"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Sir Frances Bacon, "Of Beauty, Essays" 1625
I am a Canadian artist, illustrator and author. This blog is where I talk about projects that am working on. I show finished works, but I also show works in progress and things that inspire me along the way. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. Thanks for dropping by.
I can now show you the cover art for the Russian edition (Eksmo) of my novel Necessary Monsters. I really like the cover, it reminds me of George McDonald’s Lilith, which has a nice resonance for me. Quite a thrill to see this. Unfortunately, I don’t know the artist’s name yet, but I will update when I find out. The image below is the original edition (Arche Press), which features my art, a crop from my drawing Chimera.
This is a newly completed silverpoint drawing called Darkness. The under drawing was done in 2016, and it was intended to be the third in a series of three (Flowers of Wisdom and Ptah, also shown), but I ran out of time. I finally found some time to render Darkness this week. If you look closely at this scan, you can see the parts of the drawing that have not yet tarnished. The other two sold long ago, so unfortunately they will never hang as a grouping (unless the same collector buys it, whomever they are!) At least here, you can see them as I originally intended. I hope you enjoy them.
Ptah, Lord of Eternity, 2016, silverpoint, 9″ x 6″
I spent much of yesterday finishing this drawing, which has been in my studio for a while. It was originally conceived for a Lovecraft themed show at Copro Gallery a couple of years ago (curated by Cris Velasco). Unfortunately, my workload at the time was very heavy and in the end I went with a smaller piece. Anyway, it was great to finally get this piece finished. Love this medium, and I will definitely be starting another carbon pencil piece right away. Hopefully it won’t take two years to finish!
These are two recent drawings done more or less back to back. If you look closely, you can see that they have similar compositional bones, despite the difference in technique. The Hollowing was created for a WOW X WOW show called Monochromagic coming up in September. The Candidate was created for an August show called The Thin Black Line, at Ars Memoria Gallery. Click on the images to open larger versions in a separate window.
I haven’t posted here for a while because I’m working on some larger projects. In the meantime thought it would be fun to round up a few orphan works. These works were created more or less as materials or technique exercises, or explorations of certain ideas. Hope you enjoy this peek at my process.
This drawing done for fun. It is a brush and ink drawing with a watercolour tint. The underlying monochrome base bled, which gives the piece its mottled appearance.
I really like this piece and hope to use this technique more in the future. The image itself is essentially the same composition at the piece above.
Another acrylic piece.
Yes, this is ugly and a little forlorn. It was basically a stress test for the paper. I kept loading pigment to see what this very thick watercolour paper could absorb. The painting is very tiny and unfortunately its difficult to see properly on a screen. Up close, there are some interesting little passages, such as the one the detail below shows.
I’ve been balancing my production between personal work for upcoming group shows, illustration and fiction writing. Balance is hard to achieve, especially when you get seduced by one particular project. This week is was short stories. I finished two that were, sort of, almost there. I might drop one here, to celebrate the first anniversary of my novel, Necessary Monsters. Like my art, my fiction isn’t intended for everyone. It’s my statement, my aesthetic. I love it when readers respond. It’s so gratifying when people “get it.”
Now that the two stories are finished, this weekend I am returning to the final illustrations for my collection of short stories (Magpie’s Ladder, PS Publishing, later this year). Work on my next novel is progressing, but it’s the kind of thing that has to slow cook.
Booking group shows into 2019. Very excited by projects coming down the line. Thanks for your interest and support.
This is an illustration for one of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s short stories in the recently published Houses Under the Sea (Centipede Press). I’m showing the image in its original state because I like the warmth of the off white Arches paper (the file submitted to the publisher was altered for printing). The finished book is beautifully made. Below are a few snaps so you can see how the artwork was incorporated into the design.