Cursed Art

Some pieces are cursed. It’s true. One thing goes wrong and it’s not great, but you survive. But then another and another problem arise and they will not stop popping up until the piece is “finished.”

It will never be perfect. It will never be as good as it should have, but it will be done. you can’t fight the curse, you just have to finish the piece no matter how frustrating. Or it will haunt you. The only way to be free is to finish the piece.


My latest work “High Rise” is cursed. It is nearly finished but I will never be happy with it. First, my model goldfish died. Sad, but understandable. Then weeks of work went down the drain as my substrate failed. OK I can live with that, even if it was the point I should have known it was cursed.

I struggled to finish this piece on time for the Colored Pencil Society of America’s International Exhibition. With the setback, I missed the date and entered two older pieces. I didn’t make it in.

It’s been sitting in my house staring at me. I had to finish it. So last night I picked it up and worked on it for a half hour or so. I put it down against the wall. Then I did what no one should do. I told it. I said “I hate you!” and turned it towards the wall.

There on the back was the largest HOUSE CENTIPEDE ever. Eew! I screamed. I ran. I flapped my arms around girl-ily like you do when you are strangely creeped out by a harmless yet terrifying thing. It was so close to me. It was on my lap! Eew. E-e-eew.

Thank God for my husband @AverageJer for disposing of it for me. If he hadn’t been there, I would have had to spray it with hair spray or throw water on it or some solution that both prevented me from coming in contact with the terrible creature as well as ruining the art.


A blurry photo of the nearly finished work.  I don’t want to ruin it, even if it is cursed.


A re-creation of the situation. Centipede photo courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons. Paper hearts courtesy of my daughter.



I know what you might be thinking. “Isn’t it a terrible marketing strategy to call a piece of art you are hoping to sell “Cursed”? Why yes, it is, I suppose. I do believe in fully telling the truth and in transparency. I also know other artists all have “cursed” works, and that many of them are hanging in homes right now.

I don’t think the curse extends beyond the work, however. The curse I am speaking of is on the maker, not the viewer. My many years as an artist and 10 years in custom framing have brought me close to a few cursed items. The final owner usually has no clue what a pain they possess. These items are kind of like great kids that come from awful pregnancies. Just like a pregnancy, once the bad stuff is over, some sort of art-parent instinct kicks in and you forget about the process. Soon you’re thinking about making another one.

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