Creepy Goya Artwork Perfect for Halloween

Before I turned 1 my dad introduced me to scary video games like Castlevania and DOOM and scary movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. Been hooked ever since.

I love scary stuff all year long but I always feel extra creeped out around Halloween. Well, I was driving home today when I saw an 18 wheeler that had the word “Chronos” written on it. I immediately thought about the Francisco de Goya y Lucientes painting, Chronos Devouring One of His Children. I haven’t looked at that painting in years, so I dug out my very heavy art book and took a look.

chronos devouring one of his children

Also named Saturn Devouring One of His Children

Goya painted this in 1820-1822 during the Romanticism period. I remember thinking that period would actually be romantic but it wasn’t. Instead you get a bunch of creepy and scary artwork.

Last night, I was watching Rocky V with my friend (who’s 13) and when Adrienne said she wanted her son to use his mind, not his fists, my friend said he didn’t understand how you’d fight with your mind. Well, he’s got some learning to do because our minds are the most fascinating and mysterious and most powerful parts of our body.

It’s my vivid imagination that usually scares me the most. And the creepy and scary things the human mind can think up is something that a lot of artists were trying to depict during the Romanticism period.   

chronos close up

Close up

I like the bright red blood pouring onto his hands which are clenched so tightly around the miniature body of one of his children that he must have broken the bones. His long hair and that crazy desperate look in his eyes sends chills down my spine. Even the color of his skin and the way Goya positioned the titan god’s body makes me feel sick.

Apparently, Goya originally painted 14 paintings known as the “black paintings” directly onto his walls in his Madrid home. That would be sooo scary to have this “dad” staring at you as you go get a drink of water . . . or gosh . . . a late night snack.

los caprichos

Another scary piece by Goya that’s perfect for Halloween is Los Caprichos, plate 3, from his aquatint etchings series. In this etching, The Boogeyman is Coming, Goya depicts an irrational and common fear which was created by parents and society to scare children into behaving.

I was never afraid of the boogeyman, but I knew people who were. After staring at this etching for a while and contemplating the fear I do start to get a little scared. Goya’s use of dark and light go really well with the terrified looks on their faces. And I can’t even see the Boogeyman’s face. The unknown is always scary.

My imagination has no trouble running away from me. Especially as I sit here in the dark on Halloween night while the rain beats on the roof.

I hope you enjoyed looking at Goya’s creepy artwork. I know I did. Have a Happy and Scary Halloween.

 

A Time to Imagine

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Acting like a child is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Children are inquisitive, observant, and innovative. They know how to have fun.

walt disney

Walt Disney reminded us never to let our inner child grow up.

  • Laugh at the thought of being alive.

  • Imagine like you are seven years old.

  • Dream big because nothing stands in your way. 

Hold on . . . who has time to act like a child when adult responsibilities get in the way? It’s simple: Live in the moment. The gift of life is a beautiful adventure begging to be explored.

I grab my water bottle as I head out the door pumped and ready to explore my world. In real life, I’m exercising and walking my dog around the neighborhood, but in my imagination, I’m at the beginning of my journey to Mordor.

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I exuberantly stride up the road to a pile of trees that, from the looks of it, someone has been using as campfire wood. Smiling, I visualize three colossal trolls drooling and slobbering over their dinner. I hop with excitement as I pick up my pace and JUMP onto the downed tree.

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Perfect landing.

My flesh happily soaks up vitamin D from the hot Texas sun. Beads of sweat drip from my temples as I practice vaulting and jumping on my campfire playground. Suddenly, my attention is yanked upward to a loud buzzing sound. My head spastically searches for the source . . . . . . there they are!

I freeze as my eyes hone in on a massive cluster of bees swarming with purpose a few feet away from me. In search of a new home, I assume.

Thanking God, I take a deep breath of relief that the bees didn’t have any interest in me. As I continue on my journey, my ears perk to the sound of three planes circling above me. I see one in front of me, and I hear two behind me. I dash across the road to a stucco house surrounded with large climbable trees.

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I’ll hide among the canopy of leaves to evade the enemy plane’s watchful eyes. As soon as they finish their usual flight pattern, I’ll have about 45 minutes before they come back. The minutes drag and my arms shake from fatigue. Finally, they’re gone. Now that it’s safe enough to explore, I drop down to the ground.

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Phew! My muscles tremble as I reach for my water bottle. The position of the sun lets me know how long I’ve been playing. (Not to mention the hanging from a tree branch like a monkey!)

I look down at my pedometer and see I reached my minimum daily goal of 1 mile for a GRAND TOTAL of 3 miles; 1,776 more to go. (This is definitely not the furthest I’ve been from home.) I played, I exercised, I got inspired . . . Now, I must return to the real world.

Wait! I don’t have to return to the real world (whatever that is). Imagination is a habit.

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
– W. Somerset Maugham

I’m grateful that I was taught from a very young age to live in the moment. To enjoy today, learn from the past, and dream of the future. To watch ants. To chase shadows. To learn. To create.

Observe the beautiful world around you. 

I’m constantly amazed by God and His creation. Below are 5 incredible senses He gave us to aid in our exploration of life:

  • Sight – Be aware of what is in front, behind, to the left, to the right, up and down. Get in close and look at the details. Step back and look at it from far away. What colors, shapes, patterns, and designs do you see?

  • Hearing – I like to distinguish sounds. While listening to: children laughing, birds chirping, a dog sniffing, wind blowing, planes flying, and many other sounds all at once, I heard the buzzing of bees – before I saw them. (Sometimes, I leave my iPod at home so that I can hear the sounds of my world.)

  • Taste – Don’t shove the food down your throat without enjoying it. Truly savor each bite. A healthy diet is easier to savor, so resist the fast food temptation. Wild blackberries are lining rural roads just waiting to be tasted. Five basic tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.

  • Smell – Roses are blooming, and I can’t help but take a whiff. Learn a lesson from the beagle’s keen sense of smell! Train your nose to recognize different scents, and follow them. There might be some delicious pizza at the end of that aroma.

  • Touch – Sap got on my hands as I was vaulting over the tree. My palms and everything I touched stayed sticky for a loooong time. Run your fingers over different textures and temperatures. Notice how it feels.

Feeling discouraged? Tired? Bored? Anxious? Stressed? Un-inspired? Go out and play; enjoy the adventure we call life. Remember to grab your camera! You’re bound to capture a decisive moment.