This might be my favorite Lovecraftian artwork of all time. The one thing is that I feel this interpretation might be better suited for Yog Sothoth (since he's described as a gate, and I definitely get this "cosmic gateway/portal" feel with this image). Regardless though, I absolutely love this work.
Wow, thank you for the wonderful compliment! I find Lovecraftian illustration to be far more challenging than garden variety horror and fantasy, so it is immensely gratifying to read what you wrote. I understand your Sothoth comment, they certainly do seem like portals or gates of some sort, I guess this is a result of my trying to convey that cosmic inter-dimensional quality so often felt in HPL's writing.
Thanks, Mr. Vulture! Though I enjoy and appreciate all feedback, it's quite rewarding when people receive the ideas as I meant them to be taken. It often seems the more alien and un-relatable the better as far as beings from other dimensions go.
This painting was for the Lovecraft film festival, so the only real requirement was that it had some connection with film or theater. It's sort of a joke, but the idea that it is some form of extreme documentary-making. My thoughts were that they might just be recording her, but I like your idea that they are trying to glean some wisdom via conversation. I actually painted the crew and shub-niggurath separately and photoshopped them together, so there are two versions (with and without crew).
Hmm, I'm not sure he defined it, and I would suspect there'd be many languages if we were to consider all the various races. So many subsequent writers and game designers have expanded on HPL's universe, I am sure someone's explored the idea of languages if Lovecraft hadn't. I wonder if the larger entities such as Shub-Niggurath and Cthulhu communicated in a telepathic manner? I have heard of Aklo referring to a form of magic, though it could have it's own connected language, too.
Thank you very much!! That's exactly my aim with most of my 'Mythos' art- trying to find that balance between otherworldly alien (not always a place of comfort) and a sense of wonder. The idea of evil is very subjective, so I try to leave that out of the formula.
About the best image of Shub-Niggurath I've found. Its impact is the sheer size of the creature, represented by the idiots with the camera. I've looked for an image showing the creature as it has been described in Lovecraft material, 'an enormous cloudy mass, boiling and festering, coalescing at times, forming horrendous body parts, ropy black tentacles, slime-dripping mouths, or short writhing legs'.
(From Call of Cthulhu Horror Roleplaying Rulebook, 6th edition).
Thanks, Mark, I appreciate the feedback, and I am glad you're pleased with my interpretation. I painted it without the idiots, and the painted them separately and photoshopped them in afterwards. The client gave me pretty free reign, but insisted it have some sort of tie in to movies or theater. They definitely help convey the size, but they also bring in some humor... not sure how I feel about that!
On page 2 of my website gallery: ( [link] ) You can see the with and without, if you're curious.
I was lucky enough to acquire some photo reference of her from my last trip to the inter-dimensional zoo. With Lovecraftian things, I sometimes find it easier to think that this is just her form for that very moment- she probably shifts constantly, allowing each artist to be accurate for a millisecond.
One of my very first Lovecraftian illustrations was also of Shub-Niggurath, and it was before I had any real grasp of what the Mythos were about. I didn't even have a description to work from, just a comment about a goat and 1,000 young. I took it more literally, and she ended up looking more like a daemonic goat.
Shub-Niggurath always bugged me. She sounds very much like a pagan fertility demon instead of an interdimensional being like all the other Lovecraft entities. Which is it, Lovecraft? Science fiction or fantasy? Make up your mind!
Oh, absolutely, the name fits. Just not the description. Yog-Sothoth: The master of the gates between worlds Azathoth: The blind idiot creator god at the center of chaos Nyarlathotep: The crawling chaos Shub-Nigarath: The black goat of the woods.