F-Up Art of Yore

My childhood memories are peppered with images of the freaky paintings my mom hung on our walls. I don’t know how she didn’t the hell factor in any of these pictures because to me, they’re the stuff nightmares are made of and they’d keep me awake just thinking about them. Truly, any self-respecting kid would upchuck her Kool-aid walking past one of these in a darkened hall.


Pictures like this:




I love God. I love Jesus. I love the Holy Spirit. I love water turned into wine. But this painting? With the glowing head and thorny heart? Freaked me out night after night. I’d wake up to use the bathroom and see this emanating light in the blackest cover of midnight and almost pee my footy pajamas.


Then there was the painting my mom had done of me as a child. I must have been five. I’m not sure who the artist was…Dante perhaps?…because he made me out to be a hellion spawn. For a time, my mom hung the piece in my room until I made her move it because I could feel it watching me. No one, NO ONE wants to open their eyes to this:




That’s pretty much what it looked like. Bad seed to the max.


But the worst, absolute most horrific thing you can imagine was the velvet clown painting my mom hung from the wall opposite my twin bed. In real life, I’m sure it was semi-innocuous enough, probably something like this:




But to me? It looked like this:




I remember it in detail. The black background, the gold gilded frame, the weirdo painted hobo man my mom thought was cute kid art. I was three when it lived in my room and I now know this because one night we had an earthquake. Later, I learned it was 1971 and we lived in the San Fernando Valley, but that night it was bedtime like any other, and I finally closed my eyes to the clown in front of my bed and woke up some time later to see the killer hobo shaking and trying to get me. My dad tells me he can still hear my screams in his head. I don’t remember the screaming, but I do recall a huge clown reaching its arms out to eat my brains. WORST MEMORY EVER.


So yesterday’s earthquake? The 7.2 in Baja that hit about 3:40PM on Easter Sunday? The one that shook and rattled and rolled for 30 long seconds? I didn’t think, “I gotta check my kids!” or “Get under a door jamb!” or “Holy shit, we’re all going down!” Nope. All I could think?


Blood-sucking zombie clowns on the loose.


An unawesome thought when you are 41 and fresh out of clown repellant.


10 Responses to “F-Up Art of Yore”

  1. I had that same Jesus picture in my room. It explains so much, really. :-)

  2. Play4 says:

    I Love it! It’s funny how the things that happen yesterday shape our future. You have a great hummor! I was sitting in my car and just thought the wind picked up. When every one around was panicked,I was listening to Selena Gomez enjoying a beautiful day..

  3. What’s with Jesus’ pointy beard? Is that the look Brad Pitt aimed for and overshot?

  4. That clown would scare the crap out of me! And I think you need to give back my mom’s Jesus photo…
    I can’t imagine what an earthquake feels like; glad you’re okay!

  5. A lot of people have a fear of clowns. Now I can see why. I am so glad that the earthquake wasn’t as bad as it could have been and glad that you and your family are alright.

  6. Mama Mary says:

    I will not be sleeping tonight, thank you.

    But I am glad that none of the images had unicorns. The there would’ve been hell to pay.

  7. g says:

    The WORST!

    I hate clowns. I think you could can Clown Repellent in aerosol form, and make a killing.

  8. Judy says:

    When I was a young child my parents were friends with a family that were avid hunters. They decorated their master bedroom with their taxidermied (is that a word?) trophies. I had to take a nap in that room – once. It’s a bit difficult to fall asleep with a stuffed javelina head staring down at you.

  9. Theresa Rose says:

    Thanks for the good laugh! I’m sitting here at work trying to keep it down to a quiet giggle (and not succeeding!).

    While I don’t remember any creepy pictures in my house growing up, my dad loved to take us to scary movies at the drive-in. It’s amazing that 40 years later, I’m still afraid to look in the mirror in the middle of the night for fear of what might be staring back at me. I also won’t sleep with my hand hanging over the edge of the bed (gee thanks dad!).

Leave a Reply