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.
I hope everyone is doing okay. Today I’m posting a couple of things I did over the weekend. I hope you enjoy them.
I found a little scribble in an old sketchbook and decided to turn it into a drawing. The watercolour gives the piece the feel of a children’s book illustration. One of the faces is even smiling, albeit a little wistfully, which is fairly unusual in my art.
This piece was more or less freestyle. I love playing with the hard silhouette of a profile. This character’s head has the shape of a flea. The foreground character was meant to evoke a death’s head moth.
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.
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 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!
Magpie’s Ladder, my illustrated collection of short stories, is currently available for pre-order. Copies of the unsigned edition are expected at PS Publishing at the end of May! I am currently signing the signature sheets for the signed editions. Please check the PS Publishing website for more information.
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 piece, called Arco, is part of an ongoing commission of silverpoint miniatures called The Symphonists. The actual work, drawn with silver wire on archival quality illustration board, is 3″ x 4.” For fun, you can see the others below.