Monday, October 31, 2011
Happy Halloween everyone! Traditionally here at Pallimed Arts we've used the Halloween holiday to focus on skeleton art. In years past we've looked at the incredible drawings of Laurie Lipton and the breathtaking work of Kris Kulski which incorporates skeletons.
Even more broad, this year I decided to just find some great pumpkin art. Using skeleton's as a theme, this is a compilation of pumpkin skeleton carvings. If you've procrastinated this year and need some ideas, perhaps one of these will interest you.
In an effort to provide something educational, does everyone know the history of carving pumpkins?
This tradition stems from folklore told in Ireland, Scotland and England. The tale goes that a man by the name of "Stingy Jack" tricked the Devil into promising not to take his soul when he died. The nature of these tricks varies from region to region. In one story, Jack carved a cross in a tree the devil had climbed, trapping him until the promise was made. Jack ultimately dies and because of his orneriness is not allowed into Heaven. The devil holds his bargain as well, not allowing Jack into Hell. He's left to wander the earth as a soul. Jack begs for a light as he wanders, and the Devil kindly tosses him an eternal ember from Hell. Jack then carves a lantern out of a turnip for the light. He henceforth becomes known as Jack of the Lantern... or Jack -O-Lantern. The lantern became a part of rural superstition, as carved faces in the lantern were meant to ward off evil spirits as one walked in the dark. The lanterns were then placed on porches to guard the house overnight. On the left is an example of a traditional carved turnip lantern.
As people from the British Isles immigrated to the US, their autumn traditions continued, however instead of turnips, they used the more abundant and larger pumpkins. As time went by the carved pumpkin became associated with the Halloween holiday. Now, as the pictures suggest, this creative decor has evolved into elaborate creations!