Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 at the Platypus of Truth

2015 was a year of difficulties. I spent most of November to July ill. There were several surgeries and a cross-town move. All of those were overcome, however, and on the last day of the year we're still alive and kicking. Not surprisingly, this ended up being the year of tomb stones, art therapy and H.P. Lovecraft. I'm not sure what 2016 will bring. As Counting Crows says "it's been one long December, and there's reason to believe maybe next year will be better than the last..." Whatever befalls, we will keep you up to date here at the Platypus of Truth.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fiddling With Cthulhu: Creative Platypus

I'm playing with enhancement, filters, and color saturation this morning. I've taken my Blake-Geiger Cthulhu and run it through the basic Windows 10 editing software to give the drawing a more cosmic feel. Now we can imagine the priest of the Elder Gods winging his way through the voids of oblivion whose soul and messenger is the Creeping Chaos, Nyarlathotep.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Leng and the Shunned House: Creative Platypus

Enjoying my break here with a little art therapy. The picture on the left is based on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shunned House" and has been color adjusted from the original with basic photo editing software. The second picture is my poor attempt to draw of the Plateau of Leng based on the art from Fantasy Flight's Elder Sign: Omens. Both drawings are Prismacolor colored pencils on black sketch paper.

The King in Yellow Gets a Little Clean-Up: Creative Platypus

My pastel sketch of R.W. Chambers' The King in Yellow gets a little help from some very basic Windows 10 photo editing software. I'll keep fiddling with it and see if I can produce any better results for some of my future creative efforts.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Scary Cthulhu? Blake Meets Geiger: Creative Platypus

So here I am still trying to make Cthulhu scary. I decided to take my own advice and spent some time this morning considering the works of William Blake and H.R. Geiger (not doing that again anytime soon. Buyer beware!). I like the result a little better than my last attempt at the master of R'lyeh. I think there's definitely room for improvement, so I'll keep at it until I'm satisfied one way or another. Time for another sanity check!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Classroom Hijinx: Whiteboard Platypus

Hrriches buy you hhhwarriors King Hhhrothgar!

Ph33r teh P0ssumz

The Dagron comes in the Night!

Props to you if this one makes any sense at all.

Telemachus' mom has got it going on...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Poor Cthulhu: Creative Platypus

Poor Cthulhu. How do you inspire the necessary dread when you have an octopus for a head? Conan creator Robert E. Howard called H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu one of the great horror stories of the 20th century. It's title character, however, has inspired everything cute and comic from plush toys to Polish political satires. Most depictions of the sleeping elder god come out looking just plain goofy. So here I am trying to to put a little menace back into the master of R'lyeh. Not too great so far... I wanted something a little more William Blake meets H.R. Geiger. Still, I think it's more faithful to the dragon-octopus-man Lovecraft envisioned than the lion's share of what I've found on the net. 

Randolph Carter and Yog Sothoth Take Two: Creative Platypus

This is a return to H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Through the Gate of the Silver Key" done with French pastel pencils I received as an early Christmas present. Here, Carter passes through the Gate of the Silver Key only to find himself enmeshed in webs of Yog Sothoth.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Dreamscape: Creative Platypus

Concept art from the Ronald Fairfax novel "The Place of the Skull" currently in the editing process:

Ronald took a great gasp like a man drowning and heaved over onto his side.  The element in the space heater glowed.  Forms of tennis shoes and piled books intruded on the faint line of orange light.  Ronald breathed deep again: in then out, in then out.  God help me.  God let me get some sleep.  I have to sleep.  He’d had nightmares for months after what had happened last December.  Now, they only came intermittently.  He’d been afraid, so afraid, that he’d wake up one night screaming and be unable to stop.  He could scream now –scream and scream- and no one would hear.  Ronald swallowed hard.  He wasn’t going to scream.  He didn’t want to.  It was over.  Deliberately turning away from the light, Ronald pulled the covers over his head and shut his eyes.  Think of something pleasant.  Go to sleep.  He tried to think of something funny, Jack making his strange little finger puppet, Jack pretending to be Goonter, Matt laughing fit to burst, rolling on the floor with hands clenched on his belly and mouth spread wide enough to crack his face, Dan explaining to Mr. Manski that he couldn’t do his geography report on Peru because he found Llama pelts erotically stimulating under certain academic circumstances and his parents had flatly refused to pay for the psychotherapy necessary to remove this deeply entrenched neurosis.
He tried to laugh, but found himself unable.  There was mom in the hospital bed, Dad with that odd look on his face that made Ronald feel embarrassed –like he was intruding.  The books were good.  Books didn’t leave you time to think.  Don’t think.  Don’t think.  Just don’t think.  Sleep is here somewhere.  Why did they have to move?  What was California going to be like?  There was a small apartment and palm trees, lots of palm trees, and that Chinese Theater.  Isn’t there supposed to be a walk or something with handprints?  Karen Sullivan was sitting next to him in the theater, but it was someone else.  The hair was all wrong.  Water was streaming down her face and her eyes were grey.  Go away, just go away.  Cut off shorts and tie-dye and sandy blonde hair.  Not there, not there.  Turn left.  I miss you, I miss you so much.  Anatomy and Physiology would be lab tomorrow.  Test?  No test.  New book in English class and the War of 1812 in History?  Current Events write-up due on Thursday –pick an article.

Something was opening on the edges of his mind that had the shape of sleep.  If only he could sleep.  Who squats on the threshold of sleep and guards the gates of ivory and of horn?  A terror seized him and he jerked awake.

Of Other Worlds: Creative Platypus

Today's drawing is inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft short story Hypnos and too many rounds of Fantasy Flight's Elder Sign: Omens. Here, we catch a glimpse of an other world beyond the walls of sleep and human consciousness.

Prismacolor pencils on sketch paper (30 minutes).

The Platypus Seeks Safe Harbor: The Platypus Reads Part CCLXXXIX

From time to time we all find ourselves in need of safe harbor. Life in the world means stormy seas as we sail our little ships from island to island in search of new opportunities. Like Odysseus, we need to find a haven when the wind and waves come without forgetting our ultimate destination, our home. What's required is metis, or cunning; the ability to size up a situation and act wisely in uncertain times. After all, God will not do for us what we must do for ourselves. The cosmos is vast and complex, and even the rescue of one person adrift on a tiny raft has consequences for the whole. While we are nothing without God, we still have our parts to play in not compounding the pains of a broken world by adding our own foolishness to it. Instead, we use metis to move from haven to haven until we find our home making the best use of what God gives us: the bad as well as the good.

So here I am, reading Homer's Odyssey and listening to Haven by Kamelot. It's a little safe space in a world of storm.