The Greatest Command

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Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

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Wake Me Up Before You Gogos: A Toast to An Artist and His Monsters

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Well, I’m sad to say it’s “goodbye, bucket list dream” of having my portrait painted by monster portraitist extraordinaire, Basil Gogos. :(

A few years ago, I highlighted this brilliant artist’s monsterous masterpieces in the post “Monster Masterpieces A Gogos“, and mentioned that of all the great artists who have ever lived, I’d most want my portrait painted by him. He passed away on September 13, 2017. Continue reading

Pixie Pumpkin: Carving a Tinkerbell Jack-o-Lantern

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All it takes is faith and trust… and just a little bit of pixie dust.

That’s what Peter said to Wendy and her brothers 64 years ago in my favourite Disney classic, “Peter Pan”. In order to fly, all the children needed to do was think of a wonderful thing and get a little sprinkle of magic pixie dust from Tinkerbell.

Leave it to me to find a way to take arguably the most girly thing ever and spookify it, eh? I try hard, guys, I really do.

Last year, a friend sent me the following image of a Tinkerbell jack-o-lantern and suggested that I needed to make one. Continue reading

Peter Cushing: Hammer’s Master of ‘Pure Escapism’

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Today’s generation say they prefer the Hammer pictures because they left a great deal to the imagination. There was no foul language, no gratuitous violence and, in the end, good always triumphed over evil.

~ Peter Cushing

In March 1995, a new monster magazine launched — the UK-based “Hammer Horror”.

Issue #1 (which someday I hope I’m lucky enough to own!) featured a delightful 6-page look at horror’s hero, the inimitable Peter Cushing.

Published a year after his death, Hammer Horror #1 worked a little Frankenstein magic, combining quotes and images to create a compelling look into the world of horror, as told through the eyes of its (arguably) greatest star.

Whoever uploaded these magazine scans online, this fan of Hammer horror thanks you. I’ve highlighted a few of my favourite quotes, but click on any image to view a larger version so it’s easier to read the rest. Continue reading

“The Right Kind” of Short Story

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When it comes to almost any genre, but horror/mystery in particular, pulling off a compelling, convincing and chilling short story is a challenge. Short stories still need to hit all the complex highs of a long, elaborate tale, but in a very limited amount of space.

As an avid mystery lover, I bought a few copies of Ellery Queen when I was young, and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t often that I read a story and thought, “Wow, that was incredible.” I mostly liked them for their delicious, often borderline saucy, pulp art covers and catchy Nancy-Drew-esque titles.

While I certainly still enjoy a scary 600-page tome by Stephen King, or a 13-book supernatural series by Kelley Armstrong, sometimes I’d like to get my creepy fix in 20 minutes or less.

Short stories are making a comeback, and like anthologies on TV, I’m pleased about that.

I follow a great blog called Monster Magazine World, and recently, they featured a spooky little narrative, a real gem which I thought was perfect for sharing during All Hallows’ Eve month. Oddly enough, the plot doesn’t scream “Mystery and Horror!” Man wants to buy a house. Man feels the house is overpriced. Man visits house to try and convince the owner to sell for less. Seems pretty nondescript and boring, right? Oh, are you in for a treat. Continue reading

“Horror of Dracula”: At the 1958 New York Premiere

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After the success of “Curse of Frankenstein” (1957), the film which essentially resurrected the entire horror genre, Hammer Films turned its attention to the next big bad movie monster.

Count Dracula.

Once again beckoning to the talents of the gruesome twosome of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, when “Horror of Dracula” hit the big screen at the New York premiere on May 8, 1958, Van Helsing and Dracula themselves were in attendance.

Recalls Lee: Continue reading

Fangs For the Mummories

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Question: Why did the vampire consider himself a good artist?
Answer: Because he likes to draw blood.

Don’t worry, I’ll show myself out.

Oh, wait, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want, including terrible vampire puns. #SorryNotSorry xD

“I vant you to stop punning.”

Well, we’ve somehow rolled around to October again, which means an entire month of blog posts that are exclusively Halloween/horror-related. I’d like to be able to promise you that the Universal classics will get some coverage this year, but as you’re already aware, my heart belongs to Hammer, so… no promises. Continue reading

Gallery Feature: Feathered Fauna “Red-Breasted Nuthatch”

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know I’m a Northern girl. So when it comes to birds, I do see a good variety of breeds, but nothing too exotic.

The last Gallery Feature in my Feathered Fauna bird series was the Baltimore Oriole. They’re a beautiful, flashy bird, but alas, there are none in Northern Ontario.

So for my next painting, I decided to look a bit closer to home.

Enter the pint-size, pretentious pontiff of the Northern forest: The red-breasted nuthatch.

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Forgiveness

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Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

~ Isaiah 55:6-7

I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

~ Isaiah 43:25 Continue reading