Natural History Paintings of Invertebrate Animals
Aspirations and Inspirations
pencil on paper
This is a drawing created as part of a Kenyon Summer Institute class taught by Martin Garhart entitled "Still Life as Personal Narrative. I post it here as expressing, in part, the intent of my work as an artist. The jar on the left contains pond water and includes hundreds perhaps thousands of invertebrates, many of which are microscopic in size; the shell next to the jar is that of the Giant African Land Snail which by human interference has become a world wide invasive pest. Taken together the jar and the shell represent the need to preserve invertebrates in their native habitats and to stop the human mediated spread of invasive species. The coffee cup with a Michigan State University logo signifies my 40 + years teaching, the crow-quill pens represent my tools, and the open book is one of the six volumes of "The Invertebrates" written and illustrated by Libbie Hyman, perhaps one of the greatest zoologist of the 20th century who was devoted to invertebrates and has served as an inspiration for many of us. The book is open to a page illustrating rotifers which are among the most amazing and beautiful creatures in that jar.
From tiny microscopic creatures to large marine mollusks, I try to capture the beauty and personalities of the ignored, misunderstood or generally unknown creatures that share our planet. From the very simple to the incredibly complex these animals reveal the glory of life on earth. As we become more conscious of the aesthetic qualities of these animals perhaps we will all work toward preserving their habitats.
These images are not intended to be scientific illustrations; rather they are an expression of the beauty I see in these creatures.
If you have questions concerning the creatures shown on this web site please contact the artist.