For as long as I can remember, I have found nightmares, like the horror genre itself, to be terrifying and gratifying; attractive and repellant. This drawing, like 2009’s Recurring Night-Hag, was the product of a night terror. This entity---the same one that had for years plagued my dreams until completing Recurring Night-Hag--- seemed to be reaching for me yet again. At the insistence of a friend, I attempted to give form (if not a face) to what was essentially a powerful phantasm, a dark universal totem. Every creative endeavor I’ve ever undertaken has been an exploration into this paradoxical concept. I think Visitation speaks also to the imaginative notion that nightmares are like the tides---one never knows what might wash up on the shores of the unconscious. Although this drawing was not inspired by any of Lovecraft’s writings, I recently read a passage from one of his short stories and was struck by its relevance to the piece and, perhaps more importantly, to the feeling that surrounds my memory of the dream that inspired it:
Slowly but inexorably crawling upon my consciousness and rising above every other impression, came a dizzying fear of the unknown; a fear all the greater because I could not analyse it, and seeming to concern a stealthily approaching menace; not death, but some nameless, unheard-of thing inexpressibly more ghastly and abhorrent.
from “The Crawling Chaos”, 1920
This was and is a very special and personal piece to me. It was my attempt to portray, in essence, the Dark Mother of all nightmares.
Charcoal on paper, 2012