Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beware the Bog Men

Along the shores of the Hudson River, the railroad line isolates muddy coves. That's where the bog people live.



At high tide they look like the roots of trees washed down by floods. But as the tide goes down and the sun goes down you can see their glistening eyes watching you. 

Plein-air painters working unaware along the shore sometimes feel a tendril wrap around their ankles. So when I sketched this guy, I kept my escape route always in view. 

11 comments:

Tristan Dugan said...

What in the . . . !?! Yikes, I had no idea . . .


Lol, that's an awesome concept/painting (if not totally eerie)!

Terry said...

These are really good safety tips for plein-air artists! The Muggle reporters won't tell you this stuff!

twilightcat said...

So creepy! (And reminds me of Spiderwick.)

Nathalie said...

Good that I am far away!

etc, etc said...

Just throw some turp/solvent in their eyes; works everytime.

James Gurney said...

Thank you for mentioning Tony D., creator of Spiderwick. He is the maestro, and a good friend. I could not help but think of his work, and also our mutual hero, Arthur Rackham, who is the king of seeing faces in gnarled trees.

Etc. Good idea!

Janet Oliver said...

You would love it out here, James. The carcasses of cottonwood trees lurk in the landscape, daring me to reanimate them!

Samizdat said...

I believe what you've drawn there is a boggle. Related to the bogle and boggart and bogeyman, but they live specifically in wetland marshes. We have very few of them left, since the fenland was mostly drained for farming, but there are still a few in the east of England.

Michael Oxley said...

"Along the shores of the Hudson River, the railroad line isolates muddy coves. That's where the bog people live."

James, that is a *brilliant* opening line. You have a definite flair for writing as well as a mastery of art. I suppose the excellent writing in the Dinotopia books shows that, eh?

Thank you, sir.

James Gurney said...

Janet, yes! Cottonwoods are truly possessed by weird spirits, and they like to put their roots into river mud.

Samizdat. I've heard that "bogeyman" is related to "bog, and it makes sense. When they drain those bogs, especially the peat bogs, they find all sorts of strange things, including mummified corpses.

Michael, thanks for the compliment. I enjoy the challenge of trying to frame a picture with words.

vlad74 said...

Wonderful sketch James.