Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Brief History of the Pumpkin Dream (Part 1) - Halloween Fireworks

In general, near the end of 2004, I had rediscovered how fun holiday art could be, and as a personal tonic for the troubles of the world. My 2004 series of Halloween and Christmas imagery had been great fun, and from there I turned to writing (where I could be just as imaginative without trying to fund materials).

Hallowe'en #9 (2004)
(This particular image is a pier on Greenlake in Seattle, WA in infrared photography)
One of nine images I created for a series called Hallowe'en, used at the time for greeting cards.
Updates: See more at flickr and I just re-posted remaining cards for sell on Etsy

In the summer of 2005, as fireworks were going off just a few blocks away from me in the the party atmosphere of July 4th celebrations, I was sitting with my primitive little laptop, (that was "free" with some miserable card offer), in our teeny tiny apartment, working on the first few lines of what was to become The Pumpkin Dream... a fantastic distraction from the more serious tones of my own fine art, and web content (re: the disaster of the economic downturn that began for myself as money, time, and education thrown into what became the 2001 bursting of the Seattle web bubble...,  a personally disastrous economic turn)...I suppose the explains the somewhat arch yet escapist tone of the poem!

JOL 2006
Seattle Jack O'Lantern circa 2005:
(Our favorite pumpkin patch was Craven Farm in Snohomish).

Anyhow, writing, as the most inexpensive art form I could enjoy, (gave my imagination full range to dream), and so that summer I started scribbling down stories and poems in fits and starts. (Hopefully a few more of those will see the light as well)! The Pumpkin Dream originally started that summer as just a few separate small poems that over the following weeks began to huddle together in a larger narrative. From the currently finished version, those lines now seem very primitive to my senses, and this is one of the least offensive passages, that even now I couldn't resist changing a word or two as I transcribed:

this most peculiar, gruesome bunch
confirm our most suspicious hunch
that monsters of the thirty-first
must absolutely be the worst...

Ugh. Well, I can't remember how long I worked on the poem immediately following that initial period, but over the following years, as the other writings I had started during that period sat ignored, I would pick this one up as the Halloween season rolled around and fiddle with the words, trying to hammer out the story, and create strong imagery without losing the narrative... (the latter being my greatest challenge for balance in creative writing, when I really do want someone to understand what I'm trying to express).

I would say that in general the poem by October 2006 had finally taken its overall final shape with a handmade book and a handful of illustrations. And I think that's going to be full of enough content for part 2 of this little history... (Part 2)

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