A Haunted House Story

I’ve done an illustration for a story, A Haunted House Story, by Jen Michalski, for Fictive Dream, the online magazine devoted to the short story.

I made two versions for editor Laura Black and she picked one of them to accompany the story. But which one? Go to Fictive Dream, read the story, and find out!

Here are the two illustrations. I created them using collage, acrylics, and inks on paper. They are approximately 7″ x 11″.

12 thoughts on “A Haunted House Story

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes. I like this theme. Because I tend to think houses have personalities and souls, and they do mind who lives in them. Think about it – I think we all know inhospitable homes, and then I wonder – does the house have too many shces and pains, is just cranky, or dislikes me in particular? Just saying!

      1. petrujviljoen

        I heartily agree. The house I’m staying in yells ‘Corporate’ and I’m mightily uncomfortable. Lockdown due to Covid interrupted my plans to move.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I enjoy making more than one image for a story, because then I can use different materials or techniques, as in this case, even when the basic images were similar.

  1. Laura Black

    I love them both too. However, in the end I chose the second of the two illustrations largely because of the collage element, which gives the illustration some depth. We’re brought inside the house, which I like. Also I love the colours used for the roof, and the handwritten message on the wall. The first illustration would have been a very good match for the story too. In fact, I think it gives a better sense of an abandoned property, but a decision had to be made and I went with my instinct. Thank you, Claudia, the artwork sets off today’s story beautifully.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, I liked both of these images, for different reasons, mostly related to the fun I had in making them. I thought of them as being like dollhouses, open to view. In my childhood I had 2 dollhouses and played with them, made furniture, occupants, etc. I was thinking about that as I did these pieces.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    I like both illustrations a lot and I think either would work. The first one seems to suggest the stoicism of the house as it endures many changes, something about the boldness of those blocks; the second one suggests all of the changes within the house and the collage elements somehow communicate the transitory nature of those changes.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      It is interesting to me how different materials can convey a different sense, even when, as in this case, the images had a lot of similarities. Houses are so full of symbolism and I thought keeping things simple would focus attention on what the house was saying, too.

  3. memadtwo

    Oh what a wonderful story, and written just for you I think. You are so right. Places have personalities and need attention and care. And your collage conveys that perfectly. (K)

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Yes, this story explains exactly how I feel about houses, and how I believe they live. They do have souls! And you have to make friends with them, and hope they do with you.

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