Monday, January 30, 2012

IP: On a Botany kick!

So as a part of my IP project I'm doing several different kinds of illustrations–some will display plant anatomy in a very formal and strictly scientific fashion while others with play with the forms and colors of the plants in an extremely ornamental way. The design I came up with below was supposed to represent a very Art Nouveaux ideal of art and beauty–as something that is natural and coming from nature–the style is often geometric, symmetrical, and whimsical.

First the drawing

Then some fancy photo-editing

The name practical Botany actually is the name of a course I'm taking right now (BIO 102) and I thought it was funny and interesting name for a class, because it might imply that there is a Useless Botany course (which I'm sure would simply be a time-slot for college students to get tested on high school algebra in silence, in a classroom full of ferns and living rock plants that you don't even notice, haaaa). BUT what's interesting is that practical botany kind of brings out the dichotomy that exists with how one can view plants and nature in their life–as a tool or a provider of food and perhaps income and then oppositely as something of beauty and enjoyment through touching and viewing. Of course one can feel both, in fact I feel sure that if you identify with with former the latter will always come with it, but I also feel that many people in my generation and perhaps in my society experience and think about plants/nature in a mainly aesthetic way.

It's a pretty great class though, we are growing OH so many plants (11 so far!) and are making wine and a chamomile salve... mm salveeyyy.

New Pencils

Got a new, really nice batch of colored pencils and was EXTREMELY inspired by some Fab Ciaolo artwork. I made all these girls the same night I bought the pencils ... and I've been starting to draw plants with them for my project! I'll put those up in the next post.

I'm really liking this brand of colored pencil by the way. If anyone is looking to try a different kind other than Prismacolor, it's called Colorsoft by Derwent.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

IP: Plain Silliness

SOoo, I found that there's a device that allows your plant to tweet you (like through twitter, for those of you who are my dad) when it needs to be WATERED. Things are getting a little INSANE don't you think?

This has so much to do with how humans have become completely detached from the natural world. So much so that we need to use electronic technology to understand the plants we LIVE with. Here are the articles I found about it from The New York Times and CrispGreen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Things to look at

Some findings while doing research for the project. Makes me really wanna live in a glass pod from the arts and crafts movement in the middle of a lush forest... anyone else feeling that?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

IP: New Semester, New Work

Soooo, I changed my project a bit. I lopped off chunks from the plans I made last semester:

-getting rid of the altar
-getting rid of the "crafty" materials like yarn and nail polish

Some new additions to the project are:

-Terrariums with living plants
-Illustrations both scientific and decorative
-Photographs of idillic landscapes

and then keeping the beetle portraits, dioramas, and obviously sticking with the theme of man's perception of nature.

I started my beetle portraits. I switched over to acrylic paint because nail polish was too hard to deal with in general and wasn't adding much to the overall project.

We'll call this Bug1. I hope to start Bug2 in the next day or so. Along with these larger paintings on wood panels (they're a foot in diameter) I'm also going to be doing some water color bug/animal studies on a much smaller scale. I've already started a few, I'm sure you'll recognize an old friend:

Also on a non-IP note, I'm working on my Jockey painting again. My goal is to FINISH IT this SEMESTERRRR. We'll see if that happens, it's been a sloooooowwww process.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

IP: Taking a Turn for Something More Real

SOooooooo I really haven't done much during the break related to my project except think, read books on identifying local plants (Seeing Trees, I highly recommend it) and hanging out in the terrarium section at Plum Market. I've come to the realization that I'd really like to learn about and work with REAL plants. My concept of the disconnected relationship between man and nature will still be super relevant I'm just going to approach it differently.

The idea of a terrarium is very interesting to me. It's something humans have created to contain and "own" a tiny bit of nature and have it with them in their homes without having to do anything to maintain it. Basically a small environment in a glass exhibit so that they can we look at nature without really having to understand it in its original environment. The terrarium is very specifically created so that the environment can survive in a small enclosed vessel with no maintenance. It supports the idea that nature is something to simply look at and that humans have the power to make any plant exist where ever they wish no matter the climate or where the plant is native.

I've always loooved terrariums, or at least the idea of a mini environment that lives in your house. Even the vessles had a very emotional - nostalgic feeling for me.

So in pursuit of exploring terrariums and the plants that can live in them I found this very very strange plant called a Lithops, or Living Rock Plant. It's originally found in desert climates in southern Africa.

It's looks kind of like a brain and then sometimes also a bu– no never mind. Strange eh?!