Category Archives: Art

The Midsommar Dream

The Midsommar Dream

My friend Redd Walitzki is a wonderfully talented artist who blends watercolor, oil painting, and mixed media on laser-cut panel to create detailed and incredibly vibrant works of art. On September 22nd she launched her latest solo show, The Midsommar Dream at Haven Gallery, in New York. It’s stunning and worth checking out.

I’ve long been a fan of Redd’s work, but this series, in particular, stands out. There is something personal at play in each piece, but that intimate disclosure interlocks with a compelling narrative. The series is more than just magical creatures dancing through a lush dreamscape, Midsommar serves as a treatise on reality itself and the dreams that push at its boundaries.

I’ve included a few of my favorites below. Click on any of them to view larger. Be sure to head on over to Haven Gallery’s website where you can see the whole show.

The Midsommar Dream runs through October 27th, so if you’re in the New York area (particularly Long Island), then I highly recommend visiting. Redd’s use of vibrant color is beautiful on screen but it strongest in person. Be sure to contact the gallery with inquiries about any particular piece.

You can see more of Redd’s past work at her website. Also be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and make sure you subscribe to her newsletter.

Visual Inspiration: Filip Dujardin

Visual Inspiration: Filip Dujardin

Often when I share an artist that’s been inspiring to me, it’s usually someone who works as a concept artist. Today’s entry will be a bit of a departure from that. Filip Dujardin is a Belgian photographer who manipulates photos of architecture and cityscapes to create beautiful photomontage works that question the notion of architected spaces.

“I want to play at being an architect. All my creations leave the impression that they could have been built, it’s just that you’ve never seen them.”

—Filip Dujardin

In many ways, I think of my own work—and Lovat in particular—as a love letter to cities. Even if it’s just tangentially. There’s something fascinating about the constructed spaces and interactions that happen within. I love the optimistic concept of the city and the unpleasant realities that dwell in the shadow of that idealism. I find those juxtapositions beautiful. Many of those same themes are present in Dujardin’s work, in particular, his Fictions series. The interplay of form and function both natural and unnatural are warped and distorted, and it gives me pause as a viewer. I’m forced to reflect on the nature of urban environments and our interplay with them as occupants—what they mean, what they remove, how they shape us, and how they distort our experiences and change our perceptions.

I’ve selected some of my favorites below. Click to view them larger.

This is just a tiny sample of Filip Dujardin extensive body of work. You can see much more in his book Fictions and over on his website. (Be sure to check out his Guimaraes series.) If you’re looking to purchase any of his pieces, many are available online at

If you like Filip Dujardin’s work be sure to check out some of the other artists who I’ve found inspiring in the past. While there’s certainly a theme to the art that inspires me, you’ll find lots of different styles, tones, and moods.

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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: 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.

💀 🎨 💀

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: