Little Summer

Books, Details, Drawings, Fiction, Illustration, ink, Natural History, Process, Stippling, Technique, Work in Progress, writing

This past week was filled with drawing, writing, reading, torrential rain, flooded libraries—not mine—and patches of sun. Some of these things are related. I’m calling this post Little Summer, because so many small wonders seem to come our way during Ontario’s short pause in what can seem like an endless winter. Here’s one.

A tiny egg that appeared intact on our sidewalk.

While I was admiring the pattern on the shell, a cicada landed beside my foot at interstellar velocity—though she seemed no worse for it. Here she is.

Spacefaring Cicada

Earlier in the week, I was standing under one of my crab apple trees when I happened to notice one of the branches was acting strangely. It turned out to be a stick caterpillar. I’ve been in this house for 30 years and have never seen one before. It’s nice the place still has a few surprises. Can you see it?

Stick Caterpillar

But, other than bothering the denizens of the micro-kingdom, I have been pouring it on to get my illustrations done for my novel TAILOR OF ECHOES. Here is one that is currently on the table. As you can see, it’s pretty on brand. I can’t wait to share the finished book, to be published by PS Publications.

Interior illustration in progress for the forthcoming Tailor of Echoes

Finally, this weekend I had cause to dig through some old photographs and came across this promotional image for the Russian translation of my novel Necessary Monsters.

Russian Translation of Necessary Monsters (Eksmo, 2018)

Okay, enough show and tell for this week. Check back next Sunday for another post. In the meantime, don’t forget to look down. You just might find some treasure.

Richard

Back

Books, Fiction, Illustration, Incentives, Natural History, Photography, webstore, writing
A Few of My Favourite Things
(photo © Richard A. Kirk 2021)

I took a much longer hiatus from this blog than intended! I was surprised/ not surprised to see that my last post was back in April. Yikes.

So far 2021 has been a bit of a slow burn for me creatively. I’ve been doing a lot but mostly things that can’t be revealed for a little while yet – illustrating a couple of books, working on a new novel that I am very excited about and even doing a course. Now that these projects are on course, I want to make some time for blogging about my process and various preoccupations. Social media is fine, and I will continue on IG, FB and Twitter, but this is my preferred platform. Moving forward, I’ll start back with a weekly post (at minimum) and go from there.

In the meantime, please consider joining my mailing list. I’ll be pushing out information about upcoming books, prints and other things soon. I’ll also be using the list for some special offers.

Special thanks to everyone who took advantage of the free shipping offer on my webstore in June. I will be posting new items there in the coming week.

Finally, along with this blog, I also have a book specific blog called Amnesiac’s Library that I will be posting to as well.

Thanks for Reading!

Richard

Lander 1

Cross Hatching, Details, Drawings, ink, Natural History, Stippling, Works for Sale
Lander 1, 2021, ink on 140lb Arches hotpress, 18 x 24 inches
Lander 1 detail

Lander 1 detail

The inspiration for Lander 1—and yes, expect a Lander 2 and 3—came from watching the Perseverance rover descend on Mars in February. I started thinking about humans being sole explorers/ representatives from earth. This piece imagines a true lander, with organic rather than mechanical senses, a spirit of earth lander, if you will.

I wish there was some way to better embed the music I was listening to when I was working on this piece, Coil’s Time Machines and Soliloquy for Lilith by Nurse with a Wound. These seem like the perfect soundtracks to meditate on the idea of vast unknown spaces.

Richard.

Mascot

Drawings, ink, Natural History, Works for Sale

I’ve had a very busy few days with non-art related things, so it was fun to have these little pieces to work on. They are part of a series I started with my last post. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did doing them. I think I’ll try something slightly larger in this style. Stay tuned.

For anyone who is interested, these pieces are available for sale on my webstore, at a very reasonable price. Thanks for looking!

Richard

Two New Watercolours

Natural History, Painting, watercolour, webstore, Works for Sale
Watercolour of a fantastic fish
Munchfish, 2021, charcoal and watercolour on hotpress watercolour paper, 9 x 6″ approximate
Gap, 2021, watercolour on 300lb coldpress paper, 11 x 7.5″

Two slightly different watercolour techniques on different papers, with the same palette. These pieces are available in my webstore.

Harbinger

Cross Hatching, Details, Drawings, Incentives, ink, Natural History, Prints, Stippling, Technique, webstore, Works for Sale

This week, I am showing my latest completed drawing called Harbinger. I started this piece on October 2 and finished it on December 6. I hope you enjoy checking out the detail shots below. I will be making a limited giclee print of Harbinger in the New Year. The best way to stay on top of my print drops and other new is to subscribe to my monthly newsletter through my website. It just takes a second. There will be some fun extras for newsletter subscribers in 2021 (special offers, sketch giveaways etc.). This work is available for sale. Please use the contact form below to inquire.

A reminder that my 20% off studio sale is active until the end of December.

Thanks for dropping by. Moving forward, I will be updating this blog every Sunday. That seems to work well with my routine and will remove the guesswork for regular readers.

Now, without further ado — Harbinger

Harbinger, 2020, ink on 140lb Arches hotpress, 22 x 16 inches
Harbinger, detail 1
Harbinger, detail 2
Harbinger, detail 3
Harbinger, detail 4
Harbinger, detail 5

3 Windows

Cross Hatching, ink, Natural History, Process, Technique, Work in Progress, Works for Sale

One might be forgiven for thinking this piece a surrealist response to Aubrey Beardsley’s illustration, The Examination of the Herald from Lysistrata, but it is in fact a meditation on vision (see previous posts). I hope you have enjoyed watching this process. This work is available for purchase. Please message me with any questions.

  • Richard
3 Windows, 2020, ink on paper, 12 x 8″

Mysterious Garden

Books, Natural History, Silverpoint, Works for Sale

Last night I finished Mysterious Garden Ex.1 a new silverpoint drawing. As the name implies, I plan to do a few more of these imaginary plants. This work is available on my Big Cartel webstore.

On another note entirely, I have re-booted my book blog, Amnesiac’s Library. It’s a place where I talk about my book projects and post various bits of ephemera about book related stuff I like. I hope you’ll check it out and give it a “follow”.

  • Richard
Mysterious Garden Ex. 1, 2020, silverpoint on board, 8 x 5.5 inches.

The Plague Tree

Drawings, Inspiration, Natural History, Stippling
The Plague Tree, 2020, ink on paper, 27 x 19 inches

Back in March, when Covid 19 started to seriously impact our lives, I knew I wanted to do a piece of art as a way of processing what was happening. I had a large sheet of watercolour paper mounted on an archival board that had been sitting around the studio for a number of years. This seemed like the right surface for this project. The imagery came out of my subconscious, mostly fragments of dreams I was having, and some were pulled from sketchbooks. The theme is simple: human knowledge and structures, represented by the tree of knowledge, are humbled before nature.

  • Richard.
Detail 1
Detail 2
Detail 3
Detail 4

Atropa

Details, Drawings, Natural History, Stippling, Works for Sale

atropa_web

Atropa, 2020, ink on 140lb Arches hotpress paper, 14″ x 10″

I took advantage of a very rainy May weekend to finish this new piece called Atropa. It was done with .13 & .18 Rotring Rapidograph pens. I hope you enjoy it. The work is available. If you are interested, drop me a line.

– Richard

atropa_web_detail_1

Atropa – Detail 1

atropa_web_detail_2

Atropa – Detail 2

atropa_web_detail_3

Atropa – Detail 3

atropa_web_detail_4

Atropa – Detail 4