I’ve been balancing my production between personal work for upcoming group shows, illustration and fiction writing. Balance is hard to achieve, especially when you get seduced by one particular project. This week is was short stories. I finished two that were, sort of, almost there. I might drop one here, to celebrate the first anniversary of my novel, Necessary Monsters. Like my art, my fiction isn’t intended for everyone. It’s my statement, my aesthetic. I love it when readers respond. It’s so gratifying when people “get it.”
Now that the two stories are finished, this weekend I am returning to the final illustrations for my collection of short stories (Magpie’s Ladder, PS Publishing, later this year). Work on my next novel is progressing, but it’s the kind of thing that has to slow cook.
Booking group shows into 2019. Very excited by projects coming down the line. Thanks for your interest and support.
I’m busy creating new drawings. I just finished the top one, Wingless, today. I’ll be posting it in my webstore this weekend along with my drawing Prong – see earlier post. The other drawing Irridis was done for a friend.
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.
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.
This image shows the completed drawing, The Dark Bead. You can see details and work in progress images in previous posts. The Dark Bead is an ink pointillism drawing done primarily with a Rotring .13 technical pen, and a Koh I Noor .18 for the outlines. As is typical for pointillism, this drawing took many hours of work. I chose this style for its soft gradations and ability to deliver fine detail.
A theme of impenetrable mystery is at the heart of The Black Bead. The narrative revolves around the nature of the bead and its import to the creatures. The bead represents any kind of mystery and proposes that any mystery can seem magical until it is understood. The drawing also raises questions about the cottage in the distance, the identity of the creatures and the setting. It is deliberately non-committal about the time period, suggesting an otherworld scenario; a liminal place of change.
Up next is a larger piece for a show coming up at Copro Gallery later in the fall. Stay tuned.
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.