Wicked Kingdom Playing Cards on Kickstarter Posted on 14 Jun 2016
The Wicked Kingdom Deck is now available for purchase on Kickstarter!It's been ages... but hopefully this news will be worth the wait. The Wicked Kingdom Deck is now live on Kickstarter! If you've been waiting a year and a half (!) for the chance to get your hands on one of these poker decks... the time is now!
New Work: Quanta Magazine and some Wicked Jacks Posted on 31 Jan 2016
Mochizuki's last stand...With my last post being back in November, I don't suppose I'll ever get caught up on my blogging, will I? Here's a consolation prize: a piece I did a while back for Quanta Magazine. The illustration pertains to the work of mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki, whose cryptic mathematical proofs have confounded his academic colleagues. It was an interesting concept to get down on paper: the misunderstood Mochizuki atop a mountain of his writings; his bewildered fellow mathematicians forced to wade through them and make of them what they will.
Jack of Hearts, 11x17" oil, acrylic, and watercolor on paper. Original available.
THE JACK OF HEARTS: One of the many industrious souls who ply their trade in the mecca of vice the kingdom's capitol has become.
The orphaned son of a vanished handmaiden, his place in the palace was lost during the upheaval caused by the old king's death. His early life on the streets was marked by hardship, struggle, and desperate acts; but a boy so very much like the old king in face and bearing proved a novelty to delight even the jaded tastes of the capitol; through wit and industry, he has managed to rise from his humble beginnings to become a courtesan of the highest order.
It would seem he could want for little now - having earned his place as a sought-after tradesman in the finest courtly houses of the kingdom and even, it is rumored, the king's own palace. But ambition, unlike lust, is not easily sated...
Jack of Clubs, 11x17" oil, acrylic, and watercolor on paper. Original available.
THE JACK OF CLUBS: a deserter who, having lost his taste for war, finds himself exiled and disgraced - condemned to live as a recluse and poach the dark forests of the borderlands for whatever prey he might find there.
There are few enough left now who remember his time at the right hand of the king who fostered and trained him; but for his own part, he still he dreams of blood, and smoke, and his lost place in the walled kingdom - a position to which he has not entirely abandoned hope of restoring himself. His final chance at redemption: a treasured and elusive prey, the hunting of which will require all the skills at his disposal...
Illuxcon, a Long Drive, Two Queens, and a Jack Posted on 02 Nov 2015
This blog seems to exist mainly as a forum for me to post my regrets about not blogging more. I can't be too sorry, though; I've been squaring away a few commissions, getting in some work done on my card deck, and attending Illuxcon!
My booth setup in the 2015 Weekend Salon at Illuxcon
A portrait by Micah Epstein. (I'M SO BEAUTIFUL AS AN ORC, YOU GUYS!)
A tiny dive helmet for Tiki by Dan Chudzinski - Awwwwww.
Link to my Instagram above. Follow!
Queen of Clubs, 11x17" oil, acrylic, and watercolor on paper
THE QUEEN OF CLUBS, or so she might have one day become - destined to cover her face and sit by the fire among her aunts, or die in childbirth like her mother - had she not forged her own war-club and followed the tracks of a foundling she-bear into the forest beyond her father's high walls.
None can say for certain what became of her, although there are hunters from the borderlands who claim to have seen her among the trees: a warrior maiden clad in iron and ragged pelts, more animal than human, with lichen on her armor and wildfire in her eyes. Legend names her the Bear Queen, and only the very brave or very foolish would venture to set a snare in her woods.
Queen of Diamonds, 11x17" oil, acrylic, and watercolor on paper. Original available.
THE QUEEN OF DIAMONDS: a title held by the eldest of the chosen girls, blinded by oleander, who trade the deceptions of their earthly eyes for inviolable vision of smoke and stone. In the temple beneath the mountains, they are taught to read the language of the true-sighted; the histories and philosophies lost to the rest of the four kingdoms are revealed to them in the darkness.
Upon the death of the Queen - often an early one, as the work of a vessel is not without its costs - a new girl assumes the title; by her vows she will be silent until such time as the stone speaks through her in a voice as old as the world - a voice that whispers the fates of men and foretells the rise and fall of kingdoms.
Her counsel is sought by kings, heroes, and other wanderers in the dark.
THE JACK OF SPADES: once the hope of his kingdom, heir to the prosperity of endless river valleys; now a gibbet of sunbleached bones overlooking scorched earth and blackened fields.
The legend outlives the man: a flaxen-haired prince who left his palace to work the fields with the common folk, and took up arms to fight alongside them. With his death, the royal lineage of the House of Spades was extinguished, and the King issued a final decree: that his son's body would keep its lonely vigil over the battlefield where he died until it saw the four kingdoms starve for their transgressions.
Each year, on the eve of his death, every field in the kingdom is burned to ensure a late planting and a scanty harvest - lest some unscrupulous peasant risk feeding the enemy in exchange for a few coins. Only two plots of land escape the ritual that has become known as the Prince's Harvest: the king's own gardens, lusher by the year, and the ravaged fields beneath the prince's eternal gaze; there, whatever weeds may grow from the hallowed ground are permitted to flourish.
Betta Magick Posted on 15 Aug 2015
Betta Magick, 5x7" oil, ink, and pencil on paper
A shop, two queens, and some process videos Posted on 01 Aug 2015
Good (and only slightly belated) news - I've finally set up an online shop!At the moment, most of the available prints & originals are from my current playing card series; but I'm slowly adding more standalone pieces from the past few years of work (especially pencil drawings, which I have TONS of in the archives). Keep an eye out for more additions in the coming weeks; and of course, if you've seen something you like that isn't in the shop yet, shoot me an email.
To be found among the offerings: the latest card illustrations for Wicked Kingdom, the Queens of Spades and Hearts. BEHOLD:
Queen of Spades, 11x17" oil, acrylic, and watercolor on paper. Original available.
THE QUEEN OF SPADES, an herbalist and wood-witch with a knowledge of poisons and cures. She alone knows the secret names of every root and leaf in the four kingdoms; from a meaningless tumble of bracken, hers is the only hand that can pluck one shoot to sicken, one to restore, and one to grant uncommon visions.
It is said that death itself is the only ailment for which her gardens do not hold a cure; a reliable remedy for madness, though, is apparently beyond the powers of her tinctures and poultices, for her ministrations to the king have served only to hasten his decline.
Queen of Hearts, 11x17" oil, acrylic, and watercolor on paper. Original available.
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS: still as lovely as she was on that long-ago day when the old king brought her home from his conquests in foreign lands - a painted treasure with infant son in arms and a multitude of peculiar customs in tow. Since her widowhood, many suitors have sought her favor - drawn to her beauty, or her crown, or both - but to a man, have been met only with rejection.
She is said to prefer a life of ritual and solitude; outside of the increasingly rare occasions on which she holds court for her supplicants, she spends her days alone at her mirror, letting her son squander the kingdom's dwindling wealth with impunity. The curiously frequent disappearances of her handmaidens are seldom remarked upon in noble company; after all, the four kingdoms are known to be full of perils for the innocent.