Archive | H.P. Lovecraft

Opening tomorrow!

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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!

Join me this weekend at Living Dead Con!

Hello, Portlanders! I hope you’ll join me this weekend at the Oregon Convention Center for the first annual Living Dead Horror Convention. This three-day celebration of horror culture and entertainment kicks off tomorrow, November 13th, at 4PM and runs through Sunday, November 15th at 5PM. There will be author and publisher panels, movie screenings, photo ops, and more.

I’ll be there in Hall B vending at Booth #6 (see map below) with a selection of old and new woodcuts, postcards, bookmarks, magnets, and other merchandise. You’ll even be able to find a couple prints I don’t offer online. Sigh Co. Graphics will also be nearby in Booth #62 with shirts featuring more of my work.12240925_10153131354915009_980984857803745112_oHope to see you all there!

 

Happy Halloween!

 

2015-pumpkins-lit2Pumpkins-2015
Looks like Halloween is going to be a soggy one here in Portland, Oregon. Hope it doesn’t keep the trick-or-treaters indoors, because getting to see the costumes is part of what I love about Halloween! I realize some folks don’t care much for the scary aspects of the holiday, but for those out there who are weird like me, this is the best holiday. You get to play at being someone else for a bit, test your bravery against the dark, and if you like creating, you’ve got so many opportunities in the form of costumes, decorations, pumpkins, make-up, even just making funny voices! Have some fun, and watch out for the little goblins out there tonight.

If Halloween isn’t enough to fill your need for scares, the Living Dead Convention is happening November 13-15 in Portland, Oregon. I’ll be in the vending room with my most horror appropriate works.

Also, (particularly if you’re a Lovecraft fan) check out the November issue of Rue Morgue and be sure to check out the Fright Gallery to find out who Skinner’s favorite Lovecraftian artists are.

 

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival highlights

The Miskatonic Explorer's Club expedition kit contents

The Miskatonic Explorer’s Club expedition kit contents

Pre-show volunteering

2015 was the 20th anniversary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. It’s been an annual part of my life for over a decade and has spawned a a great deal of art. I’ve made some great friends through the festival, and had a lot of great opportunities arise from connections formed in and around the historic Hollywood Theatre. This is why in addition to being a guest of the festival and creating a Kickstarter reward print, I volunteered to help put together Kickstarter backer reward bags. Due to my unique skills as a printmaker, I was set to work hand-numbering the limited edition Miskatonic Expedition log books. All 250 of them. It went surprisingly fast. Numbering an edition is easy when you don’t also have to write a title and sign it! Afterwards, I helped make vault rubbings with gravestone wax. No idea how many; they were being added to the kits almost as soon as they were done. I didn’t even get a chance to examine my own Expedition Kit until well after the festival, and when I did I was surprised by some very familiar names on the R’lyeh map. Brian Callahan really did an amazing job designing the map and other rewards. The log book (authored by Adam Scott Glancy) proved to be an entertaining read in addition to being beautifully arranged!

Speakeasy party

Though the film festival didn’t start until Friday night, events started Thursday night with a book launch and party at the Lovecraft Bar, as well as a small speakeasy party for festival backers and guests of honor. I spent most of my day preparing my vending gear and art for set-up Friday afternoon, and just managed to get my work done in time for the speakeasy party. Glad I did, too, because it isn’t every day I have to give a bartender a pass phrase to find out how to get through the bookcase in back and into the event. Once past the hostess and bouncer, I encountered HPLFF founder Andrew Migliori, who immediately introduced me to guest of honor Jeffery Combs. We chatted for a bit before I set out to acquire a Barn Burner and mingle. Many festival regulars were in attendance as well as several folks who had never before attended. They’d heard about the festival and were excited enough to purchase VIP tickets. I didn’t happen to follow up with any of the new folks at the end of the festival, but I do hope they enjoyed the entire experience!

Memento ticket and playbill -- the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society went all out!

Memento ticket and playbill — the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society went all out!

HPLHS Call of Cthulhu screening

Friday started early for us so we could stuff the car with gear and arrive at the theatre at noon. My husband Mike has been volunteering with the festival and took charge of getting the theatre prepared for the arrival of vendors. With Caitlin’s assistance, we managed to get our work done in time for the meet and greet at Sam’s Billiard’s. Theatre doors opened at 6pm to give folks time to browse the Mall of Cthulhu and mingle before events started at 7pm. We opted to leave Caitlin in charge of the table so we could attend the opening remarks and the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s Special 10th Anniversary Screening of The Call of Cthulhu. The HPLHS went all out with live performances including the Cirque Macabre, surviving members of The Miskatonic University Glee Club Alumni, burlesque dancer Nina Nightshade, and a collection of shorts and trailers ahead of the feature film. Cigarette girls roamed the aisles with candy versions of their traditional wares.

After The Call of Cthulhu, I slipped back upstairs to tend to my table. By about 10pm I was so exhausted speaking had become a challenge. Suffice to say, we passed on the after-party.

Day Two

New acquisitions. Not shown: the rest of my

A few books

Saturday was a full day starting with the Carb-load for Cthulhu group author signing. Publishers, editors, and authors were present in abundance with books for sale and pens to sign with. Jim Smiley presented me with a copy of Girl’s Night In: The Definitive Edition. Scott Nicolay was there with a handful of the few remaining copies of his glorious tale After. After is now sold out, but I highly recommend taking a look at the publisher, Dim Shores. Dim Shores has been offering very high quality stories paired with excellent art in small production runs. I dropped by the Word Horde table to pick up Molly Tanzer’s Vermillion and Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts. I also brought along my personal copy of The Starry Wisdom Library: The Catalogue of the Greatest Occult Book Auction of All Time for Mz. Tanzer to sign. That’s when, to my great surprise, I found out that we have a mutual appreciation for each other’s work. (Later in the weekend she bought some prints from me!)

Molly Tanzer with squamous woodcuts. (I'm still giddy over this.)

Molly Tanzer with squamous woodcuts. (I’m still giddy over this.)

Once the theatre opened, my husband was kind enough to grab a seat for me in the last screening of Final Prayer a.k.a. The Borderlands. This found footage film wouldn’t have attracted my attention, except Scott Glancy was recommending it as a film that left him uncomfortable. I am not a big fan of the found footage genre because I get motion sick easily from shaky films, but I gave it a chance and was not let down. I’ve been a fan of scary movies for as long as I can remember, and these days very few actually manage to evoke true tension and shock. Final Prayer did. It’s not widely available in the United States, but can be digitally acquired via Amazon. If you decide to give it a try, I highly recommend avoiding reviews so the ending isn’t spoiled, the trailer online is also subpar, don’t bother with it. Watch Final Prayer with the sound turned up, lights down, and no distractions (I noticed a theme with the 1 star reviews — they were from people who didn’t pay attention and missed a great deal of the plot.) The first few minutes are the roughest visually if you get motion sick like I do, but after that the film is smoother. This isn’t a slasher film, there’s character development and a slow tension build. Enjoy it.

Ask Lovecraft Live

Ask Lovecraft Live

Once Final Prayer was over I unclenched my limbs and stumbled out to see Leeman Kessler’s Ask Lovecraft Live! I’ve been enjoying his videos on YouTube since CthulhuCon earlier this year, but I didn’t get the chance to see him perform live there, or at NecronomiCon Providence. It’s amazing how often you can cross paths with someone at an event and never really get to see them do their thing. I’m glad I’ve remedied the issue. Kessler is amazing as H.P. Lovecraft and handles questions of all stripes quite deftly. Check out his YouTube Channel (updated 3 times a week!) and if you really enjoy what you see, consider supporting Ask Lovecraft on Patreon.

Medium of Madness panel

Saturday night I was a panelist alongside John Donald Carlucci, Lee Moyer, Mike Dubisch, and Toren Atkinson (yes, of Darkest of the Hillside Thickets). It was a lively discussion about our artistic mediums and how they mesh well with Lovecraftian horror. Even though I’ve known most of the panelists for years, I think we all learned a few things about each other’s process that we didn’t know before. Carlucci was encouraged to try his hand at scratchboard, and has begun experimenting with the medium already.  It appears to suit him well and I look forward to seeing what new works may arise from the clayboard. Artists, if you ever had the opportunity to be a panelist on a group discussion like this, but you’re not sure you can handle public speaking — give it a try! It really isn’t as difficult as you’d think, and it can be a very fruitful experience. Also, if you have the opportunity to just attend one — do it! There is also audience Q&A and depending on the size of the audience, you might get some quality discussion with the pros.

Day Three

The only color Tsathoggua remaining

The only color Tsathoggua remaining

Though I wish we had stayed for the after party (Toren Atkinson played a Darkest of the Hillside Thickets acoustic set!), we desperately needed sleep and Sunday was going to start early with the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast. I also had to get up a bit extra early since I had promised Leeman Kessler some Blue Star Donuts so his only Portland doughnut experience wouldn’t be Voodoo Donuts. (Don’t get me wrong, Voodoo Donuts are fun, but when it comes to flavor, Blue Star is the place to go!) Breakfast was buffet style and once everyone had a full plate, Festival Founder introduced Robert Price, whose “sermon” was  followed by the astounding Cody Goodfellow. Goodfellow was on quite a tear regarding the racist aspects of Lovecraft’s work, when who should come charging from the back of the room but H.P. Lovecraft himself, frothing with indignation over the treatment of his works. Goodfellow administered a Bladerunner-esque series of questions to Mr. Lovecraft before it became obvious an exorcism was in order. The results are debatable, but at least Mr. Lovecraft survived the lively rendition of “Baby Got Bass” (complete with Deep One and Cthulhu Girl backup dancers) which followed. It was worth the early rising to see.

I spent most of the rest of Sunday at or near my vendor booth, though I did sneak away for a chunk of Shorts Block 5 and was happy to catch Reber Clark’s amusing Derleth’s Brain, Skinner’s animated silent tale, This Horror Most Unreal, and Frank Woodward’s quirky horror, Balloon. After tear down ended we headed to the nearby Moon and Sixpence pub for a bite to eat and just a little more time with other guests and attendees.

A quiet moment in the vendor room with Brian Callahan and Andrew Migliori.

A quiet moment in the vendor room with Brian Callahan and Andrew Migliori.


I wish I could have seen more of the films (and caught some of the readings) during the weekend, but I’ve yet to figure out how to be in four places at once. Really, it is my only regret about the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (and many other fine events): It’s simply impossible to take in every event! On the bright side, I am left with a nice pile of new books, an imp skull from Catalyst Studio, and a lot fewer prints than I started the weekend with.

Thanks to Andrew Migliori for fifteen years of the Festival, and to Brian & Gwen Callahan for taking the reigns of this beast! May the Festival live on for many years to come!