This is one I should have posted back in October, but back then I was still trying to post things in some kind of in chronological order (oh what an exercise in futility and counterproductive that turned out to be), so I’m posting it now. This is piece is something that I did for my friend Patrick "Pathetic" Herrmann’s funeral service that was held in October. His mother asked that people who attended the service to bring pumpkins because they were one of Pat's favorite things, and to feel free to carve or write messages on them for the funeral.
I drew this sketch of what I want to do on pat's memorial pumpkin. I wanted the drawing to have a tattoo feel to it, so I added scroll with text and roses. I wanted his artist name and the name he claimed to have legally changed it to (though I never saw any documentation to verify that) PATHETIC in a scroll banner like one would might find in a memorial tattoo. I was going to do his favorite flower, because knowing Pat he would have one, but I didn't recall what it was so instead I picked the rose because it is an element that you often see in tattoos. I did a portrait of him they way I always drew him, and I added his character Stupid Ugly baby as both an angel and as a little devil. I wanted to add some silhouette skulls and fill stuff to make it look nice and fancy (because, as you know, silhouettes are quite fancy). I also had planned to put a pumpkin on the pumpkin, because it is totally something that I would do and Pat would make fun of me for, which I knew he would appreciate.
Here is an illustration that I did of Pat's character Stupid Ugly baby. He is a charming back alley aborted fetus who survived and lives in a bucket.
So my dad hearing this went out to the country early on Saturday morning the day before the funeral and got the biggest pumpkin he could find, easily a foot and half tall and two feet wide. First I tried working on the pumpkin with sharpies, but those didn’t work too well; they wouldn't stick and ended up looking faded and was too much work to get anything that looked half decent with them. So my dad offered to let me use his acrylic paints, which worked really well. But he didn't have too many, just a basic acrylic set that you get in an art box which comes with really bad brushes. So my and I went to a local art store, bought some more paint and some nice brushes and went home to start painting the pumpkin.
This is how it turned out. I changed the design from the original sketch because I wanted it to look more like Pat, and also some of the other elements changed because of the amount of time I had to work on it. I added a hat because he wore those trucker caps often and I couldn't pick just one of his many haircuts. So I gave him a hat and wrote “Fuck” on it because I always draw him with a shirt with “Fuck” scrawled across it, but without the body for a shirt I had to add it to the hat. Which my mom didn't care for and made sure I had a thing to cover it up with incase it offended any one, but I knew it wouldn't because it was totally Pat. I didn't add the devil stupid ugly baby on the bottom and the pumpkin on the bottom because it wouldn’t have been very visible or recognizable, so I added Rest In Peace at the bottom instead. I made the devil and the baby angel on the top because I didn't have time to add a bunch of Stupid Ugly Babies on there and also I wanted it so you could see everything from one angle, so I placed them both near his head. I added BFF and BFAM on the top of the pumpkin which is what me and Pat were, Best Friends Forever and Brothers From Another Mother (respectively). These were also the inscriptions that we had engraved on our friendship rings (that Laura referred to me as Pat’s “manwife” for. I now wear his on my pinky).
The best part about this project was that when people walked into the church and saw that pumpkin they knew who painted it. Pat's mom and ex-girlfriend both said "I can tell that Eric is here," just by seeing my pumpkin, which was a very sweet moment for me.
The Pumpkin now resides with Pat's mom and is holding up despite the fact that it’s six months later. The most miraculous thing is that it has no signs of rotting whatsoever. Leading some of us to believe that Pat is still around, inhabiting this pumpkin and making sure that it sticks around.