Greetings MonsterKids! 2017 marks the 35th Anniversary of John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. In all that time, the film hasn’t dulled one iota. In point of fact, this tale of paranoia and distrust seems even more relevant in this toxic modern political age in which we find ourselves. For me, “The Thing” is one of my top ten favorite films of all time. It is required viewing at least once a year, usually around Halloween, and I get something new from each screening. It is still considered a high water mark of Special Effects Makeup that has been rarely surpassed even today.
To celebrate the film’s anniversary, my friends at the Creature Features Gallery in Burbank decided to put together a show. I was invited, as were many of the other artists on the Creature Features roster, to contribute pieces. We were joined by artists from around the world whose work was being compiled for a special book of tribute art for the film’s anniversary. It was a huge show! It didn’t take a lot of brain storming to figure out what I was going to paint. In addition to the above listed reasons, another aspect of this film’s greatness is its cast of fully fleshed out characters. They are all very distinct personalities that contribute to the story. In fact, each one has one or more quotable lines of dialogue. As I knew that many of the artists would be focusing on the creature aspects of the film, I not surprisingly decided to turn my focus to these character moments and realize each one in a painting. I was so inspired I ended up creating three different pieces for the show!
The first was based on an acrylic sketch I did sometime last year. “TIED TO THIS F***ING COUCH!” is based on possibly the most quoted line from the movie. It is a tension relieving capper to the intense “Blood Test” scene. (Please note that I am not going to go into any great detail about the scenes on which these paintings are based. If you have seen the film, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you have not, SHAME ON YOU! Stream that sucker immediately and get back here to discuss afterwards!)
The second piece entitled “You’ve got to be F***ING KIDDING!” is another humorous moment that reflects the audiences reaction to the unbelievable mayhem unleashed on the screen just seconds earlier. The line is uttered by my second favorite character in the film, the stoner pilot Palmer. Folks may argue that his is the most memorable line of dialogue. Really, it’s a toss-up!
The third and final painting features my favorite character in the film, the scientist Blair played by the always interesting Wilford Brimley. Blair has what I believe is the most interesting character arc in the film. He brings authenticity to role, especially during the autopsy scenes. This painting, “I’m Alright Now. I Want To Come Back Inside!” takes on Blair at the point in the story where he has been cooling his heels in an outdoor storage shed after a violent outburst. Peering in through a peep hole/door, Kurt Russell’s “Mac” sees Blair eating some canned food. A makeshift noose hangs in the foreground. With this painting, I wanted to do something a little different. I came up with the idea to make the frame look like the snow covered door to the shed complete with open view port just like in the film. I am very proud of how this one turned out!
..and as it appears in the frame at the Gallery.
Do check out the show if you can. There are a lot of neat interpretations of the theme on display. If you are in the area, it is worth your time! Click HERE for more info! The show runs until April 16. (I know! It’s a short one!) After that we head into “Rocketeer” territory!
Thanks for looking!