I finally finished it! As described previously, I started off with a painting gathering dust in a thrift shop and changed the mood. Besides doing the ultimate day-for-night rework, I also wrapped the matte in black satin and repainted the frame. The disassembly, and subsequent reassembly, involved lots of pointy things. I’m glad the painted result wasn’t too precious to me, because there were some awful things done to it (that required a little repaint, too!) to re-attach the whole thing.
Getting the headless horseman to look reasonable was not easy. I was happy with the result of one minute of sketching, but getting the painted part to look right was not nearly so quick nor satisfying. To figure out what should happen with the flaming pumpkin, I set up a tealight in a black box to stare at it and its reflected flickering. I’m pretty happy with the end result, though I think I was too effective at changing the mood. It’s so gloomy that I’m not sure I can find an appropriate spot to hang it up on the wall.
Last year in an attempt to make more art I went to the Savers thrift store in Redwood City to find a cheap painting I could rework in some way. I was thinking of buying some pre-stamped “painted” canvas from Michaels and painting dinosaurs or monsters walking through them, but the idea of re-painting otherwise ho-hum art appealed to me as a combination of recycling and redemption.
I saw this landscape and instantly thought two things: Sleepy Hollow, or Beetlejuice. One of the pivotal moments in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the headless horseman stopping at the covered wooden bridge, flaming pumpkin-head in hand. And, this bridge also reminded me a little of Adam & Barbara’s demise from Beetlejuice. I decided on Sleepy Hollow, and got to work toning down the autumn cheeriness and making it suitably spooky. Of course, I should’ve realized that would mean repainting the whole thing to get the colors I wanted. Next time, less rework..!
So here’s the dilemma. I inadvertantly took a year-long hiatus after losing motivation post-Halloween last year. I put a bit of a hint of the Headless Horseman, sitting on his horse peeking out from there. I got some new, good acrylic paints and was just about to pick this up and finish it when I realized a glaring failure in logic I hadn’t seen before. HH stops at the end of the bridge because he can’t cross running water. But here, we see the opening of the bridge from the “safe” side…the “you can’t reach me now” side. So if he’s been chasing Ichabod and comes to a grinding halt, we’re on HH’s side of the river, and we’re looking at the horse’s backside. I suppose HH could be turned around, leaving in disgust at losing his prey. Or, maybe he’s blocking our way to cross the water to get away from him.
What do you think? Keep going, despite the layout fail? Turn it into Beetlejuice? Billy Goats Gruff? Something else entirely? I’m looking forward to reworking the matte and frame in a similar spooky vein, but am not sure which way to go on my subject.