One will vanish. Every night. Forever…
Enter here for your chance to win one of 100 free copies of J Edward Neill’s startling horror novella, The Hecatomb.
Alex O’Riley has always tried not to fit in.
In his simple life, at his tiny house, he paints quiet masterpieces while living as a hermit.
But with one phone call from a brash New York lawyer, Alex learns he’s inherited Castle Carrick, the grandest fortress in Northern Ireland.
At Carrick, strange and dark events begin to swirl ever closer to Alex, turning his hoped-for quiet life inside out.
Now he must decide: flee from Ireland and give up his inheritance…or embrace the dark power which compels him to paint wondrous, yet terrifying things.
I’m J Edward.
I paint. A lot. Maybe too much. Honestly, these days, it’s all I do. If I’m not painting, I’m preparing canvasses. If I’m not prepping, I’m conceptualizing new trees, new landscapes, new ways to end the world.
All day. Every day. And most of the nights, too.
Yes. It’s true. I have no social life. I live in a colorful hole, and I’m fine with it.
For the last two years, life has been good to me. I’ve found myself able to make a living almost purely via art. It’s a dreamlike state, and surely one I never thought I’d reach. Yet here I am, up to my elbows in Mars Black and Unbleached Titanium, knee-deep in stacks of pristine canvasses gleaned from the shelves of the local Michael’s craft store. My house is a museum, almost every square inch of my walls covered up by images of trees, ships, towers, and strange, surrealistic objects.
It’s a good life.
But there is one thing.
One little dilemma.
A small something about which my collectors have reached out and tapped me on my shoulder.
I never sign my work.
The other day, a nice lady who’d just purchased several originals and prints sent me a message. She was very polite. Very reasonable. “I was disappointed,” she said. “None of the pieces were signed.”
She explained her distress at length, and I tried (and hopefully succeeded) in politely and honestly explaining myself.
“I never sign them,” I said. “It’s about the art, not the artist.”
“It’s just a thing with me.”
She never did reply. As of today, I’m not sure whether she understood. Or appreciated my view. Or whether she quietly fumed and plotted never again to buy from me.
Frankly, I get it.
Truth is…original art isn’t quite like any other consumer purchase. It’s just not. Sure, a signed Spiderman # 1 comic might fetch a high price, but it’s not the only Spiderman # 1, and it’s probably not the only signed one, either. Paintings, especially canvas paintings properly varnished and cared for, have a long, long shelf (or wall) life, and tend to endure the ages better than other items, given that they are rarely touched, typically only viewed.
What I’m really getting at is…
…what my point is…
…my art will outlive me.
Being of only modest talent and ambition, I’m never going to be the next Van Gogh or H.R. Giger or Zdzislaw Beksinki. And yet, I’ve still created things, unique things, in which my beloved patrons have placed much faith. These objects, well cared for, might sit upon their walls, their children’s walls, for many decades to come. With any luck, I’ll be long gone before they start to decay, and the slow entropy of the years wears down their color.
And finally, on that day, the person who created them (me) will no longer be recognized as their creator. These creations will become creator-less. Orphans, if you will, haunting the walls of people who haven’t the faintest idea who I am…or who I was. They’ll become free, in a way. Unbound to me.
If I sit on my couch and dwell on it, I realize something:
Most artists are not okay with this arrangement.
I suppose, not signing a painting (or a sculpture, or any hand-crafted item) is a little like having a child and giving it no last name. It’s maybe a bit like having a favorite pet, then forgetting it once it passes on. To some collectors and artists, it might even be considered arrogant. I’ve been called as much by a few buyers. And on the same subject, I’ve been asked, “Why? Why don’t you sign them? Don’t you want to be remembered?”
The short answer is…
…way deep down…
I don’t care about being remembered.
And while it may challenge the prevailing wisdom of signing one’s art with a flourish (or at least subtly inking the back of the canvas) I know I’m not the only one. To me, the art really is all about the art. My part, creating it, is my joy, my passion, and oftentimes my suffering. But after I’m done, after each piece ends up on someone else’s wall, it becomes no longer mine to claim. My part in the story ends with each painting that leaves my walls, and a fresh story begins in the dwelling of its new owner.
To me, my reasoning feels simple.
These created things spend mere moments in my hands, and possibly lifetimes in the presence of others.
And truly, art belongs to everyone. What I see and feel as I create in each piece has no bearing on what its owner will feel.
So perhaps, in the end, my true signature is…
…no signature at all.
We’ll leave it at that.
Wind, water, music, Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath…
J Edward Neill and H.R. Reiter choose a wide variety of themes, styles, and famous poets, and splash several poems in each theme throughout this elegant poetry book.
When Andelusia Anderae leaves home in search of a better life, she accidentally plunges into a world-ending war.
The deeper she falls, the more she senses the dark powers rising within her, and the more she realizes she is not so different than the enemy.
Love might not be enough to save her, for her enemy is all-powerful, and the shadow within her desires her more than any living man ever will.
For centuries, Galen has been on the run.
Through cities long abandoned and across deserts salted with bones, the Nemesis and his legions pursue him to the ends of the earth.
But no longer.
When Galen learns the location of the life-extending Blue Vials, he sets out to defeat the Nemesis and his wicked, world-dominating father, the Pharaoh.
But Galen has more in mind than killing the Lords of the Black Sands. He desires the world to become his own, and he’ll stop at nothing to climb the Pharaoh’s throne.
Because to live is divine, but to live FOREVER is destiny.
Lords of the Black Sands – a dark and vivid look at a future that may yet be.
J Edward is selling the ORIGINAL canvas art for his most popular paintings.
If you’re interested, go here – to his Etsy shop, ShadowArtFinds.
Hecatomb – ‘heka’tom/ (noun) – An extensive loss of life for some cause.
The name of my terrifying new novella, NOW available.
In a drowned village, on a dark shore, in a city of white stones, an ancient evil stalks.
It has no name, no face, and no desire but to see the death of everything…
Down through the ages it exists, sleepless and void, a relic from the world before humanity.
One dead. Every night. Forever.
Until nothing remains.
© by Down the Dark Path, 2020 // proudly powered by WordPress // Theme: keiran by pixxels.at