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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

The Scarlet Soul: Stories for Dorian Gray

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With the running out of the year it’s time to start posting some of the things I’ve been working on for the past few months. This year has been an incredibly busy one with little breathing space between projects. Last month I mentioned not having enough time to put together a decent mix for Halloween; I also haven’t had enough time to prepare a calendar for next year. The latter isn’t a great loss since last year’s effort was a particularly bad seller but I still like doing them when I have the opportunity.

Before I get to one of the big illustration projects, here’s a cover I put together last month for Dublin’s Swan River Press. The theme should be self-evident, and this marks my second entry into Dorian Gray territory. It’s also the second thing that I’ve worked on this year with a connection to Mark Valentine (see this post for details of the first). Swan River publish a range of elegant hardback editions so I’m looking forward to seeing this one in print. As to the artwork, the frame is adapted from a 1900 calendar design by one Oscar Ziemann which I found in an issue of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration. There’s next to nothing about Herr Ziemann on the web so his design may have been a one-off. The poppies are my own replacement for Ziemann’s floral designs; they relate to the hints that Oscar Wilde gives to Dorian Gray’s opium indulgence, and they’re scarlet flowers, of course.

The Scarlet Soul will be published next month but it’s available for pre-order here. My next work for Swan River Press will be a major edition of William Hope Hodgson’s weird masterwork, The House on the Borderland. More about that later.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Picturing Dorian Gray

 


 

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