HIH Haunted Art Gallery
Bonfire

"Bonfire"

Back in the earlier years of the past century, a certain amount of youthful rowdiness was not merely tolerated, but to some extent tacitly encouraged. ("Boys will be boys," dad might proudly complain.)

At no time of the year was this more true than at Halloween, when the "trick" in trick-or-treat invariably meant treat... or else! Ignoring the "or else" part might result in having your outhouse tipped over, or the wheels from your Model A Ford turn up missing, or in having to clean up after some other prank that would have been tolerated at no other time of the year.

When I was growing up in the years just before World War II, these practices were already fading away, probably because, scarred by the difficult years of the Great Depression, folks had become less tolerant of even the pettiest and most innocent of vandalism.

For as long as Halloween had been observed, one of the most popular events was a great bonfire, at which all manner of stuff would be gleefully tossed onto a blaze set out in the middle of a road, or in a vacant lot, while costumed onlookers cheered, hooted and danced around while flinging into it empty crates, broken furniture, and other burnable booty they'd been hoarding for weeks beforehand.

For a wonderful evocation of the Halloween bonfire, go rent that favorite old Judy Garland musical, Meet Me In St. Louis. Set in 1904, the film portrays a suburban family in the months before the St. Louis World's Fair. We meet the youngest daughter of the family, "Tootie," played by a young Margaret O'Brien, who has a breathtaking Halloween encounter that begins around a roaring Halloween bonfire. No Halloween fan should miss this!

Even though the Halloween bonfire seems to have faded from tradition (hazardous at best, thus a not-unwelcome passing), an artist is allowed to wax nostalgic for something he's never directly experienced.

I knew exactly how this painting should look even before I began it, and yet it took over a year from beginning to completion, through endless sketches and three separate versions, before it finally felt right.

Here it is. I hope you enjoy it too.

Medium Print size is 7.5" x 9.5", double matted (charcoal over a white liner), backed with rigid foam-core board, ready for framing in any readily available 11" x 14" frame. Shipped Priority Mail.

Large Print size is 12" x 18" on 13" x 19" paper. After I carefully inspect and sign your print, I'll slip it into its protective clear plastic envelope and carefully roll it for mailing to you, together with a page of helpful framing hints. Shipped Priority Mail.

Premiere Limited Edition Print size is 17" x 24" on 22" x 28" paper. This is one of a growing series of Limited Edition prints duplicating each painting's original size in an edition of 150 signed and numbered prints, produced to extremely high standards on fine art paper, through the Giclee process.

Medium Print: $59.00
Large Print: $69.00
Premiere: $189.00
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All art print graphics and text are used with permission and Copyright © Lewis Barrett Lehrman. All rights reserved.

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