ta…take a trip to the bathroomfixxxs yourself, make yourself worthy, you dough-like c…cunt.” WallSpider moved a few inches closer, and opened its mouth wide, the folds on its bottom jaw splitting into two separate jaws. Its long tongue moved to Amy’s small, ravished, stomach, and traced along her prominent ribcage, before moving to her angular, overly defined left hip-bone.

“Please, don’t make me do it, I’m so hungry.” WallSpider’s tounge quickly retracted, it’s mouth opened even wider, making a disgusting, crack, as it’s jaw tore from its hinges. It started to scream. No! Not again! The sounds were simultaneously deep and shrill. The screams waves penetrated deep into Amy’s skull, irritating her inner ear, and causing her to lose her balance and fall to the ground. Amy covered her ears, struggling not to scream in terror, as she curled into a fetal position on the purple shag-carpet.

As suddenly as the screaming had begun, it stopped. Breathing heavily and shaking, Amy opened her eyes, looking to where WallSpider had been. Gone. Better listen to him, though, if I want to sleep. Her parents had started to scream, viciously, at each other. I wish they’d just fucking split already. Amy pushed herself up onto her knees, wiping away the coagulated tears and snot. She got to her feet and walked up the stairs. Why does he make me do this? I feel like I’m dying, losing myself. Will I ever be pretty? Ever be skinny enough for WallSpider to leave?

Amy had to catch her breath at the top of the stairs, her legs and arms had felt like lead all week. When’s the last time I ate? Two weeks? Tears streamed down Amy’s face as she turned left at the top of the staircase, heading towards her bathroom. Amy’s parent’s screams were drowned out, engulfed by the sea of WallSpider’s approval.

Amy felt a wave of euphoria antagonize her spine, as she closed the bathroom door, keeping the lights off. I don’t want to see myself. Feeling her way forward, she grasped on the sinks counter, quickly turning the cold-tap, and taking a few gulps. Don’t want to see what WallSpider needs me to do. Satisfied, Amy turned, leaving the water running, and walked forward. She kept her hands out in front of her, feeling for the wall that separated the toilet and shower. Almost there. Her hand closed around the walls edge, and she knelt, grabbing the edge of the toilet, pulling herself towards it. Don’t want to see WallSpider, I’d rather be blind.

Opening her mouth, Amy reached for her uvula with her right hand, trapping it between her pointer and middle fingers. Gagging slightly, tears thickening, she tightened her grip and pulled the uvula back and forth. I hate this. Her stomach started to grow nauseous, she felt blood between her fingers as the persistent chaff reopened. I hate myself. Amy’s gags grew more intense as her stomach fought back, trying to retain its much-needed prize. Make myself pretty. Amy vomited on her fingers, and into the toilet. There. Done. She removed her fingers from her throat and rested her bony jaw on the toilets seat, panting.

Again, my sweet” murmured WallSpider, sounding amused. Amy’s blood ran thick, stuffing up her throat, accelerating her tears. I’ve given you everything. There’s nothing left… Amy reached her burning, acid-soaked fingers back into her throat, letting out a moan, as the dull, sticky pain returned. It was quicker this time. After a few jiggles, Amy tasted iron, tasted blood, as she dry heaved. Choking on her tears, she removed her fingers, again. It hurts so much. She fell to her right, hitting the ground with a thud, before curling into a ball. Acid dripped from the corner of her mouth, burning her pale, chapped lips.

Again, you know you deserve this…this is what you needCleanse yourself, fight to be worth something.” No! Please…God. Struggling, Amy moved her twig-like knees under her small frame, leaning back of the smelly toilet. Quivering in agony, Amy reached into her throat, head swimming as one thought blurred with another. Please…Help me…Anybody.