Well! It’s been an interesting, colorful, tiring couple of weeks. I think work is finished, at this point, for the eerie and beautiful new book from David Barker and W.H. Pugmire, The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal. These authors were excellent collaborators, and had helpful and constructive comments to steer the art in a direction that would complement their story. It’s a privilege to work with these fellows, and with Joe Morey, the publisher at Dark Renaissance Books. The design work will be done by F.J. Bergmann. I felt like I was a bit slow with the artwork, but every job seems to have some ‘push’ to it, and we have met our deadline to have the book in production by the end of the month, so I think all is well. I can’t wait to see this book in person, it’s going to be a keeper. Here are a couple of the finished interior illustrations:
A teacher of mine, who does truly wonderful, unique artwork for Terry Pratchett’s books, recently finished a project for which (if I remember correctly) he had almost an entire month to work on each image! What a dream that would be…for most of my projects it’s a week or less, per image, from initial sketch to finish; usually less. I tend to be a slow, deliberate worker, so sometimes I think I’m ill-suited for publishing in this way; there’s always someone new and hungry who’s faster, more skilled, or someone who’s all that and has a new “look,” or a new approach, or is a whiz at marketing, or whatever. However, for as long as I can keep exploring, learning, and expanding my artwork, I will continue to draw and paint: for publishing, and — as time goes on — for galleries. This article from the Muddy Colors website hits it right on the head: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2014/03/unsolicited-advice-4-of-4-great-kid.html “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” Au contraire: every day that my studio’s busy, I wonder that there is another book offered, or a private commission, or whatever it happens to be…I am so thankful for the work. I love books, and working with other artists, writers, and good publishers. It’s a dream come true. So if you are a client, or colleague, reading this–or someone who’s enjoyed a project I’ve illustrated, or purchased any of my artwork–thank you from the bottom of my heart.
This week my heart’s a bit more bedraggled than usual. Working through two large projects the past couple weeks was fine, but involved some pretty long hours, and (apologies to my patient husband) my having to pass on a couple social events. There was also the matter of someone backing their vehicle into our poor old Honda as I was driving down the road a few days ago, which required more time for paperwork, phone calls (which I loathe), e-mails, and a trip to a local body shop, and quite a bit less for the studio in the meantime, so I had to try to play one of my least-favorite games, “Catch-Up!” Whether or not the trusty Honda will live is yet to be seen; it is resting under a tarp on the driveway right now, so the uncommon, very-much-welcome March rain does not leak into the bent door and wreck the interior, as well.
On a more positive note, a recent collaboration with Dick Olson, a maker of fine wooden book-cases, yielded a very nice item for a happy collector: ol’ Pennywise–ol’ Barrens Breath, the Canal Creeper–makes an appearance in an engraving on the front of the box, and in this painting displayed inside the lid:
The rest of this week I’ll be continuing to draw the remaining remarques for Cemetery Dance, which will be a nice change…I like to go from drawing to painting and back again. I better get to it. Be well, and be careful out there, y’all.