Pollen is a new drawing (personal work) that I finished towards the end of January. It was done using .13 & .18 Rotring Rapidograph pens. The image below is a quick iPhone shot of a new work in progress called Hearts Divided. I’m hoping to get it done in the next few weeks, working on it between other things. The piece is 17″ x 14,” ink on archival quality illustration board.
On the writing front, I’m in the middle of a full revision of my latest novel The Tailor of Echoes. My goal is to have it completed by the end of March.
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.
Last night, I cleaned out my trusty Rotrings so that I could do some pointillism work. I had an idea for a new drawing, a flower creature. This kind of drawing starts off as stream of consciousness, all about the sheer pleasure of line. The finish though will be very controlled and polished, as everything is pulled together into a galaxy tiny dots. What you see here is only the underdrawing. I like the collision of ideas: plant, animal, & sound. This piece is approximately 9″ x 6″ and will be available on my website soon.
I finally finished rendering The Tin Man’s Dream in pointillism. This drawing was started back in 2014 as a line drawing. It sat for a year, during which time I digitally colored the image. At the end of last year I decided to complete it as a pointillism piece. I’m hanging on to the original, but I will be making a print in February, which will be available on my webstore. You can click on the images below to enlarge the images.
This is a detail of the piece I am working at on this cold, cloudy November day. It’s a small figure but it took 3 hours to ink. The reason being that the brush I was using is superfine, and though the godless jpeg compression would not have you believe it, the gradations are quite subtle. I hope you enjoy this little peek. This morning’s musical selection in the studio was Foals. A really excellent band I was completely unaware of before 9 AM.
Also, a friendly reminder that the Bestowed Upon Us show opens tonight at the Alexi Era Gallery. If you are in the area, please go and check it out. I’ve seen the preview and it is a gorgeous show. Thanks for your support.
Along with a couple fairly involved ink drawings, I also have several paintings on the go. Everything is in various states, from OMFG why did I start this thing? to hey this is working. So, those of you who paint will know the piece above (put through a render on my “tin type” app) only has a neutral layer of oil. What you see here will vanish pretty quickly. I’ll post updates as I go along. I’m racking up half finished works to get me through the winter, like a squirrel storing nuts, or maybe a nut storing squirrels. Who’s to say?
Today’s musical recommendation is Foam Island by Darkstar. Or anything by Darkstar actually. Music is essential in the studio. If you don’t know them, check out Foam Island, I doubt you will be disappointed.
This watercolour is a study for a future oil painting. I wanted to give the figure an avian quality, hence the placement of the eye. The whole piece hinges on that pitiless eye! I think it’s also quite funny. I have a series of paintings in mind featuring monsters in remote outdoor settings. I plan on doing these in the coming months, probably spread out over the year. If you’re wondering what that might look like, Tadpole Tales (below) is the kind of thing I am talking about. Each medium has its own qualities to recommend it.
There is still much to be done on this new drawing, but having finished one fairly defined section I thought I’d share a work in progress (WIP). If you saw my earlier post on this piece, you’ll notice that I have added to the title. “Tears of the Poppy” is a line taken from the text of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, a book that has been occupying my reading time and weirdly, or perhaps not so weirdly, my dreams for a few weeks now. The phrase fits the theme of this work.
Here is a look at the drawing’s bones. What you see here will soon disappear under layers of ink. I find these line drawings have a beauty of their own, which is why I always take the time to make a high resolution scan of them before rendering.
The ink looks a bit darker here than it is in the original. This is a first pass with a uniform value. With the next pass, I’ll be deepening shadows and accentuating highlights.
One of the great things about working in ink is the simplicity of of the tools. It’s amazing what you can do with a bottle of ink, some water and a brush.
Like a lot of artists, my favorite time to work is in the early morning. The house and the neighborhood are quiet, the mind is rested and not yet full of the concerns of the day. In the morning, it is possible to focus and get a different perspective on a creative project. I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up, walked down to my studio and looked at some problem that seemed intractable the night before, just to see how obvious the solution really was. I rely on this little gift of clarity. That is why I like to do the problem solving at the sketching or under-drawing stage. Once the ink is on the paper, I have to live with my mistakes and let them become part of what I have created.
I thought I’d share my progress to date on The Dark Seed. It took a bit of a back seat to Bells Call Others, but it’s not unusual for me to have several drawing on the go at once. This strategy is necessary as pointillism is by its nature a slow technique. Having a few drawings in play allows me to keep my interest high, and my eyes rested.
As time permits I’m also working on getting 2 books ready for printing, a novel (Necessary Monsters) and a collection of 5 short stories (Magpie’s Ladder). I’m working toward having them both out for 2016 under the Radiolaria Studios imprint. Time is needed to produce the illustrations and as anxious as I am to have them out in the world, I want to make sure the illustrations are perfect. I will no doubt be posting samples in the months to come.
On the subject of books, a little bit of poking around on the internet revealed that Tome II: Melancholia has been received by the publisher 44Flood. If you are not aware, Tome is a sumptuous art book featuring many artists, and interviews where the artists talk about their work. My work is included and I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by the author Clive Barker. As soon as I get a copy in hand I’ll post some images. In the meantime, follow the links for more information.