Victoria Frances



Tony Mauro



Anne Stokes



Victoria Frances


Katarina Sokolova ~ Insomnia

I’ve been neglecting this blog I’m ashamed to note. Should anyone be in any doubt; my thoughts have been consumed these last few months with wedding plans. The wedding is taking place in October so plans have recently stepped up a gear and it’s pretty much all I can think about. It’s all incredibly exciting. I met with my dressmaker last weekend and the design has been finalised and we’re in the final stages of choosing the fabric. We’re just waiting for some samples to come through and then she’ll be getting to work making it.

I received Gothic Fall in the post yesterday and it inspired me to see what else it out there. It was on this expedition, that I came across the digital art of Katarina Sokolova.

I was immediately struck by the rich and intense colours. They really stand out from the screen and make the images a real feast for the eyes.

It’s quite appropriate, that as I type this, my own lovely black cat, Aragorn, is nestled against me, under my arm.

Katarina’s art ticks a lot of boxes for me. As you will see from previous posts, I am partial to gothic depictions of sensual ladies. Flowing locks and frocks are a guilty pleasure of mine and I love images that I feel I can disappear into and fantasise about living in a world where I could look like those damsels depicted in their stunning gowns in dark forests and elaborate castles.

I love most things otherworldly, and images that don’t tell the whole story.

Unsurprisingly, my wedding dress is often at the forefront of my mind, and Katarina’s ladies wear their sumptuous gowns so well.

Two of my favourite images so far (and there are many fine contenders), have the heroine in a pose of seeming ecstasy on a forest floor.

I find the fiery gowns set amid the lush green of a forest floor, quite enchanting.

As I’m an avid collector of art books, I’m delighted that Heavy Metal have published a book of Katarina Sokolova’s art, called Insomnia. It will be an overtime treat for me on pay day.

It’s also great, because Heavy Metal have published books by Victoria Frances, Cris Ortega and Suzanne Gildert so they all fit so nicely together on my book shelf.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking at pieces of art like this.

And just when I think there can’t possibly be any more boxes to tick; enter the faeries…..

The Gothic Art of Victoria Frances & Joseph Vargo

I thought I would do a post about Victoria Frances and Joseph Vargo together since I got into them at around the same time. I love Victoria Frances’ depictions of dark, mournful women, especially as they are usually wearing the sort of dresses and corsets that I have always been drawn to.

I’ve always loved darkly romantic settings like forests, graveyards, snowy landscapes, haunted castles. There’s something so deliciously mysterious about Gothic tales and Victoria Frances really captures all of that for me in her images.

Victoria Frances has produced 3 lavish and lovely hardback books in her Favole series. Obviously, the big attraction for me is the art, but the images are accompanied by quotes from novels such as Dracula, and also Victoria Frances’ own words. I own the series in Victoria Frances’ native Spanish and also English, but I’m not sure if something somehow got lost in translation as the stories don’t really seem to make much sense to me; almost stilted. I think I prefer to let the images tell their own story….

Another reason why I love Victoria Frances, is that she also has many images depicting masquerade masks. There’s just something about the idea of wearing a gorgeous ball gown, ornate mask and dancing through the streets of Venice. In Victoria Frances’ images, the scene is usually of a lone woman on the fringe of the festivities or perhaps the end and there’s a pervading feeling of sadness in those images that is very evocative.

Victoria Frances also has a wonderful way of depicting romantic trysts. There’s always a sense of forbidden love and tortured lust that I’m such a sucker for.

As if being a talented artist isn’t enough, Victoria Frances is also envy-inducing due to being exceptionally pretty and has posed in several photo sessions. I love looking at pretty ladies wearing the sort of clothes that make me a bit giddy, partly because it’s something I would love to do myself.

Joseph Vargo’s style on the other hand, is quite stark, but no less dark. He has a very restricted colour palette but this tends to lend an ominous feeling to his images which I think works really well.

There’s no getting away from the Gothic with Joseph Vargo! I love his images of vampires, spirits and gargoyles. There’s a strong sense of the malevolent in his images. I think he leans more towards the horror of Gothic, rather than the romance.

There’s one image in particular that has long been a favourite of mine, of a woman completely submitting to the darkness. You can see the lust and longing she has for the dark force that has enchanted her.

Joseph Vargo doesn’t just create dark images, he also along with other authors, writes his own stories based on his illustrations. I actually have a copy of his book Tales from the Dark Tower. As if painting pictures and writing stories wasn’t enough to pour his creative energy into, he also produces haunting music in the guise of Nox Arcana.