Cozumel Shell Diptych

Cozumel Shell Diptych

Back from my first time snorkeling around the beaches in Cozumel, Mexico. Everything was vibrant looking through the snorkel mask. Shells are subtle organic shapes with detail and colors that draw me in. This little watercolor – collage was fun to do and challenging at the same time. I love it when art isn’t a struggle, and my mind is in the art.

Especially enjoyed collaging the japanese papers and a fragment of the customs form we received upon entering the country.

As you know if you have read my posts too often the art projects I set out to do, are a mountain of work and the fun is gone long before the piece is done. My little shell diptych broke through that pattern. A good day in the studio.

Monarda didyma and Caterpillars

This doggone art challenge has gone on for too long, caterpillars keep showing up on the plant.

This doggone art challenge has gone on for too long, caterpillars keep showing up on the plant.

I have monitored my patch of Monarda didyma all summer.  Looking for caterpillars of the Hermit Sphinx Moth that I followed last summer, that haven’t shown up in the light of day this summer.  I found a caterpillar hanging on a leaf in July only to have a Preying Mantis eat it the next day.  IT was such a disappointment because I have always gotten a kick out of Preying M. and now I know it is a predator on the caterpillars that I am searching for.  So I relocated a couple to my deep field, and then found a Wheel bug laying in wait, looked up the life history of that insect only to find it also is a predator on caterpillars.  So when they finally show up and I find them chomping away it lights me up.   Now I have this piece of art that has a couple dif. species on it and I want to be done with this piece.

Hoping my art eye can manage to see the art without thinking too much about the specifics of the caterpillars and cocoons hanging on.  Someday I will capture this interaction with all the subtleties that go on during metamorphosis.  IT is a tough world out there for a caterpillar, I have a whole new appreciation every time I see a moth or butterfly, when I think of all the risks they face.


Art, life and nature in the online conversation.

In my next life I want to be an Online Maven.  Blogging, posting, linking related sites and drawing visitors to my website and studio will be second nature to me.  IN this life, however I seem to spend a lot of my time Doing Life, creating art, observing nature, keeping up my house, studio, and garden.  Even as I live this full life, I know my art business is suffering from not engaging online.  It is a multi-faceted task, because you first have to believe you have something worth posting, which in and of itself is half the challenge for me.  

So much of my day is spent looking, drawing and trying to understand what is happening in the world outdoors.  Often I am back in the books looking up this caterpillar or that host plant.  Then back to the drawing, with a small window into how this plant and that insect depend on each other.  This is what excites my imagination.  However, I am humbled as I look at the sketch and realize I haven’t begun to capture the subtleties going on in either the plant or the caterpillar.  

So how can I post this journey?  If I am not confident of what is happening on the page of the sketchbook, why would I think anyone would want to look at this or read about it?  

Making that leap, from unfinished art that always seems to be in process, to a public post online, is very difficult for me.  Hence, uneven posting, and no engagement with the world outside my studio.  I think it is about time, I scheduled a post on my calendar every week.  Here I go.

This little sketch is in a 3 x 5 sketchbook, I love the paper and the size.  The little guy below is now in a webbed cocoon on the plant cutting.  I hope I can keep the plant alive long enough for him/her to metamorphose into whatever is next.