Month: June 2016

Becoming (Bryum-type Peristome)

When I was doing my Ph.D., I spent many hours looking at peat cores. This meant looking down a microscope and sifting through half-decomposed plant remains, trying to figure out what kind of vegetation used to grow in the site that the core had come from.

Many plants that you find in peat cores are mosses, and while they can be tricky to identify, they are often very beautiful if you look at them up-close. For my next drawing, I decided to pick a structure that I very rarely encountered in my peat-core years: a peristome – the ring of teeth that surrounds the opening of the capsule in many mosses.

The peristome helps to protect and disperse the spores that develop in the capsule. The teeth will often move in response to changes in moisture, which is a fun thing to have students try out and observe in an introductory bio lab.

Peristome Pictures Read more

Spontaneity and Planning

If you know my art, you will not not be surprised when I say that I tend to be a planner. I pick my subject matter quite carefully, and I tend to have a fairly good idea when I start of the final look that I want to achieve. I am also not normally a sketcher. I like to take my time and get shapes ‘right’, rather than quickly throw down some lines to catch an impression.

This is not to say that spontaneity is bad. Far from it. Some of my favourite drawings were started with only a general idea in mind, and they just kind of happened as they grew. Similarly, I find sketches, when I do them, can have their own unique charm.

Shadow Menagerie Read more