|iPad Cryptid Painting, Finley 2013|
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Thomas Finley, a Bigfoot artist. For reconstruction paintings of your sightings or historical accounts, email him at email@example.com.
Recently I received a most welcome email from Shawn and asked if I would write a report on my Bigfoot & Sasquatch artwork and what serves as a inspiration to me in the process of bringing these paintings to life. First I will start with how I became interested in Bigfoot and the subject as a whole as this case still brings me sleepless nights as I ponder what it was I saw that day at the County Fair.
As a boy my family lived in Southern Minnesota on one hot August day in the 1960’s we all piled in the station wagon and made our annual trek to the Olmsted County Fair located at the fairgrounds in Rochester, Minnesota (home of the Mayo Clinic, IBM to name a few). I was 8 years old at the time and my older brother and I went off to explore the carnival midway and in the excitement of the day we came to this sideshow which had a really strange exhibit, a hairy, man-like creature frozen in ice!
This infamous being has been dubbed the “Minnesota Iceman” anyone in the field of Bigfoot and Sasquatch research knows the recorded facts on this case so I will not bore you will details here. Coming face to face with this thing really is what sparked the fires in me to this day to research the topic of Bigfoot and through my artwork try to bring them to life as best and realistically as possible.
The creature in the ice chest, not only made me start thinking of the possibility of these creatures being REAL but living and breathing and all around us. It still gives me goose bumps recalling that day and coming face to face with something I can only say could have been a living unknown hominid at one time. Where it came from? I have know clue. Was it a fake? I don’t think so because of the details and realistic nature of the face. That’s my own opinion. I saw this on exhibit again in the 1980s and I can tell you it was not the same creature in the ice chest. I always wonder what became of this mysterious curiosity we can only make assumptions and this will take us down the rabbit hole where I do not want to go at this time. Others out there are welcome to do so and take a flashlight you made need it.
All through high school I started to hone my artistic skills, learning much from my Mother as she painted watercolours and worked with charcoal art. I had a great art teacher and he always gave me words of encouragement and as many free passes to the class room as I wanted to I could draw and paint during my study hall time. I had one teacher tell me in 9th grade I draw to MUCH in class and it would never lead to anything. The slap on the wrist with the ruler didn’t work I guess because my old man made her look like a cuddly panda. Ah, the memories.
In 8th Grade I developed my love for the world of cryptids, this has never faltered expect for a wee bit when I was lost in the 1980’s as I didn’t have access to much of the stories and news going on. My artwork at the time was mainly wildlife, I made some good money selling it but I never really enjoyed it as I always would be sketching a Bigfoot in the border of the sketch pad looking back while I was sketching a deer or the like. I guess you could say they kept me from going bonkers over period of time. A blessing I always say.
Back at the end of 1999, I had just come out of a horrible relationship and I was looking through a box of stuff in the attic of my parents home in Minnesota and I came across all my cryptid scrapbook from high school. I then decided to start to seriously take the time to investigate these cases personally and to paint something I truly enjoy these hairy woodland creatures that I have loved since my youth.
There really isn’t a karma type mode I go into when I paint these beings. I sometimes draw from dreams I have, they have been coming a lot more vivid these last few years. I have to thank Kewanne Laperitis for that. Some of the visions are very muddled, others brilliant and bright and clear. One I had from this past spring was of a young woman running through the forest and she shouts at me in the dream to follow and run with her. I follow and she stops in a wooded clearing and then morphs in to this tall enormous and beautiful Bigfoot female with flowing hair in the wind. Then I woke up.
In other visions I have what I call stares, big eyes looking back into my own in a woodland setting. I communicated with some researchers I know about these dream elements and they wholeheartedly agree that it could be a form of communication. One even saying that one day I will meet the Bigfoot female. I was given a helpful mantra to communicate my intentions before I go to sleep in effort to communicate in a dream. Tell them: I come as a friend, I want to learn, show me your home and ways. Try it out you might find some enlightenment yourself about these beings. I am not an expert I am just an artist, an artist that researches the phenomena of Bigfoot. Their are a few of us around and I am glad to part of that circle of friends.
What I enjoy the most are the critics, the folks that tell me what a Bigfoot looks like. As you see I have painting them wrong all these years. So, I have been told. As I tell them, very patiently mind you…I am the artist and it is my view of them, nothing more. Someday I hope to sit down and paint a representation of one of them one day that will ring true as to their appearance and morphology. I don’t let it ruin my sleep that’s for sure. More critics the merrier. Some great lines for example: “Bigfoot doesn’t have a cone-shaped head”, “Your Bigfoot arms are unrealistic as they are to LONG”, “Why do your Bigfoot look ape-like?”, “Why don’t you ever paint their feet?”. See what I have to put up with?
Here in my office/studio I am surrounded by my many Bigfoot sculptures and figures. They all have a inspiration to me especially the wooden carvings they have a life all their own. This past year was really exciting for me as I have been meeting some very great people in this field, one being world renowned geneticist Prof. Dr. Bryan Sykes of Wolfson College of Oxford, England. He is now finishing his final samples of the DNA study and we look forward to his findings with great enthusiasm. To all my friends on Facebook you inspire me as well thank you for your support and kind words through out the year as it keeps me on the ball. Not to mention my wife Nicola, she is my number one fan and tells me all the time, they are beautiful and have a heart.
If anyone would like a signed art card just drop me a line at the email address below. To you the research community Attention! I would like the opportunity to do reconstruction paintings of your sightings and historical accounts. If you have any please contact me anytime. As I told a interviewer once… “Drawing a Bigfoot a day, keeps the doctor away”. And it works.
Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
|This drawing is based on a witness account from Colorado of a creature he observed while working as a Ranger in the 1970’s. It is the most accurate of all my illustrations of the forest people. From my interview with witness in 2008.|
|With the Big Folk!|
|“The Usual Suspects” Created for the International Cryptozoology Museum last year. One of my favourites|
|Yours Truly (and something not a Bigfoot)|