First Friday Picture Show: Imaginative and Otherworldly Drawings by Jon Carling

Recycled Minds Picture Show
by Jon Carling on July 5, 2013
Future Shaman
Our July Picture Show features the drawings of Oakland-based artist Jon Carling. Carling’s work has been described as imperfectly precise and otherworldly. Childhood imagination haunts his drawings, as they often swing from pure fantasy to dry terror. Working only with pen and pencil (and the occasional spot of color), he weaves creatures and environments that recall 19th century book illustration, while incorporating transcendent and sinister themes.

“I want people to have an emotional response to my work that reminds them of being a child. When certain details are left out of an image, you use a very special part of your brain to fill in the spaces, and I think that is the key to engaging the viewer, let them write the story for themselves.”
Moving the Triangle
Since graduating in 2002 from Oakland’s CCA with a degree in illustration, Jon’s work has been featured in numerous gallery expos and publications, either in solo exhibitions or alongside his contemporaries in cities across the United States and Italy. Along with those exhibitions, he has made  animated videos, multi-media projections, posters and album art for bands such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Entrance Band, Meho Plaza, Agent Ribbons, Magic Castles, Noceans, Voice on Tape, The Lovely Eggs and Ema and the Ghosts. Visit Jon Carling online at

Continue reading to view the rest of the show >>

Harpy Conjures a Dark Spirit

How Space Was Made

Main Attraction


My Only Friend


Sea Battle

Spirit Creature

Sun Man

The Vision
Your Cat Can See Ghosts

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  1. Great show!
    Are these drawings on blank pages from old books? That adds to that kind of timeless feel that so many of these have, sort of like a timeless esoteric thing going on. Cool!

  2. Anonymous12:38 PM

    I am also interested in if these are blank book pages from old books or if they are coffee stained or something similar. Brilliant work regardless.

  3. Love these! Curious about the 'imperfectly precise' description. I would argue they're perfectly precise in their evocation of imagination. :)

  4. Anonymous10:18 PM

    I love these! They are just beautiful.


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