Category Archives: Art

Sebastien Ecosse

Visual Inspiration: Sebastien Ecosse

Recently, as I’ve been ramping up my research for Book IV of the Bell Forging Cycle, I came across the work of illustrator Sebastien Ecosse. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of genre and concept art, longtime readers will immediately understand why Ecosse’s work stands out for me.

I was first drawn in by his landscapes, his cityscapes in particular. They’re layered, rich, and beautifully textured. Places of light and shadows. You can almost feel the humid air against your skin, smell the mix of bizarre aromas, and hear the tapestry of sounds echoing throughout. In many ways, they could be cousins to the megalopolis of Lovat from my novels. With his other work, Ecosse manages to capture a sense of foreboding and dread that lends itself well to horror—in particular, his Lovecraftian work. I’ve posted some of my favorites below, as always you can click to view them larger.

Ecosse has prints available for purchase, and you can see much more of his work over on his website: sebastienecosse.com. You can also find him on ArtStation and Deviant Art. Be sure to check him out on Facebook or over follow him over on Twitter. Perhaps, like me, you’ll find yourself inspired.

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If you like Sebastien Ecosse’s work be sure to check out some other illustrators and concept artists I’ve shared in the past:


The Collection Grows

The Collection Grows

Last night, while pallin’ around at the Pioneer Square Art Walk, Kari-Lise and I checked out our friend Casey Weldon’s solo show at Treason Gallery. If you’re in Seattle, I recommend swinging through. It’s an incredible body of work, and a great selection of Casey’s engaging and often humorous work—check out the full show here.

It’s a big show, and there was a lot to check out, and much of the work drew us in. But we both fell in love with the green variant of Casey’s Fang You Very Much. Next week is our fifteen-year anniversary, so Kari-Lise and I figured this would be an excellent gift for ourselves—something collective and something we both appreciate. I’ve shared it below, it’s glorious.

Casey Weldon - Fang You Very Much - Green (2018) - Acrylic on wood 12” x 12”
Casey Weldon – Fang You Very Much – Green (2018) – Acrylic on wood – 12” x 12”

I really dig the visual depth going on here, the loose swirls and patterns offset by the realistic mouth, and the creepy glowing eyes. Casey’s skills and imagination never cease to impress me. The subtle reference to Felix the Cat is a nice touch, and something I initially missed (thank’s for pointing it out Julie.) I’m excited to hang it up in our home and finally add a Weldon to our collection. It’s about damn time.

Zhichao Cai

Visual Inspiration: Zhichao Cai

I’ve been ramping up my research for The Bell Forging Cycle, Book IV and while browsing through my Pinterest boards, I kept coming across the work of Chinese illustrator Zhichao Cai also known as Trylea. Since I found his work inspiring, I figured it’d be worth it to take a moment and share some of my favorite pieces with you.

When it comes to mood boards, I tend to like grimy and dank cityscapes occasionally interrupted with bright splashes of neon. So my eye is always drawn to pieces that show clusters of humanity. Trylea’s work has that, but it also differs significantly. It’s mainly due to his use of color. Even his densely packed cities are awash with a vibrancy that captures a unique and frenetic energy—it makes his work stand out, and his pieces serve as a good reminder that even in concept art we don’t need everything to be grim.

I included a small gallery of some of my favorite work below.

You can check out much more of Trylea’s work on his Zcool page, that seems to be where he shares most of his work. He also posts high-resolution versions as well as some process shots. It’s worth spending some time on his page. You can also find him on Behance, and he has some work on Art Station. If you’re not a member of any of those sites, I encourage you to join and give Trylea a follow.


If you like Zhichao Cai’s work be sure to check out some other illustrators and concept artists I’ve shared in the past:

The Poisoned Garden Continued

The Poisoned Garden Pt. 2

Way back in February, I wrote a post about the debut of Kari-Lise’s latest series, The Poisoned Garden. Well, I am excited to share that the next installment will premiere Saturday in Melbourne, Australia as a part of Beinart Gallery’s upcoming group exhibition: Dreamer, Lover, Maker, Fighter.

I love this series, and I’ve enjoyed watching her create each piece. There is a narrative richness in The Poisoned Garden that I find quite appealing. Each piece carries a shadowed sense of wonder tinged with beautiful melancholy. They’re haunting. I’ve included a few of my favorites in this post, but I’d encourage you to click here and check out the full show. It’s amazing.

Kari-Lise Alexander — "Picking The Perfect Poison #2"
Kari-Lise Alexander — “Picking The Perfect Poison #2” in the studio
Kari-Lise Alexander — 'When You Bite The One You Love" Detail [Left] In the Studio [Right]
Kari-Lise Alexander — ‘When You Bite The One You Love” [Left] Detail [Right] in the studio
Kari-Lise Alexander — "Collection"
Kari-Lise Alexander — “Collection” oil and graphic on paper, 8″x10″

Unfortunately, neither of us will be in Melbourne for the opening this weekend, but if you live nearby, you should swing by and check out the work in person. There’s a luminous quality that is impossible to communicate via the screen. The opening is Saturday night, June 2nd, from 6pm–9pm and the show will be on display through June 24th. Contact the gallery with inquiries about any particular piece.

Kari-Lise is planning a print release as well. If you’re interested, I recommend you sign up for her newsletter. It’s an excellent way to stay up to date on what she’s doing.


🎬 Overlooked Details

If you haven’t taken the time, make sure to watch the short documentary about Kari-Lise’s work: Overlooked Details, An Artist’s Journey, directed, edited, and filmed by Scott R. Wilson. (It partially documents her work on Inflorescence.) It’s fifteen minutes long and very much worth your time. It’s a raw, heartfelt, and vulnerable glimpse into her journey. I’ve embedded it below, and I recommend watching it full screen. You can view the full credits here.


🖼 Previous Work

Interested in seeing Kari-Lise’s previous shows? I’ve written about them before, and I’d encourage you to check them out, there is some excellent work, but it’s also amazing to document her growth as an artist:


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The Poison Garden

The Poisoned Garden

This weekend, Kari-Lise and I will head to Portland, Oregon for the opening of VEILS at Talon Gallery where Kari-Lise will be debuting the first five pieces from her 2018 series, The Poisoned Garden. The show opens on Saturday, February 17th, and we’ll both be in attendance. If you live in Portland or the surrounding area come on by and say hello. We’d love to see you. The opening reception is from 6pm–9pm. The exhibition will be on display through March 12th, 2017, and it is both free and open to the public.

I’m so stoked this is finally reaching the public. There is a narrative aspect to The Poisoned Garden that really draws me in as a storyteller, and the series is shaping up to be a favorite. Kari-Lise is really throwing herself into the work, and it shows. Afterwards, you’ll be able to view all the pieces at Talon Gallery’s website, feel free to contact the gallery directly to inquire about any particular piece. I’m excited the initial debut of The Poisoned Garden is finally seeing the light of day.

Kari-Lise Alexander — “The Find” (Detail)
Kari-Lise Alexander — “The Find” (Detail)

Kari-Lise Alexander [Left] “Summer Dream” 10″x10″, Oil on Panel [Right] “Alone Amongst the Irises” in the studio
Kari-Lise Alexander — [Left] “Summer Dream” 10″x10″, Oil on Panel [Right] “Alone Amongst the Irises” in the studio
There are a few more pieces in this set that I’m not previewing here. To see them you’ll need to subscribe to Kari-Lise’s newsletter or come to the show. A collector’s preview is coming later this week, it’s easy to sign up: click here to subscribe.


🎬 Overlooked Details

If you haven’t taken the time, make sure to watch the short documentary about Kari-Lise’s work: Overlooked Details, An Artist’s Journey, directed, edited, and filmed by Scott R. Wilson. (It partially documents her work on Inflorescence.) It’s fifteen minutes long and very much worth your time. It’s a raw, heartfelt, and vulnerable glimpse into her journey. I’ve embedded it below, and I recommend watching it full screen. You can view the full credits here.


🖼 Previous Work

Interested in seeing Kari-Lise’s previous shows? I’ve written about them before, and I’d encourage you to check them out, there is some excellent work, but it’s also amazing to document her growth as an artist:


See you Saturday, Portland!

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Kari-Lise Alexander's WAKE

WAKE [Update]

As I posted previously, I spent the weekend in Los Angeles, California for the launch of Kari-Lise’s latest body of work, WAKE. While I’ll have more to share about the trip in the future, I wanted to write a quick update letting everyone know that the whole show is now available to view online! Just click below and check it out. It’s incredible.


View WAKE at Thinkspace Gallery ↦


This was Kari-Lise’s first show in the L.A. market, and it was great to see so much support. The crew at the gallery were wonderful. The show looks amazing in the space. I was telling a friend this morning that it was nice to see the pieces hanging on a proper wall. A few fans even made treks from San Francisco and San Deigo to check out the show! Our trip was a blast and it was a whirlwind of a weekend.

Opening Night at Thinkspace Gallery
Opening night at Thinkspace Gallery

If you’re in LA, go check it out. The show will be on display until April 22nd. You can also read more about WAKE and Kari-Lise’s work at any of the links below: