In my deep need to share the High Holy Holiday of Halloween I’m going to be posting a few of my paintings as household goodies this week — starting with “Song of the Goldfinch” which you can snag as a pillow (available in three different sizes). If you can’t wait and wanna read the rest of this later, you can pick it up right here!
And as a tote bag, also in 3 sizes …
These are images of my painting “Song of the Goldfinch”, part of the Monster Ballads series, where I was thinking (as I often seem to do) about what it means to be a “monster”. In this series, the classic creatures were all depicted as martyrs — because if you think about it, The Bride of Frankenstein didn’t exactly ask to be dug up and reanimated. Her companion, the goldfinch, often appeared in Renaissance paintings as a symbol for the soul, resurrection, sacrifice and death. There’s a lush landscape all around, but the branch closest to the Bride is brittle and leafless.
In many historical painting of martyrs they are often depicted holding the object of their martyrdom. Saint Catherine of Alexandria was sentenced to be crushed to death by a spiked “breaking wheel”, so you often seen her with what looks like a big old wagon wheel at her side like she was Loretta Lynn’s great great great grandma.
Funny thing tho’, it didn’t work (“at her touch this instrument of torture was miraculously destroyed”), so Roman Emperor Maxentius, who was already pretty pissed because he’d offered to get Catherine out of this nasty jam by marrying her (she declined, saying she was already married to Jesus), decided to have her beheaded. Unfortunately her way with breaking wheels didn’t seem to work as well on blades. But this is why you often also see Catherine with a sword. I particularly like the smashed wheel in this one:
In my painting the Bride is holding the instrument of her death, which, according the heartbreaking film by James Whale “The Bride of Frankenstein” is fire. The fire that the monster set when his bride-to-be rejected him and he decided “We belong dead.” (This movie makes me cry every time, people. Every. Time.)
If you want to bring any of this juicy goodness home, just bunny on over to this site right here. (Yes, simply click that link like your clacking your ruby slippers together and you’ll be magically whisked over.)
More goodies to come!