Shop Re-opening & Small Inks

I have reopened my Etsy shop, Radiolaria Studios Art. My Big Cartel store is still active, but I like some of Etsy’s features, such as the buyer feedback. Please, have a look and if you have ideas about the kind of work you’d like to see in the store let me know.

The Man Who Was Afraid of Leaves, 2021, ink on 140lb Arches Hotpress, 4.5 x 3 inches

This piece had an interesting origin. It was intended as a spot drawing for an edition of Christopher Golden’s Strangewood (Earthling Publications, 2008). I never finished it because my take on illustrating the character changed. I dug it out this week, and I saw a new character in it. That’s why I never get rid of drawings that don’t quite fit. Things take time to reveal themselves.

Acorn, 2021, ink on mounted watercolour paper, 5.5 x 3.5 inches

I inked this miniature on a whim. The piece sat unfinished in my paper rack since 2002. How’s that for procrastination! Originally, I’d only inked they eye. I finished the piece with Koh-I-Noor Fount India Drawing Ink and a 354 R. Esterbrook nib.

Tailor of Echoes – teaser

Tailor of Echoes Title Page Art © Richard A. Kirk 2021

I posted this image on my social media accounts to tease my forthcoming illustrated novel Tailor of Echoes (PS Publications, 2021). It was created for the title page. The original drawing is graphite. Since this blog is a defacto record of my studio activities I thought it should be here as well.

Busy week. I entered the NYC Midnight short story contest (for the first time, ever). I was assigned a fairy tale. So most of the week was spent crafting a 2500 word tale, which I submitted this morning. Wish me luck!

Cardinal

Cardinal, 2020/21, oil on panel, 20 x 16 inches

Oil paintings are notoriously difficult to photograph and even worse to scan due to reflective properties. Fortunately, my printmaker has amazing skills in this area and was able to get me a nice clean capture of Cardinal. I’ve already added it to the cover design for my next art booklet, Darkling Lands II, which will be available in February.

Just a reminder that if you are interested in my newsletter, you can sign up on my website. It only takes a second. At most, you will receive a concise email once a month.

  • Richard

Drowned Library Greeting Cards

“Drowned Library” Greeting Cards

January 26th and this is my first blog post of the year. I guess the month got away on me! I have been busy though, organizing a number of art and writing projects for the coming months. One fun little project was to produce these Drowned Library greeting cards. Initially, I made them at the request of a friend, but they turned out so well I decided to offer a few sets on my webstore. If they prove popular I’ll do a some other images.

In January, I launched a new print, Harbinger also available in the store.

Finally today, if you’re interested in books, check out my book blog, Amnesiacs Library. It’s where I post random tidbits about books and the like.

“Harbinger” Giclee Prints

Changing Gear

I’m a couple of days late with this week’s post. Most of the past week was spent marshaling supplies needed for a couple of big illustration jobs, making sketches and basically getting into the creative headspace needed to immerse myself in a multi-month task. I’ve also been in the workshop assembling strip frames for my 8×8 oils, varnishing and trying not to amputate any essential digits. At some point in there I cleaned up the digital file of the Harbinger drawing so that it is ready for the printer in January.

This week I’ll get going on the aforementioned illustrations, and start a couple more of the 8 inch oils. I have an idea for another large ink, so I may spend some time on that as well.

On the writing front, I am almost finished working through the copy edit of Tailor of Echoes. My morning writing project (new novel) is making progress as well. I’ve edited everything I’d written earlier in the year, and now I’m producing new text. It’s very motivating to see that word count climbing.

Currently reading the Quincunx by Charles Palliser and listening to Cluster. If you haven’t seen the Brian Eno documentary called Man Who Fell to Earth, – an odd title given its association with Bowie – it’s on Amazon Prime. I stumbled on it a couple of days ago and it reminded me of a ton of amazing music I’d all but forgotten about.

Until next Sunday. Stay warm, stay healthy.

Richard

A corner of my studio showing some works in progress, or more accurately, finished works having a bit of a rest.
Conte mood board

Harbinger

This week, I am showing my latest completed drawing called Harbinger. I started this piece on October 2 and finished it on December 6. I hope you enjoy checking out the detail shots below. I will be making a limited giclee print of Harbinger in the New Year. The best way to stay on top of my print drops and other new is to subscribe to my monthly newsletter through my website. It just takes a second. There will be some fun extras for newsletter subscribers in 2021 (special offers, sketch giveaways etc.). This work is available for sale. Please use the contact form below to inquire.

A reminder that my 20% off studio sale is active until the end of December.

Thanks for dropping by. Moving forward, I will be updating this blog every Sunday. That seems to work well with my routine and will remove the guesswork for regular readers.

Now, without further ado — Harbinger

Harbinger, 2020, ink on 140lb Arches hotpress, 22 x 16 inches
Harbinger, detail 1
Harbinger, detail 2
Harbinger, detail 3
Harbinger, detail 4
Harbinger, detail 5

Strange Birds

It’s been a busy week. I’ve been working steadily on Harbinger (see previous post), and on this series of oils (below). These are rough and ready iPhone images off my drawing table and once they are properly finished I’ll put some better shots on my website. Birds and flight seem to be the central theme. I hope you like these in-progress views. I’m really enjoying interspersing my other work with these color pieces. The largest, Cardinal, was actually started the summer of 2019 and had to sit in the studio for a while while I attended to other things. It’s great to finally get back to it. These works will be available for purchase once they are finished, dried and varnished.

Late this week I received the copy edit of Tailor of Echoes from PS Publishing. It doesn’t look too onerous, so I’ll be working though that in the coming weeks, as I also begin work on the illustrations. Progress on the new novel is slow but steady. I have a great sense of my protagonist and the story is unfolding nicely.

What else, oh yes, this week I need to get back to my book blog Amnesiac’s Library. It has been badly overlooked in the past few weeks.

Finally, if you aren’t listening to The Dark Art Podcast, hosted by Chet Zar, get on it. I’ve been listening to some of the recent interviews while I work in the studio. The most recent is Chet’s interview with Kris Kuksi! I had the pleasure of showing with Kris a number of years ago when we were both with Strychnin Gallery in Berlin. Kris’s interview is fascinating. The interviews with David Stoupakis, Matt Levin, Erwin Tschofen, Cris Velasco, Dos Diablos and EGO are also highly recommended.

Truly, finally, if you have a few minutes, please check out my studio sale on Big Cartel. If you use the code ECHO on checkout, you can get a 20% discount on your order.

  • Richard
The Witch of the Wormwood, 2020, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches
19, 2020, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches
Cardinal, 2019/20, oil on panel, 20 x 16 inches
Work in progress, 2020, oil on canvas

Harbinger – Work in Progress

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on this large drawing called Harbinger (24″ x 18″). Check out the images below. I’m rendering with Pigma Micron 005 pens on 140lb Arches hotpress. I haven’t done a lot of finished work with Microns, so I wanted to give them a real workout to see what they could do. I still have a way to go, but generally speaking I really like these markers on the smooth Arches paper. I don’t think they could replace my trusty Rapidograph pens, but they do permit things the Rapidographs will not, like brushing the pigment onto the paper as the tips deplete, which is kind of interesting, so I’ll definitely use them again. My plan is to offer this piece as a giclee print, in the new year.

In other updates, I am just starting work on the illustrations for Tailor of Echoes, my forthcoming fantasy novel, from PS Publications in the new year. Really excited to start on this project. The novel is currently being copy edited. I also have another book illustration project, a “big” book, but I can’t talk about that yet, so I’ll just vaguepost for now. I’m also making good daily progress on the first draft of a new novel. 28K words in. It’s a healthy start and I hope to get a first draft over the winter.

Finally, Atropa (below) is still available from Copro Gallery. I think the show Roadside Attractions IV (curated by Cris Velasco) is probably over now, but if you are interested in this piece, please reach out to the gallery. I’d also like to thank Erica from that gallery and Cris, who rescued this piece when it went astray on route. You guys are the best!

Atropa

And it’s snowing, while the Jack O’ Lanterns are still rotting on my porch.

All for now!

  • Richard
Harbinger, a work in progress (iPhone snap).
Harbinger on my drawing table (iPhone snap).
Harbinger, detail (iPhone snap).
Harbinger, detail (iPhone snap).
Harbinger detail (iphone snap).