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Here is the second entry in the Halloween concept art category, a piece about familiars. I try to have a more subtle take on these kinds of subjects, as they’re often portrayed as pure gore-fest, during this time of year. That and having grown up during the time of accordion armed and legged scarecrow and skeleton decorations my sensibilities have been permanently steered towards the suspense filled rather than total shock filled senses.

Symbolism in Halloween Art

The more I research the subject of symbolism, in anything not just Halloween, the more I appreciate the creativity of human communication. I know originally it was probably the lack of a “word” to describe a subject that brought about a symbol, but, symbols evolved to give nuance to words and pictures ( which makes it a whole lot more interesting than one word, one meaning). That’s kind of the way I like to construct a painting, symbolism that sheds new light on a subject or maybe a mystery to be solved visually.

History of Halloween

Since I’ve been reading more of the lore of Halloween, naturally the need of these traditions emerge. The reasons for why a thing happened and how it was explained, without going into the actual history itself, is simply the technology and knowledge of the time. Which is an “excellent” way to take advantage of the heightened anxiety of a viewer; if you can play on the superstitions or fear of your audience it’s so much easier to create the drama or ambiance. See, ignorance can be bliss, knowing how the magician does the magic takes the excitement out of everything.

Halloween Familiars

Now that I have the background on a lot of the lore and the reasoning for it I feel that I can produce something a little different, something that has more context. It makes it easier to see the subject matter in a slightly different light. Like “Familiars” they always seemed like sidekicks or visual background noise. There is a purpose for their existence, whether “summoned” or appearing because of need (evil or good). This puts a whole different spin on the history and gives Halloween concept art more variety, that I can use to construct a painting, than it’s usual fare.

Witch’s Wall is available for sale as a print at  James Turner Studio