Back from my little trip to Maine with Mike to visit my grandfather. 5 full days away and I hiked 5 State Parks/Preserves I'd never been to and saw 5 cemeteries I hadn't seen before. New England Cemeteries are some of my favorite and they're everywhere on the side of the road, most of them extremely old with some amazing iconography and atmosphere. Anyone who's every traveled with me anywhere knows that I can spend hours pouring over every stone in a cemetery and taking hundreds of photos (so annoying). Here's just a couple:
I have also been taking hundreds of photos of weird mushrooms and fungus, and we see tons in Maine because the damp rotting leaves on the forest floors are a perfect breeding ground. A few of those:
I was very excited to find a "blue staining" mushroom (I think a Bolete?). When you break or cut these mushrooms you can actually watch them turn blue as they hit the air. I took a video. If you're interested in literally HUNDREDS of photos of mushrooms, fungus, frogs and cemeteries you can see the whole set here.
We also had a night of fireworks over Pemaquid Beach! Most years I miss them:
We also got a chance to stop at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, which was great. I got to meet this Bigfoot:
The museum also happens to be located in the back of a really awesome used book store called Green Hand Books. They had a great selection of horror, sci fi and occult books so naturally I couldn't pass through without buying some.
I'm already halfway though Raising Hell: a Concise History of the Black Arts- and Those Who Dared To Practice Them by Robert Masello. It's really well organized and full of entertaining and creepy factoids about necromancy and divination and conjuring demons that no doubt will make their way into a painting sometime soon. It's also refreshing to read something written after the early 1900's because there's a little more interpretation and some sarcastic humor that makes it a bit more readable.
I read bits here and there from The Story of Superstition by Philip F. Waterman. It's a neat old book, with a lot of cool stuff that's pertinent to a project I've been planning about the evil eye. It's a bit disorganized and lacks focus (wandering randomly from topic to topic) but will definitely be useful to have.
The last book Spirit Summonings is from the Time Life series Mysteries of the Unknown. These books look a little corny but you can find them everywhere, they're cheap and really image heavy and actually have a lot of good information. I got it because I'm working on a shirt design right now that will probably use some victorian funerary iconography/ spiritualism stuff. The book has some nice original illustrations of seances, some awesome photographs, and a lot of information about a few cases I hadn't heard of. It also has some hilarious photos of modern mediums channeling that really just amount to a series of people in windbreakers (the book is from 1989) making hilarious faces.
I didn't draw at all while I was away so I have a LOT of work to do.