Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Dunwich Horror

Here is my interpretation of the character, Wilbur Whateley, from H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Dunwich Horror".

"Wilbur Whateley (The Dunwich Horror)", 2013
24" x 20", oil on canvas

In a fictional town in rural Massachusetts in the early 20th century an evil man involved with witchcraft wishes to perform unspeakable acts which will threaten all of humanity. He uses his deformed daughter to create a hideous grandson by an unknown father. The son, Wilbur, is indoctrinated into his grandfather's weird occult rituals. The old sorcerer hopes that the boy will be able to continue his mad work after he is gone, and unlock the door to "Yog-Sothoth".

In the story Wilbur Whateley is described as having a general "goat-like" appearance with large dark eyes, firm nose, thick lips, yellowish skin and coarse, crinkly dark hair and beard. He dresses to cover as much of his even more grotesque and inhuman body as he can. I painted him as I imagined him;  wearing an old frock coat with the collar turned up and with a beat up top hat on his disheveled head. He is holding the fabled Necronomicon, which he hopes he can use to perform his evil task. Behind him is the Whateley farmhouse with all the windows boarded up to shelter his even more monstrous younger brother from the world until the time is right. The farmhouse is built into the side of Sentinel Hill, which is crowned with Stonehenge-like monoliths, where most of the weird Whateley rituals are perfromed. Circling the hill are the flocks of whippoorwills. They swarm to Dunwich to try to catch the souls of the departing. And the clouds? I don't know. I guess they're puffed "shoggoths".