Archive | Printmaking

CthulhuCon San Pedro wrap-up & Tsathoggua exclusive pre-order

11206798_10205759559281794_4962615450722118852_o

The site of the 2015 San Pedro CthulhuCon: the historic Warner Grande Theater. Photo courtesy Todd Chicoine

What can I say about CthulhuCon San Pedro? It was a different climate from the Portland conference by far, but no less fun, and with no shortage of Lovecraftian delights in which to partake. The attractions included (but were not limited to) short film screenings, burlesque, gaming demos, pub trivia, live author readings, and live radio theatre. Plenty of entertainment to really put the wgah’nagl in your fhtagn!

San Pedro luminaries included Leslie S. Klinger, world-renowned scholar of the Victorian literary figures Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, and New York Times-bestselling editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, The New Annotated Dracula, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, and Annotated Sandman. For more information about his books and upcoming appearances, check out his blog! Also present was director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Fields of the Nephilim, Dust Devil) and Cody Goodfellow: novelist, short fiction author, and editor in chief of Perilous Press, a micropublisher of cosmic horror. For an unabridged list of  HPLFF San Pedro guests, visit this page.

11194546_10153276850457509_4360562767334811535_o

Mike Dubisch’s Tsathoggua changing a tire. Photo courtesy Todd Chicoine

And luckily for us, the entire conference was chronicled by photographer Todd Chicoine, whose photos you see here, with his kind permission. I highly recommend you check out his webpage here.

Once again I had the pleasure of competing in the Pickman’s Apprentice Live Drawing Competition, with a brand new prompt and a talented fellow artist and seasoned veteran of the Lovecraft scene. Our task? To complete an original artwork of Tsathoggua changing a tire. (A rather odd activity for such a lazy Mythos character.) I’m pleased to say that we both reacted to the subject with a moment of “What does a car look like?

This time my competitor was illustrator Mike Dubisch. In addition to creating Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons toys, designing DVD covers for WWF, and animating characters for MTV, Mike has published the Lovecraftian graphic novel Weirdling, and has a number of works on permanent display at New York’s Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art. ” Check out his magnificent interpretation of the prompt at right.

Photo courtesy Todd Chicoine Toddcphoto.wix.com/toddchicoinephoto

Inking “Worst AAAA Service Ever!” Photo courtesy Todd Chicoine

My competition piece proved a bit troublesome in the making. Though I love working in wood due it its unique qualities, sometimes particular pieces are problematic. The wood may be too soft, or the grain too wide to yield a solid black print. In this case, the block was prone to chipping, perhaps due to uneven gluing between the layers of the plywood. I quickly learned to be extremely cautious with my larger cuts in order to not lose large pieces of the work! Fortunately the block inked and printed well. Given the subject matter, it has been dubbbed, “Worst AAAA Service Ever!” (You are of course familiar with the quadruple A company: Anomalous Arcane Automobile A———- and their famous slogan, “Do not speak the forbidden name, simply scream AAAA for service.”)

Worst AAAA Service Ever! woodblock and print

Worst AAAA Service Ever! woodblock and print

Sadly the print pulled during the competition did not survive the trip home. Fortunately the woodblock did, and since there have been requests, for the first time ever I’m offering a Pickman’s Apprentice edition. In the spirit of the 90-minute art challenge, I will not be making any alterations to the block before printing. I’ll be accepting orders through June 25th 2015 and then printing only as many “Worst AAAA Service Ever!” as have been ordered. Each print will be signed, numbered, and shipped as soon as they are dry (approximately June 20th). Block size is 9 x 12″, paper will be 11 x 14″ cotton rag in my preferred cream color. Shipping via First Class Domestic or International Air Mail. Shipping is included in the price; simply chose the appropriate option below.

Pre-order Worst AAAA Service Ever!


Oh, and I should probably mention, I was declared the winner of Pickman’s Apprentice!

Last but not least, the good folks from Everyone Question covered the the festival with excellent photos and interviews. You can find my own interview here, in which I discuss woodcut, nightmares, and why I enjoy H.P. Lovecraft.

There will be more to come soon, including a solo show at Gargoyles Statuary in July, the Esoteric Book Conference, NecronomiCon Providence, and the 20th Anniversary H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon.

Supplication & San Pedro

Supplication

Supplication

Last weekend at PDX CthulhuCon I debuted my new print Supplication. This print—the first installment in a new series inspired by the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and the medieval tradition of manuscript illumination—depicts a supplicant making a ritual sacrifice to Shub-Niggurath, Lovecraft’s “black goat of the woods with a thousand young.” The central figures are enclosed by a thick, detailed border of uncannily tentacle-like flora. This first edition of thirteen signed and numbered original woodcut prints is available on Etsy. Additionally, those of you attending HPLFF San Pedro this weekend will have the opportunity to purchase your own Supplication onsite from yours truly! The festivities began yesterday at the Warner Grand Theatre, but you still have today and tomorrow to get in on the fun.

Supplication woodblock  just before inking

Supplication woodblock just before inking

It is possible that the image of the Baphomet goat was Lovecraft’s inspiration for Shub-Niggurath, who first appeared in the short story “The Last Test” (1928). While she is never described, leaving ample room for varied artistic representation, she is frequently called upon in incantations and rites like the one illustrated here. Her influence has also crept into pop culture, leading to references in horror fiction including Stephen King’s short story “Crouch End.”

If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the woodcut printmaking process, then take a gander at this short video of my very first proofing of Supplication. Here you can watch me apply the first application of ink to the newly carved woodblock, thoroughly coating it in preparation for printing. Then, in this video, I drop a fresh piece of cotton rag paper on the freshly inked block and pull it through the etching press, leaving an inky impression behind. Typical of first proofs, the resulting print is a little hazy. The pigment becomes darker and bolder with each application of ink, giving us clearer, bolder prints later in the session.

That’s all for now, folks! I hope to see some of you in San Pedro this weekend. Until next time, may the Great Old Ones smile upon you.

The creation of Abrasax

Abrasax_carving1I haven’t made many new art posts in a while because although I am working on a great deal of new art, much of it is being kept under wraps until certain dates for various reasons. The reasons for concealment are good ones,, but I admit I can get a bit impatient about sharing new works, so I recently made time to create something without any such restrictions! If you follow my Facebook Art Page, you’ve likely seen at least a few process photos over the past week or so. If not, here are a few glimpses into the process.

Abrasax_carving2I’ve been interested in the symbolism of Abrasax (also known as Abraxas) for quite some time and recently began researching Abraxas stones. My intention is to create my own Abraxas stone in another medium, but I also felt it was time for a woodcut homage. I chose a block left over from the Arcanum Bestiarum series for the work, so you may notice it is the same size as the Bear, Hare, and Raven prints.

Abrasax_inking I utilized my usual technique of transferring sketch to block, and started carving with the head. Although I did sketch out the scales of the serpent legs, I left all but the head details off the block. In my experience, scales don’t always carve exactly as expected, so attempting to follow the sketch likely would have been an exercise in futility.

You may notice I’ve left a few elements a bit unfinished. I wanted to see how they’d look in solid black before permanently making them lighter. Now that I’ve inked and proof printed the block, I’ll let it dry a few days before finish carving. After those alterations the block will be ready for editioning. I’m leaning towards a small edition of 22, same as the Raven and Bear. Check out the videos below for a first person look at the first inking, and the first proof coming off the block.

First Friday & da Vinci Arts Fair

2014 is nearinMona g its conclusion, and I’m closing out the year with just two more shows! I’ll be shipping worldwide as usual (see the bottom of this post for free shipping codes), but if you’d like to get out and see works in person before the new year, you have two more opportunities this weekend.

First, I’ll be participating in Bite Studio‘s Holiday Print Show on December 5th. This First Friday show will take place at Portland, Oregon’s Bite Studio, located at 2000 SE 7th Ave. The show will run from 6 – 10 PM and will feature all-new prints from Bite’s resident printmakers. Due to a scheduling conflict I won’t be attending until later in the night, but there will be plenty of terrific art to enjoy in the meantime. (Click the link above to visit Bite’s homepage and view a sampling of some of the incredibly diverse work you can expect to see.)

The following night, the tenth annual da Vinci Arts Fair is coming up on December 6th and 7th at da Vinci Arts Middle School, located at 2508 NE Everett St. in Portland, Oregon. To commemorate the occasion, I’ve created a special woodcut paying homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Mona #1 has been framed and will be raffled during the arts fair, and 100% of the proceeds will help fund arts and academic programs for da Vinci students. The remaining nine prints will be available to purchase ($80 each) along with a wide selection of my other work, including a few seasonal items like Gruss vom Krampus. All sales of Mona, and all purchases at the Fair benefit the students of da Vinci Arts Middle School. For those of you curious about the creation of Mona, check out the videos below to watch me ink the woodblock and then pull a print.

That’s it for 2014 events. My first event in the New Year will be the 2015 Curious Gallery PDX, January 10th and 11th at the Crowne Plaza Portland-Downtown Convention Center, 1441 NE 2nd Ave. Visit their homepage for more info, including links to the Curious Gallery Google+, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

Free Shipping!

Finally, the free shipping offer announced in my last blog post is still in effect through December 10th, so now’s the time to take advantage of it. Orders placed before December 15th should arrive in time for Christmas, so if you’re planning on giving the gift of art this holiday season, don’t hesitate! If you’re in the United States, use THANKS2014 for free shipping on orders of $20 or more. International collectors, please use WINTER2014 for free shipping on orders of $50 or more. These codes are valid in both my online store and Etsy shop.

EBC, zodiac, and more upcoming shows.

Aquarius woodcut

Hand-colored with genuine azurite, smalt, hematite, iron oxides, and yellow ochre.

The 2014 Esoteric Book Conference has come and gone and as always it was a fantastic weekend. Some of my personal high points included sitting in on the truly excellent presentations, the diversity of the artwork on display, and getting to see Timo Ketola’s phenomenally detailed ink drawings in person. There was a particularly positive response to the secret piece I mentioned in my most recent blog post and newsletter. (More details will be forthcoming once I’m granted permission to share them, so stay tuned.) Thank you to everyone who was able to attend, and to those who were unable to make it we hope to see you there next year!

Those of you who’ve been following the development of the new zodiac series will be happy to learn that it’s now available through Xylographilia and Etsy. You may find individual prints of each of the twelve signs of the zodiac available on cream or white cotton rag paper, complete sets of all twelve prints, and four unique prints hand-colored with genuine mineral pigments (currently available only on Etsy).

Aries on Cream paper

Aries on Cream paper

If you don’t see a hand-colored version of your favorite sign, I will be offering more in the near future and am open to discussing custom color schemes on Zodiac prints. You should allow up to four weeks of turnaround time for custom color, so if you’re planning ahead for the holidays I encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible.

For those of you in the Portland area, Xylographilia’s next big event will be the opening of my show at Redux Boutique & Gallery on October 3rd. Redux, located at 811 E Burnside #110 in Portland, specializes in handmade art, accessories, and jewelry produced by local artisans and fairly traded import companies internationally. They’re also bi-monthly participants in the First Friday Art Walks on Lower

Pisces on White paper

East Burnside. We’ll be showing a mix of Halloween-appropriate art as well as the new zodiac prints. Magnets will also be available, so if you’re in the area I encourage you to drop by and check it out. Show runs through late November.

Also in October, the opening reception of my very first solo gallery show, Beasts of Lore: The Xylographic Art of Liv Rainey-Smith, will take place at Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford, Oregon on October 17th. The reception will last from 5 – 8 PM in the community gallery. Located at 40 S Bartlett St., RGAC is considered a premiere gallery space for exhibiting artists as well as an invaluable community resource due to their art education program which provides classes and workshop opportunities for children and adults. The solo show will feature a selection of my illustrations from the Arcanum Bestiarum and will be on display at RGAC through November 21st.

Finally, progress on the Mona Lisa tribute for this year’s da Vinci Arts Fair continues. I’m still in the thick of the carving stage and am sharing process photos on Facebook. The completed print will be auctioned to benefit da Vinci Arts Middle School during the fair on December 6th and 7th.

Zodiac series and upcoming shows

10462493_10152157368795009_3207793729911279895_nRecently I’ve taken a break from shows to create new work. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been working on a new print series depicting the twelve signs of the zodiac. After concentrating primarily on larger projects for most of this year, I was inspired to tackle something smaller-scale. The completed series will be offered as an open edition and will debut at the Esoteric Book Conference in September alongside other new works.

My creative process begins with research. After gathering historical references that serve the image I have in mind, I sketch out a design and then transfer it to a basswood block with red carbon paper. For this series my references included a 15th-century codex about mining and farming (as in the case of Pisces above) as well as art from the High Middle Ages. Most of the carving has been done with 1mm and 1.5mm U-gouges (pictured). 10488320_10152168371915009_5867634521574897733_nOnce the design has been carved out, each new block will be proofed. After proofing, I’ll go in and do some final touch-ups before printing the editions. Every block in this series will measure no more than four inches, and the completed prints will also be of modest size. At this stage, Capricorn, Pisces, Scorpio, and Cancer are complete, and Taurus is coming up next.

These prints will be offered individually and as a set. Stay tuned for further updates as the project evolves, and remember to follow me on Facebook for a more detailed look at the carving process.

P.S. My next show will take place at Gargoyles Statuary in Seattle, Washington and will include works from the upcoming Starry Wisdom Library Anthology.

10471420_10152163059980009_8549780089134936052_o

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/.

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!

Join me in my studio on October 12th, 13th, 19th, or 20th!

A Rat is born!

Portland Open Studios 2013
Watch Artists at Work
October 12, 13, and 19, 20 10am-5pm

I’m participating in Portland Open Studios 2013 – along with 95 other artists around the Portland Metro area. This is a great opportunity to see the private spaces where artists work, view demonstrations, and learn more about the creative process – from the inside!

To discover other artists’ studios in your neighborhood and experience the full range of artists at work, pick up a Tour Guide. The $20 Tour Guide is a ticket for two adults (children under 18 are free) and includes images of the artists’ work, a fold-out map, and a 2013/14 calendar. On a budget? We’ve also got a $7.50 Map Only ticket, also good for two adults, all four days.

Tour Guides can be purchased online at www.portlandopenstudios.com or are available at all New Seasons, and Muse, Collage, I’ve Been Framed, and Columbia Art, from participating artists and many other retail locations throughout the Portland metro area.

If you would rather navigate the tour from your smart phone, then we offer a Portland Open Studios app for iPhone and for Android. The app includes studio navigation via Google Map, the ability to add notes for future reference and search artist by name or media. Go to the app store to get yours for only $9.99.

Check the blog for last minute updates as well as articles about select artists and special offers for tour visitors: http://www.portlandopenstudios.com/news/

Hope to see you on the tour October 12, 13, and 19, 20 10am-5pm!