"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.
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.
I had a few free hours today so I finished my drawing “The Hidden Exhibition.” Ink on 140lb Arches hotpress paper, 12″ x 16.″ The work will be shown for the first time at the Roadside Attractions III show at Copro Gallery (curated by Cris Velasco). Inquiries can be made by contacting the gallery through their website. The show opens May 12. If you’ve been following my work in progress shots on this piece, thanks for checking it out.
This is a second illustration for Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Houses Under the Sea, forthcoming from Centipede Press, and the last that I can show for now. It goes with a story called Houndwife and was also done with carbon pencil.
For over thirty years, Steve Venright has devoted himself to the liberation of the imagination, documenting hallucinatory trips through Southwestern Ontario’s deliriomantic landscapes with his signature puns, portmanteaus, and spoonerisms. The Least You Can Do Is Be Magnificent: Selected & New Writings is a generous gathering of Venright’s most enduring and extraordinary poems, including the revised and expanded “Manta Ray Jack and the Crew of the Spooner”— the most outlandish and hilarious seafaring tale since Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. This volume also features an in-depth examination of Venright’s work by scholar Alessandro Porco.