HIH Haunted Art Gallery
The Phantom of Bayou des Mortes

"The Phantom of Bayou des Mortes"

In the winter of 1987, my wife and I were driving west. To avoid icy weather, and because we had always wanted to see New Orleans, we took a southern route, across Mississippi and Louisiana. Along the way, we decided to get off the interstate to see a little of the local countryside. Among the mossy trees and ramshackle villages I photographed along the way, this old house stood out for its forlorn, melancholy, haunted look. I liked the resulting photo, sure that it would someday result in a painting, but only recently did I pull it out with the intention of painting not just the scene, but the spooky way it made me feel. I called forth memories of the creepy feeling that prompted me to photograph it, combining look with emotion to express, in paint, its strangely haunted aura.

As the painting neared completion, something really wierd happened...

While I was rinsing a brush, perhaps a bit too vigorously, a drop splashed from my water pot and landed on the blackness of the cabin's open doorway. Knowing that it would dissolve the pigment, I quickly went to blot it. But as I lifted the tissue away, I was startled at what was suddenly staring back at me from the blackness of the doorway!

In the gloom of that sad old shack, I could see a ghostly pale face, with tousled hair and furious expression! Was it my imagination? Can you see it too? At any rate, I didn't dare remove or try to improve it. I merely dissolved out the slightest suggestion of body and arms beneath that scary head, and left it (him?) there.

The "apparition" is clearly visible on the Large Format print, but is difficult to make out on the Medium Format version.

What's happening in this painting? I invite you to decide for yourself. Don't forget the title, which translates as "Bayou of the dead."

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.

Medium Print: $59.00
Large Print: $69.00
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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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