5 Ink Brush Paintings From My Sketchbook

I’ve begun the arduous frenzy of scanning my last sketchbook. The scanner yawns and shrieks as the images get slurped into the digital realm. I love to touch the pages, feel the bumps of the acrylic and gouges of quill pens, before each scan.

My entire home is filled with skulls. Fanciful depictions, not real ones. My husband has a “no corpses in the house” policy.

^ I can’t remember precisely why I drew this little rabbit boy, but I suspect it had something to do with my in-laws’ tradition of cycling through A Christmas Story repeatedly over the holidays.

Both “dodo” and “poop” are funny words.

Even sideshow carnies need nice home decor. Perhaps especially sideshow carnies.

We lost Gene Wilder this year. I had to take a moment to celebrate Willie Wonka. And the Oompa Loompas.

God love the Oompa Loompas.

Any suggestions for what to draw next?

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Final request: as I lay dying, feed me salt water, then slow-roast me & put me in a walnut shell coffin.

Final request: as I lay dying, feed me salt water, then slow-roast me & put me in a walnut shell coffin.

“What a strange thing to say,” the Internet whispers.

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But I just described precisely what some people in the Kabayan Phillipines were doing to their dead until around 1500.

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(The lady on the left is alive, probably.)

What makes the Fire Mummies particularly cool is the fact that the process began before the person died. People who were on their way out would drink very salty fluids before they bounced. Then they’d cook them in the fetal position, with herbs, no less.

“Grandma’s gonna kick it,” the townsfolk said. “Someone get Guy Fieri.”

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(“Fieri is my name, and fire is, coincidentally, my game.”)

The Kabayan Mummy Caves were rediscovered in the 1900s, and since then, there’s been a problem of mummy theft.

My Internet travels haven’t revealed whether this is Cultural Theft For Museums or General Pickpocket Behavior.

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(“What a conversation piece for my living room!”)

So now it’s on a watch list. Because we, as humans, cannot have cool things.

Nearby, however, is the visit-able Opdas Mass Burial Cave, which does welcome tourists.

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(Spooky and fun! This girl knows how to party!)

Onto the Bucket List the Philippines goes! I need to see these things in person!

Thanks, Internet, for all the gruesome and lovely things you have to offer.

Corpses, Anatomical Models, Bullet Wounds, and Paintings

Death, disease, tumors, and pustules peppered my family’s dinner conversation as I grew up.

“Pass the salt,” my parents said, as well as: “you wouldn’t believe what I found inside a body today.”

And also: “honey, never go into medicine.”

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I only dabble in the macabre on weekends.

My latest morbid jaunt was the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland.

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The museum was chock-full of samples, specimens, illustrations, replicas, prototypes, and tools. The most beautiful and horrible things hopscotched across the line between medicine and torture.

Life-sized dolls that look like diseased humans.

Flash cards of skin lesions.

Orderly rows of scissors, saws, syringes, and knives.

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Don’t forget tidy kits for exsanguination.

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I didn’t become a doctor, but I have a stomach of steel.

Bring on the corpses.

Yule love these gift suggestions for witches!

When they talk about “Christmas magic,” this is not what they mean.

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If you have a witch — or an edgy teenager — on your list and are baffled, let me help you. This is right up my alley. My house is on the left, in fact.

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Carved candle ($28) – You should click on this link just to look at the detailing. I’d never ever burn this. Partly because I have asthma, sure, but mostly because it’s a pretty object.

Cashmere star scarf ($150) – Gets the point across subtly.

Handmade journal ($49) – Spells, rants, grocery lists, haikus, ideas for essays, and dirty limericks all have a fancy new place to live.

The Magicians ($3+) – Did you feel that the Harry Potter series didn’t have enough drugs or desolation-fucking? If so, I have a bleak series just for you.

Engraved amethyst runes ($33) – It’s up to the recipient to figure out how these work. Aren’t they pretty?

American Horror Story: Coven figure ($12) – I have two of these: Myrtle Snow and Papa Legba. I adore them. They are creeping up my living room as I type.

Cardboard Safari human skull ($40-200) – A comment at the bottom of the site describes this as “the best skull I’ve ever had.” Try not to think too deeply about that.

Druzy moon necklace ($63) – I dare say these are… charming.

Swish.

I’ll be here all week.

Merry Yule, Internet.