Archive | H.P. Lovecraft

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

NecronomiCon 2017 Report

Once again, I am absolutely thrilled to have attended and participated in NecronomiCon Providence. The folks at the Lovecraft Arts and Sciences Council once more put on a grand event with a broad array of programming and guests.

Wednesday the 16th

Since Portland, Oregon to Providence, Rhode Island is a long haul even by plane, we woke up at 3am in order to get to the airport on time. (Confession, I’m not sure I got more than an hour of sleep before 3am.) This day essentially consisted of travel, napping, checking in to the hotel, unpacking/prepping to set up my table, and eating delicious hamburgers at Harry’s Bar and Burger.

Thursday the 17th

The official start of NecronomiCon, with registration and vendor set-up both starting at noon. We got right to work in order to finish up in time to attend the opening ceremony at the First Baptist Church followed by the art show reception at the Woods-Gerry Gallery. Set-up was thankfully uncomplicated since I had made an effort to plan a display that could be packed in our luggage. The most complex part of the job was assembling my standing print rack, which was only complicated because it had been quite some time since I last assembled it.

Richard Stanley, Fufu Frauenwahl, Cody Goodfellow, Liv Rainey-Smith

Once everything was in order, we headed back to the Biltmore to get cleaned up, and came upon Richard Stanley, Fufu Frauenwahl, and Cody Goodfellow, which is a wonderful mix of talented human beings to happen upon. Not long after we ended up crossing paths with Ellen Datlow on the walk to the First Baptist Church in America. We all ended up being slightly late to the ceremony due to the vagaries of traffic, and sadly missed a bit of Gigi Mitchell-Velasco’s organ performance, but we didn’t miss out on the opening remarks or invocation from poet laureate Donald Sidney-Fryer. The opening closed at a little after 6pm, at which point we made the uphill trek to the Woods-Gerry Gallery and the opening reception of Ars Necronomica: Wonders of the Visible Weird.

Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin, Liv Rainey-Smith

That reception was the highlight of the convention for me. The gallery was just perfect for the show, and I was awed by the quality of the work. I feel this was the best Ars Necronomica show to date, and I’ve participated in the show every year, so I’m not just saying that because I was in this year. (For a better look at the show, check out these photos posted by RISD.) The opening reception was very well attended and I was thrilled to run into fellow artists Jeanne D’Angelo, Michael Bukowski, Fufu Frauenwahl, Nick Gucker, Skinner, Gage Prentiss, Sara Bardi, Drew Meger, Kurt Komoda…and I’m probably forgetting a bunch of people because it was wonderfully overwhelming. I was also happy to run into a few writer friends at the opening, Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin, and Michael Cisco. One of my two artworks in the show, Liber Ivonis, was made for Michael Cisco’s story by the same name. It was a great pleasure to get to talk to him about the piece, though I was saddened to learn that the print I sent him several weeks ago has gone astray. I’m contemplating printing a small edition of the Liber Ivonis block just so I can replace the lost one.

Discussing Liber Ivonis with Michael Cisco

We left the art reception a little early in order to make it to the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society live radio play, The Haunter of the Dark. If you’re not familiar with the HPLHS, they produce Lovecraft inspired radio plays, films, clothing, and props. They are excellent at mimicking historic styles and their adaptations of Lovecraft’s stories are quite well done. I always make an effort to see their live performances and not just for the stickers in my lifetime membership book!

HPLHS Passport

Friday

The vendor’s rooms opened at 10am and to our very pleasant surprise, became busy rather quickly. We’d been a bit worried since there ended up being two separate vending rooms, one upstairs, and a larger one downstairs. My table was upstairs, and I quickly learned that if I asked someone “Have you been to the downstairs vending room yet?” the answer was often “There’s a downstairs too?!” Thankfully, it turned out some of my friends vending downstairs (particularly Nick Gucker and Arkham Bazaar) were also pointing folks upstairs. Both rooms had excellent mixes of publishers, artists, and dealers of all things weird fiction, so I can honestly say I don’t think either room was “better”.

The Silver Key here is by Gage Prentiss, the sculptor working on the H.P. Lovecraft Providence Statue Project. This key is cast bronze with silver plating, and is quite substantial! Additionally, Gage told me he customizes the wax before casting each key, so no two are exactly alike.

Aside from spending a bit of time exploring the vending areas and chatting with friends I ran into, selling art kept me busy until vending close at 6pm. We had just enough time to grab some dinner with friends before hitting the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s 2nd live radio play, The Brotherhood of the Beast. Afterwards, we encountered a perennial problem at the Biltmore, too many people and not enough elevators. Once we finally made it up to the 14th floor, we encountered a new problem. All of the keycards had quit working. Someone clearly performed an arcane ritual incorrectly because the problem was hotel-wide. Thankfully our floor had been “fixed” so I just had to go back down to the lobby for new cards. A few unlucky souls had to have bellhops let them into their rooms with a master key multiple times throughout their stay.

Vending photo ©2017 Todd Chicione

Saturday

Another full day of vending, which thankfully wasn’t difficult because I was able to trade off table duties with my husband Mike. I left around 2:30 to grab a little lunch, and make my way up to the Biltmore Grand Ballroom for the Established Artists of the Weird panel. The panel was expertly moderated by Dave Felton and featured artist guest of honor, John Jude Palencar, Bob Eggleton, Steve Gervais, Lauren Panepinto, Rick Sardhinha, and me. We each spoke a bit about the work we’ve done and our experience in the realm of Weird. The conversation put a lot of focus on the experience of working professionally, and how technology has changed the way we work. I personally was quite happy to have Panepinto with us since she’s an experienced art director and designer, which gives her a different perspective from working artists. I’d love to start seeing more art directors on professional art panels because they’ve got solid advice for aspiring artists.

©2017 Todd Chicoine

Sunday

We got up extra early in order to attend the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast, featuring Cody Goodfellow, Anthony Teth, Scott R. Jones. Each preached their own particular flavor of mythos religion, the Esoteric Order of Dagon, the sylvan ways of Shub-Niggurath, and of course, good old fashioned Cthulhu worship! All this was backed by a choir led by Darrell Schweitzer with musical accompaniment by Faye Ringel. It was good fun and well worth a little bit of sleep debt.

Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast ©2017 Todd Chicione

Vending was from 11-4 since this was the last day of NecronomiCon. Towards the end of the day staff came around with a case of Narragansett’s Lovecraft themed beer, The Temple,  for each vendor. I sampled some during the art reception on Friday, and found it delicious, so I’d have gladly taken the case, but there was no way we’d be able to fly home with it, or drink it before flying out on Monday, so we had to pass. Happily I later learned that the remaining beer was being divvied out to the volunteers, without whom the event could not have happened.

After tear-down we met up with friends for dinner, and then called it a night so we could get properly packed for our flight home. I’m happy to say our bags were a lot lighter, even with the addition of books, art, and other miscellaneous purchases and trades we’d made throughout the weekend.

Monday
Our flight wasn’t until the afternoon so we checked out, checked our bags with the concierge, and walked a bit of the city. I finally got to visit the Athenaeum, and the bronze bust of H.P. Lovecraft, created by Bryan Moore.

Our journey home was uneventful, and a great opportunity to read most of the way through the excellent Looming Low anthology I picked up from Dim Shores.

If you’re a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and Weird Fiction in general, I highly recommend a visit to NecronomiCon 2019. I’ve left so much out of this write-up, not because it wasn’t worthwhile, but because it was such an intensely busy and fun weekend. I’m honored to have been a part of it and hope to participate again in 2019.

The time of Weird fiction is upon us!

I’m about to embark for Rhode Island and the bi-annual event, NecronomiCon Providence. This is the preeminent international conference of weird fiction, art, scholarship, film, and much more. East Coast events are a rarity for me, and this one is a particularly special treat. In my past visits I’ve come to love Providence and all it has to offer, so I’m  looking forward to both NecronomiCon and the opportunity to explore the city.

A couple of my woodcut prints will be showing in Ars Necronomica: Wonders of the Visible Weird, at the Woods-Gerry Gallery at the Rhode Island School of Design. Wonders of the Visible Weird features paintings, prints, sculptures, and illustrations by more than seventy contemporary artists who explore the themes of weird fiction and cosmic horror, inspired by the works of Providence-born writer H. P. Lovecraft and other authors and artists of Weird. The show will run from August 16 through August 31, with an opening reception the evening of Thursday, August 17 from 6:00-8:00pm. I will be in attendance until about 7pm.

For the first time, I’ve acquired my own table in the vendor’s room, so I will be available there with a selection of art, including some unique colored artist proofs. I will also be a panelist on ESTABLISHED ARTISTS of WEIRD Saturday – 3:00-4:15pm

Green cthulhu APInterested in weird fiction, but can’t make it to the East Coast? The 2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival is October 6 – 8 at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre! I’ll be appearing there again this year, alongside a number of amazing Lovecraft-inspired filmmakers, artists, and authors.

One final reminder: If you want more Xylographilia in your life, you can subscribe to my Patreon at any time. By pledging via Patreon, you help me produce more art and develop more techniques. You can pledge as little as $1 a month, or as much as you wish, and you can chose monthly reward packages starting at just $8.

Opening tomorrow!

wvopening-ad

I know you’re not all in the Portland area, but I hope to see a few of you on Friday! The good folks at Wells & Verne hung the show this evening and were even kind enough to let me run back home for more art since I severely underestimated the wall space. What you see here is just part of the show. (Here’s a link to the Facebook event page for further info. Please note, because Wells & Verne is a clothing shop, pets are not permitted.)

Although you can stop in ahead of the opening, unframed prints and most of the smaller items like lapel pins, won’t be available until the opening and some will ONLY be available during the opening. I will be in attendance all night.

My H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Schedule

Here’s my guest schedule for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. Please note, I’m also vending upstairs in the theatre, and while I won’t be at the table every second of every day, it’s a good place to find me.

Panel 1: THE HAUNTED PAINTBRUSHFriday 7 pm
Artists discuss the sources and styles that influence their work, whether it be representation or scenes from HPL stories, or just inspired by cosmic horror. Moyer (M), Carlucci, Dubisch, Denham, Rainey-Smith, Stout, Walls.

Pickman’s Apprentice — Artists will compete by creating 1 hour art based on audience prompts! (Yes, I will be carving and printing a woodblock.
ROUND 1 – Saturday at 12 – 1:30 pm
John Donald Carlucci, Mike Dubisch, Nick Gucker, Shelby Denham, Liv Rainey-Smith

If I move to the final round:

ROUND 3 – 3:45-5:15 pm
The winners of Rounds 1 and 2 will go head to head. One will be named Pickman’s Apprentice by the audience

Introducing the Cthulhu lapel pin!

Cthulhu-pin-announcementMy newest lapel pin is based upon my original Cthulhu woodcut, which was inspired by the passage below and created in a pseudo-15th Century style.

“If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful.”   H.P. Lovecraft —  The Call of Cthulhu 

Like the Raven pin, Cthulhu will be rendered 1.25″ tall in shiny 24k gold plate with soft enamel color. Production will take approximately one month, and to get the ball rolling, I’m offering a special pre-order price of just $10 through August 27th. Pre-orders may be placed via:

Etsy  (USA & International)

Paypal (USA only)

Please note, because this is a pre-order, the finished pin may vary slightly from the concept art above. The Raven pin experienced a couple changes between final concept and production, but they were minor enough to be almost unnoticeable. If any major changes are made to the design during production I will update you. I expect to begin shipping the finished Cthulhu pins no later than mid-September, in plenty of time for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR!

One last note, if Cthulhu is not your cup of tea, don’t worry, more pins are in the works. Just as the Raven pin sales assured this second lapel pin could be made, Cthulhu will help with the creation of the next. So if you enjoy enameled lapel pins from independent artists, please spread the word because you really do make a difference by doing so.

Cheers!

Liv

 

PantheaCon 2016

Guess who learned how to screenprint?

Guess who learned how to screenprint?

Soon I’ll be boarding a plane to San Jose for PantheaCon 2016, my first event of the year, and one of the few I’m attending as I work on my big project. This annual conference of Pagans and heathens coinciding with President’s Day weekend boasts more than 200 presentations and attracts over 2000 guests every year. This year, its 22nd year running, PantheaCon’s theme will be “Change Makers,” inviting attendees to ask ourselves how we bring change into our lives and the Pagan world. (If you’re interested in learning more about the history of PantheaCon and what it’s like to attend, check out Heather Greene’s blog post about last year’s conference.

Krampus approved!

Krampus approved!

I’m happy to be returning to PantheaCon for my second year, and looking forward to reconnecting with a couple of old friends and fellow artists: Catamara Rosarium of Rosarium Blends, and Laura Tempest Zakroff of Owlkeyme Arts. I’ll also be bringing with me a sizable selection of new items. I understand that not everybody has the resources to buy an original woodcut print, and since enthusiasts of my work continue to express interest in lower-priced items, I’ve been happy to oblige with a selection of silkscreened graphic T-shirts, and now some new 8×10 screen-prints. Each of these pieces is created by hand, and like my popular assortment of wood cards they are all printed on real wood veneer.

This PantheaCon, I’ll be debuting the first of said screen-prints including the Salamander seen above at left. Additionally, I’ll be offering a variety of silkscreened graphic T-shirts featuring my art produced in collaboration with my friends at Sigh Co. Graphics. (More on my relationship with Sigh Co. in this previous blog post.) But while new work and new products are always exciting, I must admit that it’ll be hard to top the thrill—not to mention the sheer romance—of meeting Krampus in the flesh (the fur?) last year on Valentine’s Day. Here we are together at right, and as you can see he was awfully pleased with my portrait of him. At least, I think he was pleased. The glistening fangs make him a little hard to read.

A Stag screenprint is born!

A Stag screenprint is born!

Remembering how eager conference attendees were to collect badge ribbons at last year’s PantheaCon, I’ll be sure to bring along some Xylographile ribbons you can use to broadcast your love of woodcut, and identify your fellow xylographiles! Maybe if we’re feeling really ambitious we can form a marauding band of woodcut aficionados.

PantheaCon 2016 will run February 12 – 15 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, California. Pre-registration has closed, but if you haven’t done so already you can still register onsite. For a more comprehensive picture of this year’s offerings, check out the PantheaCon 2016 program guide, peruse the full list of vendors, and visit PantheaCon’s Facebook group for news and updates.

Also, stay tuned for more about my upcoming trip to the 2016 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in San Pedro, an event I’ve only just added to this year’s events schedule. It should be a creepy/maddening/delightful old time!

Sigh Co. Graphics and Xylographilia shirts

Krampus shirt at Wells & Verne in Portland, OR

Krampus shirt at Wells & Verne in Portland, OR

A part of my artistic life that I haven’t discussed much so far but take a tremendous amount of pride in is my creative partnership with Portland’s own Sigh Co. Graphics. These are the talented folks who make it possible for me to offer hand-silkscreened shirts and tote bags featuring my art. If you’ve attended any of my recent sales events, it’s very likely that they were vending at a nearby table piled high with Xylographilia shirts, as well as shirts featuring their own original graphic designs. Sigh Co.’s work is inspired by the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, horror film and literature, the occult, and other influences, and includes an eclectic range of items from clothing to glassware and beyond.

Roger D. Bones modeling a Cthulhu shirt.

Roger D. Bones modeling a Cthulhu shirt.

Sigh Co. was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana by Brian and Gwen Callahan. After eight years in business, they pulled up stakes and relocated to Portland, Oregon where they have made their home ever since. True to the artisanal spirit associated with Portland, Sigh Co. is a small, locally owned operation specializing in handmade goods that help to support self-employed artists. Of the many reasons I value my partnership with them, at the top of list is the knowledge that together we’re offering high-quality products printed in the USA. The closest attention is paid to ensure that each silkscreened design is a crisp, faithful reproduction of the original woodcut print: a testament to Sigh Co.’s pride in their craftsmanship.

TshirtsThe current collection of Xylographilia shirts features my Raven, Wyrm, and Phoenix, as well as a Shub-Niggurath work shirt with my Ram on the front pocket, and a newly redesigned Cthulhu work shirt with the addition of a Lovecraftian “Eye of Providence” that I designed especially for Sigh Co. There’s also that year-round favorite, the Krampus shirt.

We’re considering adding new designs to the inventory, so if there’s a particular woodcut you’d like to see made available as a shirt or tote bag, drop us a line! It may just turn up in the future.

Happy New Year!

Photo courtesy Todd Chicoine Toddcphoto.wix.com/toddchicoinephoto

Photo courtesy Todd Chicoine Toddcphoto.wix.com/toddchicoinephoto

Is 2015 really over already? This year has gone by far too quickly, though perhaps it just seems that way because it was such a busy year. It kicked off with the second annual Curious Gallery here in Portland, Oregon. Curated by local artist and author Lupa, this event is “a festival of the wunderkammer revival” and features an art show, live demonstrations, and hands-on workshops about a range of subjects from taxidermy to cryptozoology and beyond. Curious Gallery 2016 will be held on January 9 – 10, and though I won’t be able to show at it this time I do plan to attend.

This was also my first year attending PantheaCon, which incidentally will be my very first event of 2016! PantheaCon 2015 was the 22nd annual conference of its kind, boasting attendance of 3000+ pagans and polytheists from all over the world. I’ll be back in San Jose, California on February 12 – 15, in the vendor’s room with my usual array of art plus T-shirts. Hope to see you there!

IronThrone

This Throne lacks proper woodcut knives.

In April I was invited to Norwescon 38—the Pacific Northwest’s premiere sci-fi and fantasy convention—as a guest artist. This year’s theme was Distant Horizons, Epic Adventures, and the author guest of honor was none other than the man himself, George R. R. Martin. In addition to participating in the art show, I was invited to be a panelist and share my experiences as a printmaker, a working artist, and an artist with disabilities. I’m pleased to have been invited back this year and look forward to Norwescon 39, check your schedule for my panels and be sure to visit the art show.

April and May brought CthulhuCon PDX and HPLFF San Pedro. These two Lovecraft-oriented events are among my favorites, and feature a selection of short and feature-length films, live readings of Lovecraft-inspired fiction, tabletop gaming demos, and no shortage of art. At both, I was once again a competitor in the Pickman’s Apprentice Live Drawing competition, racing against several other artists to beat the clock and complete an original image based on a prompt issued by the audience. I’m thrilled to say I won at HPLFF San Pedro.

Omens & Portents opened in July at Seattle’s Gargoyle Statuary, and featured a selection of old and new work inspired by Hermetic magic, illuminated art, and alchemy. My work can be found at Gargoyle year-round, so if you’re in the Seattle area I encourage you to stop by and check it out, along with the rest of their huge selection of art.

Cody Goodfellow and friend at NecronomiCon.

Cody Goodfellow and friend at NecronomiCon.

Then in August, I flew to Providence, Rhode Island for NecronomiCon. Since this was Lovecraft’s 125th birthday and the birth of weird fiction, this year’s conference was a Lovecraft International Homecoming. Some of my prints were in the Ars Necronomica showcase, alongside the work of artists including Skinner, Nick Gucker, Lee Moyer, Paul Komoda, and others. I also assisted with vending at the Arkham Bazaar booth, and signed an awful lot of books. NecronomiCon is an amazing event, and I’m already excited for the next one in 2017.

The 7th annual Esoteric Book Conference followed in September, and once again I enjoyed the privilege of hosting the art show. This year’s featured artists included Raven Ebner, Valerie Herron, Anne O’Neill, Travis Lawrence, Michael Cowell, and Troy Chambers. The lectures were excellent and I particularly loved Oksana Marafioti’s “Magical Realism in Russia: How Ancestry Worship, Shamanism and Christianity Shaped the Nation.” I also somehow managed to make it home without buying too many books.

HPLFF touched down in Portland in October at the historic Hollywood Theatre. This year began with

Proofing Signum Advenit

Proofing Signum Advenit

a 1920s-themed gala celebration with music, dancing, burlesque, and a screening of The Call of Cthulhu. I returned as a guest artist along with Cody Goodfellow, Leeman Kessler, Molly Tanzer, Jeff Burk, and others, and in addition to vending I helped put together Kickstarter reward bags. This involved hand-numbering the limited edition of 250 Miskatonic Expedition log books and creating a Kickstarter reward print, Signum Advenit. I also sat on the Medium of Madness panel, where we discussed artistic media and how they mesh with Lovecraftian influences.

As action-packed as this year has been, there’s plenty more coming in 2016. I can’t say much at the moment, but I’m currently working on a large-scale secret project. While I’ll be reducing the number of shows I attend in 2016, I’ll also be upping the number of woodcuts I’m creating. How much am I upping it? I officially released 7 new print editions and made three 90-minute woodcuts in 2015, I’m already working on 8 new woodcuts, and that’s just a fraction of the large project.

Figure 7. -- The last print from this edition may be seen on The Magicians.

Figure 7. — The last print from this edition may be seen on The Magicians.

In addition to creating new woodcuts, I’m also working on new wood veneer reproductions. Since the response to the cards has been so favorable, I’ll be expanding the wood card series and beginning to offer 8 x 10 reproductions. Also, the SyFy viewers among you should keep your eyes peeled for my work on upcoming episodes of the new series The Magicians, which contacted me earlier in the year for set dressing items. (More on that in a later post.) Finally, I’m in the process of setting up a Patreon that will go live in January. The Patreon will allow me to easily share updates, glimpses into the woodcut process, and offer monthly subscriptions for magnets, cards, and even original prints.

Huge thanks to those of you who’ve continued to show interest in my work by coming to events and exhibiting such enthusiasm for the art of woodcut printmaking. Have a safe and happy New Year, and I’ll catch you all in 2016!