Bird of Ill Omen

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Bird of Ill Omen, 2020, ink on 300lb cold press paper, 10 x 14 inches

The Bird of Ill Omen, was finished earlier this year. Even though it’s only the end of March, the time spent on this drawing already seems long past thanks to the dramatic events in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first tentative lines for this piece were drawn many years ago: the creature with the bird wings for arms and a few simple lines to indicate the form of the main figure. It was put away, and I forgot all about it. When I returned to it this year, I started by fleshing out and rendering the figures. Only when that was done did I add in the background, and the owl (lending the piece its folkloric title). Compositionally, this piece is a pattern of scalene triangles, and rectangles. The buildings in the distance echo the two main figures. There are strong lines from the elbow of the bird man to the eyeball and the hip of the primary figure. Thematically, it follows my usual preoccupations: artificial life, mutable forms and birds.

The primary figure of the artificial life form is not a scientific construction, but rather  magical creature embodying the form of its human creator. It’s simultaneously liberated from stasis by human imagination but fated, maybe doomed, by the limits of the same. Its form follows the human. It’s bias is human. The mutant may represent science gone awry though genetic manipulation – an attempt at developmental peak hopping contrasted with the slower hill climbing of evolution represented by the owl. But I guess if you’ve watch Blade Runner, or more recently Westworld, you know how reliable appearances can be.

  • Richard

PS. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to see a homage to the Residents in this piece.

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Detail 1
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Detail 2

Wedding of the Earth and Sky

For some reason, I neglected to post the completed image of this piece. Here you go, along with a few details. This will be part of the Fiends of the DarkĀ online exhibition by WOW X WOW. Stay tuned for details!

  • Richard
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Wedding of the Earth and Sky, 2020, ink on archival art board, 20 x 16 inches
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Detail 1
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Detail 2
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Detail 3
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Detail 4

Art of the Socially Distant

I hope everyone is doing okay. Today I’m posting a couple of things I did over the weekend. I hope you enjoy them.

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Red Bird, 2020, ink & watercolour on 300lb coldpress, 8 x 10 inches

 

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.

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Yellow Skull, ink on archival illustration board, 10 x 8 inches

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.

Both of these pieces are available.

  • Richard

Winter Update

I’m not sure how I let two months get behind me without updating my blog, but it’s nice to be back. I’m planning more or less weekly updates for the rest of the year. So let’s catch up.

The big news this week is that my novel Necessary Monsters, published by Underland Press in 2017 is now available on Audible in audiobook format (Encyclopocalypse) Senn Annis did an amazing narration. You can hear a sample on Audible.

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In other book news… at the end of last year, I produced a book called The Darkling Lands, Volume 1, under my Radiolaria Studios imprint. It consists of 40 pages of my art and a new short story called Ecesis. I still have a few copies left in my webstore. They come signed, but when they are gone, they are gone.

I’ve already started compiling volume 2 and as soon as the war chest looks a little less scary, I’ll be putting it out. My hope, knock wood, is that it will be 80 pages instead of 40. Like volume 1, it will include a piece of new fiction.

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Still on the writing theme, I am currently working on a new novel – well two actually. I know, it’s a sickness. One is the next book in my Irridian series and the other is a completely new fantasy novel. It’s really too early to talk much about these projects, but I will be supplying updates as things progress. I’m hoping to have news about my as yet unpublished novel Tailor of Echoes before too long.

A few weeks ago, I launched a new giclee print offering called Wandering Star. There are a few of these left on my webstore. If I may be so bold, this is a f*n nice print. Again, if you are interested, grab one now because I will not be making more.

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A couple more things before I wrap this up. I have revived the Ink in Unfailing Supplies blog that artist John Pierro and I started 10 years ago. Basically, the blog was based on a challenge to create an interpretive work of art around a particular phrase. With the blog re-boot I am opening the challenge to the artist members of a closed Facebook Group by the same name. The first new challenge starts in March.

Finally, I have decided to discontinue my writing blog, Amnesiac’s Library, and consolidate everything here. On reflection, I figure it’s best to have everything under one roof.

Thanks for reading. With my next posts, I’ll be showing you some of my new art. I hope you’ll check it out. As always, you can check out work, old and new, on my artist website.

– Richard