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.)
I am involved in 2 shows coming up very soon. The first is called Permanence, a group show at Haven Gallery, themed around works primarily executed in ink. The Dawn Botanist, which I delivered to the framer last week, will be my contribution. It looks like it will be an amazing show. The second show is a silverpoint show, and I’ll share details when the gallery has announced, which should be quite soon. Beyond January, I have 3 more shows planned at this time.
I spent some time today going through my print inventory and reconciling it with my webstore. Some of the older prints are down to single digits, and when they are gone they are gone. I will be moving on to new images for future print offerings. Amnesiac’s Library (see previous post) is currently with my print-maker. In addition to prints I have added 3 original drawings at sale prices.
Finally, if you get get a chance, please check out The Weird Fiction Review site. Over the next few weeks they are serializing my short novel The Lost Machine. Chapter 1 was posted last Wednesday, along with an interview. The usual apologies to FB friends that have already heard this news.
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.
I had to take advantage of the light this morning to do a watercolor (or strictly speaking an acrylic ink) painting. The paper wasp nest on the figure’s head is directly inspired by a yellow-jacket nest I’ve been watching over the summer in our garden. The recent cold mornings have killed off the nest, but over the past few months it was fascinating to watch the activity rise and fall with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. This figure is an anthropomorphic representation of hunger, a hunger that might be literal, but which I intended to be a more abstract.
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.
The Green Demon is on sale in my webstore. Its a piece I did last year when I was doing a small series of demons. I am using the proceeds of these small sale pieces to publish a book of 5 short fantasy stories called Magpie’s Ladder.
This is my latest drawing, The Phantom Limb. It will be sent to the framer this week and then sent on for inclusion in the Beautifully Strange show at Clement Art (see previous post). The technique used for this drawing was diluted inks applied in overlaid brushstrokes. I hope you enjoy it.