View Full Version : Black Dahlias

James verDoorn
11-13-2010, 12:51 PM
To be quite honest, I have no idea what a dahlia looks like but the term “black dahlia” is from a gruesome murder during the 1940’s in Los Angeles.

In this image I am using it as a more universal term associated with death.... not the LA murder case.

I am also posting the original photo that you can partially see in the background. I took it at an old cemetery in Hornitas, California. The marker is in remembrance of two children, ages two and one years old, who died in the 1800's. We can only imagine the grief associated with this gravestone.

All C&C's welcome.



Photoshop and Illustrator - 28'' x 19.75''


11-14-2010, 01:53 PM
Great image and thanks for the background and photo. If you get some free time go to Bodie, CA if you have not been yet. It is a multimedia artists paradise. LOL

James verDoorn
11-14-2010, 05:16 PM
Hi Barbara,

Thanks for the tip. I just googled it. Looks fantastic. Have to get there.


karen m
11-14-2010, 10:30 PM
I like this image so much and it certainly does have an element of poignancy. I remember reading about the Black Dahlia years ago, and quite a long time ago saw a movie by the same name about the case. I can't remember the victim's real name now, but I remember the movie (which would have been made long after the mystery was solved) - that very typical tabloid style of imagery that was popular in those days.

Anyway....lovely image.

11-15-2010, 08:07 AM
James, I love this image you have created. Even though I have read your rationale for the title I don't really think it flies. 1. The flowers do not look anything like dahlias, they instantly remind me of rosebuds just starting to open, which I personally think is very appropriate considering whose gravestone has inspired you. 2. Although I am vaguely aware of a movie called something like "Black Dahlia" I am under the impression it was about murder intrigue involving adults, so I can't relate it to the deaths of children. I realise that you are not necessarily focussing on the deaths of children, but the lighter palette of this death inspired artwork does not really call to my mind murder and intrigue.

Just my 2c worth.

James verDoorn
11-15-2010, 12:29 PM
Karen and Karen,

Thank you both for your comments.

Karen M, actually I don't think the case has never been solved. But in the last couple of years a man has come forward who says that his dead father's journals indicate he might have been the killer although he doesn't come right out and confess.

Pisces, on reflection I think you have a point. Perhaps "Black Roses" would have been a more appropriate title.

Thanks, Jim

11-16-2010, 03:34 AM
I like your image, and black Roses would be a perfect name for it.

James verDoorn
11-16-2010, 11:23 AM
Lisa, Thank you for posting your comment. I think you may be right about the title. I seem to be getting that reaction a lot.


11-16-2010, 07:48 PM
Nice composition Jim!

James verDoorn
11-17-2010, 11:18 AM
Hi Dan,

Thanks for your post.

This image is really quite a bit different from my recent posts..... more literal and less abstract then most. It's generated a lot of comment on this site and others.