My love for Stephen King started when I was in the 6th grade. A very good friend, Laurie, told me about a book she was reading that scared her. “Scared you? How can a book scare you?” I asked. “It’s about a dog with rabies” she said. And thus it began.
That summer, my dad treated the family to an afternoon at the movies. My mother and some of my siblings saw “Mr. Mom” while my dad and I (and maybe my big brother, Bill) saw “Cujo”. This memory is very clear for me, but not because my dad took me to a scary movie. After all, I remember seeing the theatrical re-release of “Jaws” in 1979 when my father was supposed to be taking Bill, Jac and I to see “Snow White” (“Don’t tell your mother!”). I remember seeing “Cujo” because it was the first time I saw a book I loved re-interpreted as a movie. It was amazing, but nowhere near as good as the book. In the book, Steve pulls no punches; the kid dies.
I think Stephen King speaks to the child in all of us – he knows what scares us. One of my favorite quotes from him goes as follows:
“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.”
(P.S. I still make sure to sleep with my feet safely tucked under the covers)
In honor of Stephen King and all the sleepless nights he has provided over the years, I created this portrait of him. It is my largest yet, measuring about 2’X3′. I used a picture of him from the ’80’s – to honor when I first discovered him. Around the border I stitched all of his major publications: novels, novellas, collections, screenplays and plays. It begins with ‘Carrie’ and ends with ‘Doctor Sleep’ (which is his first sequel and is due out this fall).
I am also including an up-close pictures here, so you can see the stitching and fabrics that went into creating the shadowing on this piece.
“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.” – Stephen King