A little bit dark, a little bit spooky...

A little bit dark, a little bit spooky...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Vincent Price ...

Vincent Price: May 27, 1911 - October 25, 1993

A true class act like no other.
Vincent Price was so much more than merely an actor known for his roles in a plethora of scary films. A best-selling author, radio talent and voice actor as well as a world-renown art collector, the man was talented beyond compare among his contemporaries, cultured and well-educated like few others. We shall never see the likes of him again. 

He was, without a doubt, my favorite actor. 

Now, I have a true Vincent Price story I'd like to share:
Back in the early 1990s, I was working for a publisher in the heart of West Hollywood, on Santa Monica Boulevard. Each day during my lunch hour, I'd go outside and walk around for a bit, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, as well as the fantastic architecture of the older buildings that WeHo is known for.

Directly next door to the building where I worked was a little market called Mayfair. Occasionally I'd go in there to pick up something to snack on. So this one day in particular - I remember it vividly - was one of those spectacularly sunny, breezy, dry and hot late October days. Just a couple days before Halloween in 1992, to be precise. It felt wondrous to be outside in that weather, away from the confines of the office. 

I stopped in to Mayfair to grab a bite to eat. Now let me preface this by informing the reader that I was one of those people who always carried a small camera in my purse. Back then, I believe it was either a Kodak 110 or Instamatic style (with *FILM* as this was several decades before the advent of digital!). But my reason for always keeping a camera in close proximity was because I was of the mindset that "You never know what you'll see or who you're going to meet" for that perfect photo opp. Plus, it being Hollywood, the what-if factor was upped substantially of running into the who's and what's of the area. And, of course, I also sincerely enjoyed taking photos of pretty sunsets, foliage, and whatnot. 

I'd gotten my lunch and was making my way to the cashier, but, partly in and partly out of the line ahead of me was a very tall, very thin older man who was fussing with a couple small bags of fresh produce in his cart. Tangerines and tomatoes, I recall. His ornate walking cane was hooked over the side of his cart. I was not sure if he was actually in the line, or getting ready to push his cart forward, but being reasonably well-mannered particularly where my elders are concerned, I did not want to just rudely cut ahead of him. I stood there with my little styrofoam tray of salad in my hands, patiently waited about thirty or so seconds, trying to make my presence known, and was about to ask him if he was indeed in line, when he suddenly sensed that I was standing there behind him. He turned around, smiled broadly and said, "I am so sorry, my dear, please go ahead of me!" and patted my hand as he exited the cashier line, turned around, and then got directly behind me.

... AND IT WAS VINCENT PRICE. I think my jaw hit the floor and my eyes bugged out and  my heart began to thunder inside my rib cage. I think I also drooled on myself, but I was in such a state of shock, I don't exactly remember because VINCENT PRICE was less than twelve inches from me.

AND HE LOOKED INTO MY EYES AND SMILED AT ME. 

AND SPOKE TO ME WITH THAT WONDERFUL MELLIFLUOUS VOICE.

AND. HE. TOUCHED. MY. HAND.

Okay. Honestly, I'm not the sort who truly gets all gaga over celebrities or so-called glitterati when I run into them, and trust me, I have literally ran into many in my time. 

However, this was not simply your garden-variety celeb du jour. IT WAS VINCENT PRICE!!!

I scarcely recall paying for my food, as I tried to play it cool, and not turn to the side and outright stare at the man. I realized that my hands were shaking as I left the building, thinking that I just had to - HAD TO! - acknowledge him when he exited. I set my lunch down and furiously tunneled through my purse, searching for my camera, but it was not there! In a flash I remembered that the previous night, I'd removed it in order to bring in the film for developing, and, well, never put the damn thing back inside. I was devastated! The ONE TIME I really truly and desperately wanted to have a photo with a celeb that I actually loved and respected, and Miss Dunderbrains left her stinkin' camera at home.

Well, upset as I was, I decided that I nevertheless had to say something to him, or risk dying a hugely miserable person. And a few moments later, as a box boy carried his bags to his car, Mr. Price strode with his grand walking cane toward where I was standing. I took a deep breath and approached him. 

I said to him, "Mr. Price, I just wanted to tell you that I am a lifelong fan, and have seen every one of your movies. I love you!" (But actually, I think it was hastily blurted out more in the way a complete blithering idiot would say it)

He looked at me with those beautiful, expressive crystal blue eyes that crinkled mischievously in the corners, smiled again very broadly and with great warmth, and replied, "Oh, thank you so much, my dear! That is so very kind of you to say! I love you too. Happy Halloween!" 

.... AND TOOK MY HAND INTO BOTH OF HIS AND GENTLY SHOOK THEM WITH GRATITUDE.

The next sound to be heard was my feet being quickly whooshed off the pavement, as I floated in a delirious little cloud back to my cubicle in the mundane little office I worked in next door...

Again, this event - this TRUE EVENT! - transpired but a few days before Halloween in 1992. 

Mr. Price died almost exactly one year to the day afterward.


RIP, dear Sir. You are missed.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

With sincerest admiration ...


Not only am I just simply an artist, I'm also an ardent admirer and collector of other artist's work. 
I find that we need to draw inspiration in a number of ways: from personal tastes and experiences, and also from what our fellow artists have created. I believe I speak for so many when I say that the artists who came before us have in many ways helped to put us on our own individual paths. 

These past couple of years, I have tried to purchase at least a few creations from some of my favorite creators, and in an ongoing series on this blog, will be giving each one a nod of thanks, including featuring a piece of their art that I myself have garnered in my personal collection.

Today, I'll start with a lady of whom I feel is an astounding talent: 
Sheila Bentley of PrimDolly.

Sheila's works are exactly that - astounding! One look at her array of skeletons, witches, Jack O'Lanterns and such, and you fall helplessly in love with the magical world she has created from polymer clay. WOWZA! All the things I also have a deep love for and enjoy creating. A kindred spirit, bound by a wad of Sculpey. That is too cool for words!

Sheila is a participating artist in the yearly extravaganza we Halloween folk artists all know and love, called "Ghoultide Gathering," which transpires up in Michigan each autumn. I know that right now, the artists slated to appear at this year's event are madly busy creating their spooky wares to showcase, but occasionally, they will have a goody or two for sale on their Etsy pages. Well, say no more - I swooped in and grabbed one while they were still available! I've learned that the collector's market for these wonderful Halloween art dolls is huge, and you must act quickly if you want to add one to your personal collection. 
I've made the mistake of thinking, "Oh, I'll check back next week and see about buying it." Big mistake indeed! Can't tell you how many times I've kicked myself, losing out on a sale.

So of course, need I say that I am beyond thrilled to now own this super-cute, jaunty Skellie fellow with a black top hat (my favorite thing!) who balances precariously on a glum-looking Jack O'Lantern?
Shelia Bentley creations - PrimDolly

Thank you so much, Sheila! I'm a fan for life!


Stop by PrimDolly and see what Sheila has in store!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/primdolly





Sunday, May 22, 2016

***SOLD!***

Miss Kitty is on her way to her new home in Seattle, WA!

I've said it before: I do get somewhat attached to my creations, and will certainly miss this fun little cookie jar.
For now, it's back to the studio and getting' creative! Halloween is on the way...