Recently, my power adaptor decided to die on me and all attempts to resuscitate failed. Alas, I was forced to purchase a new one. It just arrived but now my battery won't charge. I think my poor computer was a bit shell shocked during school after only being used for email and occasional photoshop diddle dawdle. That being said, I'm glad it starts and it's good to be back on my computer.
I'm super excited about two things coming up!
I am going birding again tomorrow! Yippee! This time in Marin. This is a more unique experience than the last time I went in that we will be watching shorebirds from kayaks. We will leave predawn towards the mudflats the Miller Boat ramp at the Walker creek Delta and see as much of the early morning shorebird, duck and gull action as possible. We will also try for Black Rail in the remote pickle weed expanses while its dark and stay out there until lunch counting shorebirds and sparrows. Although the water will be very flat and calm, I'm glad I had a chance to go both sea kayaking and flat lake kayaking beforehand. The leader of this adventure is Josiah Clark, founder of Habitat Potential. In a nutshell, Habitat Potential offers environmental consulting services and naturalist expertise. Super excited to meet him. I'm also excited because this gave me a good excuse to get waterproof pants. I think all girls desire a pair of stylish waterproof pants in their wardrobe, don't you think? I'll have my new moleskin sketchbook in hand, binoculars around my neck and legs shielded from dangerous waters of the mudflats. And of course, the Sibley Guide to Birds in my pocket. Well, maybe not in my pockets. It's a bit too big for that unless I get pants with Mary Poppin's storage ability.
I went to a book signing of his with my roommate, Kristin, in Santa Cruz a few months ago. It was to launch his new Field Guide of Trees. All the copies were sold out when I got there. Oh well. I'm glad I went. Other than the few annoying overly enthusiastic Californians bombarding him with continual questions of invasive species, it was nice to hear a bit about his process. Here is also another fun video clip of him teaching a class of school kids how he draws a bird.
The other thing that I'm really looking forward to is celebrating the birthday of one of my closet friends, Hannah. She is the proud owner of Pie Bird Press and an amazing person all around. Normally, we celebrate each other's birthdays at LuLu in San Francisco. This restaurant showcases a menu of delicious provencal style cuisine from their wood-fired oven, rotisserie and grill. It is always a favorite spot. BUT...this year, we will be celebrating at a relatively new restaurant in Oakland called Camino. Camino is italian for fireplace, so the wood-fired oven theme remains the same. It is a wonderful restaurant with a rustic atmosphere, great service and of course, amazing food. I always loved this place, but recently, Hannah forwarded this interview with the owners of Camino and I am now even more in love with it.
Whew! I'm done with finals! Hooray!!! I cannot believe how quickly the first term came and went. Similarly, I cannot believe how much we crammed into essentially a 2 month period. Finals were intense and I pulled my first all nighter of the school year. I thought that was pretty good. I was expecting to have to pull more than that, but I'm so glad I didn't have to. I guess I'm getting old. I am now faced with 4 weeks of free time which I hope to productively fill.
REDWOOD FOREST in SCRATCH BOARD
One of my finals was to be done in scratch board. The bat was done with the same technique. I decided that for this final, I wanted to really challenge myself and tackle a more complicated subject. I am more than capable of rendering a single specimen in great detail. Capturing an entire scene, however, was imagery I had yet to try. I am in love with the redwood forests that line the coast of California and Oregon. I love that every sense is aroused. The smells in the air, the feel of the ground, the glimmer of light bouncing back and forth, and the wonderful tastes to be foraged. These are all things that I wanted to capture in my illustration along with scale and atmosphere. Originally, I had intended on including animals in redwood forests, but that would have been even more complicated than the already complex idea I had at hand. Instead, I focused on common plants found within redwood forests such as wood fern, sword fern, sorrel, rhododendron, manzanita, and oyster mushroom. I'm really glad I went in this direction. It was very satisfying at the end.
PHOTOSHOP and ILLUSTRATOR RENDERING
My final for Information Graphics was equally intense. I love painting in Photoshop. I love the intensity you can achieve on the computer. Not that you can't get intensity with traditional medium because you definitely can, but you end up with this super clean rendering that at least I've only been able to create with the computer. I chose to render jellies because they are beautiful and challenging to capture because of the transparency factor. I managed to discover the perfect combination of tools to recreate jellies. I hope to be as successful when rendering something else! I also wanted to combine elements from past assignments such as labeling, simple line rendering, and layout/map organization. I should also mention that I'm not totally sure the diagram is accurate. I used my best judgement based on diagrams of different species of jellies (just in case any of you reading this are jelly connoisseurs).
The last final was really fun. I don't have a picture. Sorry. It was for the Field Sketching class. We had to find a specimen that was unknown to us and identify it through sketched observations, meaning we had to try and identify the specimen using only our sketches. The specimen I found was a yellow sand verbena, a trailing beach succulent native to California.
Well, I'm very much looking forward to next term as our projects will become more complex. There are so many things to consider when illustrating science and it is so exciting to be learning constantly about what you are doing. I heart science illustration.
My name is Jane Kim. I am an artist and science illustrator driven by my passion for wildlife biology and conservation. Through art, I share wonders of the natural world that bring me unrefined excitement.
I would like to share my experiences with you and invite you to places in which I like to dwell.