As some of you know from my previously shared Axe Man’s Bridge post or from just knowing us personally, we recently lost our close friend Danny T. I wanted to do something special in his memory that I could also gift to his parents. Danny and I shared a love of creating art so what better way to pay tribute to him than to create a piece of art inspired by him.
It was one of the hardest portraits I have ever had to do. Not just because it was done from various photos to create one unique image (I didn’t want to just replicate a photo of him that everyone had seen, I wanted it to be unique just like Danny). There were many times I literally asked Danny to help guide my pencil and there were many breakdowns where I had to walk away from it because it would hit me what I was drawing and why. But in the end, it came out exactly how I had hoped. Danny in his hat that he always wore, a tiny smirk on his face and his favorite Gibson Les Paul Sunburst guitar. A guitar not only that he loved dearly but played many shows with it on stage with Frank. Even up until the week he passed he and Frank were still jamming out for fun and making new music together. So it was important for me to incorporate that.
Yesterday was his “celebration of life” memorial so I brought it to give to his parents and they put it on display surrounded by his own art pieces. Frank and I specifically picked out the frame because it actually reminded us of something Danny would’ve made. He was actively working on a lot of art projects that involved upcycling items and making them cooler than the life they had once before. On Memorial Day weekend he showed me a table he had been working on and he had burned the wood to give it this same effect. So even the frame had meaning behind it.
I am happy to finally be able to share this with the rest of the world. Not just to showcase what I have been working on but to pay tribute to such a great person. I think it was the beginning stages of healing for me and now that I have given it to his parents I feel a sense of closure. Danny T. was an incredible human being and inspired so many of us. Not only to just be better people but to keep creating. I just hope he realizes how many lives he has touched. Yesterday was a huge reminder of that for all of us but I just hope he knows how much he impacted the lives of so many people.
I know my artwork in the past has helped others heal. So if you would like a print of this piece, please feel free to reach out to me. I had been asked by a few people yesterday and I am sorry that I didn’t think to bring prints to the memorial. My main goal was to just get it there safely, in one piece and be able to gift it to Danny’s parents.
In Memory of Danny Thornton May 15, 1980 – June 11, 2018
See more of my portrait work on the Spitting Image page of my portfolio site.
Another Friday the 13th means savings for my Freaky Fanatics. Use coupon code 71318 at check out in my Etsy shop and see 13% slashed off your order!
Yesterday my husband Frank and I had the day off work and decided to go on a day date adventure. I had heard that the Morton Arboretum was having a troll exhibit featuring 15-30ft trolls designed/created by artist Thomas Dambo. Needless to say, this Jim Henson, Brian Froud fantasy loving geek was in her glory. If it has to do with monsters, goblins, trolls, mermaids, fairies, gnomes, unicorns or anything else mythical from fairytale land…sign me up!
This is how their website describes the exhibit:
Journey through our far-reaching forest to hunt for six colossal trolls crafted from reclaimed wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Marvel at these 15- to 30-foot-tall (and one 60-foot long) sculptures that have been created to serve as protectors of our environment. These mysterious creatures—resembling the trolls of European folklore—were first spotted at the Arboretum in the spring of 2018. As sightings increased, an official investigation was launched to learn about these fascinating new residents. The trolls share the Arboretum’s desire to care for trees; however, they seem suspicious of humans. We need you to join the investigation and help trolls and humans come to understand each other. What will you discover when you join the hunt?
Seriously! Sign me up.
Well due to me still trying to heal from my sprained ankle, the heat and sporadic rain (which interesting enough made the whole adventure feel even more authentic) we decided to do the driving route. Doing the drive and park is the way to go even without a sprained ankle. You still have to walk and go find the trolls but you don’t have to walk miles upon miles to get to their general area. Not to mention you don’t get as tired and can really enjoy and take it all in. The arboretum is HUGE (17,00 acres) and the trolls are spread throughout all of it. Driving through the woods was magical in itself and the map they give you is both helpful and fun to follow!
Here are some photos we took during our adventure. Click on any of them to enlarge and read the captions. These wood sculptures are massive but still incredibly detailed! We were blown away by them.
Frank checking out Rocky Bardur Troll
Sneaky Socks Alexa trying to capture me!
Sneaky Socks Alexa up close!
Joe The Guardian from a distance (I was unable to climb the hill with my sprained ankle)
Furry Ema was guarded by swarms upon swarms of mosquitoes. So this is the best picture I got while being eaten alive and trying to escape ha ha.
Rocking my Jim Henson shirt and Kermit socks proudly next to Niels Bragger
Frank standing with Niels Bragger
Frank wanted to take a photo inside Little Arturs mouth but just like Furry Ema he was also being guarded by a swarm of mosquitoes.
Such a magical day! I am literally honored we were able to experience these magnificent pieces of art and so thrilled that Morton Arboretum and Thomas Dambo brought this to Illinois for dreamers like us to enjoy!
I absolutely love when people reach out to me to customize my Ghoulish Garments. I often get asked to add the title of the art piece to the design because people tend to like the catchy titles that I give to them.
I was contacted by Beckie to do just that with my Barbie Eat Your Heart Out (Jennifer Tilly/Tiffany) piece. She had previously ordered the print and came back and ordered the customized shirt. Both were for her awesome daughter, Sam (also an artist) who has now become a big fan of my work (honored). She recently sent me this photo of Sam and it made my day! Apparently, Sam wears it all the time! How cool is this? Complete with Tiff leather jacket and all……..
My customers are seriously the coolest people on Earth. See Sam along with all my other Freaky Fanatics on my official portfolio website! And don’t forget to send in your photos so you can be featured here with all the cool folks who support artists!
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who helped make my booth a success this weekend. This includes my husband Frank and our friends Mike and Ellie who without them I would’ve never been able to vend. See this past week, not only did I have an allergic reaction to something (that caused me to break out in hives), but I also fell and sprained my ankle something fierce. The hives cleared up just in time for the show but the ankle will not be healed for quite some time. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.
And I also want to thank my friends/family who came out to support me. Our friends Mike and Heather traveled up here to see the show and to support my work as well as all the hard work Frank puts into Frankenhearse (you have no idea how much work it is to wipe down a hearse in the heat for a car show). Heather’s Mom came with them and was not only dressed for the occasion but was ecstatic to meet Svengoolie. It really meant a lot to us that they came out. We were even more thrilled to hear that they had such a good time they want to come back next year.
And last but not least the AWESOME people who visited my booth. If you purchased something I am truly grateful. Not only because I missed a lot of work last week (from being covered in itchy bumps and mangled limbs), but because you liked something that I created and spent your hard earned money to support an artist. It speaks volumes. Please send photos! I would love to add you all to my website showing off what you purchased from my booth! And for those who were not able to afford something but came by to say hi and tell me you love my work, you guys rock too! Just knowing you guys dig what I am masterminding means the world to me.
As a thank you to all of my followers, here is a coupon you can cash in at my booth this weekend at the Hardcore Hearse Club Show (at Brauerhouse in Lombard IL) that will give you $5 off your purchase of $50 or more. You must present the coupon at the show to “reaper” in the savings! You will find me inside the B Live Building.