Friday, November 2, 2012

Goodbye Halloween 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Another Halloween has come and gone. I certainly had a great time with the Haunted Gallery this year - the Gallery's fourth season. I hope you did as well. This year, six new soundscapes were added to the collection as well as a bunch of new spooky artwork.  Be sure to go back and check it all out.

For those of you who have been fans of the Haunted Gallery over the years, I want to thank you for always coming back to visit; and for the newcomers, I invite you to "follow me" because although Halloween 2012 has past,  great things are happening here every Halloween season.

Once again, the Gallery windows have all been boarded up, the candles extinquished and the front door locked securely. That chilly wind is blowing out of the north again and the skies are dark and grey. I have hidden the old skeleton key to the Gallery under a withered old pumpkin near the front door, so please feel free to come by for a midnight visit if you get the occasional urge to be haunted.

For those of you who eat, sleep and breath Halloween 365 days a year, allow me to offer you directions to the Pumpkin King himself. His realm is one where every day is Halloween. The holiday does not just live there - it thrives.

As for myself - my bag is packed and the wagon is loaded. I'm headed deep into the Everdim, a forest of equal parts beauty and mystery. There will be lots of pictures and artwork to share, so if you feel like an adventure hop in the wagon and come along.

See you all next Halloween!

~ J.P.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

So it was believed by the ancients, that on this night, the 31st of October, the barrier between the living and the dead was broken; and that the spirit world was free to roam the earth. They would light bonfires and carve faces in candle-lit turnips to scare away malevolent ghosts and serve as beacons to deceased friends and family. 

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Pumpkins are carved, the house is filled with the scent of roasting seeds. Candy bowls are stocked. Ready for the big night. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Late October Near the Everdim

I've heard strange noises in the foggy shadows of the trees; noises that sounded like unusual laughter ... the laughter of a lunatic. 

Thomas Raeburn?

Some of you might be wondering what happened to the Thomas Raeburn story.

Truth be told, I got kind of bored of it. There are fantastic elements from the idea that I will continue on with such as the painting style. Perhaps one day, I will revisit it but I feel there are bigger and better things I could do with the creative elements. I have all of these great pictures that I want to share, but it was becoming too much work to try and incorporate them into a story. I would rather just share the pictures.

In reality, I am lucky enough to live in an area where I am surrounded by a huge mysterious forest. I started getting tired of the story because, frankly, it was not as interesting as the actual world around me. I'd given this forests the nickname "The Everdim" long before I used it in the story on account of its perpetually stifled luminosity. At night the woods are filled with all kinds of strange and haunting sounds, much like the soundscape I made a few days ago. It's a great place for spooky inspiration.

Below is an image I made for a part later in the story. This menacing individual is based loosely off of "Pan" from Greek mythology. He is interconnected with nature just like in ancient accounts, however, this one is way more sinister. Everything has a balance in nature. The forest is a place of overwhelming beauty and its counter balance is this creature. You do not want to cross it.

New Soundscape: Blizzard on Mount Anthor

Although this is not entirely a Halloween soundscape, the concept itself is quite scary. For those of you familiar with Skyrim, the reference is pretty obvious. For those of you who are not, I think you can deduce the situation. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Soundscape: The Ghost Ship

The Legend of Alexandra and Rose

This is a neat little scary story by Jon Klassen that I've taken and re-illustrated. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Soundscape - The Sewers

Fell off the grid for a moment there, but I'm back. Here is a quick and dirty soundscape of sewer ambiance.
I wanted the soundscape to give the sensation of dark and unknown expanses matched with dreary foreground elements. I think very few things would feel more uncomfortable than sewage dripping and spashing all around your immdieate vicinity.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Soundscape - The Unmarked Grave

Ladies and Gentlemen, what if the best Halloween music playlists could combine with the best Halloween atmosphere  …

Tonight I’m going to present to you a spooky little place that does not exist.
And as we all know, there is only one way to get to a place that does not exist – you must first close your eyes and imagine it:

It’s a dark and stormy night.

You were supposed to have met your friends for a few drinks at a bar they last informed you was “just up the street,” perhaps another four blocks or so. It’s late, and as the wind begins to whip chilly sheets of rain furiously down this unfamiliar street, you begin to second-guess your decision to walk the rest of the way. A cab would be convenient right about now but the roads are void of any traff...

A sudden, brilliant flash of lightning strikes way too close for comfort. It is immediately followed by the sharp crack of thunder. The lightning, has deviously tricked the streetlamps into thinking it was daylight, shutting  all of them off and plunging  the world into an ominous pre-industrial darkness.  On some distant side street, a car alarm faintly begins to wail.

Up ahead in the darkness, you spot the orange glow of candlelight shining warmly through the windows of what appears to be a little tavern.  As you approach, another flash of lightning provides a brief glimpse of the old wooden sign above the entryway; a rotting wooden tombstone swinging wildly from a pair of rusty chains. There are no other markings on the sign.

You make another quick evaluation of the stormy darkness around you.  The rain is beginning to fall even harder now and flashes of electricity rake violently across the sky in every direction. This storm is not going anywhere anytime soon.  Out of the corner of your eyes, nearby shadows seem to move a little too deliberately; giving you the uncomfortable sensation that you may not be as alone as you once thought.  Perhaps a drink or two in this place, you think; just enough time to let the weather settle down. Then you can join up with your friends.  After all, what other alternatives do you have?  As you approach the tavern doorway you notice a mat of wet hay spread thinly across the muddy sidewalk.  The straw is mixed with seedy pumpkin guts. A heavy wooden door is all that stands that between you and shelter from the raging storm – As you pull the door open, it swings backward with unusual ease.


Before your eyes even get the opportunity to register what they see, your brain is already processing the smell. There is an antiquity in the air; the musty combination of ancient wood, dust, leather and paper.  These combine with a hint of clove and tobacco. A faint trace of roses sweetens the air just enough.
Your eyes begin to process the scene. On a bar-stool directly in front of you, a menacing jack o’ lantern flashes a toothy grin in your direction, indifferent to the large knife lodged firmly in the side of its head.  The tavern is slightly larger than it appeared from outside. Along the outer walls of the establishment are shadowy booths. A single candle sits in a red glass holder on the center of each table.  The light from the candles is not strong enough to illuminate the faces of the people sitting at these tables.  From where you stand, they all look like ghosts.  Centered against the back wall is a small stage. The wooden floors here have been covered by several faded Afghan rugs.  Candelabras provide a decent glow, but again the shadows fall in all the wrong places. On stage a man whose face is obscured by darkness quietly tunes his guitar.

You've managed to find an empty table toward the back near a window. The steady beating of rain against the pain reminds you of the storm continuing outside and you find yourself immediately grateful for the dry comfort of the pub .  As you take your seat, a dusky, raven-haired young woman approaches your table.  Her nose is pierced and tattoos run boldly across her upper body; a look that is not uncommon for this city, but it works for her masterfully.

“Something to drink?” she asks you.

You tell her your request and off she disappears into more shadows.
Back on stage, a few more band members have joined the first man and are quietly getting ready to play. In a moment, the waitress returns with your drink.

“Is the band pretty good?” you ask.

“Darling, do you have any idea where you are?” she replies.

“To be perfectly honest …” you start to explain your situation but she interrupts you.

“This is the Unmarked Grave, where the world’s finest musicians come to pay their respects.”

“Pay their respects?  To whom?” you ask.

The waitress brings a solitary finger up to her lips in a seductive request for you to stop talking. The band begins to play the first chords of a haunting song.  She leans in close to you; the mysterious sent of roses fills the air around you.

“To Halloween.” She whispers before vanishing into the shadows once again. 

First Soundscape of 2012 ... Released Tonight

Hi everyone,

Later on this evening, I will be posting my first soundscape of the 2012 Halloween season. I think you are going to like it. The concept is rather unique. This perticular soundscape will be the first in a small series.

Be on the lookout for The Unmarked Grave - where Halloween's finest come to pay their respects ...

Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 Soundscapes?

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Some of you who were guests of the Haunted Gallery last year might be looking around at all of the painting and wondering if there are going to be any soundscapes for Halloween this year. The answer is yes, there most certainly will. I do like to practice as many facets of my macabre creativity as as possible and be sure to let me hear you if you like something that you see or hear. :)

The first soundscape for the season is pretty daft, if say so myself. I can't think of anyone who has really done it before. Stay posted, when it comes to creative Halloween media, I'm your man. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"If you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything."

Over 15 classes cover everything from making Bug-Out Bags to Armed Self Defense to Damage Risk and Assessment. In the pop culture category there will be Introduction to Burlesque as a Survival Art and “Head Shots” An Introduction to Fighting the Zombie Menace.

Looks like I've just found something to do with my afternoon. 

Read more here:

Into the Everdim - Initial Study

Oil on Canvas - Thomas Raeburn - July 1911

Friday, September 28, 2012

Evening Near the Everdim Forest

Oil on Canvas - Thomas Raeburn - circa June 1911

From the Journal of Thomas Raeburn - June, 1911

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Coming Very Soon ...

In the summer of 1911, a artist by the name of Thomas Raeburn left the big city for a two-month inspirational journey to the charmingly remote village of Hunter's Rest.  The unfortunate circumstances of his story unfold as journal entries and paintings.

Though the artist, Thomas Raeburn is a fictional character inspired largely on E.F. Benson's short story "The Man Who Went Too Far"  His paintings are mostly original photographs that I have taken personally and then manipulated with Photoshop to look as if they were painted. 

Together with the journal entries, my intent is to create a new kind of spooky story experience by having the main character appear to recall the events and illustrate the story unknowingly through his artistic talents. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Autumn" - A Poem to Welcome Fall

Written by J.P. 2012


Angled sun and axial tilt
Days get shorter, flora wilt
Summer dies beneath grey skies, and slowly dark encroaches


Shoots, roots, vines and branches
Barns, farms, fields, and ranches
Gather fast, for nothing lasts, a bitter breeze approaches


Blackened mold to bleach bone white
Nimbostratus eats sunlight
The twilight lust of mist and rust betrayed upon the metal


Flapping, feathered, flying “V’s”
Vector 1-8-0 degrees
They honk, “Beware!” The frigid air, it stings just like the nettle


Icy fingers slip and slither
Choke and crack and nip and wither
Atoms slow as fractals grow, the tawny leaves all glisten


Placid ether, without wave
And muffled shores of moss deprave
The air of sound and all around the dying only listen

Superstition, Halloween
Candy corn and jelly bean
Children shiver at the sight of shadows made by candlelight


Day surrenders in September
Evening rules until December
The black horizon cloaks the light and ushers in the reign of night

The 2012 Gallery

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you can see, The Haunted Gallery is off to a bit of a late start. The spirits who call this place home year-round can be a bit mischievous at times and it seems they would not unlock the doors. Alas, there is a method to their madness which I will come to in a moment. For now, welcome back! As your curator, I am excited to share with you new and terrifying works of art, writings, sound and music for your 2012 season.

Whilst I was out front, thinking of a way in, I happened to notice a weathered letter tucked carefully in a crevasse near the doorway. It was from an old friend who has written to inform that he has acquired a collection of strange and beautiful paintings with a dark history. To our great fortune, he has offered to display them along with their spooky back story here at the Haunted Gallery!

So come on in - and please forgive me as I do a bit of tidying up around the place. As you can see it looks just like I left it back in 2011. Fear not (or perhaps fear some,) I will have everything up and running in no time.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bumps in the Night - One

Between dusk and dawn 
Falls the shadow