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Carving Cthulhu continued

Corrected center claw

At this point in the process, it makes sense to continue outlining with that 1mm u gouge. Outlines may be expanded later depending on the effect I want. Thin outline carving tends to simply make elements stand out from the background, while wider outlining can be used to create a halo effect. In the first photo you can see I’ve made a slight modification to the shape of the center wing claw.

All outlines now delineated in 1mm

Here’s a view of the block after all outlining was completed. You’ll note I haven’t done any outlining in the lower portion of the block since it will be solid black and I haven’t yet decided I want a black outline around the portions of the figure over the black. If, after I ink and proof print the block, I want a thin white line to make the figure pop out of the black, I can easily add it in. I can always remove more wood to create white, but I can’t always add it back in. Always err on the side of too little carving, because you can always carve more.

Is anyone else craving seafood now?

Now we get into the fun part! Although I am referencing the original Cthulhu woodcut and do want this rendition to relate to it, my carving style has developed since 2010. I may end up clearing some of these marks out after proofing, but I know I want the arms to be more textured than the original. I’m starting at the claw tips of the lower arm and moving on up. The spots I originally drew aren’t being tightly adhered too, I prefer to let them progress naturally as I work — with a few markings to remind me where I want a few larger black spots left because I don’t want a symmetrical pattern.

I’ll be moving on up that arm now, be sure to check in on the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Kickstarter for updates on other rewards available to backers. The Kickstarter will be over in less than 2 weeks and the special event packages are rapidly being snapped up.

Mirroring Cthulhu

Just a brief progress update since I spent a good chunk of the day delivering Arcanum Bestiarum prints to Splendorporium for the Myths, Marvels, & Magic show. If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area,come see the show! Opening reception will be Friday, March 1st from 7-9pm.

Soon.

This is the part of the woodcut process where modern technology comes in handy. In order to have the final print edition match the sketch, I have to carve the block backwards. I could trace the design on tracing paper, flip it over, and transfer the tracing to the block. Or, I could print out a mirror image using either a photocopier, or in this case, my scanner/printer. I may be using the oldest form of printmaking to make art, and referencing 15th-18th century artistic conventions, but I’m not a complete luddite.

Here you see the printout I’ll be using to transfer the design alongside the woodblock I’ll be using, and the original pencil sketch for good measure. Tomorrow, image transfer!

The HPLFF Kickstarter is coming along nicely, keep an eye on it for updates on the rewards and contributors.

Attention H.P. Lovecraft fans!

Now sold out — first edition Cthulhu

I’ve been a regular at the Portland, Oregon, H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival for years; first as an attendee, then as a vendor of strange jewelry, and now as the preeminent woodcut printmaker of the Mythos art world. (I don’t believe I’m exaggerating on that last point, I’m probably the only Mythos artist working exclusively in woodcut printmaking.) I love the festival as much for the community as for the films, so I’m thrilled to be able to support this annual gathering with a new woodcut print edition! The first edition will be available (along with many other special rewards) exclusively to backers of HPLFF’s Kickstarter.


First concept sketch for a new Cthulhu woodcut for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Kickstarter.

Since the first Cthulhu woodcut has sold out, I felt it was time to create a new rendering of Lovecraft’s most beloved god. Because this piece is being created in support of the Portland, Oregon HPLFF I wanted to tie it in with the city and our resident goddess, Portlandia. (Hopefully our urban goddess won’t mind me poking a little fun at her — I like to think she has a sense of humor given the general spirit of Portland.)

I’ve based the pose seen here upon the iconic Raymond Kaskey Portlandia statue which may be seen on the Portland Building located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue. Because that box you see behind Cthulhu is the size of the block I’ll be carving for this print, I ended up needing to re-vamp the sketch to fit within the space. The block itself will measure 8 x 6 inches, and the finished print size will be 10 x 8″.

Now that the Kickstarter has launched, I will begin the process of turning the rough sketch into a finished hand-pulled woodcut print edition. I’ll be sharing that process here and on my Facebook Art Page, so check back to see how it develops!

This weekend and beyond

The Beasts are coming!

Where has January gone? The month certainly slipped by quickly, and now it’s time for my first event of 2013: The Buckman Elementary Show and Sell located at:

Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School
320 SE 16th Avenue
Portland, Oregon

Admission:
Friday, February 1: $5 per person (children 4 and under free)
Saturday, February 2: $2 suggested donation per person (children 4 and under free) 

Join me there for art, live music, and hands-on activities for kids. You’ll be able to enjoy work from 140 artists and craftspeople including works from Arcanum Bestiarum. This will be the first hanging of Bear, Fox, and Rat, so if you’re partial to print number 1s, this is your chance.

Speaking of the Arcanum Bestiarum, I’m excited to announce Three Hands Press expects to begin shipping within the next few weeks. The deluxe edition is sold out, but standard copies may still be pre-ordered via Three Hands Press. Concurrent with the release of Arcanum Bestiarum, I’ll be releasing more original print editions of the beasts online and at events so keep your eyes peeled for new work starting with the aforementioned Buckman event.

Lovecraft fans
, I have several new Mythos prints in the works right now! Most are slated for the Starry Wisdom Anthology and won’t be released for some time, but you’ll be seeing a new Cthulhu taking form shortly. Look for process photos and updates on my Facebook page as well as this blog.

Seattle folks, you’ve got new work coming your way as part of the “Black Cats, Bats, and Ravens” show opening February 15th at:
Gargoyle’s Statuary
4550 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Also upcoming:

March 1st: Myths, Marvels, & Magic at Splendorporium in Portland, Oregon
April 5th: Group show curated by Kat Gun in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 3-5: The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon
June: Solo show at Gargoyle’s, Seattle, Washington
August 23-35: Necronomicon Providence, Rhode Island
September 14-15: Esoteric Book Conference, Seattle Washington

More dates and locations to be announced. I’m looking forward to lots of new woodcuts and shows this year, hope to see you at some of the events!

Buckman Elementary Show & Sell

Discordia Concors
Reduction woodcut print
Edition of 12

Discordia Concors #1/12 has been matted and framed for donation to Buckman Elementary’s silent auction. In addition to the auction piece, you’ll be able to find an array of my framed and unframed limited edition prints along with the works of over 140 other artists working in all manner of media.

Visit the Buckman Art Show & Sell page for more information about this 23rd annual fundraiser and join me there February 1st & 2nd.

Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School is located at:
320 SE 16th Avenue
Portland, Oregon

First Friday at Bite Studio

Cthulhu beckons you to join us at the aptly named Bite Studio

The art is hung on the walls with care, in hopes that you soon will be there.

Join Mary Ann Puls, Catherine Rondthaler, and me tonight at Bite Studio from 6-10pm
We’re showing an array of works ranging from brand new to (in the case of the 1st edition Cthulhu to the right) last of the edition. We’ll also have unframed prints, snacks, and beverages on hand and will be available all night for questions and chat. Come see where all the magic happens!

Bite Studio is located at:
2000 SE 7th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97214

Midnight Ride Over Mount Hood

“Midnight Ride” block in its final state

Over the past week I’ve completed carving on Midnight Ride Over Mount Hood, tested paper colors (see block with samples to the left), and just today finalized the edition. Midnight Ride Over Mount Hood is an edition of 31 hand pulled woodcut prints, signed and numbered, printed with oil-based ink on acid-free cotton rag paper (all archival materials). 9 x 6.5 inch block 14 × 11 inch overall size. Shipping of this edition will begin Monday, December 3rd. Order via Raineysmith on Etsy by the end of December 1st and receive free domestic or international shipping. Simply enter THANKS in the promo code box at checkout.

Want to see it in person? Visit me at Splendorcraft tomorrow from 3-9pm or Saturday from 12-9pm! A full array of prints will be available for your viewing pleasure including unique artist proofs, early works, and nearly sold out editions.

Edition of 31 hand-pulled woodcut prints

Splendorcraft is located at:
Splendorporium
3421 SE 21st Ave.
Portland, OR 97202

Midnight Ride... will also be showing (with a selection of other works) at Bite Studio’s December First Friday opening. I’m thrilled to be showing alongside MaryAnn Puls and Catherine Rondthaler. Come and see us:

December 7th 6-9pm
at Bite Studio
2000 SE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

Black Friday – free shipping

"Capybara" 2010 8x10" Edition of 30

Capybara — because I don’t have any turkey art

Thanksgiving in the United States is traditionally a day of gratitude. We each give thanks for whoever and whatever is most important in our lives. I love spending Thanksgiving with as many friends and family as I can gather, but over the last few years my day of gratitude has crept into Black Friday. I worked many years as a retail sales clerk both for small family owned businesses, and a big box retailer. The 3 years I spent working at that big box store were the most miserable of my working life and every Black Friday was a day of dread. Leaving that job to get a BFA at Oregon College of Art and Craft was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the encouragement of my loved ones.

Now, 4 years after receiving that BFA, I’m grateful to be making my way as a full-time professional artist. Creating art does not occur in a void. I have had the support of a loving family who encouraged my imagination to grow. I have an amazing husband whose own imagination often acts as a springboard for mine. I have mentors and friends who have advised me and critiqued my work. I have a wonderful publisher, Three Hands Press, with whom I enjoy working and who has pushed me to a level of work I’d not thought possible. I have hard-working galleries and event organizers working with me and giving me space to get my art out and in front of viewers.

I’m the one sketching, carving, and printing, but the work is never complete until it reaches beyond me, and that wouldn’t be possible without all of you. Thank you for taking the time to look. Thank you for sharing your feelings about what you see. Thank you for taking the time to stop and talk at events. Thank you for suggesting opportunities. Thank you for suggesting authors, artists, movies, archaeological finds, traditions, people, and places I might enjoy. Thank you for sharing my art with others whether via word of mouth, online, passing along promo materials, by displaying it in your homes or offices, and giving it as gifts. Thank you for your support in all these ways and many more. Thank you for allowing me to not be a sales clerk working in a giant impersonal store under soulless management on Black Friday.

On that note, I’d like to offer you another little thank you in the form of free shipping on all purchases (domestic and international) from my Etsy storefront through December 1st. Simply enter the word THANKS in the promo code box at checkout. (I’ll also be including some extras with every purchase ranging from postcards, bookmarks, to small prints depending on order size.)

In the Portland, Oregon area and want to shop in person? I have 3 events scheduled before the end of the year:

November 23-25th
OCAC Student/Alumni Holiday Sale
This annual event features a wide range of art and crafts from OCAC students and Alumni. I’ve included over 50 prints in the show and will be volunteering there on Saturday from 12-3pm. Follow the link above for further show details.

November 30 3-9pm and December 1st noon-9pm
Splendorcraft at Splendorporium
I’m bringing out as much as I can — standard editions, unique artist proofs, big prints, old prints, new prints, preview images from the Arcanum Bestiarum…come and see.

December 7th 6-9pm
First Friday opening at Bite Studio
2000 SE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

I’ll be showing a selection of works alongside MaryAnn Puls and Catherine Rondthaler.

Carving in progress

Soon.

If you attended the Portland Goddess Art Show last Friday you probably got a peek at this new woodcut, tenatively titled, “Midnight Ride Over Mount Hood,” as I carved it. I put 3.5 hours of work in on it that night and posted progress photos on both Facebook and Twitter. Since that night I’ve been working on it alongside another much larger block and expect to be ready to ink it and proof it Monday.

In other news, the Beaverton Art Showcase ends Sunday, and the Siren Nation Art Show opened last night! More shows & events to be announced soon.

Happy Halloween

Enjoy it while you can!

The jack o’ lanterns are carved and the candy is ready. It’s just about dark enough here in Portland to turn on the porch light and await the whatever little ghouls brave the rainy weather. In the meantime, here’s a reminder about upcoming shows!

November 2nd, Portland, Oregon 7-11pm

First off, the Portland Goddess Art Show opening! I’ll be taking a woodblock and some tools with me, so stop in and see some live carving! The show runs all month, but the live demos are only this Friday night.

Portland Goddess Art Show and calender kick-off party featuring live art creation, music, and more. Featured Artists: Laura Borealisis, Justin Slattum, Liv Rainey-Smith, Nicole Linde, Joanne Licardo, Matt Schlosky, Sam Arneson, Nicholas Frenette, Anna Todaro, plus Danny Rodriguez and Chelsea Rose of Lucid Optic Lab.

420 SW Washington St, Portland, OR

November 3rd – 11th, Beaverton, Oregon

Leviathan from the Arcanum Bestiarum has been juried into the 30th Annual Beaverton Visual Arts Showcase. Be sure to check my print bin there for a wider array of prints. Gala November 3rd from 7-9 PM — many artists will be in attendance, though I regrettably not be able to make it.

The Showcase will be held at:
Beaverton City Library
12375 SW 5th Street
Beaverton, OR 97005

One last note, for those of you eagerly awaiting the release of Arcanum Bestiarum, word is it will be shipping in mid/late November. Thanks for your patience on this, I’m just as eager (if not more) as you are to finally see it in the flesh!