Progress on Fantasy Cover

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Hi guys! Thought you might enjoy a progress pic of my cover for the fantasy novel I’m working on. When the cover is complete, she’ll be clothed. Right now I want to focus on light, and capturing the eerie glow. I am LOVING my Painter!

My horror collection received its first review, five stars! Take a look, if you want to be scared! 😉


Red Sonja takes form!

This is a WIP I’m creating with Corel Painter. I’m about halfway finished and I thought you guys might enjoy having a look!

WIP, Kathy Ferrell 2015

WIP, Kathy Ferrell 2015


Here’s my illustration for Fox McGeever’s story of the same title, appearing in Vol. 8, issue 3 of “Tales of the Talisman”. I created both a digital and traditional piece for this story, and this one, done in black and white inks on grey paper was selected. You can click the pic to order!

All That Glitters

I’ve been putting this off and putting it off. You know how it is, the New Year rolls around and we are filled once more with foolish optimism. Pardon me while I plunge in once more…

Ask any Eastern-leaning philosopher and they’ll tell you. Clinging to some inner hurt, rolling it around in your gut, produces more ulcers than pearls. The advice is the same, always. Let go. Practice detachment. Release.

I cannot ignore my blog any longer. But my followers deserve to know why I’ve been hiding. There’s an elephant in the room of my psyche, and it’s been hindering me long enough. When I deal with it, right now, I’ll have a clean space once more, and will be able to fill it up with good, healthy things.

I’ve said very little about the incident with my mother that happened last summer. It’s not something that decent people talk about. To spit it out, her mental state resulted in someone’s death. And I was not surprised. And I’ve been living with that. And it’s awful. I tried to gloss it over,  posting occasionally little snippets about a drawing class I took, with delicate mentions of cleaning her apartment mortised between perky phrases. If one had tried to read between the lines, I don’t think they’d have got much.

But in truth, my summer and fall became simply the ultimate wreck of a train that had been highballing toward me for years. My winter was a hibernation to recuperate. I climbed out of the scorched, mangled havoc and I’ve been writing like something possessed. To paraphrase Charles Bukowski, it doesn’t matter how awful life is, MAKE GOOD ART. So I’ve been reading and writing and painting and I don’t think my time has been wasted.

She is now in the care of the state. Where she should have been decades ago. What do you do when you know things are going to end very badly? When you try to warn people, and they just laugh? She was “so charming and fun” and I was just one of those weird, dark, moody kids with my nose in a book all the time.

She went through people like tissues, using them up and tossing them down. She giggled like a child at the gifts she was given, and I watched people line up to give them to her. In return, she gave heartache and mockery. She loved nothing better than a sucker.

A rumor once circulated that she had been killed in a car wreck, and my father had to watch two grown men, strangers, burst into tears at the thought of it. She glimmered one way when men were around and she sparkled another when she dealt with women. She had the best “dumb” act I’ve ever seen. I was nearly thirty years old before I realized she was the most cunning person I’ve ever known. When there was only me around, she was another way. She scared the living hell out of me every day for years. I tried to warn people. But people only laughed.

Even hospitalized this summer, all of the staff seemed to feel that it was helpful to constantly tell me how pretty she was, how she didn’t look her age, how she must have been a great beauty, and, frankly, most disturbing of all, in light of what she’d done, what a “cute” personality she had.

There must be a reason for all of this.

A very good friend once told me years ago that I am the sort of person that is not satisfied with pain simply stopping. I have to know WHY the pain stopped. Since he said that, I’ve found a way to channel that need into something that I think is healthier than three am phone calls to friends.

I’ve decided that the reason I knew that woman is so I’ll have something to write about. So I’ll have a reason to paint. So I’ll have a reason to clean the crud from the rubber seal on the refrigerator. But she wasn’t put in my life to make me weak.

Thanks for reading. Decide with me not to waste a nice, clean slate of a New Year.

Words and images (unless otherwise stated) are © Kathy Ferrell 2013.

Fantasy Art Genius Guide is Here!

Just wanted to make a quick announcement! Imagine Publishing’s ultra-cool book “Genius Guide to Fantasy Art” has flapped its leathery wings and made it across the pond! It is now available in the U.S. at your local bookstore, or you can get your copy online from several markets.

My tutorial “The Golden Rules of Comic Art” is on pages 134-137, and my line art is included on the accompanying disc. Get yours today, as they are burning up the shelves! 😉


I’m Not Uptight, I’m Radioactive…

I actually made it to the drawing class last night! It’s been far too long since I’ve been able to work in a big open studio space with real models. The class was very small, I think I only counted five artists (including yours truly) and the instructor. Last night we had one model for three hours and he was very good. Models just aren’t appreciated enough…it’s harder than it looks. 🙂


I did about ten drawings…the first several were…well…dreadful, I think, would be the right word. It’s funny how we are so rarely satisfied with our own way of doing things. After a while, the artists began walking around checking out the work of others, and I noticed my work is certainly different from all the other sketches in the studio. I admit, I find myself feeling a bit weird about the great freedom I saw expressed by others. I think I’ve figured out the cause of the weirdness. Here’s my theory…

My mother never understood art at all. My dad appreciated it, and encouraged me. God bless him, he liberated a lot of office supplies from his job when I was a kid, and in an odd way, the C&O Railroad was my first, albeit unknowing, benefactor. I learned to draw on the company stationery, with pencils that were plainly stamped with railroad safety slogans. The problem began once I realized that it was time for me to branch out and learn to use watercolors, oils, pastels…all the things that a growing artist would take a normal interest in.

Mom was just frankly afraid of anything she didn’t understand, and sadly for me…she didn’t understand much. And if she feared it, that meant it wasn’t going to be in her house. This greatly limited the sorts of things I was allowed to have. Popular toys such as Lite-Brite, Easy-Bake Oven, the Operation board game, and anything else that had a battery or, God forbid, a 5-watt light-bulb, were either chock-full of radioactivity or were government listening devices, depending on the day of the week. Anything at all that was a particular shade of bright yellow-green was radioactive. And if a toy was titled “Day-Glo”? Well, Katie, bar the door. There’s all the proof you need that it’s some sort of plot. Barbie, however, remained innocent of any wrong-doing, and I could have all the dolls I wanted. Didn’t really want any, but by golly, I was welcome to’em.

What I DID want…was paint. As a teen, I started sneaking paints and brushes and the like into the house. That was my rebellion. Art supplies. It was as difficult and stressful to paint in my house at age fifteen as it was for my schoolmates to sneak a beer or cigarette. I discovered punk music and began to snarl quite a bit. Safety pins appeared. I began to openly wash sable brushes in the kitchen sink. I began to pour jars of watercolor rinse water down the drain right in front of her. I was that much of a badass. She would scream for hours that it was going to destroy the household plumbing.

So…there’s the reason I didn’t get to use oils until I had a place of my own. There’s the reason I evolved into the kind of artist that is most comfortable working…very small. Because I grew up hiding it. There’s the reason I have a lot of difficulty working large. Even the grocery market pencils and paper I cajoled out of her were so precious and expensive that they MUST NOT EVER be wasted because if I wasted them by making loose, relaxed, free looking lines, (“just scribbling”), well, I certainly wasn’t going to get any more, because I didn’t take care of them the first time. If you’re ever curious about how to create a three-year-old neurotic with OCD, insisting that they never scribble is a great place to start. In grade school, I could not bear to share my crayons, because the clumsy  little twerps would blunt the points. Why could they not color with them the proper way? Wasn’t it obvious that if you consistently rotated the crayon as you worked, you would maintain a fine point? Could they not see that?? Kids learned quickly that if they “accidentally” broke one of my crayons, they would be treated to watching me have what amounted to a complete emotional break-down.


























So that’s the gist of my theory about why I feel an odd sense of dissatisfaction sometimes when I compare my sketches to the much more open and free work of so many others. I am envious of their drips and blobs and splotches. A little jealous of the spatters on the floor around them. They are not concerned at all, it seems, with who’s going to have to clean up that mess. Because for them…it doesn’t matter. They are Artists, with a capital “A”, and the work they do is important. Every stroke is about emotion, personal expression. While my own work seems to so often express an illustration of another’s idea. It isn’t often that I make a mark that I feel is visceral. On the occasions that I do, it produces my highest feeling of satisfaction as an artist. Hopefully, this class will help me make a breakthrough toward something more powerful, if I do the work.

Thanks for reading, looking at my work and supporting me. Find a kid and paint with them. Let it drip on the floor. One day they’ll thank you.