You’ve entered into a hauntingly beautiful dream world where Gothic marries whimsy. Welcome to T. Rhiannon’s reality.
Rhiannon has been diligently applying her talents for many years professionally. She got her start in the Gothic underground when Leilah Wendell displayed her pen and ink drawings at Westgate Necromantic Gallery, formerly located on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina ceased Westgate’s existence in New Orleans and not only took Rhiannon’s home, but much of her original artworks.
Her hauntingly beautiful and alluring images have also been combined with the exquisitely dark renderings of her long time friend, P. Morgan Ravenstone, now deceased. His angular and bold style coupled with Rhiannon’s sensuously rounded and enticing technique formed a perfect combination. Realizing they shared mutual dreams and goals for their art, they decided to form a business together and created Rose of Blood in October of 1993.
Time and losses have changed so much in her life, but her passion is still present. All that remains now are prints of her work, which are as precious to her as twilight before nightfall. Rhiannon also dabbles in whimsy as well through her creation of small, Waldorf style beaded dolls that evoke the mystical world of the faerie.
Kristof: Tell us something about yourself
Rhiannon : I’ve been an artist since very early childhood. Some of my earliest memories are of spending time in the cemeteries of Wilmington, North Carolina, drawing vampires and waiting for faeries to appear. This was the beginning of my love with the Gothic.
I love the odd, the strange, the dark, the gloomy, the creepy…but I also love shiny, glittery, pretty, cute things, such as cats, beads and flowers with adorable faces. A balance of dark and light!
My favorite materials are beads, glitter, Swarovski crystals, roses, ribbons, buttons, wire, paper, paper clay, watercolors, pen and ink.
Kristof: What led you to be a professional artist as opposed to your art being just something
you love to do?
Rhiannon: I was asked to do cover art for Circle Network news, a Wiccan publication. People began writing to me, asking where they could purchase my art. This was a turning point for me. I then began to submit art to Gothic fanzines and other publications. I realized I could do what I love and become a professional artist. A dream come true.
Kristof: What genre(s) do you work in?
Rhiannon: I adore Gothic, Vampiric, Fantasy, Fairytale, Mystical, Mythical, Faerie and Pagan genres the most.
Kristof: Are there any other artists who you’d consider role models or whose work particularly inspires yours?
Rhiannon: I had the pleasure of meeting a lady named Ulrike Schlobis at a Christmas Crafts Fair many years ago. She was working on a pointillism piece of a girl dancing with a unicorn. I was in awe. Her work was so detailed and flawless. I bought a limited edition print of the drawing, which I still have. She inspired me to perfect my own black and white art and the painstaking process of pointillism. I also am inspired by the work of Dirk Dykstra, another artist who did extensive illustrations for Circle Network News and created the Ravenswood Eastern Tarot, entirely in black and white pen and ink. Joann Powell Colbert is another favorite artist who has done beautiful Pagan inspired art in pointillism and black and white line drawings. And of course Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, who I absolutely love and admire. His drawings in black ink, influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic, always fascinated me. He was a great inspiration early on in my beginning works.
Kristof: How and when did you get to try pointillism and bead working for the first time?
Rhiannon: My very first pointillism drawing was for my high school newspaper. I had written a review of Alice Cooper’s album Welcome to My Nightmare. I did an illustration using the technique to accompany the article. I fell in love with the look of it, and adopted it as my favorite medium after that. Previously I had worked in colored pencil and oil paints. I am personally more drawn to black and white pieces. To me, it is unique and you don’t see it as often as you do color nowadays. It stands out in a crowd and demands to be seen.
When I was a teenager, Love Bead necklaces were the rage. I started by making my own from seed beads I got at Tandy Leather Company. Later on I graduated to the more complex designs you could create on the bead loom. The Native American look of it appealed to me very much. Later I expanded to making jewelry with gemstones and wire. I love experimenting with different techniques. Discovering how to make beaded dolls, I became hooked on creating them in unique, miniature styles.
Kristof: What guides your choices of mediums and styles?
Rhiannon: I have always been attracted to pen and ink, paper and beads. I felt very comfortable in working with those items. I have tried many other mediums, but I did not seem to have a natural affinity with them as I did with the ones I work with now. I just tend to stick with what I love.
Kristoff: There’s a lot of pen and ink as well as handmade jewelry on the market these days. How do you differentiate yours from the rest? What makes your work unique and truly your own?
Rhiannon: I think the energy I put into my work can be seen and felt. There is a lot of love and passion in each piece and my unique style and spin on what I create is in the fine details. It stands out in a crowd. I put a lot of detail in what I do as well.
Kristoff: What is the most challenging part about being a mixed media artist?
Rhiannon: The most challenging part for me is using all the items I have collected and fitting them neatly into the newest creation. It can be a fun adventure, but frustrating to know what to use and how to put it all together in a way that is pleasing to the eye. It takes a lot of thought for me. I am not one to throw things together willy-nilly. Being precise and a perfectionist sometimes is a big hindrance to the process!
Kristof: How do you handle negative criticism, especially when it hurts deep down within your soul?
Rhiannon: I honestly can say I have never experienced any negative feedback, other than once when a commissioned piece did not meet the vision the buyer had. But even in that instance, the person changed her mind and then absolutely adored the piece in the end.
I can say it is very rough when you put your best out there and it is not received well. Especially if it is not your own vision, but you are trying to put the client’s desires out into the world in a tangible form. My “go-to” is to center myself with meditation. That usually brings me back into balance and things settle much better.
Kristof: How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your art?
Rhiannon: That’s always been difficult for me. Ultimately I ask myself what I would be willing to pay for the piece I have created if I were viewing it from the outside. It seems to work well for me. I never did go by calculating time, and expenses of materials so much. It factors in a little bit, but I go more by the “I have to have that!” desire.
Kristof: If you had to pick one favorite of all your work done in (chosen medium) so
far, what would it be, and why?
Rhiannon: In pointillism I would have to say “The Opening of the Third Eye” would be my favorite, because I perfected a few techniques in that piece and also it touched so many people on a very deep and esoteric level. I received more fan mail on that one piece than almost any other thing I have done. It was definitely divinely inspired.
In beading, it was a Snow Queen Faerie Doll Queen and King I created. They both happily live in someone’s private collection now.
Kristof: What’s the coolest art tip you’ve ever received?
Rhiannon: It was a tip from my art teacher, Mr. Celia. He told me to observe everything closely. See the fine details in things others would not notice. It has definitely helped me improve my art and techniques. It was advice I never forgot.
Kristof: Where can people see more of your work?
Rhiannon: Please visit my website here:
For beaded dolls and jewelry: