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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 first enamel pins of 2017

Bee-and-goat-pin-shortThe three enamel pins I introduced last year were so well received I’ll be producing even more this year, starting with the Bee and Sabbatic Goat. Due to enthusiastic feedback from buyers, all new pins will be created with two post backs. I’ll be trying out my first silver tone finish on the Sabbatic Goat; although it won’t be silver due to tarnishing issues, it will be nickel-free. I’m also trying out hard enamel on these first two pins, which is polished flat instead of recessed like soft enamel. Please note, because this is a preorder there may be some slight changes to the design as the pins are made. Typically any changes made will be slight alterations. If a major change is required, I will share the updated concept art with those who have preordered.

Preorder special through February 10th

I expect to ship the finished pins in late March and will be packaging them in paper jewelry boxes much like my prior pins. Because early preorders help me produce the pins, orders placed through February 10th will be rewarded with a special price of $10 per pin! That’s $5 off the regular retail price of $15 each — I really do want early orders! Please visit my Etsy store for more information and ordering.

Note, I have not created Paypal buttons for these pins due to some issues with shipping via Paypal during the previous preorders. If you need to use Paypal for ordering, please e-mail me at liv.raineysmith @ gmail.com with the following information: Which pin(s) you want, how many you want,  and your country. I will then send you a Paypal invoice.

Bee-pre-orderSabbatic-goat-pre-order

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.

Happy Halloween!

halloween-carvings2-2016

Looks like it will be a soggy chilly night here in Portland, but I’ve got a bowl full of candy and stickers ready for any hardy trick-or-treaters! I’ve carved a few pumpkins to ward off the evil spirits and even went extra traditional with a turnip this year! Why a turnip? Pumpkins are a plant from the Americas and the Samhain tradition of warding off evil with grotesque vegetable lamps began before such crops were imported to the British Isles. If you decide to try turnip carving for yourself, be wary of the hollowing out portion, I nearly cut myself with a paring knife. I found a sturdy spoon to be fairly effective for scraping once I’d bored a hole into it.

The orange pumpkin is based on my Black Shuck woodcut which originally appeared in Arcanum Bestiarum. It was carved with inexpensive woodcut and linoleum tools. I’m hoping I’ve shaved the pumpkin wall enough to get a good glow out of it tonight!

Portland Shows in November

If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, you’ll have multiple opportunities to see my latest (including the new Krampus print) in November including:

November 4th opening

Wells & Verne
734 E Burnside St, Portland, OR
Opening reception 6-9pm
I will be in attendance and we’ll have a selection of my Sigh Co Graphic shirts as well as prints and lapel pins. Show will hang approximately one month.

November 12th opening

Backstory Books & Yarn
6010 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR
Opening reception 4-8pm
I’ll be carving a woodcut during the reception and have a large selection of prints plus bookmarks and cards. Show will hang approximately one month

November  13th — ONE DAY ONLY

Siren Nation Art & Craft Fair
Located in the McMenamin’s Kennedy School Gym
10am-4pm
This is a great opportunity to visit an eclectic array of local artists and craftspeople. I’ll have a somewhat limited selection due to space constraints, so please e-mail me if you would like me to have something specific on hand. First 35 visitors in the door will receive a gift bag, which from what I’ve seen in the past is rather nice, so queue early if you’d like a shot at receiving one.

Krampus pins are nearly complete

Last but not least, Krampus enamel pin pre-orders will ship November 7th. I expect to have them done just before the Wells & Verne show, but I won’t have time to package and ship them ahead of the show. If you’d like to pick yours up during the opening party on November 4th, let me know.

Patron subscription packages will also be shipping in early November. If you’d like in on this shipment, pledge via Patreon before October ends! Rewards for pledges made in November will ship in early December.

Have a delightfully haunted Halloween,
Liv

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

 

Introducing the Raven lapel pin (with a special pre-order price)

I’ve been a fan of lapel pins for years and enjoy collecting them. I love good quality pins because in addition to making lapels more exciting, they are lasting and portable keepsakes. Creating my own has been a personal goal for quite some time, so I’m excited to announce my first enameled lapel pin, the Raven. The Raven lapel pin is designed from my original woodcut art with a color scheme based upon a color artist proof. Rendered in gold plate and soft enamel with sandblasted elements (key and flames) to give a bit of extra dimension to the finished pin. As you can see in the concept art below, we’re packing a lot of detail into this sturdy little (1.25 inch) pin! The Raven pin will be priced at $15 each, but if you pre-order now, it will yours for just $10 plus $3 shipping within the USA.

This pre-order price offer ends as soon as the pins are finished, and production has already begun. Unless a delay arises, I expect the pins to be ready to ship before the end of July, so place your pre-order while you can!

Prefer to not use Paypal? You can also pre-order via my Etsy Store.

Please note, finished lapel pin will look slightly different from concept art because it will be an actual 3 dimensional object made of metal and enamel, not just pixels on your screen.

She Walks in Shadows is a World Fantasy Award finalist

She walks in shadows
I just found out from Silvia Moreno-Garcia that She Walks in Shadows is a World Fantasy Award finalist in the Anthology category! I’m thrilled not just because I am one of many contributors, but because it is a fantastic collection. Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles put a great deal of work into assembling the anthology and it shows!

(That’s my contributor copy in the photo, it arrived last October while I was carving pumpkins.)

Experiments

Moth printed on goat parchment

Moth printed on goat parchment

I’ve had to cut back a bit on work for the past week in order to give the inflamed tendon in my left hand a rest. The process of diagnosis irritated the tendon enough that it went from being a weird sensation to a painful one. The pain mellowed out after a couple days, but I’ve been paying close attention to what actions irritate it, and adjusting accordingly.

Thankfully my left hand is not my dominant hand, so I’ve been sketching, researching, scheming, and continuing to carve at about half my normal rate. Aside from working on the project which shall remain nameless, I’ve been exploring the notion of screen printing on alternate materials. During one of the wood veneer printing sessions, I tested a piece of goatskin parchment to see how well the ink would work with it.

I bungled my first pass but flipped the piece over and managed to get a good crisp print on the 2nd try. Since the ink has dried, I’ve been handling the piece to see how well it is set in — bending, scratching, rubbing the surface — and I’m pleased with the result. Now the question is, what to do with it? In the past when I have printed my woodcuts on parchment, I’ve offered them much the same as I offer prints on paper. The purchaser chooses whether to frame them, tack them up on the wall, collect them in an album, etc. etc. etc. Paper has some limitations with regards to durability. So does parchment, but it also has different properties and potential uses. It could potentially be stretched over a frame, used in book binding, or sewn in to a larger piece of some sort. If stretched over an open frame, it could potentially be illuminated from behind — mind you, I’m not looking to start a lampshade empire, but the possibility of incorporating light into my art is an interesting one.

Now that I know I can print on parchment, I’m keen to experiment with leather as well. I have a fair amount on hand due to my past bookbinding coursework, so I’ve been pulling out my supplies and finding test pieces to print on. You can see a bit of it behind the parchment in the image above. I’ve got a few blues, greens, and reds to work with. and some white and gold screen print ink so I’m not limited to printing only black on light color surfaces.

There’s a bit more prep work to do, but I’m looking forward to an experimental printing day soon!

First Friday at Bite Studio

Woodcut in progress inspired by The VVitch

Woodcut in progress inspired by The VVitch

For those not in the know, Bite Studio is the group studio where I pull all of my prints. It is home to a wide variety of printmakers and we’re only open to the public on First Fridays from 6pm-10pm. Join us if you can! I’m not doing many shows right now in order to focus on my large project (not the piece shown above, though I am working on it as well), but I will be in attendance.

Bite Studio
2000 SE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

Can’t be there in person? Here’s what will be available framed and unframed at Bite: Signum Advenit and Summoning. Mind you, they always look better in person!

Freshly screen printed Tsathogguas on 8 x 10 wood veneer.

Freshly screen printed Tsathogguas on 8 x 10 wood veneer.

Also on Friday, I’ll be picking up the newest screenprints ahead of the party so April Patreon rewards may be shipped as promptly as possible! If you’d like to be part of April’s subscription shipment, today, March 31st, is the last chance to sign up! If you wait until April to subscribe at the Card of the Month level or above, your first physical rewards will ship in early May.

Thanks to my existing patrons, I’ve been able to add to my screen printing supplies and create the new Tsathoggua on 8 x 10 wood veneer! It, and the King in Yellow, will soon be available to all.

Norwescon

On another note, if you’re wondering what the artwork above is, it was carved during my two Art in Action demos at Norwescon. Sunday’s carving demo was done on little sleep so I probably didn’t get as far as I could have. (I worked with an abundance of caution.) On Friday, my first day of carving, I was placed next to a face painter, so my table was swarmed with kids for quite a bit. It was surprisingly not bad considering I was working with sharp knives.

Small children are actually often more respectful than adults about not grabbing artist tools. One of the girls complemented my goat depiction, told me about their herd of goats, and then asked, “Are those hares? They look more like hares than rabbits.” No idea what she wants to be when she grows up, but her observational skills can surely take her far in life. I’m seriously impressed she picked up on that detail.

Incidentally, I didn’t chose to depict the witches as hares because I knew I’d be carving this on Easter. That was just a nice coincidence. Mostly, I really liked that The VVitch incorporated the hare form of witches into the plot. Carving in my studio may be more productive, but sharing the process with folks who may otherwise never see woodcut in action. Thanks to Norwescon for the opportunity!