This series layers lichens with versions of landscapes only possible from a human vantage point: aerial views; composites mapped from memory.
The objective is to illustrate a balance between extremely slow forms of erosion and regrowth--in terms of both human and natural establishments--and the volatile forces that re-shape our world and our perspectives of it instantaneously.
The methods of achieving and visualizing this balance differs from one landscape to another, but perhaps a universal key can be found in the symbiotic lives of every landscapes' lichens.
Methods of Dispersal and Establishment
Mount St. Helens / lichen flow.
Observations on Fragmentation and Loss
Made during a winter spent watching over a house and a tiny white dog in a hundred-year-old apple orchard in the North Cascades, while the house's long-time inhabitants were away dealing with a heavy loss.
Years later I translated my small scale sketchbook drawing to a 4x4' panel of scrap wood from a house I lived in in Bow, WA-- a dreamy landscape in the corner of the US if ever there was one.
aerial view of bigleaf maple twig. Magnified 60x. Made during artist residency in North Cascades National Park.
A lichened whorl on a barely-standing cabin on my mom's defunct mining claim outside of Helena, Montana.
Vapor Recollection in Cryptothecia rubrocincta
At one point I somehow ended up traversing the country a number of times, going back and forth between the Florida panhandle (where my family is) and the eastern Sierras, where I was working on a mural project. The cloud formations, neon lichens, and abandoned structures on both sides became conflated, drifted upward, crystallized and are still in the process of re-dispersal.
Construction, East Berlin
SLIME MOLDS: An Illustrated Guide
Slime molds are a unique group of cryptogams (spore-bearing organisms) which, in their giant one-celled "plasmodial" phase, travel the detritus of all continents, eating bacteria and eventually "fruiting" into the reproductive structures illustrated here.
For several years I illustrated the world’s most common slime molds for renowned expert Dr. Steven L. Stephenson, at the University of Arkansas. Below are some of those drawings, which enlarge specimens around 40x.
P. roseum: Out in the Sticks
Catch a glimpse of a day in the life of a traveling slime mold saleslady.
Overviews and details of how different living beings take shelter.
My friend Ross's photo of a drawing I made of a corner of a house that used to flood in Tallahassee. The house is on a street which was once downstream of some kind of waterfall-- the very cascades that provided the incentive to build the town there. It took the city a long time to fix the infrastructure of that street, but now all that water has been diverted into the new Cascades Park.
Snag for transients
The woods near Bellingham are punctuated with woodpecker sounds and holes; I don't know if there's a surplus of snags (standing dead trees; temp. housing for risky bugs) or some missing members of the ecosystem that would otherwise make their own perforations.
A roof in the Dominican Republic, 2011.
The nervous system of a western species of ant which easily makes its home in wooden parts of human dwellings. The shelter this ant is associated with is right next to a railroad track where trains increasingly carry coal, vibrating nerves and right angles in the adjacent tiny ex-logging neighborhood of Blanchard, WA many times a day.