Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl (RUBO VIRGINIANUS) 1950 edition Audubon print, with commentary on the reverse by Roger Tory Peterson. Printed in the USA, slightly larger than 9"x11". Rescued from a church bazaar, the page has a slight yellow patina, to be expected after 60 years

According to Peterson: “Its wide yellow eyes and the ear tufts (which have nothing to do with its real ears) give the bird a cat-like look – in fact, in the foggy forests of Newfoundland, lumberjacks call it the “cat owl”. Distributed widely, it thrives from Labrador and Alaska to South America and varies from near-white at the edge of the Arctic to dusky in more humid regions. It is a resident of every state in the Union….”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager (PIRANGA RUBRA) 1950 edition Audubon print, with commentary on the reverse by Roger Tory Peterson. Printed in the USA, slightly larger than 9"x11". Rescued from a church bazaar, the page has a slight yellow patina, to be expected after 60 years.

According to Peterson: “In the South there are two “red-birds”: the “winter red-bird” (the cardinal), which remains all year, and the “summer red-bird,” shown here. The only two birds in the eastern states that are ALL red, they are easily recognized, for one has a crest, the other has not… In Latin America four hundred species of tanagers, garbed in vivid shades of red, blue and yellow, vie with the parrots and trogons in making the tropics gay. Why, out of all this gorgeous galaxy, only two tanagers should be adventurous enough to cross the Gulf of Mexico is one of the many mysteries of migration.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bachman's Warbler


Bachman's Warbler (VERMIVORA BACHMANII) 1950 edition Audubon print, with commentary on the reverse by Roger Tory Peterson. Printed in the USA, slightly larger than 9"x11". Rescued from a church bazaar, the page has a slight yellow patina, to be expected after 60 years.


This bird has not been seen since 1961. According to Peterson: “Discovered by the Reverend John Bachman near Charleston, South Carolina, in 1835, it was described for the world by Audubon. For fifty-three years the little fugitive dropped from sight before it again turned up, this time in Louisiana, but during the succeeding few years, just before the end of the century, hundreds were found. It seemed to be common throughout the river swamps of the south, living in tangled places where trees stood knee-deep in the stagnant pools. Then, before anyone noticed, it again faded away.”

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker


Yellow Bellied Sapsucker (SPHYRAPICUS VARIUS) 1950 edition Audubon print, with commentary on the reverse by Roger Tory Peterson. Printed in the USA, slightly larger than 9"x11". Rescued from a church bazaar, the pages have a slight yellow patina to them, to be expected after 60 years.


According to Peterson: “It has the habit of drilling rows of holes, as evenly spaced up and down “as corn on the cob,” and from these pits it gathers the tree’s oozing life blood, sapping it up with its brushlike tongue. Downy woodpeckers, squirrels, hummingbirds and butterflies patronize the sapsucker’s wildwood bar, and sip the stolen brew when the bartender is away.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New lows in anti-health-reform

The anti-health-reform groups are stooping to new lows.

1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the "Swiftboat" ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.

2. People are scared because they are being fed frightening lies. These crowds are being riled up by anti-reform lies being spread by industry front groups that invent smears to tarnish the President's plan and scare voters. But as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no "government takeover" in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress.

3. Their actions are getting more extreme. Texas protesters brought signs displaying a tombstone for Rep. Lloyd Doggett and using the "SS" symbol to compare President Obama's policies to Nazism. Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hanged in effigy outside his district office. Rep. Tim Bishop of New York had to be escorted to his car by police after an angry few disrupted his town hall meeting -- and more examples like this come in every day. And they have gone beyond just trying to derail the President's health insurance reform plans, they are trying to "break" the President himself and ruin his Presidency.

4. Their goal is to disrupt and shut down legitimate conversation. Protesters have routinely shouted down representatives trying to engage in constructive dialogue with voters, and done everything they can to intimidate and silence regular people who just want more information. One attack group has even published a manual instructing protesters to "stand up and shout" and try to "rattle" lawmakers to prevent them from talking peacefully with their constituents.

5. Republican leadership is irresponsibly cheering on the thuggish crowds. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."

It's time to expose this charade, before it gets more dangerous. Please send these facts to everyone you know.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baltimore Oriole


Baltimore Oriole (ICTERUS GALBULA) 1950 edition Audubon print, with commentary on the reverse by Roger Tory Peterson. Printed in the USA, slightly larger than 9"x11". Rescued from a church bazaar, the pages have a slight yellow patina to them, to be expected after 60 years.


"As if following some invioble schedule orioles make their annual pilgrimage over tropical jumgles, across or around the Gulf of Mexico, through the plantations of the Gulf states and ever northward until in early May they reach the elm-shaded towns of the Great Lakes and New England. A few continue into southern Canada. Bad weather might hold them up a little, but not much, and they arrive within a day or two of the same date from year to year."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer is almost over

Summer is almost over.
School will be starting soon.
Schedules and routines will begin
to carve away at time and energies.
The seasons will begin their shifting.
It's still July,
but I can already see
a few yellow leaves under the maples.
(Hopefully these are a harbinger
of a colorful fall, and not
a sign of impending drought.)
Before we know it,
we will wonder where
all the leaves went,
and The Dreaded Daylight Savings Time
will arrive,
plunging those of us who toil
deep in the windowless bowels
of lecture rooms,
cramped impromptu conference areas,
and ergonomically-challenged office spaces
designed by sadists
vehemently opposed to the concept of feng shui,
to commutes in utter darkness.
(This is the part
where you may join,
with the marching goblins
of the Wicked Witch of Western Oz,
in singing, "Ohh-wee-ohh, o-waaaay-ohh!"
The lament of teachers
and schoolchildren across the country
rises into the stifling summer sky,
mixed with the sobs of bus-drivers,
cooks, janitors
and an occasional part-time ice cream truck operator.
This mournful chorus is counterbalanced
by the long, grateful sighs of soon-to-be-liberated mothers, grandparents, babysitters and
(rare-as-hens-teeth) househusbands.
It is an annual call-and-response.
(This where you may insert
the gleeful caregivers as they parody
Snow Whites' dwarves in singing,
"Heigh, ho! Heigh ho! It's off to school they go...")
Soon most households will push the young
out of the nest,
if even for a few blessed hours.
Cats will nap peacefully.
Any doors remaining on their hinges
will remain closed.
Dust will settle.
To the goblin horde,
duty calls.
To the rest of you,
enjoy for now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mourning Dove (ZENAIDURA MACROURA)


Mourning Dove (ZENAIDURA MACROURA) 1950 edition Audubon print. Printed in the USA, slightly larger than 9"x11". Rescued from a church bazaar, the pages have a slight yellow patina to them, to be expected after 60 years.


Audubon himself wrote:"On the branch above, a love scene is just commencing. The female, still coy and undetermined, seems doubtful of the truth of her lover, and virgin-like resolves to put his sincerity to the test, by delaying the gratification of his wishes. She has reached the extremity of the branch, her wings and tail already opening, and she will fly off to some more sequestered spot, where, if her lover should follow with the same assiduous devotion, they will doubtless become as blessed as the pair beneath them."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Purple Finch


This weekend we went to a book sale. One of the finds was a portfolio of 50 bird prints from 1950, designed by Audubon. I've had fun scanning them.


Purple Finch (CARPODACUS PURPUREUS)


"Purple hardly describes the rosy hue of these attractive finches which Audubon has shown dangling from the tips of larch twigs."


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bonnacon: Do not approach without a gasmask and a fire extinguisher!

“Hey,” says Mr. Bonnacon, “My poop is tougher than you!”


Here we have Mr. Bonnacon (bahn-ah-cahn), from a series I've done about mythological creatures. The bonnacon is a creature rarely seen these days. Most information on this species has passed to us from medieval manuscripts. A bull-like animal, with curly horns, it is carnivorous, preferring the flesh of domesticated animals- especially pets. For this reason, it has been hunted almost to extinction.

It has a peculiar method of defense: when approached, it expels a volley of flaming dung. These malodorous missiles can fly up to 100 yards, although there was one report of a particularly nasty bonnacon that could hurl dung for a mile. Do not approach this creature without a gas mask and a fire extinguisher!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Amphisbaena the Two-Headed Snake





“Hey,” says Mr. Amphisbaena, “Which end of me binges and which end purges?”
Here we have Mr. Amphisbaena (am-fis-bay-na), from a series I've done about mythological creatures. The amphisbaena is a two-headed lizard or serpent. It has one head in the normal position, and another at the end of its tail. It can therefore run in either direction. Its eyes shine like lamps, and it has no fear of cold.
I will leave it up to you to interpret the obvious symbolism concerning the duality of nature.
Historical References:
Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 843-844): "Dread Amphisbaena with his double head / Tapering...".
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 35): The amphisbaena has a twin head, that is one at the tail-end as well, as though it were not enough for poison to be poured out of one mouth.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:20): The amphisbaena has two heads, one in the proper place and one in its tail. It can move in the direction of eaither head with a circular motion. Its eyes shine like lamps. Alone among snakes, the amphisbaena goes out in the cold.
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This paper doll comes with 26 parts, including a wheel, a unicycle seat, and an undigested meal. I would consider this to be a project for an experienced paper doll constructor. This is NOT a doll for beginners. Cutting the hole for the wheel will require an exacto blade (not included).
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SPECIAL NOTES: I have designed a mythological beastie paper doll for every letter of the alphabet (for some letters I’ve been able to draw more than one). If you are interested in seeing any other beasts not yet listed please convo me. Shadow puppets are also available
This doll is not intended for children. It would probably give them nightmares, anyway. It is an art piece, made of paper, intended for display purposes, or for light, gentle play (such as that provided to fairies, nymphs and good witches). Keep away from ogres, trolls, carnivorous plants, carnival geeks, pixies and water creatures.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pooka! Pooka! Pooka!

The Pooka or Phooka is an Irish Goblin with a variety of beast like forms. He appears sometimes as a dog or a horse, or even a bull, and is generally jet black with blazing eyes. As a seemingly friendly, shaggy, sway backed pony, the Pooka may offer the unwary traveler a welcome lift; but it only leads to a wild and terrifying gallop across the wettest and most thorny country, eventually to end with rider dumped headlong into the mire or deposited in a ditch. In recent times a Pooka may appear as a large invisible rabbit, generally mischevious, but benevolent. The footsteps you hear behind you in the dark are usually the Pooka…

Friday, April 17, 2009

Xylophon

Xylophon: a reanimated skeleton, named for the sound they make as they rattle. An animated skeleton is a type of physically manifested undead often found in fantasy, horror fiction, and mythical art. Though most are human, they can also be from any creature or race found on Earth, Midgard, or Middlearth.
· Animated human skeletons have been the personification of death in Western culture since the Middle Ages.
· The Grim Reaper is often depicted as a hooded skeleton holding a scythe and occasionally an hourglass.
· Death as one of the biblical Four horsemen of the Apocalypse has been depicted as a skeleton riding a horse.
· Figurines and images of skeletons doing routine things are common in Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration where skulls symbolize life and their familiar circumstances invite levity. Undead skeletons play a more active, and less symbolic, role in modern fantasy fiction. Skeletons are creatures that have been summoned from beyond the grave. They are normally of fallen warriors on battles of long past.

Skeletons might be given 'life' by a more powerful undead or necromancer. Reanimated by dark magic powers; skeleton follow their master’s orders without questioning. They appear a mindless set of animated bones, brutal and virtually immune to a piercing attack that would only harm the flesh they lack. In many stories, legions of undead skeletons are raised as perfectly obedient and expendable foot-soldiers or guards. Since most skeletons are controlled by something else, they cannot make their own intelligent decisions, and can easily be led into ambushes, traps, or hazardous terrain.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brownies will clean for food...

A brownie/brounie or urisk (Lowland Scots) or brùnaidh, ùruisg, or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic) is a legendary kind of creature popular in folklore around Scotland and England (especially the north, though more commonly hobs play out their role). The Scandinavians call them tomte, the Slavic domovoi and the German Heinzelmännchen.

Customarily brownies inhabit the unused parts houses (attics, crawlspaces and wall pockets) and aid in tasks around the house. However, they don't like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts or food. They are particularly fond of porridge and honey. Many people (myself included) refuse to even dare sleep in a house where there is no milk, in fear of brownie reprisal. Brownies also will abandon a house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Some people also refer to them as Tommy-knockers, but it is generally agreed that brownies are mostly benevolent.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cyclops

In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, a cyclops (pronounced /ˈsaɪklɒps/; Greek: Κύκλωψ, Kuklōps), is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The classical plural is cyclopes (pronounced : /saɪˈkloʊpiːz/; Greek: Κύκλωπες, Kuklōpes), though the conventional plural cyclopses is also used in English. The name is widely thought to mean "circle-eyed".

The earliest Cyclopes were blacksmiths. They provided Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon's trident, and the gods used these weapons to defeat the Titans. Later Cyclopes were shepherds, such as the infamous Polyphemus, encountered by the hero Odysseus.

They are known to consume large quantities of mutton, cheese, goats milk and wine. Roasted or raw meat of any sort will suffice to please a Cyclops, but they tend to shy away from shish-ka-bob and any sort of flambé. Their poor housekeeping and lack of hygiene make them extremely unpopular hosts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zombie


Zombies are dead people who are revived after their burial and compelled to do the bidding of the person who has revived them. Zombies first appeared in voodoo, or vodou, a type of black magic. In voodoo, a houngan, or sorcerer, brings dead people to live for the purpose of enslavement. The master of the zombie can then command it to implement evil tasks and perform menial labor.
In Voodoo mythology, zombies are re-animated using supernatural means and shamanistic medicines. Zombies inspire fear in everyone who sees them, and they are also thought to eat human flesh and are especially fond of brains. Zombies are most common in Haiti and Africa.
Zombies often have the appearance of a decaying person, although they may initially appear to just be a little distracted (or in a trance, or strangely attracted to your cranium…). Zombies’ brain stems are the only thing that is not dead about them, and their whole body moves with a supernatural energy and power. Zombies may be greenish in color and dressed in filthy, mouldy rags. Evil sorcerers can command armies of zombies to do things like attack villages and build dark temples. Zombies rise from their coffins, splintering the wood and bursting up through the soil. When this occurs, please be prepared to separate the zombie from its head by any means possible.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Qilin

Qilin, also spelled Kylin, Keilun (in Cantonese), Kirin (also Girin in Korean), Kirin (in Japanese), Sabitun Sabintu (in Manchu), Kỳ lân (in Vietnamese) or Ki len (in Thai), is a mythical hooved creature that is said to appear in conjunction with the arrival of a sage. It is a good omen that brings rui ; roughly translated as "serenity" or "prosperity". It is often depicted with what looks like fire all over its body.

Although it looks fearsome, the Qilin only punishes the wicked. It can walk on grass and yet not trample the blades and it can also walk on water. Being a peaceful creature, its diet does not include flesh. It takes great care when it walks never to tread on any living thing, and it is said to appear only in areas ruled by a wise and benevolent leader (some say even if this area is only a house). It is normally gentle but can become fierce if a pure person is threatened by a sinner. Spouting flames from its mouth and exercising control of the weather are just a few of its powers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First in a new series of paperdolls, Mr. Spider




Come see my new MythoBeastie Paperdoll, Mr. Spider at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23599625

MythoBeastie PaperDolls for carnival geeks, Halloween freaks,and cryptozoologists.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Selkie

Selkies are found near the islands of Orkney and Shetland in Scotland. They are able to transform into human form by shedding their seal skins and can revert to seal form by putting their skin back on. In human form they are described as handsome and seductive. Male selkies typically seek those who are unhappy with their romantic lives, including fishwives.

· The male Selkies can create storms and are responsible for the sinking of ships, especially in revenge for the hunting of seals.
· If a female wishes to make contact with her selkie family, she must go to a beach and shed seven tears into the sea.
· If a man steals a female selkie's skin, she will be forced to become his wife.

Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly to the ocean. If her skin is found she will immediately return to her home — sometimes, her selkie husband — in the sea. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form.

Selkies are not always faithless lovers. One tale tells of the fisherman Cagan who married a seal-woman. Against his wife's wishes he set sail dangerously late in the year, and was trapped battling a terrible storm, unable to return home. His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Zephyr

A Zephyr is defined as a west wind; a breeze from the west; a gentle breeze. The word Zephyr is derived from the Greek word Zephyrus, the god of the west wind. In Greek mythology, the Anemoi (in Greek, aνεμοι — "winds") were wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction, from which their respective winds came, and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions. They were sometimes represented as mere gusts of wind, at other times were personified as winged men, and at still other times were depicted as horses kept in the stables of the storm god Aeolus, who provided Odysseus with the Anemoi in the Odyssey. Astraeus, the astrological deity sometimes associated with Aeolus, and Eos, the goddess of the dawn, were the parents of the Anemoi, according to the Greek poet Hesiod.

Of the four chief Anemoi, Boreas was the north wind and bringer of cold winter air, Notus was the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn, and Zephyrus was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early summer breezes; Eurus, the east wind, was not associated with any of the three Greek seasons, and is the only one of these four Anemoi not mentioned in Hesiod's Theogony or in the Orphic Hymns. Additionally, four lesser Anemoi were sometimes referenced, representing the northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest winds.

The deities equivalent to the Anemoi in Roman mythology were the Venti (in Latin, "winds"). These gods had different names, but were otherwise very similar to their Greek counterparts, borrowing their attributes and being frequently conflated with them.

Zephyrus is believed to live in a cave on Thrace. He is the son of Eos and Astraeus and the brother of Boreas, Eurus and Notus. He abducted the goddess Chloris and gave her dominion over flowers. In Roman myth, he is Favonius, the protector of flowers and plants.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yeti

The Yeti has lived in the Himalayas as a mystery for many years. Known as "the rock living animal" (Yah means rock and teh means animal) in Sherpa, and popularly known as "the abominable snowman" in the west, the sightings of Yeti have been reported since the late 1800s.

In 1889, a British army major named L. A. Waddell found large footprints in the snow in northeastern Himalayas.

In 1921, a British expedition team climbing Mount Everest noticed a dark figure moving on the snow at an altitude of 17,000 feet. The Sherpas travelling with the British expedition called it "metoh-kangmi" and translated by Tibetans as "abominable snowman."

In 1925, an expedition led by a Greek photographer N. A. Tombazi noticed a human-like creature about 300 yards away. The creature disappeared before Tombazi could take a picture.Captain d'Auvergue, the curator of the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, India, reported an encounter of the Yeti in 1938. He was snow-blinded while traveling in the Himalayas. He was rescued by what he thought to be a nine foot tall Yeti that nursed him before he could return by himself.

British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward took some of the best pictures of "the footprints of the Yeti" in 1951. Each footprint was thirteen to eighteen inches long. The pictures were published in the UK Times on December 6, 1951.

Several expeditions were mobilized to search for this elusive creature which was thought to be a huge ape-like animal. One of the expeditions included that of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to summit Mount Everest. His expedition of 1960-1961 did not find any evidence of Yeti's existence.

The Sherpas living in the high Himalayas believe in the existence of the Yeti. They say that the Yeti can make itself invisible and appear at will.

Nobody has yet encountered the Yeti face to face. Various incidents reported by several expedition teams have led to the belief that the mystery of Yeti more than just a fairy tale. The existence of yeti remains inconclusive to this day.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Wyvern

Wyverns are dragons with one pair of wings and one pair of legs (usually front legs). In the past, there was more confusion about the number of wings and legs. Some authors used wyvern, cockatrice and lindworm interchangably, or to mean different things. This eventually standardized into the wyvern that is recognized today.

These dragons are common in heraldry. They can symbolize envy, war, pestilence and viciousness. A drop of their blood can give humans the ability to understand bird-speech. Their skin, if eaten, can impart knowledge of the natural world. Their claws make powerful taslimans.

A German tale from the 1200s tells of a lindworm that lived near Klagenfurt. Flooding threatened travelers along the river, and the presence of a dragon was blamed. A Duke offered a reward for anyone who could catch it, so some young men tied a bull to a chain, and when the lindworm swallowed the bull, it was hooked like a fish and killed.

In 1335, when the skull of a wooly rhinoceros was found in a cave nearby, it was believed to be the dragon's skull and is currently on display in Klagenfurt. You can also see the Lindwurm fountain in Neuer Platz at the city centre.

Wyverns are not as large or as intelligent as dragons. They do make fierce gaurdians. Some cryptozoologists have theorized that wyverns are evidence of surviving pterosaurs, a large flying reptile thought to have gone extinct around 65 million years ago. There are alleged sightings in remote areas of pterosaur-like creatures known as the Kongamato in Africa. But this may be a different species altogether.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A poem by Pamela Johnson Parker

Come see a poem by Pamela Johnson Parker with art by Kevin Morrow. Go to
http://www.broadsidedpress.org/qa/2009/09april.shtml
& click on the pdf. download at the bottom of the page for a larger view.

Vespertilio


The Vespertilio, also known as Chauve-souris is a bird that gives birth to living young.
General Attributes:
The Vespertilio is not a noble bird. It is unlike other birds in that it gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs, and it has teeth. The Vespertilio gather together and hang from high places like a bunch of grapes; if one falls, all the rest also fall.
Sources (chronological order):
Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 81): The Vespertilio is the only flying creature that bears live young and feeds them with its milk; it also carries its children in its arms as it flies.
Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:36): The Vespertilio, unlike other birds, is a flying quadruped, resembling a mouse. It has its name (vespertilio) from the time when it flies, after twilight. It flies about driven by precipitate motion, hangs from fragile branches, and makes a sound like a squeak.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vampire ATC


Vampire myths go back to the dawn of time and occur in nearly every culture around the world. The variety of form is almost endless; red eyed monsters with green or pink hair in China; the Greek Lamia which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent; vampire foxes in Japan; a head with trailing entrails known as the Penanggalang in Malaysia.
The vampires we are familiar with today, made famous by fiction and film, are largely based on Eastern European myths. The vampire myths of Europe originated in the far East, and were transported from places like China, Tibet and India with the trade caravans along the silk route to the Mediterranean. Here they spread out along the Black Sea coast to Greece, the Balkans and of course the Carpathian mountains, including Hungary and Transylvania.
Our modern concept of the vampire still retains original concepts (blood drinking, resurrection, nocturnal human-hunting) in common with the Eastern European myths. However many things we associate with vampires; the wearing of evening clothes, capes with tall collars, turning into bats, are modern inventions.
On the other hand, many features of the old myths such as the placing of millet or poppy seeds at the gravesite in order to keep the vampire occupied all night counting seeds rather than preying on passersby, have all but disappeared from modern fiction and film.
I was told as a child that witches and vampires could not enter a house unless invited. But I was also told that they could call to you in your sleep and trick you into bidding them welcome while you lay in a trance. The only thing preventing their entry was the screen on the door. Each opening had to counted so that the witch or vampire could divide their body into tiny enough particles to infiltrate the screen and gain entry.
I lost a lot of sleep as a child…

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Troll by parkerart


Trolls are closely related to orcs and ogres. Generally large and stupid, most lack the ability to speak, communicating through grunts and gestures. Some have been used as guardians and warriors, but training is an arduous task. Trolls are generally divided into sub-species: mountain trolls, river trolls, and forest trolls. All trolls travel at night, and must avoid the sunlight because it turns them into stone. If cornered by a troll, it is best to avoid physical confrontation. Outwitting them is easy enough for humans. Stalling them until daybreak is usually your best bet.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Bio

Harvey Parker

My shop: (Come see a new monster every day!)
Parkerart.etsy.com

My blog: (Find out more about me.)
http://parkerartblogspot.blogspot.com/

Read my Tweets at:
http://twitter.com/ParkerArt
Artist's Bio:
*over 43 years of drawing experience
*Certified Gifted and Talented Instructor
*Master of Arts in Education
*Bachelor of Fine Arts, with an emphasis in Sculpture
*Certified Art Education Specialist
*Studied Art History of the Italian Renaissance in Florence
Venice
Milan
Sienna
Rome and the Vatican
*Travel includesTuscany
Zagreb and Sarajevo, (former Yugoslavia)
London
New York City
Southwestern US
Tijuana, Mexico
Southeastern US (except the Carolinas)
Pennsylvania Amish country, as well asPittsburgh and Philadelphia
Oklahoma City
Annapolis, Maryland
Washington D.C.
1964
Born in Paris, Tennessee, USA
1965
Began drawing.
1967-'73
Navy Brat, oldest of five, San Diego, California, USA
1974
Down on the Farm, West Tennessee, no lights, no phone, no mail. We grew our own food, dug our own well, bathed in a galvanized tub when the creek was too cold.
1975
We finally got Electricity! Caught pneumonia.
1976-82
Farmboy, raised goats, chickens, pigs, ducks, geese, guineas, cats, dogs, rabbits...
1982
High school graduate! Also became oldest of six (my mother's first mid-life crisis).
1983
Farmboy (still). Caught small bush-hog on fire. Broke hydraulics on largerbush-hog. Stuck large tractor in the mud. Stuck larger tractor trying to pull large tractor out of mud. (All in one day.)Sent to college. (Cheaper than Farm Equipment.)
1983-1988
Organization of Murray Art Students (OMAS), Murray, KentuckyActive OMAS Member
1984
Art Major FreshmanAll my clothes are black.
1985
Olive Street Studio Member, Murray, KentuckyShared studio space with fellow students while living in the sculpture garden shack.Organization of Murray Art Students (OMAS)Vice President, Chaired annual student show committeeMurray State University, Murray, Kentucky
1986
Summer Study in Europe.
Fall
College Senior, Take One.Move back into dorm.
1987
Spring
College Senior, Take Two.Married Pamela Leigh Blincoe Johnson.
August
Super Saturdays InstructorMurray State University, Murray, KentuckySculpture Instructor for children’s weekend art program.
1988
College Senior, Take Three.Radiology Transporter at Murray Calloway County Hospital, Murray, KY. Moonlight in food service.
1991
College Graduate! Continued to moonlight in food service.
1993-96
Promotion!Radiology Office Supervisor at Murray-Calloway County Hospital Murray, KY.Quit food service.
1996 to Present
Art Instructor at the Mayfield-Graves County Art Guild, Mayfield, KY. Conducting drawing and sculpting workshops for children and adults.
1996-98
Sculptor/Designer at The Berripatch, Inc., Paris, TN. Duties included creation of original sculptures, line art, logo design, and mold-making.
1998-99
Art Instructor at New Madrid County Central High School in New Madrid, MO.
1999 to 2007
Art/Humanities Teacher at Fulton County in Hickman, KY.Active Fulton County Education Association (FCEA) Member, 2005-07 FCEA President
2001
My wife bought a Queen Anne Victorian house in the historic section of Mayfield, Kentucky that was built in 1888.
2003
Juror, Youthful Impressions ShowMayfield Graves County Art Guild in Mayfield, Kentucky
2005
July- Began repainting the exterior of our Victorian home: sky blue for the porch ceiling; antique white, antique green, two shades of purple, and a warm yellow for the posts and trim.
August- Earned Master of Arts in Education from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky
Oct. 15- Survived a heart attack. Had one cardiac stent.
Dec. 5- Five more stents.
2006
Jan. 3- Returned to teaching.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ready to draw!!

I'm getting ready to leave for Lexington KY to draw caricatures at a luau. I'm loaning my flashiest Hawiian shirt to my little brother (who is bigger than me). He is driving us up there. Wouldn't you know, it's supposed to rain all day..

Friday, March 27, 2009

Faun ACEO by parkerart


The Fauns, are associated with Satyrs, but are known to be more gentle. They are mischievous creatures with the legs, ears and tail of a goat and the face and body of a handsome young man.


When they follow the god Faunus they can cause nightmares. When they follow the god Silenus, they are usually too drunk to cause anything but chaos and panic. Pan, the god of panic, was a faun. At times, they can be quite cheerful. Proficient on the Pan-flute, they are generous hosts.


Fauns prefer to consort with nymphs, but have occasionally chased farm girls and milk maids.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Salamander by parkerart





ACEO Mythological Beastie 39 Salamander


An ACEO (Artist Trading Card (ATC), Edition Open), from a series I've drawn about mythological creatures.

The salamander (the name possibly coming from the Greek salambe meaning 'fireplace') was often visualized as a small dragon or lizard and is a fire elemental. According to Aristotle and Pliny, the salamander not only resisted fire, but could extinguish it and would charge any flame that it saw as if it were an enemy. Some thought that the reason the salamander was able to withstand and extinguish fire, was that it was incredibly cold, and it would put out fire on contact. The salamander was also considered to be very poisonous, so much so, that a person would die from eating the fruit form a tree around which a salamander had entwined itself.

Note:I have designed a mythological beastie card for every letter of the alphabet (for some letters I’ve been able to draw more than one). If you are interested in seeing any other beasts not yet listed please convo me.
Also note the watermark “parkerart.etsy.com” will not appear on your card.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mandrake by parkerart

The mandrake, Mandragora officinarum, is a plant called by the Arabs luffâh, or beid el-jinn ("djinn's eggs"). The parsley-shaped root is often branched. Its’ leaves, 6 to 16 inches long, somewhat resemble those of the tobacco-plant. It grows a number of one-flowered nodding peduncles, bearing whitish-green flowers, nearly 2 inches broad, which produce globular, succulent, orange to red berries, resembling small tomatoes, which ripen in late spring. All parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous. The plant grows natively in southern and central Europe and in lands around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as on Corsica.

According to legend, when the root is dug up it screams and kills all who hear it. Literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. For example Josephus (c. 37 AD Jerusalem – c. 100) gives the following directions for pulling it up:A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must get away. The dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, but dies suddenly instead of his master. After this the root can be handled without fear.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My most popular item on Etsy

This is the most popular item in my Etsy store. I think it's because POE also stands for 'photographers on etsy' (which I'm not). But I think that kinda funny... You can up the viewing numbers by going to
parkerart.etsy.com
& searching for poe.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Basilisk by parkerart

The mythical king of the serpents. The basilisk, or cockatrice, is a creature that is born from a spherical, yolkless egg, laid during the days of Sirius (the Dog Star) by a seven-year-old rooster and hatched by a toad. The basilisk could have originated from the horned adder or hooded cobra from India. Pliny the Elder described it simply as a snake with a golden crown. By the Middle Ages, it had become a snake with the head of a cock, and sometimes with the head a human. In art, the basilisk symbolized the devil and the antichrist.

According to legend, there are two species of the creature. The first kind burns everything it approaches, and the second kind can kill every living thing with a mere glance. Both species are so dreadful that their breath wilts vegetation and shatters stones. It was even believed that if a man on horseback should try to kill it with a spear, the power of the poison conducted through the weapon would not only kill the rider, but the horse as well. The only way to kill a basilisk is by holding a mirror in front of its eyes, while avoiding to look directly at it. The moment the creature sees its own reflection, it will die of fright. However, even the basilisk has natural enemies. The weasel is immune to its glance and if it gets bitten it withdraws from the fight to eat some rue, the only plant that does not wither, and returns with renewed strength. A more dangerous enemy is the cock for should the basilisk hear it crow, it would die instantly.

The carcass of a basilisk was often hung in houses to keep spiders away. It was also used in the temples of Apollo and Diana, where no swallow ever dared to enter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

ATCs, ACEOs and Art




I make Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) & ACEOs. They are the size of regular playing cards. Sombody in a Scandinavian country started them a few years back.They can be made of any material with any media, but they MUST be 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Many ATCs are traded for free. I haven't had time to trade any, but I would be willing to try it. I have sold some on-line at etsy.com.Sometimes I pick up old poker decks at yard sales or flea markets. I cover them with a few layers of gesso, then I draw on them with ink. Sometimes I scratch the ink off to let the card colors show through.Most ATCs are one of a kind cards or limited editions. Cards printed in open editions are called ACEOs (Artists Card Open Edition). I know part of that is backwards, but what are you gonna do?... That's just the way it is.If you want to know more about ATCs, ACEOs, or art in general, just holler.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The hippocampus was a fabled sea animal from Greek mythology. It was found in classical myth. It resembles a horse with the hind parts of a fish or dolphin. The chariot of Poseidon was drawn by a hippocampus. The name comes from the Greek hippos, horse; and kampos, sea monster.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gnome by parkerart


A gnome is a mythical creature characterized by its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle. Due it’s scarcity and secretive habits, little is known about them. Some claim that they can disappear at will.Most are found in forested areas or along abandoned fencerows, but a few make homesteads at the ends of neglected gardens. Badgers, stouts, skunks, and serpents are their mortal enemies. Some gnomes have the ability to speak with birds, insects, fairies, and pixies. While they enjoy relationships with winged creatures, they specifically avoid humans, trolls, and ogres. Compatible with elves, gnomes are most comfortable with dwarves.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Amphisbaena by parkerart

The amphisbaena is a two-headed lizard or serpent. It has one head in the normal position, and another at the end of its tail. It can therefore run in either direction. Its eyes shine like lamps, and has no fear of cold.The name "amphibaena" is now given to a legless lizard that can move either forward or backward, though this is a relatively modern use of the name.

Historical References:

Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 843-844):
"Dread Amphisbaena with his double head / Tapering...".

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 35):
The amphisbaena has a twin head, that is one at the tail-end as well, as though it were not enough for poison to be poured out of one mouth.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:20):
The amphisbaena has two heads, one in the proper place and one in its tail. It can move in the direction of eaither head with a circular motion. Its eyes shine like lamps. Alone among snakes, the amphisbaena goes out in the cold.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

THE GRIFFIN, OR GRYPHON

The Griffin is a monster with the body of a lion, the head and wings of an eagle, and back covered with feathers. Like birds it builds its nest, and instead of an egg lays an agate therein. It has long claws and talons of such a size that they are made into drinking-cups. India is assigned as the native country of the Griffins. The Griffins found gold in the mountains and built their nests of it, for which reason their nests were very tempting to the hunters, and they were forced to keep vigilant guard over them. Their instinct led them to know where buried treasures lay, and they did their best to keep plunderers at a distance. The Arimaspians were a one-eyed people of Scythia, famed for plundering the Griffin’s gold.

Milton borrows a simile from the Griffins, Paradise Lost, BookII.:

"As when a Gryphon through the wilderness,
With winged course, o'er hill and moory dale,
Pursues the Arimaspian who by stealth
Hath from his wakeful custody purloined
His guarded gold."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Elf by parkerart

art, elf, atc, parkerart, myth
An ACEO (Artist Trading Card (ATC), Edition Open), from a series I've drawn about mythological creatures.

The elf is a creature of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of minor nature and fertility gods, who are often pictured as youthful-seeming men and women of great beauty living in forests and underground places and caves, or in wells and springs. They have been portrayed to be long-lived or immortal and as beings of magical powers.

Following J. R. R. Tolkien's influential The Lord of the Rings, wherein a wise, immortal people named Elves have a significant role, elves became staple characters of modern fantasy. This card is designed to immulate Tolkien’s Elves.

Note:I have designed a mythological beastie card for every letter of the alphabet (for some letters I’ve been able to draw more than one). If you are interested in seeing any beasts visit www.parkerart.etsy.com

Friday, March 13, 2009

Acromantulas


Acromantulas have eight eyes, are highly intelligent and capable of human speech. They are typically covered in thick black hair, with a legspan that can reach up to fifteen feet. They possess a set of giant fangs which they use to eat live prey of mammals or their own dead kin.
To see more visit www.parkerart.etsy.com