Monday, April 05, 2010

Haunted Art: Liz Taylor

Watercolor, gouache, graphite, grime and ink on matboard
2.5 x 3.5 inches


I bought my antique cast-iron drafting table at a police auction in Duluth, Minnesota. I don't know it's criminal past but it has always been a little spooky. As I struggled to load the table into my Plymouth Voyager it smashed the tail light, which cost more than the table. That was the beginning of an uneasy relationship with a piece of furniture. Some have even blamed the ups and downs of my artistic career on the brooding presence of the table in my studio. When in the presence of the table I often lose focus and initiative and am overcome by the overwhelming urge to either snack or nap.

When painting I cover the top of the table with a scrap of matboard. The matboard catches stray strokes of paint. I use the surface to "unload" a brush, shape its bristles or test a color mixture (yes, gray is a color). I also record phone numbers and solve simple math problems on the board.

Here's a shot of the well used scrap of board.

On a recent morning I entered my studio and immediately noticed the lingering smell of fried chicken. As I made my way to the drawing board an image in the random strokes came into focus. I eventually recognized the face from, various childhood fantasies (I saw Cleopatra at the Taj Mahal in San Antonia, Texas), as Elizabeth Taylor. Along with the smell of cooked poultry there was a definite whiff of the supernatural. My first question: dead or not dead? I quickly Googled Miss Taylor and was surprised to find her still among the living. Then the questions really started. How did the image get there? What did it mean? Why me? How much could I get for it?

In an effort to answer some of these questions I did a little paranormal investigating. My first step was to set up a motion activated night vision camera because nothing says supernatural like night vision. The very next night something activated the camera. The image was inconclusive but further examination offered some tempting clues. The circled portion of the image, when enlarged and optimized, looks a little like Richard Burton...

...who is dead.

Since the image appeared strange occurrences have continued. I have suffered nausea, headache, dry mouth, strange tastes and driving, eating or engaging in other activities while asleep with out memory of the event. I've decided either the table or the image has to go. Since the table is really heavy, and on on the second floor, I've decided to release the ghost painting.

Please be sure you REALLY want to own a possibly haunted portrait of Elizabeth Taylor before you bid.


Blogger Courtlin said...


It could be a movie. Enlist Justin and make it.

1:12 PM  
Blogger smellyrhinostudio said...

Hysterical. Very nice.

9:41 AM  

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