"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.
Sometimes, when making illustrative images, I find it easy to forget that I’m making a thing. This is especially so when most of the engagement with my artwork happens on the web. As grateful as I am for that avenue of engagement, it tends to have a flattening effect. Sometimes I like to remind myself that art is about things (for me anyway). It’s about the visual immediacy of a work created by hand. The way the light bounces off the ink or paint, the dry whisper of the paper under my fingers, the care I must use in handling these objects. That’s why I created The Pact, a little 4 x 4 inch accordion book. It is actually a prototype for some other, slightly larger accordion books I’m planning to produce in the New Year. In the meantime, please enjoy this little movie.
I also wanted to remind everyone that my short novel The Lost Machineis available on Audible as an audiobook. Mark Miller at Encyclopocalypse did a fantastic job bringing this to fruition. Jake Ruddle’s narration is spot on. If you enjoy audiobooks, please give this a listen. Next year is TLM’s 10th anniversary! The New Year also brings an audiobook version of my novel Necessary Monsters. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Finally, I am building a mailing list for a newsletter, something I’ve wanted to do for a while. The first one will come in January and include things that I’m working on, things I am excited about, and there will be special offers and maybe even some special things for subscribers. We’ll see how it rolls. If this sounds fun, go to my website where there is a mailing list sign-up for the newsletter. I promise it won’t be spammy and I will never use your email for any purpose other than the mailing list. I hope you’ll join me.
The Darkling Lands is a new 40 page perfect bound book, which reproduces 28 of my images and includes a new weird tale titled Ecesis. I posted 10 copies on my webshop yesterday, and I am pleased to report they went quickly, but there will be more copies available in about a week. As I noted in the book’s introduction The Darkling Lands of the title, first appeared as a setting in my short story Magpie’s Ladder. The project itself is conceived as a kind of inexpensive portfolio of images from the past few years, selected because they work together. You may have noticed that this is Volume 1. My intention is to create future volumes that follow the same pattern of art and writing, and always include something new with each volume. I hope you enjoy it.
During the latter half of October, I offered incentive sketches on my webshop – a free sketch with every shop order. There was some demand from people to purchase the sketches outright, so I introduced the Mystery Sketch option, which is still active. As you can see, as time went on, the sketches became more elaborate! After the first few, I upgraded the paper to a heavier cardstock in off-white with rounded edges. I introduced darker shadows and half-tone marker shading. Overall, I’m quite pleased with the result and plan to have the October sketches as part of my annual calendar. I’ve collected the sketches done to date in this slide show above, though one or two may have slipped the net! I’ve already heard of a couple that are going to become tattoos! Sketches are still available, but since the sale is over, you now have to pay to get one. 😉
One of the pieces I’m working on this fall is The Wedding of the Earth and Sky. It will be entirely stippled with my trusty Rapidograph pens. I am pleased with the progress so far. Apart from the pencilling, these images represent about 4-5 hours work thus far. I’m already penciling two more pieces in this cycle of work. I’ll be posting updates as work progresses.
It’s October at last, my favorite month of the year. I have just added a small number of signed copies of Magpie’s Ladder to my webstore. The constant reader will remember that Magpie’s Ladder is my illustrated short story collection published by PS Publishing earlier this year. Get yours now!
Also in celebration of October, for this month only, every order from my webstore comes with a free sketch on a blank greeting card. Wait, what? Yes, go buy something and get yours.
That’s it for now. Now, go out, smash a pumpkin, walk in the woods, or burn some leaves before before fucking winter comes howling in and ruins everything!
I started a silverpoint commission several years ago (2006) called the Secret Society. Each of the 10 drawings is a miniature (4″ x 3″). This past week I had the time to finish the series, 7-10. I hope you enjoy them!
On a related note to my last post, I thought I had posted this trailer for my illustrated collection of short stories Magpie’s Ladder (PS Publishing, 2019). The publication of this volume of 5 stories was a high point of the summer for me. I hope you enjoy the trailer, and the book!
I’m excited to announce that my novella The Lost Machine is now available as an audiobook on Audible
Jake Ruddle did an excellent job of narrating the story. Follow the link to hear a free sample. This is the first of two audiobooks planned for this year. The second is Necessary Monsters, the follow-up to The Lost Machine. Please check out the Encyclopocalypse website to see other projects in development.
It’s been a busy summer so I haven’t had the chance to update my blog. With fall approaching I can get back to posting on a regular schedule.
So, first up is this piece, Garden of the Moon, which I just finished on Wednesday. It took two months to complete, in sessions of 2 – 5 hours. So lots of hours, but lots of fun too, working with small brushes and carbon black acrylic ink. The brush and ink allow a fluidity that is more difficult to achieve with stippling, my usual technique. The crazy level of detail is intended to invite exploration within the piece. I am much more interested in that aspect than how it looks from across the room – which is kind of cool too though, right? Really, I’d just like the viewer to read the piece as if they were immersing themselves in a tangled and mysterious fairy-tale.
Garden of the Moon will be on show at the La Lune II show in the Haven Gallery later this month.
I have just listed an original illustration on Ebay. This one was for Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Mythos Tales, Houses Under the Sea published by Centipede Press. This is a bit of an experiment, so we’ll see how it goes!