Friday, October 07, 2011

The Princess and the Krampus

The title of this post would make for one heck of a good story!

This week two of my commissions were directly opposing, and so naturally I felt it only made sense to write about them together.

Good children: My friend Dave from my URI Gaming Club days (that's right) contacted me last week with a request to paint a princess for his young daughter Riley. He wanted something in the fairy tale department, and I can't tell you how delightful it was to create a lovely princess complete with woodland creature admirers. Painting this brought me to the realization that I love drawing foxes (expect to see more in the nearby future). I hope this can be a painting that Riley treasures through her childhood and beyond, and that the princess and her animal friends inspire many stories!

Oh, what up humming bird?

Bad children: Around the same time my friend Aaron over at Screwtop Reviews asked if I'd be willing to design a Krampus for his holiday season. Krampus is a wonderfully wicked figure of Christmas lore in the Alpine regions. It's said that he travels with Saint Nicholas to punish the bad children as the old saint rewards the good ones. On December 5th there is a holiday celebrating the impish creature and Aaron had the idea to send cards out to commemorate it! (This is one of those ideas I wish I had the moment it was told to me--so cool!)

Aaron and I also go way back, all the way back to Chariho High School where we took speech and writing classes together. For a long time my drawings were in the horror realm, so he knew how excited I would be to take a crack at the mythical holiday beast! Three key elements to Krampus are his horns, his long creepy tongue, and the switches he carries. With Aaron's permission I gave him a bat-like nose.

Name's Krampus!
Nice to beat' ya!

I think Krampus would be a lot of fun to have here in America. Coal in the stocking really pales in comparison to an indignant snow demon tearing apart the living room on Christmas morning. What do you suppose he and Santa talk about as they travel in the sleigh? Do they get together on the weekends? When Santa is laying out on the beach somewhere sunny and warm off season, does Krampus call his cell, you know, just to say hi? (Cut to Krampus laying out on a remote, wind swept beach in Antarctica growling into a phone "Chris, what's shaking?")


  1. Krampus: The more you know!

    Also, the fox is one of my most favourite animals, so that's pretty exciting.


    But seriously, I think that picture is beautiful!

    And I never knew about the Krampus, but I officially love it 100%. And you know what, Georgia? You want to write children's books - make the Krampus an American tradition! I can see it now... "The Krampus is Coming to Punish You," a Christmas tale by Georgia Dunn.

  3. I agree with Gracie's suggestion - am not usually into these nasties, or fairies nowadays, but you made them both live for me!

    Didn't know about the Krampus before either - the more you live, the more you learn!

    As for liking foxes, if your fox loving friend wants more of them, how about you suggesting visiting my shop at There's plenty of them to see - as you already know!

  4. Hahaha, I confess the Princess does indeed look very much like Gracie--who is my sister, for readers who do not know! It was not intentional, but I do always have her on the mind :)

    Isobel, I also must confess I sent Gracie and her friend Francela to your shop a couple of days ago after I ordered Uncle Brendan. Gracie is quite in love with one of your foxes already, if I remember correctly!

  5. Aaron commented: "I think I would publish a book like that! Again Georgia, thank you muchly! I certainly agree with you. "Santa won't bring you any presents" does not seem like much of a motivator compared to "Krampus will kidnap you and flog you unmercifully!" On the more optimistic side of the fantasy world, I love the pattern on the princess' dress. It's that kind of minutiae that really brings these paintings to life."

    Thank you so much Aaron! And I'm sorry the blog wasn't letting the comment through! Technical difficulties....

  6. Hi there!

    I am a HUGE Krampas (Krämpas, Krampus) fan, and have been throwing Krampas Nacht parties for years now. There's a theory that Krampas and Father Christmas were combined, with a touch of the god Thor (seriously!), to make our modern Santa.

    Anyway, I was looking for a kid's book with Krampas to go along with a copy of "Shock-Headed Peter" I'm giving as a gift. I happened to stumble onto this page and I must say I dig your Krampas (though I prefer mine black - it makes the terrifying tongue pop out that much more), but what really made me want to leave a note is that I am from Charlestown originally as well! Go figure, huh?

    Anyway, Great illustration, and if you want to collaborate sometime, my busking partner and I have a couple of "Krampas" Carols we've written. Cheers!


  8. How awesome that you are from Charlestown too! What a small world (and made even smaller thanks to the power of *dramatic voice* The Internet!) I like the idea of Krampus carols very much. I confess I had not known too much about the fellow until my friend Aaron brought him to my attention, but now I feel he has a very special place at Christmas.


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