2020 so far

Greetings from the studio, folks!


I hope that this finds everyone well. Quite an interesting year so far, for all of us… Here are a few art updates and some recent developments.

WitW 1

Over the summer I’ve completed all the illustrations for the new limited edition of Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows.  This was a commission from my friends at Mad Parrot Press. 12 full page images and 8 vignettes will appear in the book that is now in production stages. The edition is set to be released by the end of the year. More information about this project and book order info can be found here.

02 SWTWC comb

A new edition of Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes is also in the production stages. The book will include 6 of my illustrations and will be released by Centipede Press. This should be an excellent edition with a foreword by none other then Neil Gaiman. Besides my illustrations, it will also feature artwork by David Ho and Matt Mahurin.

On to my own limited edition book project, Lewis Carroll’s Haddocks’ Eyes

Haddocks linoHaddocks letterpress04 Haddocks

The work is going full speed ahead. All the lino plates are carved, type is set (for the most part) and the printing is underway. I’ve been using my studio to print the ghost (sepia) images and Reflex Letterpress in Charlestown, MA for the black ink plates and type. Still considering several binding options and looking to get everything wrapped up by early next year. The book will be in edition of 32. Please drop me a line if you’d like to find out more about this project or are interested in reserving a copy of the book.

06 Chayanov retouched

In other developments, I have resumed the work based on the short stories by Aleksandr Chayanov. This is a very fluid project with no specific deadline, so I’ve been creating images over several years now, whenever time permits. Those are charcoal drawings, that will eventually be collected in a single publication.

Book Fair

2020 has not been so great in terms of in-person print fairs and exhibits, but there are several upcoming events that I am really excited about. Next week, I’ll be a Visiting Artist at the Kansas City Art Institute. They have invited me for a full day event where I will be presenting my work, do a virtual studio tour, demos and student crits. KCAI is my alma mater. It’s been 20 years since I graduated with a BA degree in Illustration and Graphic Design. So, being invited to present to the new generation of students is quite exciting on many levels!

In November/December, I am taking part in another virtual event – the Los Angeles Printer’s Fair. Looking forward to exhibiting alongside some amazing artists and print makers. This event will take place over two months, so there is plenty of time to check out all the work.

There are also a bunch of other creative projects that are in the works. I am on sabbatical leave this semester, so quite a few new prints and drawings are being conceived and created. I’ll be posting about this separately, once things will start to take shape. Also in the plans is to finally update the portfolio site and the shop. I’ve neglected those for a while.

More to come soon!

Take care and stay safe,


Illustrations for Alexandr Chayanov’s Stories, part 1

Some time ago, my mentor Mihail Chemiakin presented me with a book – a collection of short stories by Alexandr Chayanov. Chemiakin suggested that I should have a go at illustrating some of the writing.

Mirror FINAL print

As I started reading, the stories blew me away by their dark and whimsical narratives, the nature of the characters, the picturesque descriptions of early 20th century Moscow, its surroundings… A man falls in love with a doll depicting two conjoined twins and sets on a journey through Europe to find them, another man buys a mirror in an old Venetian shop and becomes a prisoner of his own reflection. Some of the other characters include ghosts, mermaids, circus performers and mannequins. The narratives are filled with mysticism and grotesque.

Doodling FINAL print

The stories were first published in the 1920’s in Russia and became quite a sensation. In her memoir, Mikhail Bulgakov’s wife, Elena Belazerskaya mentions that Chayanov’s stories had a huge influence on Bulgakhov and eventually influenced his masterpiece “Master and Margarita”.

faces FINAL2 print

However Chayanov never became a household name. His books were never translated into any other language. Chayanov’s fate is as mysterious as his stories. His main profession was an agrarian economist, he was a scholar of rural sociology and an advocate of agrarianism and cooperatives. In 1930 he was arrested by the Soviet officials and his books became banned. In 1937 he was arrested again, tried and shot to death on the same day. His writing did not resurface until the late 80’s, and even then they were published abroad.

Old man FINAL2 print

Creating visuals for those superb stories created a true challenge. I knew that I didn’t want to use the linocut technique that I’ve used illustrating Meyrink, Gogol and Poe. There was a softer tone; dark, melancholic and at the same time whimsical and sometimes even humorous. There were some hints of Art Nouveau, something from the Impessionists with a bit of Goya and Jacques Callot.

Dancing FINAL print

Leaving the carving tools behind and getting out of my comfort zone, I’ve started doing charcoal drawings, constantly looking at a lot of turn of the 20th century photography. The atmosphere in those photos helped me understand Chayanov’s environment.

floating new FINAL print

At this point I’ve done 6 illustrations that were drawn, collaged and then digitally manipulated. Still a work in progress with many more to come. Stay tuned!