Artful Evolution launch - 9 January 2015

What an amazing turn-out!
Thanks to everyone who came along for the Artful Evolution exhibition launch.


Thanks also to Alena and the crew at Arts Underground, Suzanne Paleczny, Dave White at CBC, Steve Brewis at Northern Frameworks, Kathy and the team at UPS, Ms Lori Garrison and the eternal optimist, Scott Shailer. I couldn't have held it together without you!

The exhibition runs until 31 January 2015.

Making art and learning to see

To cut down on the amount of deciphering we need to do, our brains have evolved a wonderful ability to create symbols in a kind of sensory short-hand. If I show you the word FLOWER you may be able to recall an image of a flower from your memory. Since your brain is versatile, it will most likely be a generalised flower-symbol rather than an image of a particular dandelion you happen to have picked as a child. 

While this is amazing and infinitely useful, it can get in the way of art. 

Whenever I teach a workshop on drawing, the hardest thing to overcome is the persistence of the symbol of the flower in our mind. If we rely on that symbol, we draw a childish image of a stick, some circles and maybe a leaf.

Art happens when we are willing to sit and really look.

The kids I taught at the 2014 Yukon Wildlife Preserve Art-Nature Camp show this beautifully!

Art and Nature Camp 2014_4
Art and Nature Camp 2014_1
Art and Nature Camp 2014_2
Art and Nature Camp 2014_3

Another amazing experience at the Royal Society of London!

Looking at the original publication of Robert Hooke's Micrographia: or, Some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses (1665). In this amazing publication, Hooke was the first to illustrate the forms he was identifying through the microscope with etchings.

Many thanks to Jo McManus and all of the Picture Curators for their assistance and suggestions!

The grain affords a very pretty object for the microscope, namely a dirth of lemons plac’d in a very little room.
— Robert Hooke, Micrographia, 1665, p154

One of the best experiences of my life!

A reader at Kew Library, Art and Archives looking at C19th printing woodblocks from Hooker’s Ic. Pl., Maria Sibylla Merian's Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (1705), and original illustrations from Chinese artists and Botanical magazine (early 1800s to 1900s).

Many thanks to Lynn Parker and Julia Buckley for all of their help and expertise!