Monday, September 28, 2009

NEW CLASS

JENNY HOLDING A SEA LION SKULL

This is my third instructor, Jenny Keller.  She will be teaching FIELD SKETCHING!!!  I'm very excited about this.  It's been a long time since I've drawn from life, and I'm definitely out of practice.

Today we had to do a blind contour drawing and a negative space drawing.  Blind contour drawing is an exercise to develop hand-eye communication.  Basically, you draw your subject's outline without looking at the paper while you draw.

BLIND CONTOUR OF MY CLASSMATE


A negative space drawing is also a type of contour drawing where you draw only the areas surrounding the subject instead of information in the subject itself.  This is an exercise to help you "see" the subject and draw what is actually there instead of drawing what you think "ought" to be there.

UNFINISHED NEGATIVE SPACE DRAWING



THE HENRY MILLER MEMORIAL LIBRARY

On Saturday, my sister, her husband, and another friend came down for a visit to see The Dodos play at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur.  This was the neatest venue nestled in the forest off the coast of Highway 1.  The weather was just perfect.  Several bands played and I was really into one of the opening bands.  The Mumlers.  They had a modern folk sound and were all very talented musicians.  For those of you in the Bay Area who are curious about them, they will actually be playing at The Hemlock Tavern in the near future.  Go see them!

So part of the venue is a small bookstore and I found a great book to keep me company for awhile.  I've only started it, but I know I'm going to enjoy it.



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alice & The Cat


Alice and Wonderland is one of my favorite books of all time and my friend, Elizabeth Kunath gave me this little reminder of a great little exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice.  

GROUP 6 ELEMENT

I'm not talking about transition metals here.  I'm talking about a household of 6.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I now live with 5 others... 


KRISTIN

This is Kristin.  She is originally from Vermont, but spent the last year in Alaska with sled dogs and mushers.  How cool is that?  Cool on two fronts, really.  How many people can say they've lived in Alaska and how many people who have  lived there can say that they've mushed?  Exactly.  How cool is that?

 

DANZA

This is Danza.  She migrated to the central coast from Eureka, California.  Danza has already done work for the Natural History Museum and the Zoo.  I'm very impressed by that.  She showed me some of the work she did for them, and they are fantastic.  Below is an example.



LOKI

Loki is Danza's companion.  He is a very sweet, very handsome Pit Bull who can't get enough love.  The poor thing quivers with excitement when affection is thrown his way, and in this photo, he blends in extraordinarily well with our carpeting.

  
CALEB

And this is Caleb, Danza's lizard.  I don't know him very well, yet.  We haven't reached the all too important "what kind of bugs do you like to eat" phase of the relationship.  I'm sure we'll get there, though.



AMICO

This one belongs with me.  Amico (meaning friend, in Italian) is my very needy and very affectionate cat.  How do Loki and Amico get along, you ask?  Fortunately, Loki could care less about Amico.  This is a VERY good thing.  I would say they get along as well as two strangers could get along.  They've worked it out.


  
ME

And finally...this is me.  Me loving an Alpaca.  

INFORMATION GRAPHICS and INTRO TO NATURAL SCIENCE ILLUSTRATION


ANN CAUDLE



AMADEO BACHAR

Information Graphics (taught by Amadeo Bachar) and Intro to Natural Science Illustration (taught by Ann Caudle) were our first classes.  Information Graphics will cover Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator usage while as the name of the course suggests, Ann's class will cover an overview of natural science illustration.  I'm super excited to use instruments such as calipers and proportional dividers and unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the spread of interesting tools that Ann set up for demos.  I found these on the internet instead.  :(

On another note.  Some exciting bit of news for Amadeo!  His illustration was just published in the October issue of National Geographic.  So awesome!  Also, for those of you who have the  Seafood Watch Fact Card from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Ann did those!  I'm definitely in good hands.


CALIPERS and PROPORTIONAL DIVIDERS



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT...

Well.  I moved from one foggy city to another, but tonight we have a clear-ish night and I counted 41 stars from my backyard.  

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

I had never really considered the phrase "under construction" until just now, and it is actually quite relevant to the work I've been doing these last 4-5 years and to the way I often feel.
   
As an artist, I think that it is safe to say that I feel like I am always under construction, and not in a bad way, but in an I'm constantly renovating myself way.  The work that I consider my "fine art" is seemingly unrelated to Science Illustration, but I know that somewhere in there, it is all connected.  I am curious to see how this experience will influence, shape and change my personal work.

Below is a series of my latest work completed for an Artist Residency at SF Recycling & Disposal.  All the work was made from reclaimed construction material.  





















STATEMENT

Before the program began, we were each asked to write a short bio.  I thought it would be fun to share mine.

When I was little, I daydreamed by drawing
flowers and dogs, sculpting horses, and
making teddy bears. The portfolio I submitted
to RISD included drawings of skeletons,
skulls and cross-sections of the human head.
Going to art school exposed me to a variety of
new ideas and inspirations, but my love of
nature always worked its way into my work.
During my post-college search for identity, I
realized that I should harness my passion for
the natural world. Today, when I see
hemlock, a herd of cows in a field,
hummingbirds, seahorses I smile and happily
exclaim, “I’m going to be a science
illustrator!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Today was my first day of school.  Technically, not the first day of classes, but today I met everyone in the program including my colleagues, faculty and staff.  I'm so excited to find that everyone is super nice and super talented in all sorts of things like sailing, singing, crocheting, skate boarding, biking cross country, along with many other interests I can't remember.  There were so many of them!  The faculty were quirky and fun, but obviously incredibly experienced in the field that I know I'm going to come out of this program with more information than I'll know what to do with.  Unfortunately, they were cut off in my group photo so hopefully I can get them in later.


SAY HI TO MY CLASS!!!

INSPIRATION AT POINT LOBOS

Yesterday my friend, David Molesky (wonderful painter) and I went on a short walk through Point Lobos State Reserve for inspiration and the general satisfaction one gets lollygagging on a nature hike.  Here are some pictures I took...
  
SPANISH MOSS

I love the way Spanish Moss makes the branches look like chandeliers.



ORANGE ALGAE ON CYPRESS


DETAIL OF ORANGE ALGAE

The algae gets its beautiful rust orange color from beta carotene and helps the Cypress get moisture.


STINK BUG!


CROW

I love the backs of birds.  It's neat how the feathers are still so reminiscent of reptile skin.



THIS GULL LOOKS PRETTY CONTENT


CORMORANT STRETCHING ITS WINGS

Sunday, September 20, 2009

WHEN I GROW UP, I'M GOING TO BE A SCIENCE ILLUSTRATOR!


MY BOOKCASE

Here I am, back on the academic calendar to study the ins and outs of science illustration.  It's been so long since I've been a student that I've forgotten how much fun it is to get a list of school supplies.  Wandering around the art store, checking off items on the list like protractors, triangles, colored pencils and paints, it was oddly reminiscent of years of yore when I was buying the exact same supplies for arts and crafts in kindergarten.  I feel a little more grown up now.



A BIT OF INSPIRATION