Presenting the latest Coulthart calendar. Last year’s Lovecraft-themed collection was well-received (and is on sale again this year) so I thought I’d try a similar accumulation of horror imagery. Much of the artwork this time is from my intensive painting period circa 1996–1998, and includes one piece—the red painting below—that hasn’t been made public before. Further traces of Lovecraft may be found in the tentacles of the Lord Horror canvas—HPL by way of Frank Frazetta—and the two panels of the Red Night Rites diptych. The latter was a large picture of Reverbstorm-level grotesquery done as a wraparound cover for The Unspeakable Oath, a Lovecraftian gaming journal. While working on it I had William Burroughs in mind as much as Lovecraft, and Burroughs happened to die while work was still in progress so the picture is dedicated to him. Also Lovecraftian is In Spaces Between, one of the pages from my Kabbalistic collaboration with Alan Moore, The Great Old Ones. Howl from Beyond is a title that some people may recognise from Magic: The Gathering. I painted over 20 pictures for the card game but most of them were done in haste, and not to my satisfaction. Howl from Beyond is one of the few I felt worked as intended.
As before, this calendar is available at Zazzle, and comes with black pages and a minimal layout for the dates. Larger images of the artwork may be seen here. I said last year that I’d move some of the other calendar designs to Zazzle (CafePress having discontinued the vertical format I’d been using for years) but I still haven’t done this. One day… And speaking of nightmares, earlier this year I was designing the interiors for another excellent collection of horror stories edited by Ellen Datlow which happens to bear this title. When I get some of that elusive spare time I’ll add the book to the website.
January: Steps of Descent (digital, 2008).
February: Untitled (acrylics on board, 1997).
March: Waltzes and Whispers (acrylics on board, 1998).
Continue reading “Nightmares calendar”
It may have been delayed by a week but the Coulthart calendar for 2016 arrives earlier in the year than some of its predecessors. A few months ago I had no idea what I was going to do for a calendar this year; I had a lot of work in progress, and more scheduled for the autumn, so creating all-new artwork wasn’t the best idea. Then on the plane back from Providence I thought, “Oh, yeah…Lovecraft…” So here’s a selection of Lovecraftian artwork old and new. The most recent pieces are from the front and back cover of the NecronomiCon convention booklet; among the older works there are two paintings which weren’t intended to be illustrative of The Weird but can be if you give them suitable labels, hence The Yellow King for February (see the pages at larger size here). The capitals on the cover are from the wonderful collaged set designed by Roman Cieslewicz, and which can be found in Dover’s Bizarre and Ornamental Alphabets.
I’ve mentioned the problem caused by CafePress cancelling the line of portrait-oriented calendar templates that I’d been using for several years. The calendar templates at Zazzle didn’t quite match the old CafePress ones but with some fine-tuning of the options I’ve got as close as I could. There’s a slight disadvantage in the way the dates are overlaid on the artwork but then the artwork is already pierced by a hole at the top so this seems negligible. Zazzle’s template improves on CafePress by offering a range of coloured pages and coloured wire-binding so I’ve gone for a none-more-black interior. Zazzle also lets you design a back cover which means this is the first calendar where I’ve been able to provide credits and dates for all the pictures. Buyers also have the option of choosing their own regional holidays; CafePress is resolutely US-centric with all its products. The purchase page is here.
For the moment all the previous calendars, including the popular Psychedelic Alice ones, are unavailable although I’ll be moving them to Zazzle when I have a spare moment. Watch this space.
Continue reading “Lovecraftiana calendar”
Last weekend I was preparing to upload a set of new calendar pages to CafePress when I discovered that the wall calendar option I’ve been using there for years is no longer available. In place of the portrait calendar with square artwork pages there’s now a landscape-oriented calendar with artwork pages that are wider than they are tall. This is fine for people wanting to print their photos but it’s useless to anyone whose work is predominantly portrait-oriented. The square page was never ideal but with a little adjustment I could usually tailor a few things to fit the ratio; I also produced the two Alice in Wonderland calendars (above) especially for the square pages.
So that was the end of that. Suggestions from Twitter sent me to Zazzle where I’d forgotten I already had an account, required some years ago when I had to complain to the company about someone selling products featuring my artwork. Zazzle have a better range of calendars but none have square artwork pages. Zazzle does, however, offer more options for page layout than CafePress so after some playing around I’ve found a compromise which allows for square artwork to fit the portrait page (half of which is filled with the days of the month) with some slight overlap from the dates grid. This will be made more apparent when I’ve uploaded everything at the weekend. I may do the same with the older calendars but it’s a lot of work uploading these things, and at the moment I have more important things to do. One consequence of all this turmoil is that if you’ve ever bought one of my CafePress calendars you now have something of a collector’s item since these things are unlikely to be seen again in that form.
Breaks the ice at eldritch parties.
So having set out a stall at Zazzle I can now start selling other things there, something I’m looking forward to since they have a different range of products, and the back-end is a lot better than CafePress. I’ve stuck with the latter since 2001 but their site has always been awkward to use, with things malfunctioning or not working at all. Earlier this year I tried putting playing cards on sale featuring one of my Cthulhu designs; this seemed to work at first, unlike attempts to make similar cards using other artwork, then the shop page vanished for some reason. As a test I’ve done the same thing at Zazzle with immediate success. Expect more announcements along these lines in the near future.