For those of you who are new here, eldritch means eerie or creepy, and every Thursday I post something oddly weird as my “Weekly Eldritch”. Today it’s… this girl.
We get our ideas wherever we can when we write. This painting – “Girl with Kitten” by Lucien Freud – inspired some of the strange creatures in Eldritch Manor, namely the cats with human faces. I pictured them with faces like this girl’s, and that struck me as being extra scary.
Why? Why does this face make me uneasy? I think its effect is due to a few factors. The lack of forehead.* The staring, oversized eyes. The strange proportions – compare the size of the nose to the size of the upper lip. And the fact that she seems to be strangling the kitten, but the kitten just looks bored.
A lot of little things adding up to… oorg.
This got me pondering. What would the writing equivalent be? Creating a character out of many parts, with each part very normal and boring, but putting together in a way that is decidedly … off.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, Kitty Freud, the model for these paintings, didn’t actually have crazy bug eyes:
P.P.S. The painter Lucien Freud was the grandson of Sigmund Freud, and his wife Kitty was the daughter of the famous sculptor Jacob Epstein.
*And yet in a previous Weekly Eldritch I said that big foreheads were creepy!