Strange Birds

It’s been a busy week. I’ve been working steadily on Harbinger (see previous post), and on this series of oils (below). These are rough and ready iPhone images off my drawing table and once they are properly finished I’ll put some better shots on my website. Birds and flight seem to be the central theme. I hope you like these in-progress views. I’m really enjoying interspersing my other work with these color pieces. The largest, Cardinal, was actually started the summer of 2019 and had to sit in the studio for a while while I attended to other things. It’s great to finally get back to it. These works will be available for purchase once they are finished, dried and varnished.

Late this week I received the copy edit of Tailor of Echoes from PS Publishing. It doesn’t look too onerous, so I’ll be working though that in the coming weeks, as I also begin work on the illustrations. Progress on the new novel is slow but steady. I have a great sense of my protagonist and the story is unfolding nicely.

What else, oh yes, this week I need to get back to my book blog Amnesiac’s Library. It has been badly overlooked in the past few weeks.

Finally, if you aren’t listening to The Dark Art Podcast, hosted by Chet Zar, get on it. I’ve been listening to some of the recent interviews while I work in the studio. The most recent is Chet’s interview with Kris Kuksi! I had the pleasure of showing with Kris a number of years ago when we were both with Strychnin Gallery in Berlin. Kris’s interview is fascinating. The interviews with David Stoupakis, Matt Levin, Erwin Tschofen, Cris Velasco, Dos Diablos and EGO are also highly recommended.

Truly, finally, if you have a few minutes, please check out my studio sale on Big Cartel. If you use the code ECHO on checkout, you can get a 20% discount on your order.

  • Richard
The Witch of the Wormwood, 2020, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches
19, 2020, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches
Cardinal, 2019/20, oil on panel, 20 x 16 inches
Work in progress, 2020, oil on canvas

Harbinger – Work in Progress

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on this large drawing called Harbinger (24″ x 18″). Check out the images below. I’m rendering with Pigma Micron 005 pens on 140lb Arches hotpress. I haven’t done a lot of finished work with Microns, so I wanted to give them a real workout to see what they could do. I still have a way to go, but generally speaking I really like these markers on the smooth Arches paper. I don’t think they could replace my trusty Rapidograph pens, but they do permit things the Rapidographs will not, like brushing the pigment onto the paper as the tips deplete, which is kind of interesting, so I’ll definitely use them again. My plan is to offer this piece as a giclee print, in the new year.

In other updates, I am just starting work on the illustrations for Tailor of Echoes, my forthcoming fantasy novel, from PS Publications in the new year. Really excited to start on this project. The novel is currently being copy edited. I also have another book illustration project, a “big” book, but I can’t talk about that yet, so I’ll just vaguepost for now. I’m also making good daily progress on the first draft of a new novel. 28K words in. It’s a healthy start and I hope to get a first draft over the winter.

Finally, Atropa (below) is still available from Copro Gallery. I think the show Roadside Attractions IV (curated by Cris Velasco) is probably over now, but if you are interested in this piece, please reach out to the gallery. I’d also like to thank Erica from that gallery and Cris, who rescued this piece when it went astray on route. You guys are the best!

Atropa

And it’s snowing, while the Jack O’ Lanterns are still rotting on my porch.

All for now!

  • Richard
Harbinger, a work in progress (iPhone snap).
Harbinger on my drawing table (iPhone snap).
Harbinger, detail (iPhone snap).
Harbinger, detail (iPhone snap).
Harbinger detail (iphone snap).

Magpie’s Ladder

Magpie’s Ladder from Richard Kirk on Vimeo.

On a related note to my last post, I thought I had posted this trailer for my illustrated collection of short stories Magpie’s Ladder (PS Publishing, 2019). The publication of this volume of 5 stories was a high point of the summer for me. I hope you enjoy the trailer, and the book!

– Richard.

 

 

Magpie’s Ladder

Magpie s Ladder hardcover by Richard A Kirk
Cover art for Magpie’s Ladder, PS Publishing

Magpie’s Ladder, my illustrated collection of short stories, is currently available for pre-order. Copies of the unsigned edition are expected at PS Publishing at the end of May! I am currently signing the signature sheets for the signed editions. Please check the PS Publishing website for more information.

Here is a sampling of the illustrations:

8CA31FF0-B341-406D-8217-863A39455239

Richard

Crown of Coral

coral_crown_etsy
Crown of Coral, 14″ x 10,” watercolour on 140lb Arches Coldpress

This past week was productive. I handed in all of the artwork for Magpie’s Ladder (my forthcoming short story collection) to PS Publishing. Unfortunately I can’t show it to you yet, though if you follow me on Instagram you might have glimpsed some of the work in progress.

Instead, I am showing you this new watercolor piece called Crown of Coral. After a long, monochromatic winter I am in the mood for some color work. I hope you enjoy this piece. I have made it available on my Etsy site for a low price.

Work continues on edits for my new novel, Tailor of Echoes.

Richard

Furthermore

odin's_girl

Further to my last post, PS Publishing has just posted its December newsletter. It includes the full wrap around illustration for Odin’s Girl by Kim Wilkins, which I share here. It also shows a little of an interior illustration, which you can see by following the link.

I am currently hard at work/ play creating the illustrations for Magpie’s Ladder (also mentioned in the newsletter). I will be posting some teasers on my Instagram account. So if you are interested, please follow me there. The link is at the bottom of this page.

Finally, I would be remiss not to throw in a plug for my novel Necessary Monsters published in June by Resurrection House. You can find it on Amazon or, in your local bookshop of choice.

  • Richard

 

Book Announcements

PS Publications will be publishing my illustrated  short story collection Magpie’s Ladder in 2018! I’ll post news about that project here as details become available. In the meantime, have a look at these two forthcoming titles from PS featuring my artwork and great cover design by Michael Smith. Give the PS site a visit if you have a few minutes, the catalogue is fantastic.

  • Richard

odins_girl_cover_webammonite_violin_cover_design

The Curious Voyage

IMG_5288

This is a picture of my drawing table this afternoon. It’s a cloudy day, hence the bluish light. You are seeing the early stages of a new drawing that doesn’t even have a title yet, though I am leaning toward “The Curious Voyage” The working title will make more sense when the last major element is dropped in. So far I have penciled the composition and gone over everything with a dip pen and ink. I am preferring the nibs to technical pens at the moment because of the line strength and the variation you can get from adding pressure. The next step will  be shading with diluted inks and brush. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this early peek.

I am happy to report that PS Publishing in the UK will be re-issuing several Caitlin R. Kiernan titles Tales of Pain and Wonder; To Charles Fort, With Love; A is for Alien; and The Ammonite Violin and Others. Some of the illustrations I created for Caitlin’s books will be used for these re-issues. For fun, here is one of my favorites, although I have no idea if it will be picked.

topaw_tears
Interior illustration from “Tales of Pain and Wonder” by Caitlin R. Kiernan, for the story “Tears Seven Times Salt”
© Richard A. Kirk

A book I am really enjoying at the moment is Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (thanks Elizabeth!) This morning I came across this sentence. “Open your eyes, concludes the man, and see what you can with them before they close forever.” Haunting, beautiful words.

– Richard.