Archive | H.P. Lovecraft

Inside the Starry Wisdom Library

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BACKGROUND

Regular readers of my blog are likely aware of my contributions to P.S. Publishing’s Starry Wisdom Library. This unique volume, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Haunter of the Dark”, is a facsim

ile auction catalog consisting of lots from the fictitious Church of Starry Wisdom’s extensive library of occult literature. On the book’s official website, editor Nate Pedersen poses these questions:

What if, on the eve of disbanding, the Church of Starry Wisdom organized a rare book auction of the various tomes in their collection? What if the accompanying auction catalogue was privately published and privately circulated, disappearing for over a century until its recent rediscovery in the archives of Miskatonic University? What if we could read the 1877 original today?

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A detail of the block for “She Who Binds the Dead in Chains.”

 

The answers are contained in the pages of The Starry Wisdom Library. Convincingly modeled after an 19th century auction catalog, the book contains descriptions of the most valuable editions in the Church’s library, a collection of forty-four illuminating essays by “learned personages” of occult literature, and a series of six original woodcut illustrations by yours truly.

Enthusiasts of Lovecraft will recognize their favorite Mythos titles—such as “De Vermis Mysteriis,” “Pnakotic Manuscripts,” and the “Necronomicon”—in the summary of lots, each accompanied by a detailed essay from contemporary horror luminaries including Nick Matamas, Molly Tanzer, and Joe Pulver. Interspersed with these scholarly expositions are the half dozen woodcuts created exclusively for The Starry Wisdom Library, depicting characters and creatures both directly and indirectly from Lovecraft’s oeuvre: Tsathoggua devouring human sacrifices, the Scorpion Goddess and her mate Nekhebkau torturing the damned, Xolotl assisting a departed man along his passage into the afterlife, and the King in Yellow beckoning from the shore of Lake Hali. The result is “an enormously valuable and fascinating piece of ephemera detailing the infamous collection of rare occult books in all of its dark and foreboding glory.”

Coloring "El Que Protege El Camino."

Coloring “El Que Protege El Camino.”

REVIEWS

TeleRead user Paul St. John Mackintosh pronounces The Starry Wisdom Library “the weirdest book I’ve read of late, and I say that as a regular reviewer of weird fiction.” He continues, “The quality of the design and production is matched by the attention to detail in the catalog entries, which frame each bizarre imagined history of the volume in question with a persuasively accurate physical description.”

Reviewer David Goudsward agrees: “The book’s graphic design and six large illustrations perfectly evoke the funereal undercurrent of high Victorianism.”

PURCHASE

The Starry Wisdom Library can be purchased directly from P.S. Publishing and retails for £20 (or about US$30.25).

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Starry Wisdom Library was made possible by the contributions of Scott David Aniolowski, Glynn Barrass, Edward P. Berglund, Allyson Bird, Scott Brents, Jesse Bullington, Ramsey Campbell, Matt Cardin, S.J. Chambers, Michael Cisco, Carrie Cuinn, Gemma Files, Richard Gavin, Christopher Hanson, Daniel Harms, Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, Andrew Leman, Livia Llewellyn, Nick Matamas, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Edward Morris, Scott Nicolay, Robert M. Price, W.H. Pugmire, Joe Pulver, Pete Rawlik, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Ann K. Schwader, Darrel Schweitzer, Robin Spriggs, Simon Strantzas, Molly Tanzer, Keith Taylor, Karin Tidbeck, Donald Tyson, Genevieve Valentine, Kali Wallace, Kaaron Warren, Don Webb, Jeff Wells, and F. Paul Wilson.

A freshly printed "Tsathoggua" coming off the block.

A freshly printed “Tsathoggua” coming off the block.

Welcome to 2015

Happy 2015 from Xylographilia! I hope you all had a fun and festive holiday season and a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.  The year has barely begun and already we’re staring down the barrel of a long procession of exciting events, including a visit to Providence, Rhode Island, in August! I hope to have the opportunity to see you in person, so here’s the run-down of what you can expect in the next few months. (Check the Events page for further dates, more details will be added as they become available.)

Capricorn-Colored-Web

A hand-colored Capricorn

Kicking off the New Year is the second annual Curious Gallery on January 10th and 11th at the Crowne Plaza Portland-Downtown Convention Center here in Portland, Oregon. This weekend event is styled after the European wunderkammern (or “wonder cabinets”) that were the predecessors to our modern public museums. These cabinets of curiosity were maintained by private citizens who would amass their own encyclopedic collections of scientific artifacts, historical relics, art, and antiquities to educate and entertain their fellows. Portland author and artist Lupa was inspired to recreate this eclectic tradition with last January’s inaugural Curious Gallery, to resounding success. This year we’re back with local vendors offering the finest in natural specimens, handcrafted jewelry, live carnivorous plants, sculpture, pottery, and of course woodcut prints. For those in search of a more hands-on experience, there will also be instructional workshops about everything from coiled basket-weaving to DIY taxidermy. Capacity is limited, so visit the homepage and register for your weekend pass while you can! Look for me in the vendor’s room and on the Morbid Curiosities panel.

One of the woodblocks created for The Starry Wisdom Library with the book

Soon after, I’ll be traveling to San Jose, California for PantheaCon. This annual conference regularly draws over two thousand “Pagans, Heathens, Indigenous Non-European and many of diverse beliefs.” Participants can attend educational presentations about devotional dance, singing bowl meditation, and ritual from a wide range of spiritual traditions; make their own incense, drums, and other handicrafts; and browse the wares in the vendor room. Xylographilia will be there with an assortment of original esoteric prints, t-shirts, and perhaps a few copies of Arcanum Bestiarum. PantheaCon will be held February 13th – 16th, with preregistration for all four days closing on January 15th.

Then on April 2nd – 5th I’ll be in Sea-Tac, Washington at Norwescon 38, the Pacific Northwest’s premier sci-fi and fantasy convention. Though geared primarily toward literature, Norwescon also acts as a venue for enthusiasts of cosplay, art, gaming, and many other facets of sci-fi and fantasy. Attendees can take part in a varied array of events and activities, including a masquerade ball for those eager to showcase their costuming skills; a Dealers’ Room where rare collectibles, books, and games will be up for grabs; an Art Show highlighting the best in contemporary sci-fi- and fantasy-themed art; and a panel of acclaimed Guests of Honor including astronomer Amy Mainzer, artist Julie Dillon, and A Song of Ice and Fire novelist George R. R. Martin. Additionally, since 1984 Norwescon has hosted the presentation of the Philip K. Dick Award and Special Citation for distinction in science fiction writing. There’s still time to register for the full four-day event, so wander over to the Norwescon homepage and reserve your spot!

At Norwescon you’ll be able to find me on a number of panels (most likely art-related) and a number of unique and editioned prints in the art show including art from the recently released Starry Wisdom Library edited by Nate Pedersen.

Phoenix Color Proof I Private collection

Phoenix Color Proof I
Private collection

Mythos & Monsters and what’s up next.

A million thanks to Gargoyles Statuary and owner Gayle Nowicki for making last weekend’s Mythos & Monsters show a success! We enjoyed a sizable turnout of enthusiastic patrons of the arts, and Figure 7. in particular was the recipient of bountiful attention. At this time half the edition has been sold, so if you want to add Figure 7. to your personal collection now is an opportune time to visit Gargoyles, or if Seattle is out of the question, my online shop and place your order. Quantities are extremely limited, and there can never be another first edition, so don’t miss out!

Gargoyles Show 2014

Photo credit: Gayle Nowicki, 2014

It’s worth noting that Gargoyles Statuary boasts the largest collection of my work available outside of what’s offered here at Xylographilia. Their inventory boasts pieces from previous series including Arcanum Bestiarum, as well as a number of rarities. Among the works currently on display are several new prints soon to be appearing in Nate Pedersen and P.S. Publishing’s upcoming Starry Wisdom Library Anthology. Pictured at left, clockwise from top right, are She Who Binds the Dead in Chains, Sign! (hidden behind my hat), Figure 7., Tsathoggua, Night Hag, Él Que Protege El Camino, The King in Yellow, and Liber Ivonis. Additionally, Gargoyles Statuary is now carrying a selection of hand-silkscreened T-shirts produced in collaboration with Sigh Co. Graphics.

Figure 7.

Figure 7.

The Mythos & Monsters show can be viewed at Gargoyles Statuary through September 15th. Also in September will be the opening of my next major show, this time at the 2014 Esoteric Book Conference at Seattle’s University of Washington, just a short jaunt away from Gargoyles Statuary. This show will feature a new, never-before-shown selection of my work including the zodiac series, so be sure to book your tickets soon.

Hope to see you all there!

Mythos & Monsters opens at Gargoyles Statuary August 15th

I will be attending the opening night reception of Mythos & Monsters at Gargoyles Statuary as part of the Seattle U-District Artwalk. If you’re in the Seattle area on the evening of August 15th between 6 and 9 PM, drop by and say hello! This is an opportunity to preview the original woodcuts featured in P.S. Publishing’s upcoming Starry Wisdom Library Anthology edited by Nate Pedersen, and to peruse Gargoyles’ selection of my unframed prints and magnets.

The show will run until mid-September. Refreshment will be provided at the opening.

Those who are unable to attend may be interested to learn that Tsathoggua and Figure 7. are also available online. Other new works will be released on this site at a later date.

Hope to see  you there!

Gargoyles2014_web

May shows

 

Tsathoggua is born

Tsathoggua is born

Join us tonight, May 2nd, at Bite Studio for a group show! All manner of prints may be found, including three of my newest Lovecraft Mythos works. Doors will be open from 6pm to 10pm. One night only!

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

May 8th- 11th, Portland, Oregon

World Horror Convention

My creepiest woodcuts, including Tsathoggua shown to the right,  may be found in the art show, while I may be found on a number of art-related panels. Just check your schedule!

After WHC I’ll be taking a bit of a break from shows to concentrate on creating new work for some secret projects, as well as to debut later this year at the Esoteric Book Conference!

The Festival is nearly upon us!

New Mythos works will be debuting at HPLFF

New Mythos works will be debuting at HPLFF!

Liv Rainey-Smith is pleased to announce that she will be appearing as a featured guest of the upcoming 2014 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. Her original hand-pulled woodcut prints will be available in Artists Alley. In addition to her popular illustrations from the 2012 Arcanum Bestiarum published by Three Hands Press, she will also be debuting a new selection of limited edition prints created for the soon-to-be-released Starry Wisdom Library anthology edited by Nate Pedersen. Mr. Pedersen as well as a number of other Starry Wisdom Library contributorsS T Joshi, Michael Cisco, Edward Morris, Jesse Bullington, Joe Pulver, Molly Tanzer, Pete Rawlik, Scott Nicolay, and Silvia Moreno-Garciawill also be guests at the festival.

Hand-coloring the grimoire with purpurite.

Hand-coloring the grimoire with purpurite.

Attending Kickstarter backers who ordered her hand-colored special edition print Sign! will receive it as part of their rewards package during the festival. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dreams in the Witch-House, Sign! is an exclusive edition created just for HPLFF supporters. If you’d like to see what went into the creation of the edition, the work was documented here.

In previous years, Rainey-Smith has appeared at the HPLFF both as a vendor and a featured guest. This year, attendees will also have the opportunity to see her compete against Allen Koszowski, Nick Gucker, and Lee Moyer in Pickman’s Apprentice, a ninety-minute challenge in which Lovecraftian artists race to complete illustrations based on a theme chosen by the audience. Yes, she will be carving and printing a woodcut in those ninety minutes. Yes, first aid supplies will be at hand.

The 2014 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival will take place from April 11th – 13th at the Hollywood Theatre at 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.hplfilmfestival.com/.

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2014 exclusive edition

1st edition exclusive for backers of the HPLFF

1st edition exclusive for backers of the HPLFF

Sign!
Woodcut on cotton rag paper, hand-colored with genuine mineral pigments including garnet, hematite, Minnesota pipestone, purpurite, and natural iron oxides.
8 x 6″ block size
10 x 8″ paper size
Edition size to be determined, will be signed and numbered

2014 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon Kickstarter exclusive. I’ve pledged to make this first edition based on “The Dreams in The Witch-House”  just for supporters of my favorite film festival! If you want one, simply follow the link and chose the CRYPTIC DESIGNS: XYLOGRAPH level, or the print can be added to other support levels for $85. Order yours now!

“The man did not speak, and bore no trace of expression on his small, regular features. He merely pointed to a book of prodigious size which lay open on the table, while the beldame thrust a huge grey quill into Gilman’s right hand. Over everything was a pall of intensely maddening fear, and the climax was reached when the furry thing ran up the dreamer’s clothing to his shoulders and then down his left arm, finally biting him sharply in the wrist just below his cuff. As the blood spurted from this wound Gilman lapsed into a faint. ”

— H.P. Lovecraft The Dreams in The Witch-House

New prints and new events!

Love_carving
2014 has barely begun and it is already busy. I’ve been spending most of my time in the studio working on a handful of prints in various stages of completion. One will soon be offered as a special reward to backers of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Kickstarter — details to be revealed once the campaign launches. Another will debut February 1st at Curious Gallery where I’ll also be presenting a talk on woodcut printmaking from the 15th century up to my own particular take on the medium. I’m also wrapping up a small edition created for the Love in Print benefit for p:ear at Bite Studio on February 7th. You can see the finished carving before printing to the right. Also on February 7th, the good folks at Wells & Verne have invited me to show for the month in their shop and will be holding an opening reception that night.

As for the other prints in progress? I’ve got to keep something up my sleeve for future shows!

Upcoming shows

Raven Artist Proof with 23k gold, garnet, lapis lazuii, yellow ochre, and hematite

We’ve been busy cutting mats, bagging and boarding prints, and I’ve been gilding and hand-coloring some unique artist proof prints in preparation for late summer/fall shows. A few new woodcuts are in the works, though it may be some time before they are unveiled. Additionally, a new website is also in the works, which is why we’ve fallen behind on updates here. If you’d like a peek at what is new, I highly recommend a jaunt by my art page on Facebook. It is regularly updated with photos and tidbits.

Want to see work in person?

Seattle, Washington — anytime

The Xylographic Menagerie show at Gargoyles is over, but a large selection of standard edition prints remains, including the last available numbered Raven. Gargoyles is located at 4550 University Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105.

Sacramento, California — August 9 – 11
I’ll be attempting to cram a lot of art into a very small space, including new hand-colored and gilded Artist Proof prints such as the Raven to the right. NOTOCON vending hours are 9am-6pm Friday and Saturday, 9am-3pm Sunday. Although the conference is a private event, the vending area will be located on the 2nd floor terrace in the atrium and is open to the public. The event is located at Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade, 100 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, California 95814

Providence, Rhode Island — August 22 – 25

A couple of unique works will be part of the Ars Necronomica show at the Providence Art Club opening August 12th. I’ll be attending the reception August 22nd, and will be a guest at NecronomiCon Providence. Look for my work in original woodcut print form and as silk screened t-shirt format at the Arkham Bazaar/Sigh Co. Graphics booth in the vendor’s hall.

Seattle, Washington — September 14 – 15

I’m proud to be hosting the Art Show at the 5th Annual Esoteric Book Conference. The Art Show and Book Room are open to the public during conference hours. Featured this year are the works of Hagen Von Tulien, Divine Mania, Joseph Uccello, Kate Merriwether Lynch, and Daniel A. Schulke. Original prints and reproductions will also be available from a few other artists, including myself.

Portland, Oregon — October 12-13 and 19-20

I’ll be once more taking part in the Portland Open Studios Tour. I’ll be opening up my studio along with fellow printmakers Beth Kerschen and Tara Murino-Brault both weekends from 10am-5pm. Join us then for live printmaking action!

Online — anytime

As always, if you can’t make it to an event, I do my best to make my work available online. Original prints may be ordered anytime via my Etsy storefront. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Inquiries may be sent to: Liv.Raineysmith@gmail.com

Chimera printer’s ornament from Arcanum Bestiarum

Cthulandia now available

Cthulandia 2nd edition

For those who missed out on the 2013 Portland H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival edition of Cthulandia, I’m offering a 2nd edition printed in black ink on cream cotton rag paper.

Cthulandia
2013
woodcut print
2nd Edition, limited to 50 prints
10 x 8″ paper size
8 x 6″ block size

Available now via my Etsy storefront.

Prints will also be available this Friday July 12th at the Bite Studio group show in Portland, OR.