Face Your Deepest Fears this Halloween!

My dog Bingo is facing his deepest fear (of water) this Halloween for his annual card. He has bravely donned his diving gear to explore the mysteries of the deep. I hope he will be an inspiration to you. A very Happy Halloween to everyone! (c) 2013 Lisa Zador

Prints of Deep Sea Bingo are available in my Etsy shop Curious Portraits!

Pumpkin Season has arrived

Every year around this time I find myself on the lookout for that first little bit of orange at the green grocers, usually in the form of mini pumpkins. Then follow the larger pumpkins and decorative gourds soon after. It truly marks the beginning of autumn which is my favorite time of year. Last year I was wandering through the farmer's market in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and I found a treasure trove of the most beautiful decorative gourds! I bought a whole bunch and they inspired me to paint this Pumpkin Varieties Chart to help usher in the season.  Just looking at these makes me smell the wood smoke and feel the chill in the air. Soon it will even be time to pull out my vintage Halloween decorations and begin carving a pumpkin. I like to try out different faces each year, usually scary and since it is always so hard to decide upon one, I thought I would do a painting of all sorts of Jack O Lantern faces, some scary and some friendly. I added in a black scroll border complete with crows to finish it off! Both paintings are available as prints in my Etsy shop The Curious Kitchen.

Halloween Enthusiasts

As far as I am concerned the week before Halloween is the best of the year! I thought I would celebrate the people in my neighborhood (Manhattan's West Village) who get into the spirit of Halloween as much as I do! The above photo is in my living room, I just love the old ornaments from the 40's and 50's.

These 3 are from Rag & Bones on Christopher St.

My downstairs neighbors

Further up Morton Street...

Jacques Torres chocolates down on Hudson Street

Some spooky votive candle holders my dear friend LJ sent me!

My mantle.

Homage to the humble mouse

We have had a mouse in our apartment for the past few weeks and have grown rather fond of him. We’ve even named him Henry. I don’t know why but he just seems so polite and apologetic after having eaten the corners off the banana bread we foolishly left on the kitchen table overnight. We know we must send him on his way before his friends and family turn up but I decided to paint his portrait to remember him by. I imagined him as an old soul so I've painted him in quasi victorian garb.

Mouse Portrait Victorian
Mouse Portrait Victorian

Halloween Portraits

This is my favorite time of year, I get so inspired thinking about Halloween! I've always had a love of vintage Halloween decorations and have a nice collection of things mostly from the 40's and 50's (lots of Beistle made). I've recently been looking over things from the 20's, mostly german made that are just gorgeous and soooo perfect for portraits! I must have 20 items sketched out so far but am starting with a few plastic ornaments from the 40's the first of which is this Jack O Lantern. This is the sepia underpainting, color will follow.

Pumpkin Men

Pumpkin Man Well, it's my favorite time of year again and I've been busy putting up all my vintage Halloween decorations from the 40's and 50's. Over the past few years I've been spending too much time on E-Bay trying to buy up all the decorations that I remember having as a child and I think I am nearly there. (I am waiting to hear about a Skeleton Pirate and an Owl Pirate that will complete a set of 4 of which I already have the Witch and Cat). After that I am cutting myself off as I simply have no more wall space in my tiny apartment! I just love them though, all those odd color combinations of orange and dark green. They fill me with warm memories of childhood and excitement about Halloween approaching. Last year I began a series of Pumpkin Man portraits inspired by these images and I thought it was appropriate to share them this week. They were in fact the inspiration for my Bubble-Head men! Pumpkin Man 2Pumpkin Man 3