Author Archive | Liv

The Sisterhood Cover Reveal


This is the book cover art I recently finished! I wasn’t expecting it to go public quite so soon, but now that it is, I’ll be sharing process photos. Text, layout, and color are the work of Matthew Bright.

Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories
Edited by Nate Pedersen
Available in October

In churches and convents and other religious communities, sisterhood takes many forms, forged and tested by such mundane threats as disease and despair, but also by terrors both spiritual and cosmic—Satan’s subtle minions and the Lovecraftian nightmare of the Outer Gods. Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Historiespresents sixteen horror stories by some of the genre’s leading female voices. Their settings range around the globe and across the centuries, from 14th century Spain to 17th century Virginia to England in the present day.

Contributors include such award-winning and critically acclaimed authors as Nadia Bulkin, Livia Llewellyn, Molly Tanzer, Sun Yung Shin, Gemma Files, Kaaron Warren, Damien Angelica Walters, and Selena Chambers. With original cover art by Liv Rainey-Smith.

Table of Contents:

“The Wine of Men” by Ann K. Schwader

“From an Honest Sister, to a Neglected Daughter” by Monica Valentinelli

“Étaín and the Unholy Ghosts” by Lisa Morton

“The Barefoot Sisters of Saint Beatriz of the Mountain” by Kali Wallace

“Unburdened Flesh” by Penelope Love

“Only Dead Men Do Not Lie: The Trials of the Formosans” by Kaaron Warren

“Jane, Jamestown, The Starving Time” by Sun Yung Shin

“Dorcas and Ann: A True Story” by Molly Tanzer

“The Resurrected” by S. P. Miskowski

“The Low, Dark Edge of Life” by Livia Llewellyn

“The Anchoress” by Lynda E. Rucker

“Siūlais ir Kraujo ir Kaulų (Of Thread and Blood and Bone)” by Damien Angelica Walters

“Gravity Wave” by Nadia Bulkin

“The Veils of Sanctuary” by Selena Chambers

“The Sisters of Epione” by Alison Littlewood

“Red Words” by Gemma Files

Woodcut vs. Screen Print

 

The King in Yellow Woodcut & Serigraph

I received a message recently from someone who had purchased one of my screen prints, loved it, and wanted to know more about the differences between my woodcuts and screen prints. Since I took the time to write a thorough answer, I thought I ought to share it with everyone. I chose The King in Yellow as an example to discuss the different processes.

King in Yellow woodcut on cream cotton rag paper

To make the woodcut (aka xylograph) I sketch the art, transfer it to a piece of shina plywood, then carve it using knives & gouges (no power tools). Carving this woodcut probably took 10-20 hours. Once the block is refined to my satisfaction, I ink it with a brayer, move it to the press bed, align a sheet of heavy cotton rag paper on it, lay a felt blanket over it, and run it through the hand-cranked etching press. I estimate that in the case of the KiY it takes 10-15 minutes to ink and print each print. The prints then dry in a rack for at least two weeks before I inspect them, destroy the errors, and sign/number the edition. (Incidentally, if you want a King in Yellow woodcut print, I have only two remaining from the edition of 23 as of 4/21/18. Get yours here!)

The King in Yellow Serigraph on birdseye maple

The screen prints (aka serigraphs) are made by taking a digital scan of one of the original woodcut prints and using it to make a transparency which can be exposed on a photo emulsion coated screen. For the KiY I digitally removed the abstract background because I felt it would clash with the wood grains. I also scaled the image down. I then set up the screen and create a registration jig so I can place my wood veneer sheets in the same position every time. Once I have made my jig, printing each is a process than can take less than a minute. Much of this time is spent taping down the wood, then removing it after the ink is applied and putting it in the drying racks. Drying this ink takes 3 days, then I inspect them and save errors to be reused as registration jigs or to test ink on the back. (Want a King in Yellow serigraph? They are available here.)

Here’s a summary of what is similar between the two formats:

Both are handmade processes & can have minor variations due to the vagaries of wood and inking.
Both are almost entirely made by me. (I sometimes have an assistant tear paper, carry prints to the drying rack, and help clean up.)
Both are made with archival inks, though not the same ink. Both are inspected for quality & packaged with acid free polybags & mats.

Here’s a summary of what is different between the two formats:

Woodcut is the original artwork and is considered a fine art print.
My woodcut prints are signed by me, and typically limited in edition size.
My woodcuts on paper are printed with enough pressure to slightly emboss the paper, which gives them a subtle visual effect that simply doesn’t translate well to photos and scans. The papers I use are archival quality and typically hand-torn instead of cut.
Woodcuts are much slower to print than screen prints. Wood wears down over time, and I use a soft carving wood, so I can only pull so many prints from the woodcut.

Screen prints (as I make them) are reproductions based on the original woodcuts.
The art is altered to better suit the wood veneer I print on, and also scaled down.
The ink applied to the wood does not get embossed.
Wood veneer is not technically considered archival, though it should be long lasting.
Screen prints are faster to produce and are unsigned. When the screen wears out, I can make new screens and continue printing as many as I want.

Spring events and sale

Spirits emerging from the wood

The Outer Dark Symposium of the Greater Weird

I’ll be heading to San Jose, California this weekend to participate in The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird. For those not familiar with The Outer Dark, it is a podcast devoted to weird fiction. It is hosted by Scott Nicolay with Justin Steele, and Anya Martin. The bulk of the show is interviews with writers, editors, publishers, and artists in working in the realm of weird fiction; though they also periodically record and share relevant panel discussions. (Including one I participated in last year, Women in Weird Fiction.) The Symposium itself will be aired on future episodes of The Outer Dark, the official schedule is over 8 hours of panels and readings, so I suspect it will be spread over 4 or more episodes.

Although Symposium memberships are now sold out, if you’re in the area you can get a taste of the events with the Friday night Word Horde readings featuring Rios de la Luz, Michael Griffin, Scott R Jones, & Tiffany Scandal. Hosted by Ross E. Lockhart. See the Facebook event page for details.

West Coast Haunters Con

April 13-15th in Portland, Oregon, I’ll be vending at the West Coast Haunter’s Convention, an event dedicated to the art of creating professional and amateur haunted attractions. This will be my first time vending at the event and as a lifelong fan of physical effects and creature characters, I’m excited to be next to the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.  From what I’ve seen on social media, they’re usually do some amazing demos at events.

Beyond April, most of my schedule is not yet set in stone. May 20th is the planned launch date for the book I spent much of 2016 and 2018 creating woodcuts for, so after that date I’ll be free to exhibit and edition those woodcuts as I see fit. I will be sharing info on the title as soon as it is officially announced, until then, I’ve got editions to plan.

Enamel pin update

The Red Cthulhu enamel pins should be completed and ready to ship later next week. I expect to have the Phoenix done shortly afterwards, and the Babalon pin will be the last of the 3. If you ordered any these pins, I’ll be shipping yours as soon as all pins in your order are completed. All three pins are still available for preorder via my Etsy shop.

As an added bonus, I am taking part of Etsy’s Spring sale event March 22-29th. All bookmarks, cards, enamel pins, screen prints, and magnets are 15% off throughout.

Enamel Pin Presale: Babalon, Phoenix, Cthulhu

At last, new enamel pins are in the works! I’m hitting you with 3 designs this time: Babalon, Phoenix, and Cthulhu. All are based on my original woodcut art. Like my other enamel pins, they will be made with nickel-free finishes, and two pin posts with butterfly clutches. Read on for specifics regarding each pin:

BABALON: Due to the level of detail involved in 8 heads on 1 pin, this will be my largest enamel pin to date (1.5 x 1.5 inches) and priced accordingly. I’ve opted for a black metal finish to more closely mimic the original woodcut. Please note, once I get to the the point of starting die production, I may find out the outer lines of this pin need to be altered with some filled space, similar to that currently between the Beast’s head and Babalon’s chalice hand. I will share updates if major design changes are necessary. $18

 

 

PHOENIX: With 8 colors, this will be my most colorful pin to date! At 1.25 wide the Phoenix will be at the same scale as the majority of my previous pins. My plan is for the area between the head and wings to be cut out, though there is some possibility I may need to alter the design when we get to the die stage. I will share updates if major design changes are necessary. $15

 

 

 

CTHULHU: I’ve always been partial to red for Cthulhu since it is a natural color for Humboldt (Devil) Squid, and the Giant Pacific Octopus. Now that my original run of traditional green Cthulhu pins is sold out, I’m making a single batch of “Red Devil Squid” pins. Depending on preorders, I’ll be making 100 to 200 pins. In addition to the new color scheme I’m adding a 2nd pin post to the back! There will be no design changes to this pin since the die is already made. 1.25 inches tall. $15

Estimated delivery date on all pins: late March or early April.

 

Preorder by March 1st and save $5 off each pin because early orders help me make the right amount of pins!

When you order pins direct from me, they’ll be packaged in paper jewelry boxes with a paper ribbon, so they’re ready for gift-giving! I even color coordinate the ribbons so you won’t have to guess at which is in which box. (International customers, please note, rather than charge you a whole lot more for shipping, I combine pins into single boxes. It’s not as pretty, but it saves you a lot of money.)

Not certain you want to preorder? Please take a look at my other pins and the feedback on them, I’ve got a great record on pin quality, and I aim to keep it.

Darkest Winter opens this Friday

Lux Stellarum Artist Proof

Join me this Friday, December 15th 2017, at Gargoyles Statuary for the Darkest Winter opening reception from 6-9pm. Darkest Winter features a number of new woodcut prints, plus the first showing of an original Lux Stellarum artist proof (above).

If Lux Stellarum seems familiar, it was previously released as a small letterpress holiday card from Three Hands Press. A limited number of letterpress impressions were also released as numbered prints. I’m pleased to finally be sharing one of the original woodcuts upon which the cards were based. I’ve hand-tinted it with a variety of naturally occurring minerals, plus a modern version of Mayan blue, and gilded portions with 12, 21, and 24k gold. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to see it in person, because the photo doesn’t quite do it justice!

Gargoyles Statuary is located at:
4550 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105

Darkest Winter Approaches

Get out of the house and see some art in person!

Bite Studio First Friday Group Show

One night only! Featuring art from members of Bite Studio. I will be hanging a handful of framed serigraphs and have a few unframed prints on hand as well. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend because I will be setting up for the da Vinci Show
December 1st, 6pm-10pm 
Bite Studio
2000 SE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214


da Vinci Arts Sale

One day only! I’ll be there from 10am-4pm with everything from bookmarks to framed art. This is my last big Portland event for the year and I’ll be taking as much as I can with me, so come see what wonders await you!
December 2nd, 10am-4pm
da Vinci Arts Middle School
2508 NE Everett St.
Portland, OR 97232


Darkest Winter

New xylograph and serigraph prints by Liv Rainey-Smith.
Opening December 15th at Gargoyles Statuary in Seattle from 6-9pm.
I’m thrilled to once more be having a solo show at Gargoyles, and I’ve been working on some special pieces to debut there. I will be attending the opening, so I hope to see some of my favorite Seattle folks there!

 

Cyber sale through November 30th

Etsy is having a special promotion running through the end of November, as part of this event, I am offering 20% off all cards, bookmarks, pins, screen prints, and magnets. You don’t need to do anything special to get the sale price, just place your order before the end of the month!

Not sure what to give? Krampus pins have been a hit this year and I ship them boxed with a paper ribbon bow as in the photo to the right. They’re gift ready — as are all of my lapel pins when you order them via my Etsy shop.

Each has a different ribbon color so if you order several you don’t need to open them to figure out which is which. Fizzgig for example, has a light sage green ribbon. Raven is packaged in black. Speaking of the Raven, the pins I’m now offering are a new batch with TWO pin posts instead of one. No more rotating Raven pins! I’ve also updated the enamel colors with a new darker red and blue.

 

Want to give some affordable art? I’ve been working on new serigraphs printed on an assortment of sustainably harvested wood veneers. (All grown here in the USA.) Hare is the latest available on 8×10″ birch, birdseye maple, cherry, and maple.

I also have an old favorite, the Stag drying right now, shipping will begin on 11/29/17. I’ve also been adding more $10 5×7″ screen print options including: Ardor and Krampus. All of the screen prints fit standard frame sizes and look great framed without glass.

Last but not least, I’ve just screen printed a fresh batch of Gruss vom Krampus cards, and am even offering a You’d Better Watch Out krampus card this year! Please note, because my cards are handmade, quantities available are limited.

This is just a small array of the art I create, so please take some time to browse the Xylographilia shop, and message me if you don’t see what you’re looking for!

New pins are in the works

Goat-Hare-pin-ad-webBlack Goat & Hare enamel pins inspired by the magnificent goat Black Phillip, and based on my “Woodland Rites” woodcut art. Like my other enamel pins, both will be made with a nickel free finish, two pin posts with butterfly clutches, and will retail for $15 each. Also, when you order direct from me, they’ll be packaged in paper jewelry boxes with a paper ribbon, so if you’re not into gift-wrapping, I’ve got you covered.

Unlike my existing pins, Black Goat and Hare will be slightly different sizes. I wanted these pins to be able to be worn together without the Hare being as large as the Black Goat, so the Hare will be 1″ at its widest point, and the Black Goat will be 1.5″ tall. (My other pins are all 1.25″ scale.)

Special $10 pricing through November 2nd.

Upcoming Events

Want to see me in person? Here’s where and when you can find me:

Sunday, November 12, 2017 Siren Nation Art & Craft Sale from 10:00am to 4:00pm, McMenamin’s Kennedy School, Portland, OR

Saturday, December 2, 2017 da Vinci Middle School Art Fair from 10:00am to 4:00pm, da Vinci Middle School, 2508 NE Everett St, Portland, OR

Friday, December 15, 2017 Opening reception for my solo show at Gargoyle’s Statuary in Seattle, WA

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a Happy Halloween

It should come as no surprise, Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. It brings me fond memories of working on costumes with my mom and grandma, and the thrill of pretending to be something different while dashing through the night with friends. Now that I’m on the other side of the treat distribution, pumpkin carving is one of my favorite Halloween traditions, and this year, as in past years, I spent a ridiculous amount of time mulling over what to carve. I knew I wanted to do just one big pumpkin instead of several smaller ones, and I was sketching up a witch’s sabbat scene, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Then I heard the news that one of my favorite musicians, Michael Derks, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal bone cancer, myelofibrosis. You may never have heard of him, but you’ve probably heard of the band he plays in: Gwar.  Balsac-pumpkin-light-web

For the uninitiated, Gwar is a metal band of degenerate alien warriors, who put on spectacularly messy shows and regularly test the bounds of free speech and good taste. It’s a labor of love, and I admire the sheer amount of work they put into such glorious weirdness. They’re great musicians, and work hard to create their props, costumes, and mythologies. Derks has been a part of Gwar since 1988 and for most of that time has played guitar as the character Balsac, The Jaws of Death.

The man inside the alien is a good guy, and he’s continuing their current tour despite needing periodic transfusions. He’s going to need a bone marrow transplant if he’s going to beat myelofibrosis, so he’s set up a virtual donor drive to help get more potential donors registered. By registering you help create a larger pool of potential donors for EVERYONE who needs a bone marrow transplant. You can find out more here.

Balsac-pumpkin-dark

 

 

October Shows

Insectivores

Insectivores

October is here, and with it, shows:


WITCH-IKON: An Exhibition of Contemporary Witchraft Imagery
 at Mortlake & Company in Seattle, WA
I Put a Spell On You: Curses & Hexes at Hyaena Gallery, in Burbank, CA

I am unfortunately unable to attend either of the above out of state shows, but you will be able to find me at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR. I’ll have a table in the upstairs theatre vending area and am also scheduled for the following:

Women in Lovecraftian fiction panel on Friday night at 8:30pm
Pickman’s Apprentice 90 minute art competition at noon on Saturday
Drawing the Unspeakable panel at 3pm on Sunday

I’m currently working on adding November and December shows to my calendar, but I do have a few I can share now:
Sunday, November 12, 2017 Siren Nation Art & Craft Sale from 10:00am to 4:00pm, McMenamin’s Kennedy School, Portland, OR
Friday, December 15, 2017 Opening reception for my solo show at Gargoyle’s Statuary in Seattle, WA

Not near any of these shows? I ship worldwide and I’ve recently added my newest woodcut print edition, Insectivores, to the Etsy shop, and I’ll be adding a whole lot of new screen prints after the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival! More is in the works as well, but I don’t want to reveal too much ahead of the Gargoyle’s show.

New screen prints on wood

New screen prints on wood