I had the honor of participating as a vendor and gallery artist during the 2017 NecronomiCon and Ars Necronomica. Although I had two pieces on display at the gallery show for the 2013 NecronomiCon, this year would be even more exciting for me because I was actually able to be in attendance. When August had finally arrived, I gathered together my drawings and books and ventured through the rolling hills of New England to the haunted corners and courtyards of Providence, Rhode Island. Upon my arrival during an eldritch and gibbous moon, I methodically set up a web-covered vendor table to display my disturbingly whimsical and grim illustrations. It was also the very first venue that I showcased my new novel called Silvarum. In short, the overall experience was amazing. I had the opportunity to make new friends and reunite with old ones. Most importantly, the NecronomiCon allowed me to be exposed to many other extremely talented artists and writers. Although I have retained many fond memories of the show, there was one in particular that served as the focal point and essence of all that is wonderful about bringing artists together.
There were two original drawings that I had on display at my vendor table. One was a pencil and charcoal drawing called “At the Mountains of Madness” and the other was a large ink illustration entitled “Kadiaphonek.” The latter depicted a massive cityscape, filled with curiously angled streets and avenues. It was also saturated in immense detail. Cobblestone streets, layered roof tiles, and double-paned windows stretched and curved throughout the composition. In contrast to the obscene architecture and intersecting lines, the bizarre inhabitants of this city consisted of flying reptiles, crawling insects, and ridable dinosaurs. The combination of all the intense detail and movement created a type of hazy grayness amidst the crosshatching and shading. Although it is difficult to visualize in the scanned version, in the original drawing there are hints of variations in the ink pens I used. Specifically, there are a few areas where the black ink seems to be slightly reddish or pink. Having spent roughly forty hours drawing the piece and staring at every little detail for days, I was of course aware of the discrepancy. The differences in tones were due to the fact that, because the drawing is so enormous, I had run out of my favorite ink pens on numerous occasions. On one such trip to my neighborhood art store, I discovered to my dismay that they were sold out. I grabbed the next best thing and scrambled back to my drawing table. During the second day of the NecronomiCon, one astute individual called Will pointed out these tone variations and asked me what they were all about. I proceeded to explain to him the fantastic tale that I have just shared with you. The moment that stuck with me was when another person was inspecting the same illustration later that day. Will and his wife strolled by my table once again and proceeded to explain to the other person why there were inconsistences in the black ink. I didn’t utter a single word. I just stood there and grinned and appreciated the fact that a group of complete strangers were discussing a technical issue I had had while creating a drawing years ago. That minor glitch had now manifested itself into a real-life event among people. To me, that is what art is all about.
Bio: Dean Kuhta is an artist and author. His current project is a new novel called Silvarum, an epic tale that follows three teenage siblings as they journey through a fantastic world of monsters and magic.