Richard A. Kirk

"there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Sir Frances Bacon, "Of Beauty, Essays" 1625

Forbidden by the Deep


Forbidden by the Deep
ink on paper
10″ x 10″
© Richard A. Kirk 2014

I’m ending the week with this new ink drawing called Forbidden by the Deep. I took the title from a quote by Leonardo da Vinci that I came across in Ian Leslie’s wonderful book Curious.

“I came to the entrance of a great cavern, in front of which I stood for some time, astonished and unaware of such a thing. Bending my back into an arch I rested my left hand on my knee and held my right hand over my downcast and contracted eyebrows: often bending first one way and then the other; to see whether I could discover anything inside, and this being forbidden by the deep blackness within, and after having remained there for some time, two contrary emotions arose in me, fear and desire – fear of the threatening dark cavern, desire to see whether there were any marvellous thing within it.”

I know for me, as an artist, this nicely describes the feeling I have while creating images – fear and desire. I’m hesitant to draw universal conclusions but I imagine that this is the experience of most artists.

Details of the piece below for those who enjoy a closer look.

- Richard




The Curious Voyage


This is a picture of my drawing table this afternoon. It’s a cloudy day, hence the bluish light. You are seeing the early stages of a new drawing that doesn’t even have a title yet, though I am leaning toward “The Curious Voyage” The working title will make more sense when the last major element is dropped in. So far I have penciled the composition and gone over everything with a dip pen and ink. I am preferring the nibs to technical pens at the moment because of the line strength and the variation you can get from adding pressure. The next step will  be shading with diluted inks and brush. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this early peek.

I am happy to report that PS Publishing in the UK will be re-issuing several Caitlin R. Kiernan titles Tales of Pain and Wonder; To Charles Fort, With Love; A is for Alien; and The Ammonite Violin and Others. Some of the illustrations I created for Caitlin’s books will be used for these re-issues. For fun, here is one of my favorites, although I have no idea if it will be picked.


Interior illustration from “Tales of Pain and Wonder” by Caitlin R. Kiernan, for the story “Tears Seven Times Salt”
© Richard A. Kirk

A book I am really enjoying at the moment is Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (thanks Elizabeth!) This morning I came across this sentence. “Open your eyes, concludes the man, and see what you can with them before they close forever.” Haunting, beautiful words.

- Richard.




© Richard A. Kirk, 2014


© Richard A. Kirk, 2014

This fall I will have new artwork in a very special group show (I’ll talk more about the show later, once it has been properly announced). I’m planning two pieces for this show. To that end, I started a sketchbook dedicated to all of my ideas for these pieces. I find that it’s helpful to have one place for the drawings, so that I can refer to it easily as I work. Not everything will get used of course, but those ideas that don’t get used will seed other drawings down the road. Most will be graphite or pen and ink. I’ve posted a couple of the drawings from the book here so that you can see what I mean. I’m really excited with these new images.

Those of you who follow my work will already know that I have art in TOME 2: Melancholia, the second book from publisher 44Flood. My section of the book also features an interview where Clive Barker interviewed me about my work (I know, right?). 44Flood recently provided an update about the book.

- Richard.




Centipede Demon


Centipede Demon
11″ x 9″
Ink and digital colour

I just finished coloring this drawing. The actual ink was done earlier in the year. Over the last few days I’ve been focused on digital coloring.  My motivation for stepping outside of my usual analog mode of working (painting and drawing) came from looking at the works of some other artists: Moebius, Mignola and Tomine. What attracted me was the use of flat color. For that reason I set myself a single guideline, which was to severely limit any 3D modeling. The “feel” is certainly different from what I am used to but I can see a lot of intriguing possibilities.

In other news, the of Beauties and Beasts exhibition is still on at Clement Art in Troy, New York. My piece Pins is in the show along with brilliant collection of works by other artists. Gallery owner and artist, Jon Gernon, has posted photographs from the show. Of Beauties and Beasts continues for another seven weeks.

For those that might be interested, I have opened a Behance account. Behance is Adobe’s portfolio site.

I have continued to add to my new photo blog Nocturnalogic. I started this photo blog a couple of weeks ago as a way to celebrate nature and biodiversity at the micro level. Armed with my Canon Rebel and macro lens I venture into my back garden (for the most part) and photograph whatever I happen to come across. I try to post to the blog every couple of days.

Circumstance this year were not favorable for me to attend FanExpo in Toronto, but I am already making plans for next year. We have some good ideas for our table merch. I’ll keep you posted!

Finally, I hope to have some news about some book projects coming up in the near future, so stay tuned.

- Richard.

Tin Man


Tin Man
14″ x 10″
Ink and Digital


Tin Man
ink drawing



I’ve started a blog to display some photographic odds and ends. I’ve called it Nocturnalogic.

Torpor Vigil Records T-shirts


Torpor Vigil Industries has just released new T-shirt designs featuring artwork by me (above), Steve Venright and Kerry Zentner. Please check out them out on the TVI site. While you are there, why not pick up a copy of the Dreaming Like Mad with Dion McGregor CD. The CD, which was recently mentioned in Wired, features the cover art of Kerry Zentner.


© Torpor Vigil Industries

The Invisible World Framed


Johnny Milian, a collector of my work, was kind enough to send me this picture of “The Invisible World” nicely framed. It is so great to see a piece framed in its new home. Thanks Johnny!

“Of Beauties and Beasts” Press

Here some press links for the “Of Beauties and Beasts” show at Clement Art opening this month.

Fine Art Connoisseur

Wall Street International

Troy Record

- Richard

New Selections in my Etsy Shop

Earlier this week I posted 17 smaller original pieces in my Etsy store. There are some book illustrations and personal pieces.

- Richard.


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