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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Here’s to the Black Death! Sure it was a horrible pandemic, but without it we wouldn’t have the Plague Doctor whose outfit alone is a reason to celebrate. The outfit consisted of leather pants to protect the groin (rawr), a long black coat with a coating of wax so no moisture could penetrate their skin like that of a pesky phlegm hacking patient. The coat was made to go from head to toe and wrap around the face. These guys weren’t taking any chances and who could blame them. The best part though is the crazy beak like mask. The beak not only protected the doctor from ‘bad air’ but it also allowed space for herbs that they would stuff inside there to mask the smell of sick and death. The eye glass pieces not only protected the eyes but the glass was colored red which was thought to ward off evil. A poking stick was the perfect accessory. What better way to push plague ridden people or annoying concerned family members away or examine icky patients without having to touch them?

Quick thanks to Drew Daywalt for messaging me some pics of the Plague Doctor and suggesting I do a comic or a doll of one some time. I guess tonight’s the time. Next time maybe a doll. Btw, are you watching Drew’s web series Camera Obscuria? It’s awesome! The creature’s are getting loads of face time now. LOVE them!

—Newspaper Interview—
Guess whose zombie finger puppet ended up in the Weekender of the St. Pete Times and the TBT? Oh, there was also a fun spooky interview with me. You can read the online version here: http://www.tampabay.com/features/visualarts/article1128112.ece

ArtPool’s Abnormal Formal–

So, the Abnormal Formal was a lot of fun. I was too busy to plan out a fancy costume but I threw together a pretty awesome outfit with a basic black dress and some spooky fabric i got for $4 at Walgreens. I just wrapped it around my head, neck, arms and did some makeup magic.

jim morey and calan ree

Here’s a bit of my table and some bloody attendees.


Loryn Pretorius who I met at Amanda Palmer’s solo gig here in St. Pete a while back co-curated the show, designing fashion and make-up looks for her models.


—Other News—

I just got back from my first ever Second Line parade. Bruce Arkin, a close musician friend of Jim‘s passed away about a month ago and he and his band mates decided to do a New Orlean’s style parade down Central Avenue tonight. There were lots of brass instruments including a tuba, guitar, drums, etc. I have no musical talent so I donned an umbrella to dance with. It was so beautiful to be a small part in honoring this man’s life and spirit in this celebratory way. The whole thing took place right on the busy sidewalks where people didn’t know what was going on which made their expressions of surprise and delight even better as we marched outside their businesses and through their tables at outdoor cafes. I felt such joy mingled with sadness mingled with awe at how awesome this experience was. Truly an unforgettable night that I just can’t put into words. If you don’t know what a Second Line Parade is google it. There are also examples on You Tube. If you watch HBO’s treme there are snippets in the opening and on the show’s first episode. Anyway, just had to mention it since I’m still reeling as I type this.

Wow, quick update – 1 am and the photos are already coming in on my facebook from photographer Melissa Lyttle of the St. Pete Times! (a lil calan bird might have tipped them off 😉

second line parade in st. pete

Second line in St Pete


–New Art Dolls–
I don’t think you guys met the newest art dolls (Anya and Parlore) unless, of course you follow my art blog or facebook/twitter. Here’s a peek:

Anya Mixed Media Art Doll

parlore mixed media art doll

That’s all for now.
<3 calan

9 Responses to “plague-begone”

  1. Darlene Says:

    i think that is the best way to remember a person doing something that they like to do and if freaking out other people out to walk down a street playing music is the way to do it then rock on. the dolls are looking really good. it may not be a fancy costume but its still really good for a last minute thing. i finally got started on my airbrushing yesterday so i’m still a little buzzed about that right now. well that all for now i guess.

  2. Darien Says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!@!!! Plague doctor has always been one of my favorite looks. I was thinking of doing one for halloween, if it gets cold enough 🙂

  3. calan ree Says:

    darlene – i agree. 🙂

    here’s some video of the seond line parade we did!

    darien – plague doctor would be a killer halloween costume!

  4. Seraphine Says:

    i hate hearing about second lifers who pass away.
    it doesn’t seem fair, not when one’s avatar looks so young and beautiful.
    but perhaps the avatar is a reflection of the soul rather than the body.
    the marching band is a beautiful way to celebrate and remember one’s life.

  5. Seraphine Says:

    please plague doctor, please
    my tongue is swollen, show some
    horror in your eyes

  6. Amanda Says:

    without the black death we wouldn’t have that fave nursery rhyme that i sing to my god kids “ring around the rosey”

    death caused by small bugs
    fleas that feed on carriers
    hop from rat to rat

    Kill the witch they cry
    kill the cat too its evil
    little do they know

    The cat eats the rat
    the rat carries the disease
    shows what hate can do.

    was feeling particularly poetic today excuse the syllables if they don’t fit. The black death was the only thing i really paid attention to in world history.

  7. cooliocooliest Says:

    Ah, the black death. I’ve been looking up pictures of the plague doctor, and a few are nice and creepy with that “old history textbook” type feel. 🙂

    It’s so sad, but the parade was a beautiful way to remember the second lifer. And you all look like it meant something amazing.

    Furious doctor,
    your eyes are red above your
    beak. Showing outbreak?

    On a second note, I want that hat. And I now know where all the beak masks originated from. 😛

  8. calan ree Says:

    second line not second life!

    second line is a new orleans style funeral parade. there are usually horns and drums and they dance and play and everyone from the friends and family to strangers and passersby join in as the casket is taken from the church to the cemetery. we honored bruce with a second line parade because he was a musician who would appreciate this tradition greatly.

    as for second life…i have hardly logged in for the last couple of years. my avatar is pretty much dead. i just haven’t pulled the plug on her yet.

  9. Matthew Says:

    Silently i watch
    as you slowly fade away
    please take me with you.

    I have always loved the idea of wakes and second line. If i go and have to see my funeral and such, how depressing would it be to see everyone crying and down. Better to have fun and remember the good times. Celebrate life always even when its ended.

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