Over the past couple of years, I have been increasingly interested in the dynamic and complex relationships between organisms in ecosystems. I started developing this series of drawings that explores these relationships.
I call these “food webs” in recognition that often, these inter-species relationships are based on who eats or is eaten by whom. I particularly like the word “web” because I think it most accurately describes how these relationships work. Traditionally, this is referred to as a “food chain” but a chain indicates only a single line of relationship where a web describes a more complex set of relationships. The idea of a web also draws attention to the fact that there are crucial connections between many organisms in an ecosystem and that the loss of even one of those organisms can impact the entire structure.
I have chosen to arrange the organisms in these drawings in such a way that (I hope) demonstrates the complexity of those relationships. I chose the circle as the basis for the composition of these drawings in part because it helps reinforce this idea of interconnectedness. Plus it allows for some fun shapes!
Working on drawings can be so fun when I am just in the beginning stages. I’m playing with layouts and orientation, just experimenting. I do most of this on tracing paper and below you can see the seams of the sheets as I use multiple sheets to accommodate a large drawing.
These are grey pine and blue oak, two species native to the arid foothills of California.
This Sunday, December 6 from 2:30 to 4 PM, there will be an opening reception for the Jewels of Nature show at Tilden Park in Berkeley. Several members of the California chapter of the GNSI will be showing recent works. Please stop by! I have three pieces in this show, including a California sister butterfly and a desert moth with its host plant.
The Miniatures show at the Monterey Museum of Art is open now through January. If you’d like to support the museum, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so! I submitted a small version of the pigeon featured in my series Birds We Love To Hate.
While working on the sketches and research for my large life cycle of the White-lined Sphinx Moth piece, I am keeping myself busy with more butterfly drawings. Here’s the latest progress on a Common Buckeye, done in colored pencil on Duralene.