February 14, 2016 § 5 Comments
Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it… Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
January 29, 2016 § Leave a comment
I was lucky to get to do some sketching, colour and motion research at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens last week. It’s a pretty magical place, hot and steamy full of tropical plants, parrots squawking, iguanas, tortoises and even flamingos (all rescued or adopted). I got there a little early and two of staff members Kurtis and Justin were releasing about 300 butterflies that had recently hatched.
There is a room where you can watch the butterflies emerge from chrysalises that are hot glued in rows to strips of painters tape in pretty jewel-like rows. (Above & Below White Tree Nymph) I hope to do a more in depth study of the hatching process, it’s pretty amazing to watch.
The next thing you see is a table covered with slices of orange and bananas. Staff members take turns coming up with cool fruit designs, and the effect is striking and attractive to a number of butterflies that feed only on fermenting fruit juices. It’s also a great spot to observe and sketch the butterflies because they’ll sit still for long periods of time. (Below: Brown Clipper on an orange slice)
Here are a few more butterflies that are common at the Gardens. The one with the eyes in the middle is called a “Blue Morpho” and the inside of its wings are a vibrant iridescent blue. The one below was sketched from a photo I took from behind a group doing a tour. She didn’t know she had a little friend on her shoulder, probably having a rest after taking its first flight.
Here are a few more studies. Lots of colour ideas to keep me going for the rest of the winter (From the top Plain Tiger, Blue Morpho, Julia, Blue Frosted Banner, Green Moss Banner).
January 7, 2016 § 1 Comment
Here’s a recent series of illustrations for Avenue Magazine, for an article on how to clear our heads and sleep better. I’m thinking of banning cell phones in the bedroom – how about you?
January 12, 2015 § Leave a comment
Some process shots from a recent project designing and painting marquis signage for a café, on drumskins. I’ll post more pics (including complete logo design) once they are installed. These ones show the process of prepping the skins to make them look old, and some of the hand lettering. The skins (one is 28″ the other is 16″) will be mounted on drums with lights inside. Can’t wait to see how they look!
March 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
On our last artist residency day at the Royal BC Museum we visited the Entomology collection. This means insects, almost 250,000 of them, stored pinned in boxes, flat in envelopes, or in murky jars of alcohol waiting to be sorted and classified.
I asked Senior Collections Manager Claudia Copley about bees. Did you know there are 450 different kinds of bees in BC? I know, it kind of blew my mind too. This biodiversity gave me a sense of relief what with all the colony collapse and bee die offs happening around the world, but just because they are abundant doesn’t mean they aren’t in danger. The Western Bumble Bee, for example, used to be the most common bee in BC, and now its population has crashed.
Claudia was kind enough to pull out a few bee trays for me to take a look at. Below you’ll see a tray that shows some of the different kinds of bees found in BC. The middle photo is solely the Western Bumble bee: males, females and queens (the big ones). I got to pull one out, sticking the pin in a cork so I could give it a closer look.
The resulting animation is below. I decided to leave the pin and cork in, instead of just drawing the bee. Those elements, while visually interesting, keep the creature itself from coming to life in any way. This unintentionally speaks to the reality of the science that goes on behind the scenes at a natural history museum: Everything is dead. Bees are captured, killed (by exposure to nail polish remover), pinned and stored for future research. This research can help save them. An interesting paradox.
January 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
From behind the scenes at the Royal BC Museum residency: A bunch of taxidermied birds, including this lovely loon.