The Bête Noire Collection

Throne Head by Bethalynne Bajema

May Update: My current project with the Bete Noire collection are shadowboxes that make the collages look three dimensional. They’re very dark momento mori type of creations. Pictures to come!

Bête Noire I
Bête Noire is a collection of illustrations that accompany my own series
of dark fairy tales and penny dreadful type stories, soon
to be offered as a trade paper back.

The Dead Teddy Bear Picnic Professor Vogel's Reading Machine The Calcutta Devil Cat Feathers in Full Bloom Celestial Love Fish Miss Pumpkin Pris
The Secret Bee Queen The Cthulhu Crush The Calcutta Flower Song Poison and Blossoms As Above So Below The Cthulhu Maestro

Bête Noire II
The second collection is a combination of new work and older images that
have been reworked for the 2012 Bête Noire calendar, found here.

Bete Noire II Bete Noire II Bete Noire II Bete Noire II
Bete Noire II Bete Noire II Bete Noire II Bete Noire II
Bete Noire II Bete Noire II Bete Noire II Bete Noire II

“The clear morning sky was overtaken by one very large storm cloud. It threatened and grumbled, but never let loose of any rain or real wind. It just hung there in the sky looking grumpy and still. It was a giant bruise adding a beautiful background contrast to the nearly violent green of the summer trees. I ventured out to enjoy the appearance of a storm without the somewhat wet and bothersome benefits of a real one.

“As I was walking through the forest behind my house I heard strange giggling. It wasn’t really childlike, but neither did it belong to an adult. There was a metallic quality to it. I pulled back a gnarled juniper tree branch and was greeted by a collection of creatures I’d rather not describe. I had read about these creatures, in fairy tales meant more for adults in need of some type of morality lesson, but the descriptions could have been better as I sat looking at the real thing. One of the strangely hooded creatures, with terribly long horns, held a piece of paper and was reading from it.

Maliciousness and strife,
and all kinds of vice,
that’s what scary little girls are made of.

Dark clouds and thunder
and creeping bed monsters under
that’s what scary little girls are made of.

Dead teddy bear picnics
tainted places and broken doll faces
that’s what scary little girls are made of.

. . .

“As I watched the other creatures in attendance giggle,
that strange sound of theirs collectively echoing around
the forest, I decided it was time to go.”
-Etta Diem from “The Dead Teddy Bear Picnic”