Dec 31 2011

#245 “New Year’s Eve”

From a stranger in St. Louis, Missouri

Chances are that after the parties and get-togethers tonight, a few of us are going to wind up in the same position as this wolf tomorrow morning. I don’t want to get too preachy, but I do want to encourage you (as well as myself) to practice moderation on this night of celebration. Nothing would make for a worse start to the new year than vomiting up cheap beer. Have fun, but start the year off right so you can wake up happy tomorrow morning. I’ll see you in 2012!


Dec 22 2011

#236 “Big City Wolf”

From Kusti in Finland

The wildness of nature takes on the hustle and bustle of the big city in this composition by Kusti, and to put it mildly, the results are simply breathtaking. While it takes a fair amount of imagination to dream up images of an untamed wolf leaping about on urban rooftops while cars race below and city lights flash in a crazed blur of color, there’s just something about this picture that feels so right. As humans we long to belong to both of these worlds, and through this ingenious piece of art, Kusti allows us to interact with these two conflicting sides of ourselves simultaneously. We don’t have to choose between the mystery of the deep forest or the excitement of the city; we can have them both.

What this wolf is doing in this environment isn’t entirely clear, but the viewer gets the sense that this animal is on a mission. There’s an urgency in his movements and a determination in his eyes that says that this wolf didn’t just wander off and find himself in the big city at random. Something has been risked. Something is at stake- something large and important. To sum it up in a single word, this picture contains drama. From the moment that I first laid eyes on it, my heart began to beat a little more quickly, and when an artist accomplishes this task, you know that he/she has truly made an impact. In this end, this image may just be a still picture on a screen, but it delivers a wild ride that will leave your head spinning.

Thanks for adding some excitement to my day, Kusti…


Nov 21 2011

#205 “Nightcall”

From Samreen in the United Kingdom

There are only so many words that one can use to describe the beauty of a wolf in silhouette, poised atop a stony precipice, howling towards the nighttime sky. To put it another way, there’s a mystery about that nightcall of the lonesome lobo that defies description and inspires undefinable emotions. Keeping this in mind, I suppose that sometimes it’s best to simply let the eyes and ears do their business and allow the rest take care of itself.

I have featured a couple of Samreen’s works before, and certainly each is special in its own way. I hope you enjoy another piece from this talented young artist as well, but in order to do get the full experience of this illustration, you’ll have to leave your assumptions, reservations and predispositions behind. This wolf pose may be a classic one, but I hope you’ll be inspired to experience it as is if you were seeing it for the first time. To aid in your experience, I decided to pair the picture with a song by one of my favorite electronic artists: Kavinsky. The songs is appropriately titled “Nightcall.” Enjoy!


Oct 22 2011

#175 “Tie-Dye the Sky”

From Nancy in Kingstown, Rhode Island

Chattanooga is not necessarily a large city, but it’s still big enough that the lights from downtown are able to effectively block out most of the stars at night. It’s a sad thought, really, to know that right up above me is a whole array of brilliant lights twinkling away in a vast universe but that I can’t see them. At times I have traveled to a few places (Fort Defiance, AZ; The Grand Tetons in Wyoming; Segovia, Spain; backpacking trips in The Great Smoky Mountains) that are far enough removed from large urban environments so that I have been able to drink in the beauty of the nighttime sky undaunted, but this doesn’t happen often.

Every chance I get, I love to break away from the hustle and the bustle, from the nighttime sirens and streetlights, and stare up into that expansive blanket of glimmering diamonds, twinkling away into infinity. It makes one feel so small and yet so precious at the same time. Between these sacred glimpses, however, I must be content with my memories. But these wonderful recollections are often helped along with inspiring illustrations like Nancy’s here that help to anchor these thoughts of beauty into my mind. Thank you, Nancy, for painting the sky with a brush of imaginative color, for setting the sky on fire, for bringing it to life. It hangs above our heads every hour of everyday, but how often do we really appreciate it?


Oct 10 2011

#163 “Night Stalker”

From Samreen

Often times, when an artist includes a personalized note that refers specifically to his/her own creation, I like to let the artist’s words speak for themselves. Such is the case with this morbidly thrilling work contributed by Samreen and entitled “Night Stalker.” While I have many words of praise and many analytical thoughts to offer on the subject of this fearsome creature, I will let a simple poem written by the artist serve as all the commentary that is needed here. I hope you enjoy…

“Night Stalker”

Silently he pads, no disturbance to the night,
Needs to give his prey quite a bad fright.
He is good at this, a very quiet walker,
This handsome wolf is a night stalker.

 


Aug 23 2011

#115 “I’m gonna to eat your toes while you’re sleeping!”

From a stranger in Nashville, Tennessee

in the back of everyone’s mind is a deap-seated association with something that unfailingly serves as an impetus for instant fear. Upon examination, the sparks that ignite our individually fearful fires are as varied as the people that make up our world. Everyone’s secret fear is different. For some the catalyst for terror may simply be darkness and the vulnerability it brings, for others it might be the thought or sight of blood and gore. Still others are scared by notions of demon sorcery and witchcraft. Some fear ghosts and spirits while others are terrified by thoughts of monsters and mutants or human fiends such as demented madmen and axe murderers.

For some of us, our greatest fears are more rooted in “reality.” We are afraid of snakes or spiders, things that creep on the ground or live under slimy stones or dry sandy caves. Still, for many of us, our greatest fear lies in the dread of losing a loved one or being alone. Regardless of what it is or where it comes from, we all live with fear.

Personally, I have always been frightened by the molestation or twisting of innocence. The thought of taking something pure and innocent and perverting it into something demonic or evil has always brought a chill to my bones and caused the hair of my neck and arms to stand at attention. Examples of what I’m talking about? Well… the clearest examples that I can think of include movies which feature demented or demonic children. Some of these might include The Shining, Pet Cemetery, Poltergeist, and The Omen. To a lesser degree, things such as clowns and examples such as the movie Child’s Play might fall into this category. As I said, there’s just something about that notion of perverted innocence that sets me on edge. I suppose it might have something to do with a deep-seated black and white worldview that I adopted as a child. Good things were good, and bad things were bad, and anything that blurred these lines or challenged this paradigm was frightening.

Anyway, I believe all this is closely related to why merely glancing at this picture causes my blood pressure to rise, my face to grow wan and pale, and my palms to sweat. The picture in and of itself is innocent enough. It is cartoonish and amusing, but there’s also a crazed look in those offset mismatched eyes. Why can’t I see the rest of the face? What is it that lies just below the frame? A mouth snarling with jagged rows of teeth, dripping blood and human entrails?

And then, to top it off, there’s that creepy and twisted message. Eat my toes? Why?! Why don’t you just devour me whole while I sleep? I can’t handle it! My mind is unwittingly drawn to the image of waking in the middle of the night to discover that something is wrong, something is…. missing. As I peer down towards the end of the bed, the first thing that I notice is a clump of bloody sheets. Then a horrible sight greets my eyes: there they are, the bloody stumps of my feet. All my toes have been removed. Then as my body descends into shock and I begin to lose consciousness, my eye fall upon the crowning pinnacle of terror: just barely poking its head above the surface of the mattress is the face of this demonically twisted yet comically wolf-like creature. The only sounds are the smacking of this jaws and the crunching of the bones of my toes between his teeth.

Someone, please…. make it go away.