Well Dressed Goblins

Fancy Goblin

Fancy Goblin

14″ x 18″ acrylic on board

The fancy goblin would sneak into people’s homes and change their wardrobe. He loved stripes and always made everyone’s clothes have them. He wasn’t doing anyone any favors, he did this to appease his own sense of style. Entire towns would suddenly have impeccably dressed people. After a while, the people would act like aristocrats because of clothes they wore.  When he was in his insect disguise, he would sneak up on farmers and sheepherders and change the clothes they had on without them knowing it. People would start their day in work clothes and come home dressed in formal wear.

BruteGoblin Finsih 150 dpi

The Brute Goblin

12″x16″ acrylic on board

The “Brute Goblin” was often hired as a leverage agent when landowners needed to collect rent. Their ability to transform themselves into small rodents and fuzzy insects made them difficult to hide from.
Oddly, Brute Goblins were also advocates for tenant’s rights and when they felt that the landowners were taking advantage of their tenants, punishment was ironic and severe. One famous story, involved a landowner being forced to live in a house so small, his legs and arms stuck out of the windows and doors.
During the potato famine of 1845, many of them immigrated to the Americas, settling on the East Coast of North America as far north as New Brunswick

Curious Goblins With Insect Disguises

Stromberg 150

(Brute) Goblin in Insect Disguise

12″ x 16″ acrylic on board

With few exceptions, most goblins have nefarious intentions. These strange visitors hide in our fields and gardens pretending to be beetles. They are often mistaken for food by predators and are forced to defend themselves. When birds and frogs explode mysteriously or a large beetle appears in your yard with only 4 legs, be cautious.

Dancer Goblin

Dancer Goblin in Insect Disguise

12″ x 16″ acrylic on board

These goblins that disguise themselves as insects aren’t all bad. This type of goblin would surprise humans with a flash mob of dancers and vegetable jugglers. They would light tiny figures made of sticks and twigs on fire and dance around them for hours.  Stories of farmers being confused and entertained by these six legged performers go back to the 17th century.  They usually appeared when the crops were beginning to sprout and the farmers regarded it as a good omen. When the industrial age changed the way farms were run, the dancers disappeared from the corn and wheat fields and briefly moved their act to sheep farms. Sheep farmers found that dancing goats and sheep were actually kind of terrifying, especially when they would erect gigantic wicker men and set them ablaze.

TopHatGoblin150dpi

 

Top Hat Goblin in Beetle Disguise

12″ x 16″ acrylic on board

The top hat goblins were always full of helpful suggestions. They wore the top hats because they were smaller than other goblins and it made them feel better about themselves. They would sneak up on humans and shout rather loudly with advice on finances, general health and marriage counseling. They often followed their humans for several days. Some of the advice they dispensed was truly helpful, but the details about personal hygiene were rather embarrassing. Because the disguises were so small, some people who were contacted by top hat goblins were thought to be insane as they appeared to be having conversations with themselves. The first incidents involving these goblins were reported in Ireland. After the immigration to North America in the 1850’s there were reports of top hat goblins appearing in the Northeast from as far south as New Jersey to as far north as the Canadian border.

Goblin Insect Disguise 150

Fancy goblin in Insect Disguise

12″ x 16″ acrylic on board

When he was in his insect disguise, he would sneak up on farmers and sheepherders and change the clothes they had on without them knowing it. People would start their day in work clothes and come home dressed in formal wear.

Exhibition

Opening Saturday May 17th at

William Baczek Fine Arts

 Northampton , MA

“Before They Were Villains or Heroes”

New Paintings by Travis Louie

Rhinochops circa 1883

Rhinochops circa 1881
Defender of Rhinos and other larger animals during the rise of big game hunting at the end of the 19th century. He was the nemesis of every hunting enthusiast from Central West Africa to Northern Cameroon. During the Boer Wars he was referred to as “Rhinochops” because of his signature look. After maiming several soldiers who were “practicing” their marksmanship on black rhinos he became a target himself. Just before WWI, stories circulated in that region, that he had strapped explosives to himself and blown up a pack of hunters in their camp. Some decades later, spectators claimed to have seen him at the Cricket World Cup in 1975 sponsored by Prudential Assurance Company.

MissNancy150

Miss Nancy Circa 1880

When Miss Nancy was a young girl, she spent her Summers at her uncle’s mansion in New Rochelle. He came from a relatively wealthy family. He enjoyed hunting and liked to display his trophies from his excursions around the world. He had just come back from South Africa, as he was also an English military officer during the first Boer War and told her stories about a rhino that terrorized his battalion. The stories were fascinating, but she always felt a little uncomfortable when she saw all the taxidermy in his study. She was especially spooked by the large bison head that was mounted over the fireplace. There was something about the sad, fixed gaze that bothered her. One Sunday afternoon during a garden party, she was getting bored with her uncle’s guests and went back inside the house. She thought she heard voices coming from the study and had to investigate. Just outside the pocket doors she could hear a muffled conversation. When she slid the doors open, the room was quiet. All the taxidermy seemed to be staring at her.  She looked at the bison head over the fireplace and thought she heard it say, “no one speaks for us” . It was right  then and there, that she decided once she was old enough, she would “speak” for the bison. She went out west in the 1880’s and became an aggressive anti-hunting advocate. After many skirmishes with hunters and cattleman she became a wanted outlaw in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska.

smoke150

Smoke

Concerns a young lady who after surviving a fire in 1893, developed a “smoking problem”. At first, she merely gave off the scent of burning wood which was ignored by her classmates who felt bad that she lost her home along with all her belongings.
But as she got older, her hair began to release smoke into the air as if her head was smoldering. She eventually was no longer allowed in public buildings as the smoke would fill up enclosed spaces.
She became a villain of sorts as she tried to take over a small town and turn it into a sanctuary for “smokers”

Smoking Girl

Smoking Girl

She started “smoking” after the her house burned down. At first, she only smelled like a fireplace. After a few days her head started to smolder. Rooms that she occupied began to fill up with smoke and she was no … Continue reading