New Illustration...Getting a Bit Batty for Halloween!

There is something so great about the ending of summer and upcoming autumn months. The fall is my favorite time of year and I am ready to for the cooler days and the changing color of the leaves. The energy in the air changes, it is time to get back to work and get serious.

That being said I am also mentally getting myself ready for Halloween. I know it is a bit early but I LOVE this time of year and I am creating some new work in honor of the upcoming spooky holiday...and "Everyday is Halloween", right?

So I would like to introduce you all to Herman! He a sweet little brown bat that pays a bit of a homage to all the tiny bats I grew up with that lived around my families barn. I imagine little Herman zooming around the night skies looking for new friends to fill his heart and perhaps a bug or two to fill his tummy.

This cutie is now available in the shop!

I hope you all like him!

Wishing You A Happy Halloween!

Victorian Witches c. 1875 via Tweed Life Tumblr
Haunted Organist via Tumblr
Dem Bones at the Piano via UK National Archives

Boo to you all! Hope you all have a wonderfully fun Halloween evening! Hoping you can forget a little of the crazy world for an hour or two and have a good old spooky time. This year, I must confess, seems a little harder to let myself relax enough to play...but I'm going to try. Hope you do too.

This NPR Halloween music stream is helping me a bit too. Enjoy!

Super Creepy & Wonderful Vintage Halloween Masks Ahead.

Halloween is just around the corner. I can't wait! I better get working on my mask. I'm not sure what I'll be. It is an under water theme amongst my friends this year. (They do an haunted house in SF.) I better get thinking...

What do I like in a mask? The creepier the better... no pretty things for me.
I think the best masks are handmade, a little off  and usually pretty old. 

Here's to the lovely, vintage and weird...

Spooky Edwardian 1910 via national geographic

Creepy Skeleton mask from 1938 via Boston Public Library

Dog Masks via Graves and Gouls

The Lovely vintage witches via Always Halloween
too cute to not include...Vintage kitty costume via Maudelynn
A little music with your spooks... via My Heart is a terrorist
Creepy Halloween group of musicians from 1920's via here
The baby scares me more than the mouse.... via My Little Time Machine
When costumes weren't so obvious from 1905 via
Little ghost...via national geographic archives

Sisters/masked cowboys from 1950's via Shorpy
What has been your favorite Halloween costume? I've been going with a semi-victorian theme the last few years, but this year, I wanna do something new.

I hope you got some inspiration from my old masks and costumes. What will you be this year?

New Illustration - Into the Woods

 As many of you may know, I have a deep passion for all things dark. Illustrating fairy tales is a great way to get some of this "Grimm" creativity unleashed. I just love painting a world of darkness. I like strong heroines that will usually survive the harshness that come their way. This is the case with my new illustration, "Into the Woods". The young girl is set out on her own as a punishment and she must face her deepest fears...and all the creepy harmful beings in the woods. Will she survive? Well, I'm creating her as a fighter...but only the next illustration will tell.

"Into the Woods" by Debra Styer is 6x8, painted with Watercolor and Gouache.

A closer look....

What is your favorite Fairy Tale? Do you like your stories spooky or sweet?
Oh yeah...a print of this lovely illustration is available in my shop!

Haunted Places

I thought I share this amazing haunted house I walked by the other day in Alameda, CA. I love when people have such passion for these things. It really made my day. My friend told that the folks behind this amazingness are set designers and, man you really can see that they do this for a living. Great job!

Here is a peek at their transformed house...

Donner Hotel "All You Can Eat Buffet" ha..ha..
Mister Bones
DOA Corral
So fun...I must make it there when it is dark out.

The Black Cat and The White Mouse.

I just wanted to share my newest illustration of a black cat vs a white mouse. It was really rewarding to paint. I love trying to get the expressions of my subjects just right and the mouth on the kitty was a fun challenge.

I hope you like it...

 Merrrroooowwww....Look into his eyes...
The print of this illustration is 5 x 7 inches and was created with Watercolor and Gouache.

And he is available in my Etsy shop too.

Creepy Vintage Halloween Masks are here!

It is that time of year again. The time to look back at all the scary covered faces of yesteryear. I love these things. The more handmade the better. There is just something so right about all the awkwardness of these costumes. They feel real. They feel genuine. They feel good.

I did include some pretty ones too. I always attempt a really pretty mask/costume every year but they seem to end up being more of a wabi sabi finish. But that is OK right? It is just Halloween. So get out there, make what you can and have tons of fun.

Little wicked Witch via tissueclouds

Clara Bow and a scary clown mask via Carbonated
Love the laughing girl via
Ok so this not a vintage one but isn't this Owl mask from Martha Stewart perfect?
Love this Bird make via Costumerism
Creepy kids via Shorpy

Which animal is this? via thanatosdotnet
Black or white circa 1911 via shorpy
Amazing Victorian Mask/Hat via VintageGal
Classic Skeleton...done extra creepy style...via Carbonated
What will you be this year?

Virginia City!!!!

Just came back from and amazing trip to Virginia City, Nevada. I've been celebrating Halloween there for the last 5 years or so and it has become and annual event. It is such an amazing place. It is full of history and hauntings and such beauty and decay. By Halloween most of the tourists are gone and the town becomes yours.
I feel it is a spiritual place where you can stop the whirlwind of your life for a while. Here are a few pics from my can see the flickr set here.

this is the decay of which I speak...

little baby rest in peace...

As seen between the gate...

holding hands with death...

My hubby doing the robot...

Me in my fox mask...
Devil in Red...
To a lovely weekend, full of spooky things...and coming home to San Francisco to the SF Giants winning the world series and people partying in the streets. Tonight a Day of the Dead celebration in my neighborhood and a very needed nights rest. Can you say sensory overload?

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of fun. What did you do for Halloween?

Scream queens unmasked...

I love all the cheeky old spooky TV shows of the past, like the Munsters and the Addams family. And what little girl didn't want to be Wednesday Addams?  I miss staying up late to catch the creature double features that I'd watch at midnight as a teenager. It makes me wonder, where are those horror queens that would show all of those terrible b-movies? I suppose they are dead or retired. Well, I am happy Elvira is still around although I see her less and less of here these days...I suppose it will be an end to an era. This makes me sad. Who will inspire this next group of kids to go goth? This is a question I can not answer...

Sigh...Here is a little salute to the ladies that showed the naughty side of horror.  I've posted pictures of actresses that played these spooky parts for years and were pretty much only know as that character. I think they are beautiful both ways but I must say, it is amazing what a little makeup can do. Enjoy!

Cassandra Peterson

as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Carolyn Jones Morticia Addams

Maila Nurmi Vampira

Here's a little extra scream for the Halloween weekend...Hope you all have an excellently spooky holiday!

little halloween ditty...

This has to be one of my all time favorite spooky moody songs. Does someone look familiar? Yup, it is Ryan Gosling and his band Dead Man's Bones. I'll admit I usually don't fall for the celebrity band thing but this time it is different. The album is amazing. It is a wonderful mix of artsy folk music and a children's choir from L.A. Check out the whole album here, I bet it will give you some an added music for your Halloween soundtrack.

Scary Vintage Halloween Masks Ahead.

As you would have guessed Halloween is one of my all time favorite holidays. I love spooking myself out. It is so fun. This year is will no different. Only 3 weeks time my annual Halloween getaway! I better start getting ready and working on my costume. I'm planning on making my own fox mask out of papier mache and felt. Hopefully I'll get it done in time for the big night.

Speaking of masks, I've been working on some Halloween masks for Glob paints the last few days and have been looking for some inspiration. There is so much fun stuff out there. Here is some of my favorite finds:

Who knew Victorians were so funny? This photo via here

spooky stuff happening over at Country Living Magazine
Amazing masks from Martha Stewart more here.

D.I.Y. , I presume...via costumerism
If your in a sexy Halloween mood check out this D.I.Y. from craftzine.

No time for DIY? These Edwardian Paper Masks are super creepy. 

love this one from opiummuseum's flicker set. The best vintage Halloween photo sets I've seen.

Hope you enjoyed my little Halloween mask adventure.  Hope you are all getting busy making yours, I better get busy with mine. 

Update: Want to see more? Here is a link to a recent post where I added even more creepy masks. Enjoy!

My favorite time of the year...Halloween in Virginia City

I love the fall. There is a crispness in the air that reminds me to be serious and go back to school and study hard. So here I am...I'm taking a business class Something that we should have all been taught in art school but we were too young, too naive and too bored to pay attention to. Yes, business for a illustrator, who knew it could get so complicated? So I have to get a new website and a portfolio up and going then, go...go...go...

Time for a big change.

but for now a few pics from Halloween...

Hope you like them...