When you confess to being addicted to thrift Wind of Kaz brought home his first vintage painting, he knew he needed to add his personal touch.
The Denver actress and children’s book illustrator is already known on social media for her bizarre store finds, including creepy dolls and all things Halloween-themed. In 2019, a photo of Windness wearing a series of rainbow dance jumpsuit went viral even more, with Bored Panda and other popular sites taking the photo.
But the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design teacher had a different idea of how to promote a large, amateur sea painting called “The Lucky Seven” that she bought for $ 7.99. Windness, who identified Maurice Sendak as “Where Things Are” giving his initial inspiration to become a children’s illustrator, immediately thought of adding one of his characters to the painting, which he renamed and “The Unlucky Lucky Seven.”
“I just kind of looked at it and thought it would be fun to add a Stabbys mermaid that would lower the ship,” he said. Stabby, an anti-social goth unicorn with a dark sense of humor, is a character admitted by the 47-year-old and openly autistic artist based on himself. “Stabby is really into me,” Windness joked. “He wants to be left alone all the time, and first horn!”
Stabby was born with the first graphic novel Windness, Mother Goth Rhymes (Hermes Press, 2019). The novel includes a poem titled “If You’re Stabby and You Know It, Clap Your Hands,” which includes the image of a unicorn with black horns, tattoos and a reluctant dazzling figure standing on a mountain of skulls. The image was used as a banner for Windness’s Poems booth at San Diego 2019 ComicCon, and quickly became a fan favorite.
“People got into the booth because of our Stabby banner and kept asking if there was a book,” Windness recalls. His agent immediately submitted the idea to the publisher of Windness, who offered a contract for a Stabby book on the spot.
If UR Stabby was ready for a release in 2020 but stuck, like almost everything else, due to the pandemic. This time Windness decided to discuss the pile of antique paintings he had accumulated pre-pandemic and began making “remake of monsterpieces,” as he called them in a YouTube video he posted in March 2020 to explain his process. They now form the basis of Stabbified Thrift, a show at the Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop in Niwot.
“Amateur artists love to do wooden cabin views and lots of ocean views, especially with lighthouses,” he said. “If I immediately thought something might be Stabbified, I would buy it.” Since then, however, he has developed a set of standards for his paintings. “It can’t be a well -known artist, it has to be real paint,” he explains. “I have to like the original painting, and I have to like it better when it’s done.”
While Stabbifying thrift-store paintings has proven to be a fun and enjoyable project for Windness, it can have unexpected rotations. “There’s a painting that I discovered that was really kind of important, from an artist in Indiana named Charles L Sizemore,” Windness admits. The painting, a farm scene, now features Stabby setting the farmhouse and snare on fire.
“I still prefer it with Stabby,” Windness said with a laugh, who said he recalls the incident reducing value by adding “oops” to the painting’s description.
Stabbified Thrift is on display until Oct. 30 at the Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop in Niwot; it will end with an “If UR Stabby” book party and signing at 4pm on Oct. 30. The paintings will be sold at full price until Oct. 20, after which unsold items will be put up for auction. on eBay. Thirty percent of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Trevor Project. Find out more here.