There's a theatre in Los Angeles called The Fonda, where they have enlarged and printed wallpaper of Hieronymus Bosch painting work, and every time I'm there I feel inspired studying these little scenes so large on the walls. I'm sure these were never intended to be seen this way, but in so many ways I'm glad it is.
The things that always stand out to me are the little animal heads on human-like bodies. This idea of how he imagined hell has these fascinating little moments that in a smaller scale painting could easily be less studied, but when blown up, have so much character to unpack. They draw me in so much because they almost feel like a macabre Halloween set or a dark theme park with costumed leaders as he brings in his influences of Flemish folklore and plays with metaphors and puns in such a beautiful visual way.
It inspired me once again to do a limited round of macabre paintings of my skull crows. My previous collection was in 2020, and I did human skulls on crow bodies, but this time I focused more on crow skulls on living crow bodies.
It started with a sketch of just a skull crow...
Then I moved into oils and explored the movement of feathers and personality of the smaller birds.
I've included in this release a progression of the pieces. The first (top left) is from my original collection with human skulls on crow bodies, the charcoal sketch of just the crow skull, and then the duo of crow skulls with crow bodies.
Bottom right, is a close up of the study, and to balance out the moodiness of fall, I did a still life with cracked egg shells and a pumpkin, all of which in some way encompass the theme of death, life, and somewhere in between the movement and stillness, and where we wrestle with life's in between moments of these states of being.
You can find all the pieces available in the Macabre Collection under available works for a limited time. They will be released this first week at a discounted price, and then back to my normal price points shortly thereafter.
This is not a collection I leave up year round, so if this is something you are drawn to or you are wanting to collect a limited edition piece, this is the time of year to get one.