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Oil Paints
Pickman's Model
The Call of Cthulhu

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email: marc.clamage@gmail.com

  One of the denizens of my brother's horse farm in North Carolina. He has three chickens and I was conteplating an austere, highly abstract painting of two chickens in a Japanese print style composition, but chasing around one chicken looking for the right view soon disabusd me of that idea.    

Oh my God... what have I done... He said his name was Pickman and he offered me $10,000 to paint a portrait of his friend. He paid in gold coins from the reign of William III. I took the commission... God knows I needed the money... Imagine my surprise, my horror, when I saw who the model was to be! But by then it was too late, I had no choice.

I have been places I should not have been, I have tasted things I should not have tasted. The portrait is almost done, and both Pickman and his model have told me they are pleased with the results. Now they tell me they want another portrait, a group portrait this time, something like Rembrandt's "Syndics of the Clothiers Guild"... or perhaps "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp" would be more appropriate. I told them no, and this morning when I awoke, my wife and children were gone, spirited away.

I must go to them, and I do not think I will be coming back. They told me to take no pictures, but the world must know what lies beneath. If I go missing, do NOT open the trap door in the back of my garage. Let the world know, protect yourselves...

* * *

Well, I'm back from dream-haunted Kadath! It all turned out to be a silly mistake. My wife and children are fine and are taking a well-deserved vacation in the Mountains of Madness (the skiing is excellent this time of year!). I painted the group portrait Pickman and Cywexggjsdjxhkfeyf wanted, and it was easy as pie. Those guys can really stay still, it's like painting a corpse. Unfortunately I was not able to take a photo of the painting because the laws of physics are different there, but here is the finished Pickman's Model painting. I'd still recommend against opening that trapdoor in the back of my garage, and please, do not disturb the metal cylinders stored back there. They're very important to me. Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!


These last two paintings are completely atypical for me, I actually spent a good deal of time on them so they deserve some explanation. First of all, these are obvious tributes to H.P. Lovecraft and the short stories of the same name. I happen to be a big fan, live 30 miles from Lovecraft's home town of Providence and have even recently gone with a friend to visit Lovecraft's modest grave. Then my daughter came back from a visit to Providence with a tee shirt  for me ("R'lyeh - City of Dreams - Necronomicon Providence," with a picture of Chthulhu on it) and awesome news—it being Lovecraft's 125th birthday there would be a convention in Providence—NecronomiCon—in his honor. I was very excited.

About the same time I had been cleaning out my garage/studio and came across a large tube of cheap, student grade Flake White oil paint. It's something I would never, ever use in one of my paintings, and yet, there it was, going to waste. I also have a number of extremely large canvases given to me by my step-mom that have just been sitting there, so I had the brainstorm to do this painting. I never work from imagination, but the concept behind what Pickman's model would look like came to me in a flash—part human, part mole, part frog, part extraterrestrial—and aside from that, everything else in the painting (including the skeleton!) is straightforward still life of my studio.