WHAT DO These Art Terms Mean:

Archival pages last a long time with everyday use



Archival Paper is buffered and ph neutral to prevent it from yellowing and disintegrating.




Bristol Board
This is museum quality paper.  It is fine grained and smooth consisting of 100% rag paper used for original drawings and paintings.  This paper does not yellow nor disintegrate over centuries.

French-fold dust jacket is sturdy

French-fold dust jacket is sturdy paper


Cloth Book Cover is a heavy, cream white fabric.

Embossed Book Cover has the Black Swan Editions logo.

French-Fold Dust Jacket
This is a dust jacket of heavier gauge paper with an extra fold at the top and bottom to reinforce for durability.


Giclee Print
It is an archival print on museum grade paper with pigmented inks. (Steven E. Counsell signs all his art prints.)

Graphite pencils and lead on artists table

Graphite pencils and lead on artists table



Graphite means a fine quality pencil lead.





Museum Grade Paper
Museum grade paper is 100% rag and has a shelf life exceeding 100 years.

Offset Print
An image printed on polished white paper. (Steven E. Counsell signs all his art prints.)

Pigmented Inks
Inks that are stable and non-fading.

Smyth sewn binding is stitched to a flexible fabric in the book spine

Smyth sewn binding is stitched to a flexible fabric in the book spine

Signature Bound with Thread
A signature is series of paper sheets that are twice the size of the book and folded in half, these folded pages are hand-sewn together with thread.  There is no determination as to how many pages constitute a signature but the fewer the pages within each, generally the stronger the signature.  ILLUMINATIONS has 4 folded paper sheets, or 8 pages, within each hand-sewn signature. The signatures are then stacked and the backs are sewn together.  This stack of signatures is then glued to a reinforcing fabric which floats between the back boards which are clued to the hard cover.  Because the signatures can float, the book can be laid open flat and the pages cannot fall out as in a glued book. Therefore, if handled carefully these books can, and have, lasted for centuries.  Ancient books often need new covers before the signatures ever fall apart.


EQUIPOISE, pen & ink drawing detail of stipple drawing technique

EQUIPOISE, pen & ink drawing detail of stipple drawing technique


Stipple Technique
This technique was invented in about 1510 and became popular as a means of producing shaded line art for publication in simple black ink.





Trompe l'oeil
This literally means “fool the eye” by creating a hyper realistic, three-dimensional painting or drawing.  This technique can produce images that look as real as a photograph.  Steve uses this technique to make the impossible seem possible.  What the poet Coleridge called “a willing suspension of disbelief.”

Varnished Print
Varnishing an art print brings up the color brightness, contrast, and depth of the image.

Watercolor Paper
Steve uses Arches Brand 100% rag paper with texture.  This paper does not yellow nor disintegrate over centuries.    

TOYS No. 2, drawing by Steven E. Counsell

What is Visionary Art?

First and foremost it is Vision, to pay full attention to any object or visual relationship – to stop generalizing sight.  To see the universal through the particular is to see in a Visionary way.  When we see the face of our beloved in all its breathtaking and heartbreaking precision, and know with biblical certainty the absurdly obvious truth, that this luminous being will never exist in quite the same way in the universe again – we are in the realm of the Visionary.  Any work of Art that honors the particularity of even a single grain of sand knows that everything is eminent and sips at the fountain of eternity.

INSIDE/OUT, drawing by Steven E. Counsell


The age of the machine has made us generalists, abstractionists, fully phallocentric right down to our toenails – machines fitted us with hard angles, speed, and the reduction of spirit to binary numbers.




APPROACHING THE HALLS OF THE BLESSED, painting detail by Steven E. Counsell


But the visionary gene is in rhythms.  The eternal feminine plays in the tides, the play of the seasons salt our oh-so-perishable flesh.  Our machines play us like an angler plays a fish.  But real play is in the drama of full presence.  To see beyond our stolen birthright back to the eagle that lives behind our eyes


STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO, painting by Steven E. Counsell

Subatomic particles fly through us without resistance.  We careen through space on this blue-green world at absurd speed, without resistance.  Our vision is boundless without resistance.  How can we resist a world that gives us infinite forms?  What is Visionary Art, open your eyes and as the poet Blake advised, "...see the world newly minted."





EGGS, graphite drawing

What is Myth?

In its simplest construction myth, is merely the stories culture tells about itself, or we tell in recalling our own memories.  Just because we call it realism doesn't alter its status as myth.  The Trojan War happened three thousand years ago, what we have is the Iliad.   Our childhood happened about as long ago, and what we remember will be a fragment, no more complete than the Iliad, in short – myth.

PERCHANCE TO DREAM, painting detail

History, archeology, biography are all the crumbs from a full meal. If we had access to the whole (sic) truth — myth would vanish — and so, in all probability would art.

TREE, graphite drawing detail


Fairies, Ogres, Trolls, Stalin, Plato, Us. We are not fabrications or lies or even artful dissembling but merely the inexhaustible realm of story — myth. Imagination fills the gaping holes that memory and time erase. So really, it’s how good an artist you are that’s crucial. And remember myth evolves, say from Cowboys and Indians, all the way to Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee.

SELF PORTRAIT AS A TREE, painting detail

I choose to dispense with the rationalizations that make truth and fiction kingdoms separated by an abyss, and instead embrace my mythic inheritance, in all likelihood the very thing that makes me fully human. The problem then, as I see it, is not myth but what kind we allow into our life. Are they life enhancing and joyous or cruel and murderous? We are after all the metaphor of our own life. What are the stories we will tell about ourselves? The leap of faith we make into our own mythology will determine the poetry, sovereignty, and beauty of our existence.





THE ORDINARY DIVINE, painting detail

What is Surrealism?

Simply put, Surreal literally means – beyond Realism.  What a wealth of perception, history and possibility live in that, simply.  Simply it is the final flowering of the Romantic Movement.  Recall – Romanticism is feeling and thought unified through imagination.  And what a turn imagination took!







What is Magical Realism?

(Still in Composition)