Author Archive | Liv

Shows on Dec 6 & 7th

Join us for the ’Tis the Season Art Show and Sale at Bite Studio’s First Friday, December 6th from 6 – 10 PM. I’ll be showing some affordable screen prints (such as the Moth seen here) alongside many other Bite Studio print artists, plus some guest artists offering jewelry, ceramics, and more!

Bite Studio is located at 2000 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR

Reviving an honored OCAC tradition, 30+ artists will offer fine craft and handmade gifts at The Art of Craft Holiday Market! The Alliance of Oregon College of Art Craft Alumni sponsors this sale of well-crafted, one-of-a-kind goods that are perfect for everyone on your holiday shopping list! This pop-up market is for one day only on Saturday, December 7th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at Alberta Abbey. Note, I’ll have more space at this event than any other this month, so this is the best show to visit if you want a large selection of my limited edition original woodcuts. I’m even bringing out my last framed Woodland Rites first edition. 

Alberta Abbey is located at 126 NE Alberta St,
Portland, OR. 


What happened to October?

HPLFF 2019 Poster

This has been an action-packed month and I wanted to share a few things before it is over! The 2019 HP Lovecraft Film Festival has come and gone, and this year was one for the record books. For the first time in its 24 year history, the festival sold out entirely in advance of the first day. Having been involved in the HPLFF for something like 15 years, it’s been a privilege to see how the festival has developed, and it was an honor to create the art for this year’s poster. 2019’s high points included Guest of Honor Victoria Price, special guests Roger Corman and Richard Stanley, and the regional premier of Stanley’s feature film Color Out of Space.

Color Out of Space created quite a stir in the weeks leading up to the festival, and now having seen it I completely understand why. I admit to being somewhat nervous about how the film would turn out. As a regular at weird fiction events, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Richard Stanley over the years and to see his presentation on the film concept at the HPLFF last year. I know enough about film to know that films are a series of compromises and negotiations. Unless one is making a film solo, even a director only has so much control. I very much liked what Stanley wanted to do with the story, but I had no idea how much of his vision would be realized. (If you’d like to read the original H.P. Lovecraft story, The Colour Out of Space is free to read here. It’s one of my favorites of his oeuvre.) 

I did my best to temper my expectations in the lead up to finally seeing Color Out of Space, but suffice it to say I was blown completely away. It was horrifying yet visually stunning and surprisingly tender. Without giving anything away, I can say that the special effects makeup ranked among some of the most sophisticated I’ve seen in a sci-fi/horror movie in recent years, the sound design was understated in a way that brought an atmosphere of creeping dread to the entire movie, and Nicolas Cage didn’t disappoint. The general sentiment I heard voiced during the rest of HPLFF was that it was either one of the best feature film adaptations of a Lovecraft story, or the best. 

Wyrm

Seeing Color Out of Space was extra exciting for me because two of my art shirts – Wyrm and Woodland Rites – were chosen for the wardrobe of one of the main characters, Lavinia Gardner. I’d known they were being used since early this year, but I had no idea if they’d really be visible. They were. The Wyrm in particular enjoys some exciting screen time, and as someone with a lifelong love of movie monsters, seeing something I created on the big screen along with a horrendous creature was a transcendent experience. 

Color Out of Space will have a general theatrical release in January 2020, so if it sounds like your cup of tea, see it on a big screen with a decent sound system. If you’d like to be that weirdo in the theater wearing a shirt that appears in the film you’re watching, Wyrm shirts are available here and Woodland Rites shirts may be found here.

Speaking of shirts, if you would like to snag a HPLFF festival shirt bearing my art, you can still order one  through Halloween. This is a limited edition, so once it’s gone it’s gone for good. This year’s poster is also available until it sells out, and you can get yours here.

I’ll be showing a selection of new and unique prints (such as the hand-tinted artist proof of Supplication seen to the right) at Bite Studio’s First Friday here in Portland. Featuring new works by Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Candace Corbin, and myself. This show is only open Friday, November 1st, from 6 – 10 PM.

This Friday

Supplication

I’ll be showing a selection of new and unique prints (such as the hand-tinted artist proof of Supplication seen to the right) at Bite Studio’s First Friday here in Portland. Featuring new works by Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Candace Corbin, and myself. This show is only open Friday, November 1st, from 6 – 10 PM.

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

It’s Spooky Season

Creating the crown

Halloween is nearly here, and it wouldn’t be right to not create something in the spirit of the season! I’ve not yet started my pumpkins, but I have been working on my own catacomb saint. These bejeweled creations were popular in the Middle Ages and intended to remind the faithful of the riches awaiting them in Heaven. Traditionally they were made of human skeletons and decorated with precious gems. However, if you don’t have any real skeletal remains handy, store-bought is fine! You can find a complete write-up of the background and process on my Patreon page.

Oh, and if you need some last minute spookiness, check out the new shop on Hawthorne, Danse Macabre. They offer an array of art (including a selection of my serigraphs), natural curiousities, and have an especially impressive selection of leather and traditional Italian paper mache masks!

Danse Macabre is located at
4726-B SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

Have a happy Halloween!

NecronomiCon 2019 schedule

“It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s..OH GOD, IT’S GOT TENTACLES!”

Nope, it’s just your friendly neighborhood woodcut artist here to tell you about my schedule for NECRONOMICON 2019, happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 23rd through 25th, in Providence, Rhode Island! You can find out more about this convention of the Weird and Terrible at http://necronomicon-providence.com/welcome/

THURSDAY, August 22nd from 6PM to 8PM, I will be at the opening reception for ARS NECRONOMICA, held at the Providence Art Club, 11 Thomas Street, 02903, along with many of my other fellow artists. If you can’t make the opening reception, not to worry! The exhibit will also be open during regular gallery hours: Weekdays, Noon to 3:00pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 to 4:00pm. You can find out more about this exhibit at http://necronomicon-providence.com/ars-necronomica/

ALL CONVENTION LONG – I will be vending in the GRAND EMPORIUM OF THE WEIRD in the Narragansett Ballroom at the Omni Hotel (1 W. Exchange Street, 02903). I will have a selection of my original hand-pulled woodblock prints, as well as silk-screened reproductions of some of my more popular works. Tee shirts with my works on them will also be available through my friends at Arkham Bazaar. Access is free to all convention pass holders, and $5 for general public admission.

Emporium hours:
Thursday – closed for vendor set-up 4:30-9pm
Friday – 11am to 6pm (Golden Keys and Silver Keys get early admission at 10am) – please note that we will be closing temporarily from 2:55 PM to 4:20 PM to attend a panel discussion.
Saturday – 10am to 6pm
Sunday – 11am to 4pm

SATURDAY from 4:30-5:45pm, I will be moderating the panel A LITTLE STRANGER: THE ART AND LIFE OF EDWARD GOREY, which will be held in the Washington-Newport Room, Omni 3rd Floor. Join me and my fellow panelists (Thomas Broadbent, Tanya Finder, Gregory Hischak, Stephen Wilson) for a discussion of the life and macabre Edwardian art of Edward Gorey.

I hope to see you all there, but if you can’t make it, how about at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR? They’ve just started their annual Kickstarter and I’m thrilled to be creating a woodcut for this year’s poster!

Icons & Oddities

I’ll be showing at one of my very favorite places in Seattle, Gargoyles Statuary, in just a little over one wee.! I’m still selecting art for the show and framing, but I will be debuting certain new weird fiction inspired works there. I’ll only be attending the opening reception on the 19th, but the art will hang through August 14th. Hope to see you there!

Preparing for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival


As of a few days ago, I am in full-on prep mode for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. So what is pre-show prep? As you’ve already seen I carved and printed a woodcut for the Kickstarter. I’m currently waiting on a final count so that I can sign and number the appropriate amount of Magna Mater Maris prints. Those prints will then need certificates, bagging and boarding, and delivery to the festival.

I’m also working my way through the inventory I’ll be taking and making sure I have things properly packaged and priced. I also need to gather together displays and make sure I have all the proper parts for them. Electrical components, such as lamps, need to be checked to make sure they’re working. My Square inventory needs to be updated with new items so the checkout process can run smoothly.

I’m also making a few upgrades to better display some pieces. The color Cthulandia prints in particular now have black 11×14″ mats around them. They’re really gorgeous hand-colored woodcut prints, and they’ve been ignored a bit because it’s easy for 8×10″s to get shuffled in with larger prints and then just not seen. To that end, I’m also finished some of my parchment screen prints and mounting them on boards that are a bit larger than they are. Finishing of these prints is mostly a matter of trimming. I’ll be leaving natural edges mostly alone, but when pieces are rectangular, I like to even out the edges.

Magna Mater Maris Special Edition

I’m once again thrilled to be creating a limited edition woodcut print for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. You can purchase it as part of their Kickstarter and help make the Festival amazing! The woodcut prints I create for the HPLFF are typically limited to just enough for everyone who ordered one, plus a couple extras in case of accidental loss. Although I do sometimes print second editions, supporting the festival is the only way to definitely get your hands on a signed and numbered first edition.

Since the Festival this year is Innsmouth themed, and I’ve already created a Dagon, I’m creating an icon of his counterpart, Mother Hydra. I’ve used the double tailed mermaid form since it is typically associated with the more dangerous forms of mermaids, and am creating a symbolic border using the vesica pisces shape.

Carving has just begun so I’ll be posting progress photos regularly. Enjoy!

Mother Hydra teeth carved with a straight edge knife

The Sisterhood Cover Reveal


This is the book cover art I recently finished! I wasn’t expecting it to go public quite so soon, but now that it is, I’ll be sharing process photos. Text, layout, and color are the work of Matthew Bright.

Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories
Edited by Nate Pedersen
Available in October

In churches and convents and other religious communities, sisterhood takes many forms, forged and tested by such mundane threats as disease and despair, but also by terrors both spiritual and cosmic—Satan’s subtle minions and the Lovecraftian nightmare of the Outer Gods. Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Historiespresents sixteen horror stories by some of the genre’s leading female voices. Their settings range around the globe and across the centuries, from 14th century Spain to 17th century Virginia to England in the present day.

Contributors include such award-winning and critically acclaimed authors as Nadia Bulkin, Livia Llewellyn, Molly Tanzer, Sun Yung Shin, Gemma Files, Kaaron Warren, Damien Angelica Walters, and Selena Chambers. With original cover art by Liv Rainey-Smith.

Table of Contents:

“The Wine of Men” by Ann K. Schwader

“From an Honest Sister, to a Neglected Daughter” by Monica Valentinelli

“Étaín and the Unholy Ghosts” by Lisa Morton

“The Barefoot Sisters of Saint Beatriz of the Mountain” by Kali Wallace

“Unburdened Flesh” by Penelope Love

“Only Dead Men Do Not Lie: The Trials of the Formosans” by Kaaron Warren

“Jane, Jamestown, The Starving Time” by Sun Yung Shin

“Dorcas and Ann: A True Story” by Molly Tanzer

“The Resurrected” by S. P. Miskowski

“The Low, Dark Edge of Life” by Livia Llewellyn

“The Anchoress” by Lynda E. Rucker

“Siūlais ir Kraujo ir Kaulų (Of Thread and Blood and Bone)” by Damien Angelica Walters

“Gravity Wave” by Nadia Bulkin

“The Veils of Sanctuary” by Selena Chambers

“The Sisters of Epione” by Alison Littlewood

“Red Words” by Gemma Files

Woodcut vs. Screen Print

 

The King in Yellow Woodcut & Serigraph

I received a message recently from someone who had purchased one of my screen prints, loved it, and wanted to know more about the differences between my woodcuts and screen prints. Since I took the time to write a thorough answer, I thought I ought to share it with everyone. I chose The King in Yellow as an example to discuss the different processes.

King in Yellow woodcut on cream cotton rag paper

To make the woodcut (aka xylograph) I sketch the art, transfer it to a piece of shina plywood, then carve it using knives & gouges (no power tools). Carving this woodcut probably took 10-20 hours. Once the block is refined to my satisfaction, I ink it with a brayer, move it to the press bed, align a sheet of heavy cotton rag paper on it, lay a felt blanket over it, and run it through the hand-cranked etching press. I estimate that in the case of the KiY it takes 10-15 minutes to ink and print each print. The prints then dry in a rack for at least two weeks before I inspect them, destroy the errors, and sign/number the edition. (Incidentally, if you want a King in Yellow woodcut print, I have only two remaining from the edition of 23 as of 4/21/18. Get yours here!)

The King in Yellow Serigraph on birdseye maple

The screen prints (aka serigraphs) are made by taking a digital scan of one of the original woodcut prints and using it to make a transparency which can be exposed on a photo emulsion coated screen. For the KiY I digitally removed the abstract background because I felt it would clash with the wood grains. I also scaled the image down. I then set up the screen and create a registration jig so I can place my wood veneer sheets in the same position every time. Once I have made my jig, printing each is a process than can take less than a minute. Much of this time is spent taping down the wood, then removing it after the ink is applied and putting it in the drying racks. Drying this ink takes 3 days, then I inspect them and save errors to be reused as registration jigs or to test ink on the back. (Want a King in Yellow serigraph? They are available here.)

Here’s a summary of what is similar between the two formats:

Both are handmade processes & can have minor variations due to the vagaries of wood and inking.
Both are almost entirely made by me. (I sometimes have an assistant tear paper, carry prints to the drying rack, and help clean up.)
Both are made with archival inks, though not the same ink. Both are inspected for quality & packaged with acid free polybags & mats.

Here’s a summary of what is different between the two formats:

Woodcut is the original artwork and is considered a fine art print.
My woodcut prints are signed by me, and typically limited in edition size.
My woodcuts on paper are printed with enough pressure to slightly emboss the paper, which gives them a subtle visual effect that simply doesn’t translate well to photos and scans. The papers I use are archival quality and typically hand-torn instead of cut.
Woodcuts are much slower to print than screen prints. Wood wears down over time, and I use a soft carving wood, so I can only pull so many prints from the woodcut.

Screen prints (as I make them) are reproductions based on the original woodcuts.
The art is altered to better suit the wood veneer I print on, and also scaled down.
The ink applied to the wood does not get embossed.
Wood veneer is not technically considered archival, though it should be long lasting.
Screen prints are faster to produce and are unsigned. When the screen wears out, I can make new screens and continue printing as many as I want.

Spring events and sale

Spirits emerging from the wood

The Outer Dark Symposium of the Greater Weird

I’ll be heading to San Jose, California this weekend to participate in The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird. For those not familiar with The Outer Dark, it is a podcast devoted to weird fiction. It is hosted by Scott Nicolay with Justin Steele, and Anya Martin. The bulk of the show is interviews with writers, editors, publishers, and artists in working in the realm of weird fiction; though they also periodically record and share relevant panel discussions. (Including one I participated in last year, Women in Weird Fiction.) The Symposium itself will be aired on future episodes of The Outer Dark, the official schedule is over 8 hours of panels and readings, so I suspect it will be spread over 4 or more episodes.

Although Symposium memberships are now sold out, if you’re in the area you can get a taste of the events with the Friday night Word Horde readings featuring Rios de la Luz, Michael Griffin, Scott R Jones, & Tiffany Scandal. Hosted by Ross E. Lockhart. See the Facebook event page for details.

West Coast Haunters Con

April 13-15th in Portland, Oregon, I’ll be vending at the West Coast Haunter’s Convention, an event dedicated to the art of creating professional and amateur haunted attractions. This will be my first time vending at the event and as a lifelong fan of physical effects and creature characters, I’m excited to be next to the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.  From what I’ve seen on social media, they’re usually do some amazing demos at events.

Beyond April, most of my schedule is not yet set in stone. May 20th is the planned launch date for the book I spent much of 2016 and 2018 creating woodcuts for, so after that date I’ll be free to exhibit and edition those woodcuts as I see fit. I will be sharing info on the title as soon as it is officially announced, until then, I’ve got editions to plan.

Enamel pin update

The Red Cthulhu enamel pins should be completed and ready to ship later next week. I expect to have the Phoenix done shortly afterwards, and the Babalon pin will be the last of the 3. If you ordered any these pins, I’ll be shipping yours as soon as all pins in your order are completed. All three pins are still available for preorder via my Etsy shop.

As an added bonus, I am taking part of Etsy’s Spring sale event March 22-29th. All bookmarks, cards, enamel pins, screen prints, and magnets are 15% off throughout.

Enamel Pin Presale: Babalon, Phoenix, Cthulhu

At last, new enamel pins are in the works! I’m hitting you with 3 designs this time: Babalon, Phoenix, and Cthulhu. All are based on my original woodcut art. Like my other enamel pins, they will be made with nickel-free finishes, and two pin posts with butterfly clutches. Read on for specifics regarding each pin:

BABALON: Due to the level of detail involved in 8 heads on 1 pin, this will be my largest enamel pin to date (1.5 x 1.5 inches) and priced accordingly. I’ve opted for a black metal finish to more closely mimic the original woodcut. Please note, once I get to the the point of starting die production, I may find out the outer lines of this pin need to be altered with some filled space, similar to that currently between the Beast’s head and Babalon’s chalice hand. I will share updates if major design changes are necessary. $18

 

 

PHOENIX: With 8 colors, this will be my most colorful pin to date! At 1.25 wide the Phoenix will be at the same scale as the majority of my previous pins. My plan is for the area between the head and wings to be cut out, though there is some possibility I may need to alter the design when we get to the die stage. I will share updates if major design changes are necessary. $15

 

 

 

CTHULHU: I’ve always been partial to red for Cthulhu since it is a natural color for Humboldt (Devil) Squid, and the Giant Pacific Octopus. Now that my original run of traditional green Cthulhu pins is sold out, I’m making a single batch of “Red Devil Squid” pins. Depending on preorders, I’ll be making 100 to 200 pins. In addition to the new color scheme I’m adding a 2nd pin post to the back! There will be no design changes to this pin since the die is already made. 1.25 inches tall. $15

Estimated delivery date on all pins: late March or early April.

 

Preorder by March 1st and save $5 off each pin because early orders help me make the right amount of pins!

When you order pins direct from me, they’ll be packaged in paper jewelry boxes with a paper ribbon, so they’re ready for gift-giving! I even color coordinate the ribbons so you won’t have to guess at which is in which box. (International customers, please note, rather than charge you a whole lot more for shipping, I combine pins into single boxes. It’s not as pretty, but it saves you a lot of money.)

Not certain you want to preorder? Please take a look at my other pins and the feedback on them, I’ve got a great record on pin quality, and I aim to keep it.