I’m working on a series of drawings for a book about the area near the confluence of the Yuba and Feather Rivers. The focus of this book is the flora and fauna of this area so I’m drawing a lot of my favorite subjects. Working in pen and ink is satisfying and challenging in equal measure.
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.
A couple of years ago, I did some illustrations for a book on the First People of the northern Sacramento Valley. I was recently contacted by the author, a historian, to create some new illustrations for another book. This book is focused on the flora and fauna of the same area. These are my preliminary sketches.
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.
I just finished my first Open Studios here in Santa Cruz. Wow, what a fantastic experience! The staff at the Arts Council were so supportive and encouraging. The other participating artists were so positive and helpful. And everyone who visited my studio was wonderful!
Here are some of the projects I worked on while folks came to visit during Open Studios:
I still have work in the Miniatures show at the Monterey Museum of Art. That show runs through January and is a fundraiser for the museum. If you want to support local arts organizations here on the Central Coast and have an opportunity to own one of my bird drawings, this is a great opportunity to do so!
I’ll also be putting up work at the Tilden Park Environmental Education Center next month for the annual Jewels of Nature exhibit.
As we move toward autumn, I am reflecting back on the past few months that have been full of new spaces and new inspirations. I’ve been a busy bee this year! I moved my studio to a new space in preparation for participation in the Open Studios tour this year. I am putting the finishing touches on the mural at Porter College. And I’m making new work for upcoming exhibits and projects!
This will be the first year that I participate in the Open Studios Art Tour organized by the Arts Council Santa Cruz County. The tour is a celebration of the vibrant arts community here in Santa Cruz County and I am very excited to be participating in both the South County weekend (October 10th & 11th) and the Encore Weekend (October 17th &18th). During the Open Studios Tour, the public is welcome to come visit my studio and watch me demonstrate some of the techniques I use in my work. I will have works in progress as well as both originals and prints for sale. I will also have a piece of work up at the Santa Cruz County Art League as part of the Preview Exhibition for Open Studios. That show opens on September 27th. The Open Studios guide will be available in the Santa Cruz Good Times weekly paper at the end of September.
I have also submitted a piece of artwork for the annual Miniatures show at the Monterey Museum of Art. That exhibit opens in October and serves as a fundraiser for the museum. Please visit the museum for the opening reception on October 2.
Earlier this summer, I spent several weeks traveling through various parts of California, participating in butterfly population surveys and exploring areas of the state I’ve never seen. In the coming weeks, the fruits of that inspiring trip will emerge as I develop drawings of some of the creatures I saw during my travels. I am also continually inspired by my connection to Pinnacles National Park and all the wonders that live in my backyard (and friends I keep finding in my new studio space!).
I hope some of you will be able to visit me during Open Studios and I will continue to share my works here for those who can’t!
Tomorrow, Dec 5, my show “simple pleasures” will be opening at five pins project (491A Guerrero Street, San Francisco). I’m showing a mix of old and new mixed-media work, all focused on simple things that bring me great joy. From the delicate wings of butterflies to the swooping lines of telephone wires, I see draw ongoing inspiration from everyday experiences. If you can, please come enjoy this small exhibit in a wonderful little space.
On December 5, I will be opening a solo show of my work at five pins project in San Francisco. As a departure from my more formal scientific illustration work, I am taking this opportunity to make some playful, interactive pieces. I am also revisiting a more sculptural process, something I explored more in my early undergraduate career as an art student at Portland State University.
The walnut shell boats are an expansion on my contribution to the “Whatever Floats Your Boat” exhibit at Apricity Gallery here in Santa Cruz. These are a nod to my childhood, when we would make tiny boats out of walnut shells to float down the gutters of our street. It is such a delight to make such simple and beautiful little objects out of only materials found in nature.
I will also be showing a small group of moveable butterfly sculptures. These are an exploration of a newly-discovered interest in these extraordinary creatures. I intentionally chose species whose upper- and under-wing patterns are very different, especially in showiness. I love how something so bright and flashy as a Sonoran Blue or so boldly patterned as a Sara Orangetip can change so dramatically in appearance when they fold their wings.
All in all, this show is about exploring some very simple things that bring me great joy. Whether watching a tiny boat float down the street in the rain or marveling at the flash of color as a butterfly passes by on a trail, I am constantly striving to connect to my experience of simple pleasures.
I hope you will join me at five pins on Friday, December 5 to experience some of these joys for yourself.
About a month ago, I saw a call for submissions to a show called “Whatever Floats Your Boat”. The parameters were simple: each submission had to be a functioning boat, smaller than 10″ long and made entirely of natural materials. No tape, glue, paint, metal, etc.. I was so excited by this challenge that I started collecting materials right away, picking up leaves from various trees on my way home. I figured out the sail part of the boat pretty quickly but the hull seemed more complicated. Then I remembered racing boats in the gutters on our street when I was a kid. We used walnut shells from the neighbor’s tree! They were simple and excellent little vessels.
So I got myself some whole walnuts, cut them up with a borrowed Dremmel, and got to work. I experimented with many different kinds of leaves: oak, laurel, azalea, ivy, tan oak. I also dug into my store of feathers for a little variety. I attached all of these little sails with melted beeswax and tested my tiny vessels in bowls of water in the kitchen.
An armada of 6 boats will be on display at Apricity Gallery at the Tannery Art Center here in Santa Cruz. The show opens on September 5 and runs through the month. If you miss it this time, the boats will make a second appearance in San Francisco this December.