Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: Mitchell Bentley

Come inside to see the Artwork at Archon 43!

Artwork at Archon 43

All sorts of Images of Interest

did not receive the same license to shoot pictures at the Archon 43 Art Show as my rare opportunity afforded by Peri Charlifu to photograph his artwork at FenCon XVI, But I’d like to highlight three of the artists who are showing artwork at Archon 43, even so.

A sign by the open doorway invites us into the Art Show, to see the artwork at Archon 43.
Setup for the Archon 43 Art Show began Thursday night before the convention.

Mitchell Bentley

Archon 43’s Artist Guest of Honor is Mitchell Bentley, who owns Atomic Fly Studios. I’ve known Mitch since he and I were both very young, and just beginning to work out what sort of artists we wanted to be. He was living in Tulsa, OK, working with oil paintings. I was under the illusion that I wanted to become an illustrator. We’ve both evolved since then!

Mitch has moved several times, earned a Master of Arts degree and lived in a variety of places. I’ve stayed basically in the same place, but had several different art-related and art-adjacent careers.

Not all of Mitch’s images featured in this post are among his artwork at Archon 43, but I thought they were representative of some of the things he does really well.

Quantum Presence by Mitchell Davidson Bentley is representative of the kind of work he does really well.
Quantum Presence, © by Mitchell Davidson Bentley
Starspawn, © by Mitchell Davidson Bentley is a spacescape similar to some of the Guest of Honor display of his artwork at Archon 43.
Starspawn© by Mitchell Davidson Bentley
Wild Ride, createdby Mitchell Davidson Bentley for the Yard Dog Press book, Assassins Incorporated, by Phillip Drayer Duncan.

Rachael Mayo

Rachael Mayo also has artwork at Archon 43. She “dragons” frequently, and she does it extraordinarily well. She has an active presence on DeviantArt as rachaelm5, and a devoted following at sf convention art shows.

The central piece in the display of Rachael Mayo's artwork at Archon 43 was her "Deep Rising 11-Finale."
Deep Rising 11–Finale© Rachael Mayo, is the large show-stopper in her display at the Archon 43 Art Show.
"Jazzdragon 13" by Rachael Mayo demonstrates the kind of brilliant gradation work visible in her artwork at Archon 43.
Jazzdragon 13, © by Rachael Mayo
Shadowgorge © by Rachael Mayo demonstrates her brilliant use of contrast and color.
Shadowgorge © by Rachael Mayo

Lucy A. Synk

As you know if you’ve been following my blog this summer, I’ve been acting as Lucy A. Synk’s agent at sf convention art shows this year. You’ve possibly already seen displays of her work on my blog posts and Facebook pages.

Here’s a look at Lucy’s Art Show panels at Archon 43. I had permission, for this one! This artwork is all © 2019 by Lucy A. Synk.

Here are some of her individual images you may enjoy. They were displayed and sold at sf conventions earlier this year.

Planet Archipelago,  © 2019 by Lucy A. Synk, is a fantasy planet image developed a base created with the  "dirty pour" acrylic method.
Planet Archipelago, © 2019 by Lucy A. Synk
Three Sisters, © 2019 by Lucy A. Synk.

A Planet Called Amethyst© 2019 by Lucy A. Synk.

These three artists represent only a fraction of the artists who are exhibiting in the Archon 43 Art Show. Each offers an individual and beautiful approach to a science fiction or fantasy subject. I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse of the artists and the artwork at Archon 43.

IMAGE CREDITS:  Jan S. Gephardt photographed the entrance to the Archon 43 Art Show, and first posted it on Facebook. The Mitchell Bentley images are all © by Mitchell Davidson Bentley. Quantum Presence,  Starspawn, and Wild Ride all came from Bentley’s website.

The Rachael Mayo images are all © by Rachael Mayo. Deep Rising 11–FinaleJazzdragon 13, and Shadowgorgecome from Rachael’s DeviantArt presence

Tyrell Gephardt took the photos of Lucy A. Synk’s Art Show panels specifically so he could text them to her after he put them up. She gave us permission to blog about them. My company Weird Sisters Publishing LLC has licensed the use of the three individual images for uses such as this. All of Lucy’s artwork shown here is © 2019 by Lucy A. Synk. 

Snapshots from SoonerCon 26

I always plan to do better with my social media at sf conventions than I do. I get involved, and forget to tweet or upload Facebook photo albums. So I thought, “Why not make a blog post from a collection of things I should have posted from SoonerCon 26?”

Wait. What’s SoonerCon 26, you ask? It’s a science fiction convention held in Midwest City, Oklahoma (metro Oklahoma City), that brings together some of the best aspects of literary, media, gaming, comic, and costuming conventions. 

This year’s edition began Thursday, June 22 with a Writers’ Workshop, headed by Workshop Clinician Jody Lynn Nye, and ran through Sunday, June 25, 2017.

Since it is such a multi-focus convention, their theme this year was a nod to a three-ring circus, “Welcome to the Show!” Toastmaster–er, Ringmaster Selina Rosen did full justice to this theme in her Opening Ceremonies performance.

L-R: Jody Lynn NyeLarry NemecekSelina Rosen in Ringmaster garb, Matt Frank, and Todd Haberkorn, at Opening Ceremonies.

As ever, my first stop upon arrival (well, after checking into the hotel and Convention Registration) was the Art Show. It had a larger area this year than in recent past years, but still seemed cramped to me, and the straight-down-from-above lighting was not terribly illuminating for fantasy paper sculptures in shadowboxes or deep mats (too much shadow, not enough art visible). There was a lot of wonderful art on display, however, and despite the crowding it was well worth the look.

Art Guest of Honor Peri Charlifu brought a large and imaginative collection of gorgeous ceramics and prints. Featured Guest Mitchell Bentley also brought a wonderful, colorful display of his astronomical and illustration work, and other attending artists brought a nice variety of interesting work.

My art display at SoonerCon 26

Other highlights of the Art Show for me included a large, new painting in Angela Lowry’s display, two new paintings by Dell Harris, and a lovely display by Hazel Conley. Perennial favorites Sarah ClemensJim Humble, and many others also mailed in artwork to the show, to expand the selection brought by attending artists.

Some of the most magnificent artwork this weekend was wearable, however–remember, one of SoonerCon’s strong areas is costuming. Here’s just a small sampling of the wearable art walking around the Reed Center this weekend.

SoonerCon 26 offered up a nice collection of interesting and thought-provoking panels for attendees of varied interests. These touched on podcasting, comics, film, writing, art, and media (specific discussions geared to fans of individual shows or franchises, including Star TrekStar WarsDr. WhoHarry Potter, and a wide range of others).

The witty committee behind the “Worst Novel Ever,” L-R, seated: Phillip Drayer DuncanVickey Malone Kennedy, Craig WolfTyrell Gephardt, and KC-area fan James Murray. Behind them, standing: Larry Nemecek, facilitator (with microphone) and the unflaggingly-gracious Leonard Bishop.

A pair of wildly funny “SoonerCon @ Midnight” panels assembled a committee of quick-thinking wits and writers (including my son Tyrell Gephardt) to develop the “Worst Novel Ever” (held in the bar, where else?). The next day, a group of equally talented quick-draw artists conspired to create the “Worst Cover Ever” for it. In between gasps of laughter, I could only conclude that convention chairman Leonard Bishop is the “Best Sport Ever.”

Probably my most gratifying moment this weekend was when the couple came up to me after my reading and asked, “Where can we buy your book?” I urged them to watch this blog for further updates, and I’ve been smiling ever since. I hope to have actual news about that very soon!

Literary Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn shared thoughts about his SoonerCon experience at Closing Ceremonies. To his right (our left) Artist Guest of Honor Peri Charlifu, and on the other side Writers Workshop Clinician Jody Lynn Nye attend to his comments.

Most of my panels dealt, not surprisingly, with writing, art, or some combination of the two. Using your creativity for Fun and Profit (focusing on best practices for creative small entrepreneurial businesses) and Imaginary Creatures: Essential to Fantasy? (with panelists from both art and writing backgrounds) definitely touched on both of my art forms.


Ethics and Art focused pretty exclusively on visual-art intellectual property, and the protection of both the creator’s and others’ rights.


Failing Better shone a spotlight on the rejection-fraught lives of writers, and how to deal with setbacks in a way that leaves one (a) not suicidal and (b) better equipped, going forward.

By far the best-attended of my panels, however, was the one titled A Girl is . . . about persistent gender issues, both outside of fandom and within. It quickly became apparent that not all “within fandom” groups are the same, when it comes to views on gender equality. Experiences of younger women–particularly some of those in the online gaming community–reveal we’ve come less far than we’d like to think.

All of these panel discussions struck me as worthy of possible future exploration in blog posts. If you’d like to see one or more, please leave a comment about it.

All too quickly, SoonerCon 26 came to an end. Time to strike the photo-background sets, fold up the tabletop games, and pack the costumes or new T-shirts into suitcases. But I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I’m looking forward to coming back next year, if all goes as planned.

IMAGES: The green header-banner is from SoonerCon’s website. The other photos are my own snapshots, taken by me at SoonerCon 26 (they may be reposted online with an attribution of Jan S. Gephardt as the photographer, and a link back to this post). 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén