Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Realisation

Today, I realised something. I realised that I've been letting all those "rules of writing" out there fog my artistic vision. I realised that I've let all those who say "you can't do this" and "you can't do that" stifle my creative voice. I've finally realised that I should rewrite my shelved fantasy novel, and rewrite it in the way I want to write it. I have always believed in the story and the characters, and I think I've finally regained my belief in myself.

So, if I want to begin my story with a snowstorm, I'm going to begin my story with a snowstorm. If I want rich description, I'm going to have rich description. If I want a blond haired blue eyed prince as my protagonist, I'm going to have a blond haired blue eyed prince as my protagonist. If I want my protagonist to be a reflection of me, sort of my fantasy alter ego, I'm going to have my protagonist be my alter ego. If I want my main character to raise his fist to the sky during a snowstorm in a futile gesture of defiance, he is going to raise his fist, because that's the sort of character he is (kind of like me). If I want elves, I'm going to have elves (though I might make them even more like the Celtic fairies and call them something other than elves).

If I do this, will I succeed, or will I fail? I don't know, but I will never know if I don't try.

Oh, yes, and if I want my main character to speak lines like this, he will speak lines like this (though I might change "I'm" to "I am"):

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did. I'm going to recite poetry!"
- Andrew of Armar

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jurassic Park Velociraptor Really Deinonychus

I have always been of the opinion that the Velociraptors in the Jurassic park films were not Velociraptor mongoliensis (6 ft long), or Utahraptor ostrommaysorum (23 ft long), but were actually Deinonychus antirrhopus (11 ft long). Deinonychus antirrhopus was basically a larger North American cousin of the Asian Velociraptor mongoliensis. In Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (a book I have read), Gregory S. Paul argued that Deinonychus should be grouped in the genus Velociraptor.

There is a Smithsonian.com article from 2008 that talks about this, and says that Michael Crichton read Paul's book and was influenced by it:
You say “Velociraptor,” I say “Deinonychus”

Time for Some Movie Marathons!

Well, Michele left early this morning on her way to California for a week to take the California Bar Exam and then graduate from the Concord Law School of Kaplan University. Since I'm left to my own devices for a whole week, I think it's time for some movie marathons. Tonight, it's going to be a Jurassic park marathon. Earlier, I had some Ben and Jerry's Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz ice cream to keep me awake, and I just came back from pickling up some Jiffy Pop popcorn (yes, they still make Jiffy Pop). Let the movie marathons commence!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Cover Artworks

An author/editor/publisher friend of mine recently posted something about book covers. It got me thinking about the book cover artworks I have done. I don't seem to get many opportunities to do book cover artworks (I tend to do more zine cover art), but I have done artwork for the covers of two poetry collections and one e-book anthology. In each instance, I attempted to make the art eye-catching. I think I succeeded. My favourite of the three may be my artwork for Shelly Bryant's poetry collection Under the Ash (the middle image). I think it's an interesting piece.

Cover artwork for David C. Kopaska-Merkel's poetry collection Brushfires, published by Sam's Dot Publishing, October 2010.

Cover artwork for Shelly Bryant's poetry collection Under the Ash, published by Sam's Dot Publishing, December 2010.

Cover art for Doug Hilton's How We Play Football in Alabama and Other Stories From Doug's World

Thursday, July 24, 2014

For My Rotten Relations: A Virtual RASPBERRY!

Assuming that my rotten relations may be monitoring my on-line activity, I will once again share this:
I need to come up with a cartoon image of me giving the one-finger salute! (My idiot relations would never understand the two-finger one.)

My Relatives Keep Getting Their Jabs In

Just when I thought my rotten relatives had decided to leave me alone, they get yet more jabs in. Today, via USPS, I received a large Manila envelope sent July 22 from Troy, Virginia, with this scrawled in black magic marker on the back:

Well Dick (your mom named you appropriately) she forgot to make your middle name Head
Also she said to say hi!!!
The envelope contained no letter or note, just various old photographs, including my senior class portrait and a large, now somewhat crumpled, photograph of my daughter around two years old that had once been in the possession of my (now departed) maternal grandmother. I guess what needed to be said was said on the back of the envelope.

Obviously a relative of mine is ultimately responsible for this latest jab, since a relative would be the most likely candidate to have taken possession of those photos after my mother died last October. However, no one who really knows me calls me "Dick". I've always been called "Ricky" (when I was a kid) or "Rick". My classmates in high school took to calling me "Rich", but no one who ever knew me ever called me "Dick". Strange.

Another strange thing, if my mother said to say "hi!", it must have been through a medium or a Ouja board. Like I said, she's dead and buried, and good riddance! I know this sounds like a horrible thing to say about one's own mother, but my mother was a pretty horrible person. I will keep saying so 'til the day I die. My family has already tried to shut me up once, through a lawyer's "scare tactic" letter. It didn't work. As a matter of fact, if they keep getting their jabs in, I'm going to keep speaking my mind.

Google maps and White pages dot come being wonderful things, I discovered that one of my uncles lives only about twenty miles or so from Troy, Virginia. Of course, it appears that he does not reside there alone. Is this other person with the same last name residing in the same town wife number three (or maybe even number four or five)? Are they the likely suspects for sending the envelope inscribed with the hateful message? I wonder.


Maybe it was actually the Devil who wrote that nasty message on the envelope, since my mother said to say "hi!", and she's surely in Hell!


Here's a photo of that nasty message on the back of the envelope that arrived in the mail today:



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"A Leviathan Ascendant" Now in My Redbubble Portfolio

Here's an oldie-but-goodie...I added my fantasy artwork "A Leviathan Ascendant" to my Redbubble portfolio. This piece was my first artwork to appear on the cover of a zine. It adorned the cover of Issue #3 of Abandoned Towers. It also appeared in the November 2009 issue of the e-zine MindFlights. The zines may be dead (or as good as dead), but my art lives on. I make sure it does.

Actually, a cover-gallery of Abandoned Towers print issue covers still appears on the Abandoned Towers web site. You can see what my art looked like on the cover of Issue #3. Since I do have a couple of print copies of AT Issue #3 in my collection of contributor's copies, I can say that it looks even more impressive in print, in all its glossy glory. Seeing it on the computer screen doesn't do it justice. Too bad the print issues are not currently available, and are probably out of print forever. It happens.

Two Sci-Fi Artworks added to REDBUBBLE

Today, I added two more sci-fi artworks to my Richard Fay Redbubble Portfolio. "Jungun Catching a Quibbib" originally appeared as filler art in Dreams and Nightmares 94, January 2013. Previously, the black and white version could be found on a few items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle, Store. Now you can see a colour version in my Redbubble portfolio. "Tree-Climbing Crimbolain" was originally published in Beyond Centauri, Issue 29, July 2010. It also appeared as cover art on Kids’Magination, Issue 11, May 2012.

"Knight's Helm" up at REDBUBBLE

I added a new artwork, "Knight's Helm", to my Redbubble portfolio. This illustration of a crested great helm of a medieval knight is based on several helms and crests depicted in medieval coats-of-arms as well as actual helms as worn by medieval knights. The crest is based on one from a minnesinger songbook as depicted in Arthur Charles Fox-Davies' Heraldry: A Pictorial Archive for Artists & Designers. The crown and lambrequin (the cloth hanging down the back of the helmet) are based on those seen in a drawing of Edward Courtnay's helm in Charles Henry Ashdown's European Arms and Armor. The helm itself is based mostly on one appearing in a colour plate in Osprey Publishing's English Medieval Knight 1200-1300.

Places On-Line Where My Art Can Be Seen

Since someone on Facebook asked "do you have a website or somewhere all of your art can be seen?", I though I would point out that I have quite a few works up in my Redbubble portfolio:

One of the things I like about Redbubble is that it functions both as a store and as a portfolio. The portfolio doesn't contain all of my art, but it contains quite a bit of it.

I also have some examples of my art on-line in my Azure Lion Productions Carbonmade portfolio:
Azure Lion Productions: Richard H. Fay - Artist/Illustrator. 
This one contains some published illustrations not found in my Redbubble portfolio.

To be quite honest, it would take a lot of work to get ALL of my artworks up on a web site. Between stuff I did when I first started selling my art to the public, stuff I've done since 2007 for publications, and stuff I've done more recently specifically for my on-line stores, I've done quite a bit of art over the past fifteen years. I do have an up-to-date list of artwork publications on this blog (just scroll down), and it's an extensive list!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Selling Drawings of Knights

I first sold drawings of knights several years ago, and I'm still selling drawings of knights today...Sold this afternoon through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store: one Norman Knight Poster and one Crusader Knight, Early 13th Century, Poster.

I might like drawing knights almost as much as I like drawing dragons. I've certainly had some success selling my knight drawings. Along with dragons and swords, knights featured among the subjects I drew when I first sold my art to the public. My drawings of knights have always been at the heart of what Azure Lion Productions is supposed to be all about, which is artwork inspired by history, myth, folklore, and legend.


Of course, the knight drawings I've done over the past two to three years, like my "Norman Knight" and my "Crusader Knight, Early 13th Century" are much better than most of the knight drawings I did back in the late 1990s. My work has improved over the years.

Currently on the Redbubble Blog: Open Discussion: Did You Go to Art School?

On the Redbubble Blog: Open Discussion: Did You Go to Art School?

Here is the comment I left:

Nope. I didn't go to art school. I took art classes in high school, but not in college. I did attend college, but as a science major, not an art major. I received an Associate Degree in Science from Hudson Valley Community College and then a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany.

I will say this, I did a lot of drawing for some of my biology courses. I also did some illustrations to accompany a term paper I did for one history class (shades of what I would be spending most of my time doing several years later.) When I worked for the New York State Mycologist on a fungal spore project, I created several drawings of fungal spores for a "fungal spore rogue's gallery". When I worked in the aquatic biology laboratory at the museum, I drew some sketches of features of different amphipods for identification purposes.

After the museum, I worked for a time in the state health department's newborn screening lab. I used to doodle when work was slow, and some of my co-workers started asking me the age-old question "what are you doing here?" I then asked myself the same question (I was very unhappy at the health lab), and I eventually left the lab to pursue a career in art.

At first, I sold hand-coloured framed art and bookmarks featuring my drawings at a local medieval fair and a few local arts and crafts fairs. Later, I began selling my art to small-press publications. One of the editors I sent art to on a regular basis opened a Zazzle store featuring art from her magazine as well as some other works. i sent her some of my own works, and received a cut of the profits. I then opened my own Zazzle store, and Cafepress Shop, and added my works to Redbubble.

Though I do sell my art and illustrations to small-press publications, and items featuring my artworks and designs do sell through Zazzle, Cafepress, and Redbubble, there are times I wonder if going to art school would have helped me make more of a career out of my art. Sometimes I feel rather limited in terms of skill and technique. However, I seem to be doing okay as a self-taught artist. I have a style of my own, and I seem to have found my niche, small though it may be.

Selling Drawings of Swords

Sold this evening through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store and being shipped to someone in Pennsuaken, NJ: one 16th Century Sword Tie. The drawing is based on a Spanish sword of the early sixteenth century.

I used to draw swords for fun and to pass the time when I was bored. At one point, I had a gallery of doodles of swords and other weapons hanging on the wall of my work station in the health lab. Now I draw swords for profit. Drawings of swords were among the first designs I created when I when I first started selling my art to the public. One of my first-ever sales was a prototype bookmark featuring a sword (I think it was a sword-of-war) sold to one of the supervisors at the health lab. Now items featuring my sword drawings sell through my on-line stores.

Female Dobsonfly, Brunswick, NY

This scary-looking-but-harmless female dobsonfly hung out on the screen of our balcony door for quite a while last evening. She kindly stayed in place while I took pictures of her from inside and out on the balcony. Dobsonflies are impressive insects!
 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Internal Editor Still On the Job

Since I haven't been writing much lately, I thought my writing skills might be getting a little rusty. I worried that my internal editor might be asleep on the job. Not to worry, it seems that my guest blog entry for Classically Educated was very clean and needed very little editing. I don't know that I would go so far as to call it a perfect piece, but it seems that it was polished enough to work pretty much as-is. It's nice to know that I'm still able to produce a polished piece of writing, even if it's just a blog entry about "Some Arms and Armour Terms and Facts".

Stung!

This afternoon, I was stung by a rather large wasp (northern paper wasp?) when I went to dump the recyclables into the apartment recycle bin. It was quite the sting. Immediately after I was stung, I had a 2" X 4" red swath around the site, but the redness has since gone down quite a bit. I treated it with vinegar (vinegar for wasps stings, baking soda for bee stings), which did take the edge off the sting. However, it still hurts a bit.

Horror Artwork Accepted for Publication in NIGHT TO DAWN

Yesterday evening, I sent off my latest artwork, a horror piece entitled "It Wants to Come In", to an editor who said she wouldn't mind an artwork or two for the next issue of her horror zine. I wasn't entirely sure about the composition of the work featuring a rather nasty-looking vampire peering in a window and scratching at the glazing bars between the panes. Well, I worried for nothing. Fifteen minutes after I hit "send", I received a reply from the editor. She said she loves the piece and would like to publish it in Night to Dawn 27. Yay!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some CafePress Shop Sales Info

A bit of sales info I thought I would share:

The sidebar on my CafePress account currently shows that my total sales so far this year amount to $1000.43 (excluding pending sales), and my total commissions so far this year amount to $82.58 (again, excluding pending sales). That's not bad for having only 189 page views across all my product pages.

What's this prove? I think it proves that products featuring my drawings of thistles and other things do sell. I think it also proves that I was right in revamping and expanding my CafePress Shop back in late spring/early summer 2013. Most of the items that have sold have featured works I've added to the shop since then.

Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop

Where's My Flack?

So, where's my flack? C'mon, PC mob, give me, a white male artist, flack for daring to portray a person of colour and a woman in my sci-fi artwork "Under the Ice on Enceladus". I dare ya! I double dare ya! Go ahead, look like fools!

Yep, I'm throwing the gauntlet down. I want some of these yahoos in the PC mob to explain to me why I might not have to right to portray persons of colour or women in my creative works, when they are the same ones screaming for more diversity in creative works! Or, is it only truly diversity when the creators portraying such diversity are something other than white males? Is it impossible for white male creators to add diversity to their creative works without catching flack? Do you realise how asinine that sounds? Do you?

Boosting the Signal: PC Runs Amok in Science Fiction Community

Since I was recently talking about a rather ridiculous argument regarding who or what I may or may not have the right to portray in my creative works, I thought I would re-share a link to this interesting take on the whole "political correctness in the SF realm" issue from an Argentine writer friend of mine:
PC Runs Amok in Science Fiction Community

I know I shared this before, with my own comments in response to the entry, but it seems especially relevant after an editor that has published several examples of my artwork pointed out to me that I might receive flack for my atwork "Under the Ice on Enceladus" portraying a black male scientist/astronaut/aquanaut and a while female scientist/astronaut/aquanaut, Apparently, some may feel that I, as a while male, don't have the right to portray women or persons of colour in my creative works. This is what the editor said:
I think the argument here, as I understand it, is whether: a) you have the right to create art portraying women and people of color, and b) whether I, as editor, have the right to accept such art. It comes down to who we are, physically.
How absurd! (Just to clarify, I'm not saying the editor is being absurd, I'm saying the people the editor is talking about, the people making such an argument, are being absurd.)

Yes, the Classically Educated entry "PC Runs Amok in Science Fiction Community" seems even more relevant now. Yes, PC does indeed run amok in the science fiction community. And some of the most rapid members of the PC mob are not above manufacturing a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. I'm all for diversity, but don't tell me I can't portray diversity in my creative works because I'm white! That's bullshit! (And it doesn't really help create art featuring more diversity.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Don't Have the Right to Depict Women in My Art? WTF?

It has been pointed out to me that some in the genre world might find fault with the fact that I have created artworks featuring women. I was told that these people might argue, in a twisted form of logic, that I have no right to create art portraying women because I am a man. This seems to me to be an asinine argument. Where do people come up with these ideas?

I didn't know there were rules written in stone about what sorts of people artists could or could not portray in their art. Art is, by definition, a creative endeavour. Anyone who tries to say that I, as a male artist, am restricted in who I may or may not portray in my art, that I don't have the right to portray women in my art, is going to get an earful!

Male artists have been depicting female figures in their art for centuries. If past artists followed the absurd rules some in the genre world want creative people to follow, Leonardo da Vinci would never have painted the Mona Lisa, Michaelangelo would never have carved the Pieta, Edgar Degas would never have sculpted La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, John William Waterhouse would never have painted The Lady of Shalott, and so on.

One of the venues that sends me regular illustration assignments happens to be The Lorelei Signal, a web based magazine dedicated to featuring strong/complex female characters in Fantasy short stories. I'm proud of the work I've done for that zine, as well works featuring women I've done for other venues. Though I'm a male artist, I think I do a fine job of portraying female characters in a respectable and dignified fashion. Some of my best works are my works depicting female characters. I stand by the work I've done, and my right to do it.

Some examples of that work include:

My illustration for Lindsey Duncan's "Mythocraft" on the cover of Issue 2 of Plasma Frequency. 
My fantasy artwork "Conjuring the Dragon" on the cover of Issue 32 of OG's Speculative Fiction 
My sci-fi artwork "Under the Ice on Enceladus" on the cover of the July 2014 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk.
My illustration for Joyce Frohn's story "Room 116" in the July 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
My illustration for the Mystic Signals exclusive story "The Doom of Mounrshire" by Benjamin Sperduto.

My illustration for Mellisa Embry's story "After the War" in the January 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal
My illustration for Rachel Acks' story "And Still Champion" in the January 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
My illustration for Matthew Wilson's poem "The Old Witch" in the January 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
My illustration for Erin Cole's story "Her Quest for a Beating Heart" in the July 2013 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
My illustration for Heidi Wainer's story "The Specters of Haveroan" in the July 2013 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
My illustration for the Mystic Signals exclusive story "Uncle Jusquin" by DeAnna Knippling.
My illustration for  Edward Ahern's story "Blood Will Out" in the August 2013 issue of Sorcerous Signals.
My illustration for Anna Sykora's story "The Oak Witch's Helper" in the August 2013 issue of Socerous Signals.
My sci-fi artwork "Giant Alien Bug Attack!", which appeared in the January 2013 issue of Beyond Centauri.
My illustration for Nyki Blatchley's story "Aslahkar", published in Issue 1 of Plasma Frequency:

My illustration for Alexander Gonzalez's story "Shade Creeper", published in Volume 3 of Postscripts to Darkness:
My illustration for Beth Powers' "Nothing Altered", published in Issue 4 of Plasma Frequency:
Anyone who might argue that I don't have the right to depict women in my art because I am a man has earned the right to fly my "Idiot Pride Flag", because they're a real turkey:

Do I Show What I Intended to Show: Agree, or Disagree?

One of the purposes behind my colourful sci-fi artwork "Under the Ice on Enceladus", which appears on the cover of the July 2014 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk, is to show that persons of colour and women may be scientists/astronauts/aquanauts. Using a picture instead of words, I'm trying to say that interplanetary exploration is not restricted to white men only. After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

However, it has been pointed out to me that others will disagree, so I should expect flack. The implication is that others will argue that I don't show what I claim to show.

Well, do I or don't I show what I intended to show? Am I truly making a difference, even in a small way, with my purposeful inclusion of a black male scientist/astronaut/aquanaut and a white female scientist/astronaut/aquanaut in "Under the Ice on Enceladus", or was that inclusion a clumsy and futile gesture?


A little recognition for my efforts would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath awaiting recognition that might never come. I gotta say, even a little flack would be better than complete silence. I suspect I might not receive any flack because many of those who might send it my way see me and my work as unimportant and not worth the bother.

Guest Blogger Over at CLASSICALLY EDUCATED

Today, I'm guest blogger over at Classically Educated: A Place for Global Citizens and Polymaths. In my entry, I talk about one of the subjects near and dear to my heart: historic arms and armour. Specifically, I talk about "Some Arms and Armour Terms and Facts". I cover a few of my pet peeves when it comes to historic arms and armour, including the less-than-accurate use of the terms "plate mail" and "scale mail" and erroneous beliefs regarding the weight of medieval plate armour and swords.

I'm pleased with the entry, even if my tone is a little snarky at times. I think it works. Heck, I got to use the phrase "what rot!" and the word "pleonastic".

Check it out:

Some Arms and Armour Terms and Facts

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Excalibur and Arthur" Sticker Sold through REDBUBBLE

Sold early this morning through Redbubble: 1x sticker of "Excalibur and Arthur".

This piece originally appeared, in black and white, as a colouring page in Abandoned Towers, Issue #6, July 2010. I made a few minor alterations to it when I created the colour version for use in my on-line shops.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; it's always nice when a work I originally sold to a publication subsequently sells through one or more of my stores. I see it as double validation of my work. Though this is the first time this image has sold through Redbubble, it has sold before through Zazzle. Plus, I've sold items featuring my "Excalibur", which is a cropped version depicting just the arm holding the scabbarded sword, through both Redbubble (at least once) and Zazzle (several times).

I do make money from the sales of items featuring my art, eventually. I'm creeping ever closer to that $20 payment threshold for my next payment from Redbubble. Once this sale clears, it will put me at $19.50.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Speaking of Thistles...

The Thistle (sans saltire) I added to my Redbubble portfolio on the 11th has already received 269 views. That's a lot more views than the other recent additions to my Redbubble portfolio. The Heraldic Daffodil I added on the same day has received only 123 views, while my fantasy illustration added the day before, "An Evil in Carnlinton", has received a measly 52 views.

No sales of the plain thistle as of yet, but I'm encouraged by the number of views. It seems to be a popular image. Any wonder why I "draw thistles"?

(Actually, I've only drawn the one thistle, but the same drawing is used both with and without the blue and white saltire of the Scottish flag.)

Drawing Thistles (and Other Things)

In an on-line spat with some distant in-laws I don't even know, it was pointed out to me that many people in that clan are convinced that I'm a "prick with nothing to do but bash others through social media and draw thistles".
 
Ignoring the none-too-subtle insult in the first part of that statement, I gotta ask: what does me drawing thistles have to do with anything other than the fact that I draw various nationality/heraldic-type designs for use on items in my on-line stores? Is pointing out that I "draw thistles" supposed to be some kind of insult?


Well, drawing thistles, and knights, and dragons, and wizards, and sorceresses, and unicorns, and monsters, and swords, and aliens, happens to be my job! I actually do sell my art to publications and on merchandise. 

I will admit, I did draw this thistle:

Scottish Thistle and Saltire Decal 

Of course, merchandise featuring that thistle sells, and sells well. The sticker I linked to is rather popular, especially Down Under.

Now, keep in mind, I do draw more than just thistles. The work I do for publications is particularly varied in scope:

- I drew strange alien frogs for my cover-art on Issue 9 of Plasma Frequency.

- I drew a falchion-wielding under-sheriff confronting the ghosts of a haunted city in my illustration for my own fantasy adventure story "An Evil in Carnlinton", published in the February 2014 issue of Sorcerous Signals.
- I drew the hag of the River Tees for my folkloric artwork "Peg Powler", which appears on the cover of the July 2013 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk.
- I drew a black male scientist/astronaut/aquanaut and a white female scientist/astronaut/aquanaut riding in a mini-sub under the ice on Enceladus in my cover for the July 2014 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk.
- I drew a wizard confronting a scaly red dragon in my artwork  on the cover of the July 2013 issue of Bards and Sages Quartlerly.
- I drew a green-bladed sword in  my illustration for Will Maier's story "A Pale Green Blade", published in the May 2014 issue of Sorcerous Signals.
- I drew a  dust cloud parting to reveal a monstrous tentacled creature in "The Devourer Cometh", my cover-art for Disturbed Digest, Issue #3.
- I drew a nurse with glowing red eyes in my illustration for Joyce Frohn's story "Room 116", published in the July 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
- I drew an alms-seeking witch accompanied by an invisible beast in my illustration for Matthew Wilson's poem "The Old Witch", published in the January 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal.
- I drew aliens riding in a groovy flying saucer bedecked with flowers and other peaceful symbols in my cover artwork for the January 2014 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk.
- I drew a human and his dragon-fly-winged fairy pet in my illustration for
Francis W Alexander's poem "My Pet, His Pet", published in the February 2014 issue of Sorcerous Signals.

And so on and so forth.


I also draw more than just thistles for designs used on merchandise sold through my stores:

- I drew three demonic trees sporting dreadful faces and grasping limbs in my dark artwork "Denizens of the Diabolic Wood".
- I drew Saint George clad in the gear of a Late Roman cavalryman in my "Roman Saint George".
- I drew a lad clad in long coat and black hat adorned with skull-and-crossbones in my "Cute Pirate Lad".
- I drew the the crowned heart and clasping hands of the claddagh ring surrounded by Celtic-style knotwork in my "Claddagh and Knotwork".
- I drew a a distinctly Irish ring pommel sword based on swords carried by Irish kerns in a 16th century woodcut and combined it with knotwork bands in my "Irish Sword and Knotwork".
- I drew an Allosaurus, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Brachiosaurus, a Stegosaurus, and a Triceratiops.
- I drew a cadaverous vampire gnawing on its own burial shroud in my horror artwork "Shroudeater", which originally appeared alongside my poem "Shroudeater" in the Walpurgisnacht 2010 issue of Hungur.
- I drew a knight that displayed the nomenclature of the various pieces of plate armour worn by English knights circa 1430 in my "Plate Armour Circa 1430".
- I drew planets emerging from the nebula stream emitted by an alien god’s shining eye in my weird sci-fi artwork "In the Cosmic God's Eye".
- going back to the original theme of floral emblems, for the national symbols of Wales, I drew a "Leek and Daffodil Crossed".

And so on and so forth.

MYSTIC SIGNALS, Issue 21

Somehow, I got busy and missed this when it came out. Mystic Signals, Issue 21, combines the April 2014 issue of The Lorelei Signal and the May 2014 issue of Sorcerous Signals. It also contains a couple of exclusive stories. I did illustrations for Will Maier's "A Pale Green Blade" and M. J. Waller's "A Plague of Daffodils", both of which appeared in the May 2014 issue of Sorcerous Signals. I also did illustrations for Charles Kyffhausen's story "Rebellion" and DeAnna Kippling's story "Uncle Jusquin", both of which are Mystic Signals exclusive stories. I believe all four of my illustrations appear in print in Issue 21 of Mystic Signals.

Mystic Signals, Issue 21, may be purchased through Lulu:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/carol-hightshoe/mystic-signals-issue-21/paperback/product-21610697.html
or Createspace:
https://www.createspace.com/4791714

Monday, July 7, 2014

Illustrations in THE LORELEI SIGNAL/MYSTIC SIGNALS

Two of my latest illustrations now appear in the ToC of the Jul - Sept '14 Issue of The Lorelei Signal. Click on the thumbnail images to see the full-sized illustrations.

One illustration appears alongside Joyce Frohn's story "Room 116". When I was working on this one, I had to search for a few reference images of nurses. I don't do a lot of contemporary imagery, so it was an interesting break from my usual. Probably the closest I've come previously to doing something like this was my illustration for "Old Fashioned Police Work" by Matt Adams, which appeared in the Fall '11 issue of Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Magazine. In that instance, I had to draw a uniformed police officer. This time, I had to draw a nurse. It proves I can also do contemporary things, though I'm probably at my best when drawing historic and mediaevalistic fantasy imagery.

The second illustration is for the Mystic Signals exclusive story "The Doom of Mournshire" by Benjamin Sperduto. I'm back to my usual imagery with this one. Even so, I believe my figures in this illustration feel less stiff than some of the figures in my past works. I think I did well capturing a sense of tension and impending action. I'm very happy with the way this one came out. Also, I show the female characters in reasonable poses and respectable garb. No "chicks in chain mail bikinis" in ridiculous poses here!

Check 'em out!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"At the Wheel" Published in July 2014 APHELION

My Tom-Tit-Tot poem "At the Wheel" (spinning wheel, not driving wheel) now appears in the July 2014 issue of Aphelion. The poem, inspired by an English version of Rumpelstiltskin, first appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of the print speculative poetry zine Illumen. Though the poem has appeared on my blog, this is the first time it has seen republication in a zine since it's initial publicaiton. I'm glad it has been republished elsewhere; I've always been especially proud of it.

Check it out!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Two Weird Filler Artworks: "Reflections" and "In Its Eye"

"Reflections"
Originally published in Star*Line, Volume 37, Issue 2, Spring 2014, April 2014.
Artwork Copyright © 2014 Richard H. Fay
"In Its Eye"
Originally published in Star*Line, Volume 37, Issue 1, Winter 2014, January 2014.
Artwork Copyright © 2014 Richard H. Fay

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Confronting the Dragon" and "Peg Powler" on Redbubble

I added two of my previously published fantasy artworks to my Redbubble Portfolio, where they are available on items like T shirts, stickers, posters, greeting cards, iPhone cases, iPad cases, throw pillows, and tote bags. "Confronting the Dragon", which features a wizard armed with staff and dagger imbued with mystical power confronting a red dragon, originally appeared as cover-art on the July 2013 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. "Peg Powler", my work depicting the monstrous hag of the River Tees, originally appeared as cover-art on the July 2013 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk.