The Legend of Sarah Frary… Bear Slayer

Frary Frary, quite calm and scary

How does your bone collection grow?

The herd she culls, and takes their skulls,

Pray that yours is not next to go.

Once there was a great bear that lived in the woods. Larger and stronger than all the other animals, this bear ruled as the supreme predator. That is, until one day when Sarah Frary saw this bear while on a hike. As soon as she spied the magnificent creature, she knew that this creature’s skull could no longer serve as anything but art.

And so, Frary donned her steam-punk battle gear and began the hunt. Using her mighty goggles of seeing, she tracked the creature to its lair. Spotting the bear entering its cave, she let out a great roar of challenge. Making certain that the beast was ready, she drew her blade and charged into battle.

Surprised that any would be so daring as to openly challenge it, the beast was caught off-guard. Frary ducked under its massive limbs and struck deep at the bear’s thigh. With a roar of defiance the bear leapt into action, running and circling about. But Frary was too quick for the beast, and before the creature knew it, she was up on its back.

Frightened, the bear began to run, but Frary held steadfast to its back. As it ran, the creature’s wound continued to bleed, and at a crucial moment… the bear stumbled. Frary did a triple summersault off its back and landed with one swift blow to the neck. THWACK! The bear was harvested…

… or something like that! 😉

My most recent piece started as a joke between me and my artist friend Sarah Frary. If you don’t know Sarah or her art take a moment to look around her site. She is a wonderful person, full of life and energy. I met Sarah in Nashville, TN at a small local convention called Hypericon back in 2009. She and I immediately hit it off. Before the weekend was done she had convinced me to go to Gen Con, an experience that changed my life forever. For that I am eternally grateful to Frary. Had it not been for her I might not be where I am today.

At Gen Con 2009, Sarah presented some of her most recent work that involved a series inspired by various skulls she had collected. One of which was a bear skull. For the whole weekend I kept making up stories about how Frary stalked out in the woods slaying beasts and monsters to obtain her art inspiration.

I saw her again at Dragon Con 2009, where she was dressed in her steam-punk finest, and as I’m prone to do, I continued teasing her about how she got her bear skull. By the end of the weekend I told her that I was going to do a painting of her as the Bear Slayer.

Now I’m one to talk a lot of BS, and I often end up running my mouth a bit too much. I’m certain Frary thought nothing of my boast to do a painting, but when I got home I added it to my list of things to do. And for a whole year there it sat.

During my recent flurry of painting in preparation for Gen Con 2010, I decided to step up and paint Frary the Bear Slayer. And so without further ado I present you with Skull Harvester (a.k.a Sarah’s Day Out):

Skull Harvester by Sam Flegal

My muse for this piece was Sarah Frary, she is inspiration unhinged. When I showed it to her at Gen Con she was floored. I am proud to call her my friend, and hope that her new endeavors are fruitful.

If you want to learn more about Sarah Frary go visit:

her website: http://spiralunwinding.com/

her art blog: http://spiralunwinding.blogspot.com/

her adventure blog: http://spiralunwinding.wordpress.com/

her Etsy Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/spiralunwinding

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