Mysterious Influence, 2017, ink on archival board, 10″ x 8″
I finished this drawing last night in a focused three hour session under a prickly cloud of late-in-the-day caffeine and headphone music (6lack and Pineapple Thief). Like the last piece, it’s mostly brush and carbon black ink, and a little fine tuning with a dip pen. As soon as it was finished I was already thinking about the next one. The 8″ x 10″ size is perfect for creating compact little worlds. There are 8 more boards in this tablet, so a series is tempting. Maybe just one more, before I go back to the Foundling. If you are interested in seeing works in progress, I document new works on my Instagram account See icon on this page).
Over the weekend I added another 1200 words to a new short story called Powerplant. It’s for a new collection called Dark Cloth, which I’m hoping – rather arbitrarily – to have done by the end of 2017. I also need to return to the novel I’m writing, tentatively, The Tangled Slope. I left my main character in a rather awkward position.
I am really thrilled to be showing my work with this diverse and exciting group of artists. If you are in the area don’t miss a chance to check it out. This kind of show is rare in London. I have 3 miniature prints available and 5 original works. This afternoon I had a chance to see some of the amazing works by my My Pet Skeleton and Sarah LeGault. Incredible stuff! See you there.
Cover of Necessary Monsters, 2017, Arche/ Resurrection House
I am very excited to show you the cover of my new novel Necessary Monsters, which will be published this May and is now available for pre-order. I can’t wait to share this novel with readers. I re-wrote the book many times over the last few years, refining it to the book I saw in my head. It is, to paraphrase the publisher, true to my art. This observation pleased me immensely because I wrote it to explore the worlds I love through my characters stories. This is a novel filled with books, crumbling cities and unsettling landscapes, magic and of course, monsters. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Other stuff: I spent the last few days moving my website from one platform to another, taking the opportunity to simplify, and cull some older images. The flexibility of the new platform will make it a lot easier to keep the site updated. What can you expect to see? The work highlighted under the Portfolio tab is personal work and ranges from 2009 to present. The Illustration tab highlights various publications, which I either illustrated or contributed to. Over time, I will turn some of those images into gallery links, displaying images from the various projects. But that is phase 2 and will unfold time permitting. Another page, which will be more dynamic and added sooner, will be called Available Originals. My plan with the Available Originals page is to showcase original works appropriate to all budgets. Works on this page will typically be unframed. As an aside, I am very careful with the shipping of original work – at minimum, works are placed in an archival mylar sleeve and shipped sandwiched in 3 pieces of stiff foamcore, within a plastic bubble envelope. For those interested in purchasing a print, they are available in my webstore.
Flowers of Neverland, 2016, graphite and carbon pencil on Arches 300lb coldpress, 10″ x 10″
I just finished this piece. Love drawing on heavy paper. It feels so damned decadent.
Following a very busy autumn, I’m now finally sitting down to plan creative work for 2017.
My new novel Necessary Monsters is scheduled to be published by Resurrection House/ Arche Press in May. I thought I’d share the description from the distributor’s website.
Lumsden Moss is an escaped thief and an unrepentant bibliophile with a long-suffering desire to foist some karmic retribution on those who have wronged him. But when the opportunity to steal a rare book from the man who sentenced him to prison puts him on the wrong side of the wrong people, Moss finds himself on the run. And it’s not just the book he stole that these people want, it’s also the secrets of a long-forgotten location on Nightjar Island, a place cursed and abandoned since the Purge.
When Moss falls in with Imogen, a nimble-fingered thief who has taken a traveling bookcase filled with many secrets, he starts to realize how much of his unsavory past is indelibly tied to a frightening witch-child and her nightmarish pet monster.
In a fantastic world, still recovering from a war where magic and technology were fused together, Moss and Imogen must decipher the mystery of their mutual pasts in order to illuminate the dark heart that still lurks on Nightjar Island.
Bookending 2017, fall will see the publication of my illustrated short story collection Magpie’s Ladder. I just signed the contract for this project last week and will have more details when I am able to share them. Needless to say I’m very excited about both of these projects.
In late November I turned in 8 illustrations for Centipede Press’s edition of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Houses Under the Sea – Mythos Tales. This title will be published sometime in 2017.
Also on the art front, I’m working on some new personal work, which I plan to share here as the winter progresses. Sometime in the next few months I’ll be participating in a show with the Shadowood Collective. Shadowood shows are always incredible and this one will be no exception.
Interior illustration for Houses Under the Sea, Mythos Tales
Caitlin R. Kiernan has posted this illustration to her blog, so I guess I am okay to share it here as well. This is for the forthcoming Houses Under the Sea, Mythos Tales. Caitlin has provided details about this book on her blog. The book also features amazing art by John Kenn Mortensen and Vince Locke. Houses Under the Sea, Mythos Tales will be available from Centipede in 2017.
Prong, 2016, ink on paper, 12″ x 9″
This is a new drawing just finished today. I’ve had this creature in my head for the last couple of weeks and needed to let it out. What interested me about this subject was the questions between the main figure and the weird cyclopean pupa thing on its back. Is it a child of the pronged creature, something found, or a partner in crime? I’ll let you decide. Leave your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll be dropping Prong to my webstore shortly for anyone who feels like liquidating some of that tax return!
Since my last post I finished the new novel! 120K words! I am currently doing a final read through before submitting it to my agent later this month. I’m very excited about this one. and I can’t wait for the day I can share it with readers. If you like the kind of things I draw, you will definitely like this novel. It has many of the same dark fantasy elements.
I’m already thinking about the book, but for the rest of this month I am jumping back into the art work to illustrate a short story collection – author to be announced – and doing a brand new piece inspired by the writing of H. P. Lovecraft (see previous post f0r details.)
Misguided Taxidermist, 2006, ink on paper, 11″ x 9″
I’ve decided to start an irregular category on this blog called Walking Backwards. It’s like a Throwback Thursday thing but it will appear as the mood suits. Walking Backwards will feature works, dug from my groaning hard-drive, which I created in the past but haven’t posted in a while. How far back I go will depend on how brave I am feeling.
Today’s inaugural drawing was done back in 2006. I have to say that I love sepia ink, especially on a nicely pebbled watercolor paper. It feels like I drew the Misguided Taxidermist yesterday. I remember very clearly being pleased with the characters. I think it would be a blast to illustrate a book in them manner. Publishers prick your ears! I hope you enjoy this selection.