Black Swan Editions Visionary Art Book
Books Drawn from the Well of Myth

Visionary Art Books & Poetry in Santa Fe, NM

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New Visionary Art Book by Steven Counsell

Illuminations, The Geography of the ImaginationAVAILABLE November 2012




The Geography of the Imagination

by Steven Edwin Counsell, Artist/Author


This book is a jewel box of visual exploration, with myth and wonder mirrored to a poetic text.





DOUBLE WINNER, 2012 New Mexico - Arizona Book Awards
Best ART BOOK, and

art book award sticker-2013WINNER OF 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEIA)
Best Fine ART BOOK

Authors Introduction to ILLUMINATIONS --

visionary art blog, art bookHe fashioned a clay figure to keep the wind from blowing him to the stars. He wasn't making art he was inventing the way his soul was meant to be, so that he could inhabit it. There were no narrative strategies, no ego-driven abstractions begging to be deified along with there maker. There were ways of using the whole self so he could be wholly in the world.

Stories and forms and sounds trained us to be human and, beyond that encouraged us to
live joy and shadow as true allies. The large emptiness of sterile effect or affectation could hold us only in a gray inertia. Only living craft and perception, feeling and thought could free us from the ensorcellment of non being.

Illuminations takes us back to a place we have never truly left. Here we can find our deepest desires , our most potent dreams the comfort that comes from being fully alive. Returning to our origins does not require giving up anything; we can keep our masks, toys and machines, but there is more to us than any of these. They may run part of our show but they are not the whole theatre. Illuminations kindly requests we find the synergy of word, image, and awakened self. Any true work of art haunts us with remembered grace; in this book we will discover worlds we have forgotten. Illuminations can take us and bring us back, we can be home here, alive, we can giggle and laugh, feel fear, be alone by choice, but not be simply abandoned.

This book offers magic that works, forms and pleasures that stave off the phony snake-oil that pretends to be more than it is. Prophets of nothingness have been telling us for years that the debris and debilitation we see in many galleries can take us to a higher plane, can free us from solid earthbound magic and offer us fashionable and intellectually important tricks instead. But you know, we don't have to believe them! We generally know when we are being humbugged, and when we are humbugging ourselves.

He sat in the dust and fashioned a clay figure because his life depended on it. He wanted to be safe in the universe but also participate in it. Illuminations is a talisman for hungry hearts and minds tired of tricks! Don't we all want the offering taste of wonder.

ILLUMINATIONS, The Geography of the Imagination
By Steven Edwin Counsel, Artist & Author
208 pages
Hard Cover, signature bound
180 color illustrations
Use your credit/debit card or Paypal account
mask covercase
BUY the Limited EDITION $200.00
Colophon is Signed & Numbered with embossed, cloth slip case
ILLUMINATIONS, The Geography of the Imagination
By Steven Edwin Counsel, Artist & Author
208 pages
Hard Cover, signature bound
180 color illustrations
Use your credit/debit card or Paypal account


Black Swan Editions
321 W. Cordova Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Phone (505) 23-4043




  • Gerald Peters Gallery Book Store, 1011 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • NM Museum of Fine Art, 107 West Palace Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Collected Works, 202 Galisteo St., Santa Fe ,NM 87501
  • Opcit Book Store, 500 Montezuma Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501, PH 505-428-0321
  • Hand Artes Gallery, PO Box 417, Co. Rd. 75 #137, Truchas, NM 87508


BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE in Minnesota at:

  • Minneapolis Institute of Art Gift store, 2400 Third Ave South, Minneapolis MN
  • Micawber's Book Store, 2238 Carter Av, St. Paul MN

BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE in California at:

  • Pacifica Instititute Bookstore, 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara CA 93108



What others say about
this new visionary art book --

"With Steven's work doors open into the living imagination and invite us
to walk through with him into its autonomous creative expressive landscape.
And as we do the living question arises – what land have we entered?"
Monika Wikman, Ph.D., Tesuque, New Mexico, Jungian Analyst and
Author of Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness

     "It is exquisite. I love the poetry and the images are wonderful...the material is so full of archetypal symbolism, so many references to the collective unconscious. I enjoyed the poetry about aging, letting go." Sondra Geller, Jungian Analyst, Chevy Chase MD.

     "The art I find to be consistently strong and exciting" 
John Carter, poet/playwright, Washington D.C.

     "This book will find its way". 
Roger Salloch, poet/playwright, Paris France

"THE END OF THE BEGINNING TWO is special for me. The innate simple
and natural flow in the poem and in the painting, a beginning and finality that simply is. Thank you Steve.  Your work takes me to places I know well." 
Noreen Scofield, Author/Poet, Santa Fe, NM


"     Santa Fe was a regular spring stop even before we moved to the Southwest. I met Steve Counsell, along with the other writers from his group, one evening at Casa Sena's Cantina. They invited me to join the writing group whenever I came to the city. That was 25 years ago. Though that group dissolved, we two still meet, now a trio with Jane Lipman, a weekly gathering to support and constructively critique our poetry, sip tea, and laugh until our ribs ache.
     Even lo that quarter century ago, Steve presented slide shows and art exhibits to my husband, myself and his wife, Hope Reed — slides of his glowing nature photography, and originals of his formidable drawings, pastels and paintings. Along with the art-filled house parties, Steve's polymath knowledge flowed and still flows into conversational talents that made those evenings sparkle —philosophy, mythology, geology, history, as those topics related to his artwork, and always, at least a few bars of Gilbert and Sullivan sung by the men, to amuse us, everyone. Those same talents enrich our poetry threesome. Hope joins with her web skills to design posters with Steve's artwork that bring accolades and announce when our trio reads poetry.
     Steve's work ethic is legend: up at dawn, hiking out to a nearby hotel or restaurant to spend a long morning, his day's art project spread out on a table. He's able to focus and draw, though passersby stop to kibbitz or proffer opinions. He pours into each painting the same rich brew that brightens his art salons, so that viewing one of his artworks, drenched with color and a master's technique, with its layers of meaning, perspective and beauty — often paired with a related and stunning poem — gives the viewer/reader a Renaissance-like experience, like looking into a mirror that is highly polished, beveled and infinitely regressed."
Janet Eigner, poet, author of CORNSTALK MOTHER, dance critic, retired psychologist, Santa Fe, NM, 2011


From the Publisher -- 

This book shows us art that we want to discover and explore, and as we look deeper we will be drawn further into new worlds.

Why does the artist, Steven Edwin Counsell, draw a luscious strawberry and then bend it and stretch it? What's above the curious stairway twisting off the page? Are there real people behind all these masks? How can we see around the doorways, through the forests, behind the mountains, up the valleys, and into the eyes of people living within? Through carefully selected details and enlargements we are invited deep into these magnificent works. Many of the enlargements are shown in the book at twice the size of the original drawing, yet the detail, proportions and color quality remain superb.

To help us further experience these amazing images Steven Edwin Counsell has written a poetic text. Poetry like imagery is a primary language that takes us to the center of ourselves. It leads us to see further than the actual image or word before us. With a lyrical voice Steven Edwin Counsell uses mythical imagery, word play, rhythm, history, and music to lead us into these worlds beyond ordinary vision.

Like a spiral, which is the basic composition of many of these works, you will fall gently into each art work and feel welcomed by the people, the landscapes and the mystery