Bethalynne is still in the hospital – misscarriage/ectopic pregnancy… and we’re hoping she won’t need surgery; Two days of hospital so far, and the drugs don’t yet seem to be doing their trick, but we’re hopeful.
Of course this happened on the day before we were to launch these, so I do not have access to her photographic skills for these boards. Also, we are trying to sell some of these, or some of anything in order to cover prescription and aftercare costs once she is released – as well as to keep me in gas and road food for hospital visits.
The boards measure 15×18?, are made of thick 3/4 inch oak, stained a deep red cherry, and are coated in varnish and then waxed for an easy gliding of the planchette.
Edges are ornately routed for an added decorative touch, and some of these have gold leafed edges as well.
There are only 6 available in each edition – each are sealed to the buyer’s specifications, and can be decorated with added touches. Each are also hand-signed, numbered, and dated on the back by both artists.
Each planchette (optional) is uniquely made by Myke Amend, cut from oak, and stained deep red cherry, accented with hand-shaped brass, and gold leaf – no two planchettes are alike. I am letting the saw guide me for each one, and I also have to pick and shape pieces of brass from my found brass box – so each planchette will be designed to fit the buyer and/or the board (if a board is purchased with the planchettes… planchettes can be bought on their own).
Bethalynne Bajema, my fiancee, co-conspirator, and occasional collaborator is working on her third eerie and beautiful neo-victorian Tarot deck “The Black Ibis” – and taking a different approach at her deck from the previous two in that she would like to have the deck published in one big run.
Being artists, and in this day and age where discretionary spending is at an all time low, being able to offer great things at low prices is essential.
Though the Sepia deck is very popular, with inquiries made every day about purchase, we are running that deck in very small runs (as our budget dictates), and for that reason have a higher asking price of $70 per deck. We would prefer to be offering them at $30, even less – because we’d like to have our art in the homes of everyone who likes what we are doing.
We would like to get this beautiful deck into the hands of *many* more fans and enthusiasts, make it more widely available, and maybe even go so far as to get bar codes and all that stuff that would allow for distribution… which requires a lot of printing setup fees and bulk ordering, the sort that is always way beyond our means.
Toward this end, she has set up a kickstarter fund. We need to raise $2,000 in printing and material expenses, and every dollar counts. She has set up many rewards for donations $5 and up, but what would be really amazing would be to receive a $1 donation from you, the reader.
People tend to feel that little amounts do not matter, that such gestures are unappreciated – but if even half of my 2,000 daily visitors pledged one single dollar, you and other contributors would have made a mark (and a damned good one) on art history by allowing an incredible artist to achieve her dream of bringing this project to life.
I know you’re probably thinking:
2000 other people? Well, that should all be taken care of then.
No… because most every one of them is thinking that exact same thing. Seriously. We get a *lot* of visitors and readers, we get a lot of email, we get a lot of people viewing images and galleries, we a lot of people downloading wallpapers, we get a number of comments, we get a handful of re-blogs (some of which even credit or link to us), we get a couple of twitter shares, we might even get a sale or two on a *really* good day… and that is generally the point where the world feels artists are well-rewarded for their work.
Here is a little-known secret: *You* are every bit as important in the art world as *any* artist. I’ve seen great and talented artists give up their dreams for a day job; I’ve seen *terrible* artists rise to the top. And if you are even a fraction as disappointed as I am in this, then you must know that artists live or die on support – not from hoity-toity self-appointed aficionados – or outlandishly rich philanthropists: but by real people, spreading links, making tiny donations, buying a print or two here or there… being involved, rather than being a bystander. You personally shape the future history.
If you would like to help out, be a part of the arts and of art history: be a part of this project, not an observer. Whether through sharing the link, or through donating $1 (seriously just $1 is AWESOME), *you* can make this happen (because all those other people are not even half as incredible). The link for her kickstarter fund is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1835434564/the-black-ibis-project
Why?? Well… I was going through and testing my cart, and found that the price for giclees on canvas did not auto-update inline when selecting canvas stretching mounting options.
I also realized that about the time I started offering these options, I started selling the things a lot less often.
Maybe it was too confusing, maybe too many options makes it harder to choose, maybe it was the price difference from page to shopping cart, or all of the above – but since I was editing all of these, I decided it would be a good time to make a sale of some sort, and to make it big.
So, here it is – All giclees are priced drastically below normal, and the shipping fees that *should* be there $30 in shipping for most, are not there at all… yep.. $5 flat rate shipping on all orders.
All giclees are printed in Archival pigment inks on archival canvas, and protected by a UV-resistant coating for an estimated archival rating of $200+ years.
These beautiful and super-accurate reproductions are pretty much indistinguishable from the original paintings, and most are limited to 50 or less… that means that out of 60-some billion people, only 50 will own a print – ever.
These come with certificates of authenticity, printed on Hahnemuhle fine art paper, signed and numbered by me, with matching serialized holograms affixed to the certificate and the back of the canvas, to protect the value of your investment, and because they are shiny.
The box/dual frame: I labored hard for over a week on the box, which is a very sturdy hand-built, hand-stained, hand-varnished, hand-waxed chunk of quality hardwood (heartwood select pine base and birch sides). It not only serves as a box (if you would want to use it as such a thing), but as a self-contained double frame which requires no wall hanging. It is perfect for a coffee table, end table, mantle, dining table or most any flat surface you would like to display it on… and it is so sturdy in construction that you won’t be freaking out if people get near it.
The box has two decorative hinges with a decorative patina on the spine edge if it; The latching mechanism is self-made from another smaller version of these hinges, combined with three solid brass model cannons from a model ship. The latch holds the piece securely shut, but opens easily when you want it to with a slight squeeze of the box and an easy flip of the thumb.
I spent hours and hours and hours buffing and buffing this piece. You may not see the glossiness of it in the picture, but it is pretty shiny.
Sometimes antiquing involves making something look beaten and ratty, sometimes it is a matter of making something look like something of quality kept new by an archivist or generations of enthusiastic caretakers – quality and new as the day it was made. For this particular look, I went with making it look like somewhat well-maintained antique… something once very expensive, polished periodically by its owners – well protected, but also well-used.
This sort of antiquing makes it much more involved than the other two. When I do this sort of antiquing on fresh and new untreated wood, making it look fashionably old is essentially a process of finishing and refinishing it to duplicate what time would do: Creating many stages of maintenance and multiple areas of color to create the look of something old… dark areas near crevices and hard to reach spaces, lighter areas where regular wear might occur.
The Art: To make these illustrations mesh well with the box, I made them in this dark-carnival, old Victorian occult ephemera style, with a lot of metaphysical flavor and a touch of campy horror propmaking. It not only made them work well with the box I envisioned, but made them fun for me and strikingly bold… a primitive and stark contrast to my normal reserved and detailed works and my muted color palettes.
Painting One: “Red Right Hand” this is one of two pieces done for a collaborative collection of China Miéville inspired illustrations and artworks, an effort assembled and coordinated by John Straun of SuperPunch. The Handlingers are mind-controlling creatures which look much like a human hand with a snake’s body. I decided on red for my colors because I wanted the hand to be red, and I might it a right hand just so I could name the piece “Red Right Hand”, because I am a huge Nick Cave fan.
Limited Edition Giclees (limited edition of 20) are available in my store
Painting Two: “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here”: I often name images for all of the phrases that swim around in my head. I don’t know what it is about soliloquy, sayings, proverbs, historical quotes and other such things that causes them to remain so well-embedded. I start working on a piece, and once he concept is in place, I immediately think of some string of words that fits, though usually a twist thereof. Rarely does the phrase inspire the piece, but the piece typically inspires the title, and the title sometimes shapes the work… this title coming from Shakespeare, or the once-curious reliefs seen outside of Bohemian Clubs. “The Weaver” is a large sentient spider with hands on its forelimbs (I also put them on its Pedipalps), with a love for scissors. The Spider with scissors brought this phrase to mind, so rather than repeating the more circular designs from the previous painting, I made them weave like webs, being cut by the spider.
Limited Edition Giclees (limited edition of 20) are available in my store
I’m getting closer to being done with this series, and finished with the book… well, the art book anyway.
The shirts and bandanas will likely be available months before the book – They will be decorated by the cover image, but not the cover text, and are pretty amazing. I’ll be screen printing all of these on my own this time around – hopefully that will make them extra special, at least to to some people.
I was going to wrap the book up with some pencil and pen and ink work, some watercolors and gouache, but I’ve received a book cover commission from an artist I could not stand to have turned down, and that author wanted something similar to what I’ve been doing. I’ve also been asked to do some similar-themed interior illustrations for another author as well. So, this book will be delayed by a hair, but will also be several pages thicker when released.
Anyway, this post has knocked down the post for the November Sale, so I am just going to remind you here that through November 1st through November 31st of every year, my prices are their very, very lowest (because I don’t want to be buried in shipments the week before the Gift-Giving Season). You might want to take a look around my store (if not the entire store, look at the November Sale Section).
Here are some items which are coming soon, though maybe not in time for Christmas. The shirt is now available – though the tonal striped tees I wanted originally are no longer being made by the manufacturer… bummer:
Death and Resurrection: One of many amazing clockwork pieces by Thomas Kuntz to be featured in the Archive.
Thomas Kuntz, a professional artist for over 20 years, began as a sculptor of Commercial Toys, but later gained notoriety circa ’89-98 as a pioneer in the making of model kits based on old silent films like Nosferatu, The Man Who Laughs, Vampira, and others.
After a period of time Kuntz found that merely sculpting his dark creations was not nearly enough for him, and that he wanted to give life to his creations through mechanical, perhaps supernatural means… This change in method resulted in some of the darkest and most interesting automations known to man, and not nearly as many fatalities and disappearances as may be rumored…