Saturday, October 10, 2009

Artist feature: Timothy Renner

Above: "The Benefactor"

The featured artist today, Timothy Renner, also happens to be one of my best friends, for the past 10+ years, and I'm featuring his artwork because it -- along with his music -- is what brought us together in friendship and creative partnership. The image you see above is the cover art for the new vinyl LP being released by our band, Stone Breath, this fall -- "The Shepherdess and the Bone White Bird." As mentioned on the label Web site, The LP will come with a lyric booklet containing psychedelic illuminations for each song by Timothy. Many know him for his black and white, pen and ink illustrations, but he has added bright bursts of hypnotic color to his detailed, visionary artwork for this project.

Natural imagery of skulls erupting from dark blossoms, or blazing within a storm of rainbow fire; sacred images of the Shepherdess, amidst falling leaves or globes of light, are among the inspired pieces in this series.

The quiet, intricate world of his art drew me in before I even heard the music, back in the mid-1990s. Trees, leaves, hands, eyes, sheets of paper fluttering in the wind; the moon, rabbits, moths and birds - infused with what was obviously a complex personal mythology drawing on many sources in religion, art and literature, rooted in a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. Like his music, it had a personal quality that affected me immediately and I felt as though I was finally picking up the strands of a conversation begun centuries before. It affected me enough that I reached out to contact the artist as soon as I gathered the nerve, and we've been working together ever since on musical projects -- Stone Breath, The Spectral Light and Moonshine Firefly Snakeoil Jamboree, Breathe Stone, Crow Tongue and others in between, with many other talented musicians. (I don't count myself among the talented, musically, but they let me sing with them anyway!)

"The Vision of the Face in the Well"

Some of the original artwork used in the booklet for this CD is available for sale at the label Web site, Dark Holler Arts, on this page. The original cover artwork is still available, as are several other pieces -- each comes along with a copy of the LP and some other goodies as well. And, of course, the LP itself is available for $20 and includes a cd-r of all of the tracks -- the link for that purchase is at the very bottom of the page I linked to above.

To see the full catalog of titles available in the music catalog, visit the main page.

"The Shepherdess of the Fiery Wheels"

Illuminated letter from lyrics booklet, letter "I"

To hear music from the new album, or from some of the older releases, please visit the Myspace page at

There is also a newly launched fan page for the band over at Facebook.

I can't really do justice to my friend's work in a single blog post so I hope to share more of his pen and ink work later this year. Please visit the sites, take a listen and enjoy!

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