This past week was productive. I handed in all of the artwork for Magpie’s Ladder (my forthcoming short story collection) to PS Publishing. Unfortunately I can’t show it to you yet, though if you follow me on Instagram you might have glimpsed some of the work in progress.
Instead, I am showing you this new watercolor piece called Crown of Coral. After a long, monochromatic winter I am in the mood for some color work. I hope you enjoy this piece. I have made it available on my Etsy site for a low price.
Work continues on edits for my new novel, Tailor of Echoes.
This is an iPhone snap of a watercolor I did a few weeks ago. I plan to do a version of it in oil in due course. It was necessary to suspend my use of oil for a while as the products I was using led to some pretty trippy – but ultimately not fun – ocular migraines. Since then, I have added some odorless oils to my supply cabinet. I’m at the point where I can resume. I really like working in oil – though if you are familiar with my monochromatic ink work you would be forgiven for assuming otherwise. I’ll post my progress here.
At the moment, I am taking a break from social media, specifically Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so this blog is your best bet if you are interested in my new work. My reasons for stepping back are largely related to a desire to enhance my productivity, but they are also related to the attitudes the designers of these platforms have for privacy, data harvesting, and surveillance. Time will tell how these issues are resolved but for now I plan to be more circumspect in the use of the platforms (though in full disclosure these blog posts are shared to Twitter).
If these issues are of interest to you also, I recommend:
The Age off Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff
World Without Mind by Franklin Foer
Zucked by Roger McNamee
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
These books have all been published recently and give excellent overviews of the issues from slightly different perspectives.
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.
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.
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.