Sunday, May 29, 2011

For Science!

I've been really busy lately. This, when one's income is directly linked to one's busyness level, is unquestionably a good thing. What's odd, though, is that this type of drawing, my main business really when I come to think about it, is seriously underrepresented on this blog.

This sort of thing. Let me introduce you - probably for the very first time - to Commiphora otjihipana. It's a new species in the genus of plants that includes myrrh, and it comes from the Kaokoveld in northern Namibia.

Shades of primary school. These are peas, beans and mealies that I'm sprouting in order to illustrate the germination process for a textbook/set of class notes/thing. That project involves over 200 drawings.

I adore scientific illustration, because I get to sit in a lab and use a microscope, and run around in the veld looking for things, and draw things that no one has drawn before, and feel all science-y. It also caters directly to my inability to stick to one thing. My university professors must have hated me for it. I was always trying to combine, compare, or mash together things that have never before been mashed. It's great. You avoid being bored, because you keep adding information from different fields. And when someone's better than you, you have the infallible comfort of going "Oh well, she can draw better than me, but can she analyse Hebrew verbs?" And the star ancient languages student can't dissect Commiphora flowers, and the botanist can't ride horses, and my horse-riding instructor... oh dear, I think she can do anything. Seriously.

But anyway, it's fun to dance around the edges of things - art/science, science/religion, all three at once. Even though people who prefer to stick firmly in the middle of their own patch and mistrust all others will likely think you flaky, dangerous, and possibly even quite dim, the edges are where the magic happens. (And how flaky did that just sound?)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The barely mediated contents of my brain

This is what happens when I'm sitting around with drawing materials and no idea of what I'm about to do. It started in the bottom left quadrant with a spontaneous phoenix and paisley explosion. Above the paisley is a city of bird people, the project of much more conscious thought and one of the last things I added.

As you can see, I'm a maximalist.

This painting was made with watercolours and a lot of black ink, and was bought by Lisa, which makes me happy.