Prompt 6 – Hour 11


I love the whole idea of this prompt… you can take anything you want from history and anything you want from the real world and cram them together. You can take a literal view and correct some of the worst urban legends or flawed history reports with some accuracy or you can leave them alone.

Washington Irving is famous for two stories most above all others… The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (the text of which can be found here) and Rip Van Winkle. In the interest of playing with classically accepted Halloween themes, I went for Sleepy Hollow. For those of you who are not familiar, long story short, wronged headless guy rides around taking revenge on a scary big horse. Johnny Depp was in a recent movie adaptation.

Queen Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna – better known to most of us as the beheaded Queen Marie Antoinette -is the victim of malicious rumor and has been much misquoted as having said of the poor in France who could not eat bread, “Well, then let them eat brioche.” She is an actual piece of our history that has been badly corrupted over time.

So… what happens when you put the two together? Or when I do?

I believe the proper story from the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker might have told the story of a much misunderstood decapitated Queen who rode around Sleepy Hollow offering treats to anyone who would accept them on the ghost of a pretty golden pony in order to prove that she was in fact a good and heartfull woman who had never maligned the plight of the poor in her country or any other. The Headless Horseman was created out of shame that the villagers were so terrified of a headless woman offering them gorgeous goodies on a miniature equine at any time of day or night.

I’m actually painting this with you today… and sharing my progress while you come up with your own awesome interpretations of this really wide open theme.

Here she is all dollied up and ready for today’s final painting… you get to watch her come to life, so to speak.




“Pro” Polymer Clay Tip: you can fake fabric in clay by rolling the polymer clay out on a textured surface or actual texture mat – I used an Artistcellar stencil – and then gently stretching it with your fingers until it “drapes” over the figure you are trying to enrobe or cloak.

Borrowed “Pro” Undead Painting Tip: (Thank you, Sarah Trumpp) Use purple and green… they are “almost natural” shadows that also give us an uneasy feeling that something isn’t quite right. The photo above only has the purple layer of color, the green will be evident in the first pictures I post for you in the Art-a-thon.

And finally… a freebie… a life tip that the other teachers here have shared with me and that I will freely pass along to you… it is absolutely imperative that you MUST let yourself go. Embrace the weirdo in you that people look at you strangely for. This is a life lesson it has taken me a really long time to “get.” Make yourself laugh at you. Do you suppose those Ancient Aliens guys might be right and aliens taught us how to build the pyramids? Or better, do you think our some dweeb went back in time from our future and pulled the greatest prank in the history of all pranks ever and built them?

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have.




melissahalloween2 My take on this prompt I will be changing fairy tales. I don’t think it follows the prompt 100% but its the first thing that came to mind when Ruth explained it to me. I will specifically be changing the story of Little Red Riding Hood. I plan to rewrite the events that take place in the story and illustrating it. There are several different versions of Little Red Riding Hood though most are quite similar. I plan on using this version.
rhondahalloween I am really interested to see what Ruth comes up with for this prompt. I have no idea what it means. I think of possibly some of my old time photos or post cards that I have. Possibly some version of collage where the heads are replaced. My friend Ungala has been replacing heads with cats lately so that comes to mind. Maybe a monster head would be a fun alternative.
sarahhalloween My friend Ann is the queen of this prompt.  In honor of her awesomeness, I plan to paint a series of presidential zombies.


Who doesn’t like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? The video below is the full version which includes the “Master of Menace”, Vincent Price’s narration. His narration of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” is awesome. You can check that out here. ~Melissa

Ruth Hinman

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