“In the Room”

This is my illustration for Bentley Little’s story, “In the Room,” which is included in Cemetery Dance Publications’ anthology, TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS, edited by Richard Chizmar. I’m honored to be included in this project, along with artists I greatly admire. Alan M. Clark did the great cover art; other interior illustrations were done by Mark Edward Geyer, Steven Gilberts, Keith Minnion, Jill Bauman, and Glenn Chadbourne. You can read about the book here: http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/PROD/chizmar17 At the moment, the trade editions are still available, and limited editions are in production.

It’s Friday: another remarque for The Dark Tower website’s Haven Foundation auction is in progress, and when it’s complete I will post that artwork. Until then, have a wonderful day, and please be kind to yourself and others. Thinking about what I read in the news lately, it seems the world needs more of that sort of thing.

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New Project for 2014

New Project for 2014

This is an interior illustration for an upcoming project. All the images for this commission are painted with watercolor. I will post more news and art from this book soon, probably in February or early March.

Today I’m working on more remarques for collectors, and there are a couple books making the rounds among several illustrators for the current Haven Foundation auction at The Dark Tower website. If you haven’t checked out the Foundation yet, do so: founded by Stephen King, it helps those in creative occupations–freelancers–who face challenges with health care and finances.

Then: bookkeeping. In the past, I have too often procrastinated on that until it’s a looming, distasteful chore. This year I vowed to spend a little time on it regularly, before tax papers and BOE statements are due, until the account is in prime shape, all things accounted for and papers neatly filed in date order. So far, so good. It’s never quite as much torture as I imagine it will be, once I get started. It’s just that numbers start looking like hieroglyphs to me after I look at them for an hour or two; my brain goes to mush and the numerals mean nothing — at that point it might be just as effective to have a beagle at the keyboard. My patient companion taught me how to do simple multi-ledger accounts to keep track of business and personal things, which was new to me…it’s finally sinking in. I may be able to think analytically, but working with numbers has never been my strong suit.

More coffee! Then…drawing, and paperwork! Yes!

Happy Thursday!

Construction Site

Construction Site

This is one of the paintings I did for Dark Regions Press’ edition of Joe Lansdale’s “Hot in December.” You can read more about the book here: http://www.darkregions.com/books/hot-in-december-by-joe-r-lansdale

Recently I learned that due to press requirements, the deluxe edition will not have the “bonus” illustrations bound into the book, but limited edition, signed prints of the artwork will be included with the deluxe editions. I should soon be receiving the prints to sign, and will send them along to the publisher as quickly as I can.

“Buh-Bye, 2013! Please do let the door smack you in the butt on the way out.”

At long last I’m getting back to this blog. Overall, I’m very excited to kick 2013 out the back door of my life (I do so with heavy boots on: THUD!) It’s time to get on with a new year and start new projects, and finish those that were waylaid by last year’s events. 2013 found my husband battling Stage IIIC colon cancer (so far successfully, but we must be vigilant) and the loss of my father-in-law; there were a couple relatively minor health issues of my own to deal with, and a few book projects going on simultaneously. I must say, it was a challenging, enlightening, and –sometimes– a too-fast-and-too-much, stressful time in our lives. However, I can’t be anything but happy at the moment: this morning I got to cook breakfast for my excellent and inspiring husband; he’s feeling well, we’re here, and working, and we still have our place here in the mountains. We are so thankful.

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“Dan’s Nightmare: Canny!”

Among the books I illustrated last year is Cemetery Dance Publications’ Limited Edition of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep. Vincent Chong did the cover art and beautiful color interior images –some of them fold-outs, a feature I enjoy in some of my favorite art books. In some editions, Glenn Chadbourne’s illustrations adorn the endsheets. Above is one of the pencil drawings I created for the book, a view into one of Dan Torrance’s bad dreams. Here are a few more of my drawings from the project:

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“Charlie’s Memories”

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“Rose Taking Steam”

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“Mr. Derwent Appears at the School”

It blows my mind to have gotten the opportunity to participate in this project; Brian and Mindy at Cemetery Dance have been great to work with, and I hope it will be a long-term professional partnership. I’ve learned a lot about the world of book and art collectors, and have attempted to learn quickly, to pick up new terminology and navigate aspects of freelancing that were, until this year, beyond my knowledge and experience.

I love being an artist. It is what I have wanted to do with my life since I was old enough to hold a pencil or brush. This year my husband and I are fixing up a small outbuilding at our home for a studio, so I can start working larger, using oil paint freely, and so we have more space to develop several projects simultaneously. I plan to do my own book someday, and this new space will allow me to explore that work more effectively.

So here’s to a new year. With hope, gratitude, and a stronger determination than I’ve ever had before, I am going to dive in and see where it goes. May it bring us all good health, happiness, prosperity, and love.

 

 

“The Awakening”

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Dust Jacket Art for The Awakening by Brett McBean

This was the first wraparound dust jacket I illustrated — it’s for Brett McBean’s unusual and excellent novella, The Awakening, from Tasmaniac Publications (my most long-distance client so far!) I liked this story because it’s not a typical zombi tale. At the end of the book I was wishing to learn more about what happens to Toby Fairchild, the young protagonist.

You can read more about the book here: http://www.tasmaniacpublications.com/TheAsylumProjects.htm 

Check out Brett McBean’s website too: http://brettmcbean.com/

“Quill and Candle,” by Scott Thomas

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“The Toad Leapt from its Mouth”

Scott Thomas’ brilliant collection of eerie tales, Quill and Candle, was published by Dark Regions Press, under the Ghost House imprint. I can’t say enough about how subtle and rich these stories are; if you haven’t read Scott’s work, I would recommend any of his books.

Here are a couple more drawings from Quill and Candle–“The Opposition,” and “The Sinking House:”

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You can read more about the author here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Thomas-author/114870788573215

Mailbox Woe, Blue Dream, and a Possessed Girl

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“Bad News in the Mail”

The artwork shown above will be used as a signature sheet for an upcoming hardbound edition of Cemetery Dance Magazine. I am looking forward to doing more painting! Although I like some things about this illustration quite well, there are aspects of the technique that need work.

Here are a couple more paintings from the series:

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Doctor Sleep and Home Maintenance

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These drawings — pencil on illustration board — are among more than twenty images I created for Cemetery Dance Publications’ special edition of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, which will be distributed this Fall (September was the last I heard). Vincent Chong did the cover art, as well as what promises to be a fantastic series of tip-in/fold-out interior color illustrations for the book. I think Glenn Chadbourne also contributed, with some endsheet designs–check out the Cemetery Dance website for more details: http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/PROD/king07

Still working on a new painting, but it’s slow going. Other things have been happening here at home that obliged me to be out of the studio a bit…building fence with my husband and our neighbors; helping to get a new water line installed for our house (I am now fairly familiar with how to dig a good trench); and catching up on maintenance around the place. Nothing in the arena of “maintenance,” particularly when it comes to yard work and garden projects, is ever “finished,” I suspect, but I do love that work.

Not as much as I love drawing, painting, and reading, though — I’d better get back to the drawing board.

Illustrations for an Anthology

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“Town Cemetery: Residents”

This drawing was created a while ago, but was just released as an interior illustration for Cemetery Dance Publications’ Dueling Minds anthology. (See http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/PROD/freeman05 ) I thoroughly enjoyed this project; it was one of the first full book interior illustration commissions for which I was ever hired (thanks, Alan!) Working with each author’s unique style and every story’s tone, while keeping the drawings tied together stylistically, was challenging and fun.

Here are a few more from the book:

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Today I’m working on a new painting–still learning how to make the paint do what I want it to. Part of being a skilled artist is being flexible, both in approach (without compromising to the point where it loses the artist’s ‘voice’) and in medium… learning new things is important to me; I think it’s what curious people do. Maintaining interest in the world around us, and how the external world intertwines with our interior worlds of thought, memory, and creative drive, is–in my opinion–what keeps us young and happy; it’s a big part of what keeps our minds sharp.

Until next time, stay safe and be happy. Read a good book!

Drawing a dark dream

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“Sea of Flesh: Dragon Dancers”

The drawing above was created for a collection of stories by Jeffrey Thomas. The collection is still in production, but I wanted to share this image from the project because I think it captured an aspect of the eerie, dreamlike atmosphere of the story.

You can read more about the author, Jeffrey Thomas, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Thomas_%28writer%29