Her Flag: Celebrate equality & natural heritage on March 21st

20200304_Merkle_stripe_excerpt_1_herflag_logo

36 states ratified the 19th amendment. 36 female artists designed stripes for Her Flag, a massive flag to commemorate these states.

I was selected to design Wyoming’s stripe! This Saturday, it will be sewn into the flag (which is ultimately 18 feed by 26 feet!).


Her Flag | Live (online) | March 21, 2020 @ 1:00 PM MDT

Join us through the live stream:
-Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/herflag2020/
-Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/herflag2020/


My design honors 36 women who inspired and informed my own understanding of equality. These women are all modern women, such as my sisters, mom, aunts, mother-in-law, mentors, and collaborators. Some of these women taught me to empower other women. A few taught me about natural history. One taught me how to teach people about science. Another taught me how to garden, and one introduced me to bluegrass.

20200304_Merkle_stripe_excerpt_2
Left to right: My maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother, and two great aunts, joined by a pair of Wyoming’s iconic bison.

Intertwined throughout the stripe, I also added familiar elements of biodiversity that make a place home such as local wildflowers, the Wyoming toad, ladybug, chickadee, Indian paintbrush, beaver, yucca seed, bison, pronghorn, and more. The background is made of 36 four-patch quilt squares, sewn from my great grandmother’s quilt scraps.

More Information

Stay tuned for Wyoming-specific follow-up project I’m working on with support from the University of Wyoming Office of Engagement and Outreach!

Media Coverage

More details are available in the following links:

 

I don’t usually post selfies, but that’s about to change. OR, some things #scientistswhoselfie and #sketchyourscience have in common.

20150808_Biodiversity Inst workshop (2)_cr.jpg
Me (left) teaching a #sketchingforscientists workshop in Laramie, Wyoming

I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent Science op-ed that was a personal attack against a well-known and successful science communicator and neuroscientist active on Instagram and other communication and engagement platforms. Among other things, I see this issue as relating to insecurities, negative social conditioning, and lack of support that folks often face when pursuing careers in the arts, or even considering trying out an art form.  Continue reading I don’t usually post selfies, but that’s about to change. OR, some things #scientistswhoselfie and #sketchyourscience have in common.

Book review of “Then There Were None”

Screenshot_book_review_bighorn_sheep_book

Last year, a book I illustrated was published! The book, Then There Were None: The Demise of Desert Bighorn Sheep in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, by Paul Krausmandetails the demise of the desert bighorn sheep populations in the mountains around Tuscon, Arizona. It is both a conservation history and a warning for current conservationists.

I was delighted to recently bump into a review of it that also mentioned my illustrations.

You can order the book from the publisher, New Mexico University Press, here.

Inspiration: Natural history resources and examples to jump-start and inspire you, your students, and your friends

c1a57323-4257-482c-98af-a471a185a587
There’s a lot of SciArt out there, as you can see by this Google Image search for the term “#sciart”.

A few weeks ago, a friend wrote and asked me: “What natural history illustrators/artist-scientists would you want to use to inspire youth/adults to love nature, art, and science?”

Oh, was I excited to answer the question!
Here are a handful of the natural history SciArtists I recommended:

And, here are a couple of books that can get you rolling with even more ideas  & inspiring SciArtists:

  • Field Notes on Science and Nature -essays with field note examples from about 10 different people who do field work and use field journals/notebooks.
  • The Heyday of Natural History – great investigation of how the pursuit of natural history became a popular past time and then developed into specialized science
  • I want to read this one: Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower: Artists’ Books and the Natural World.

Sketching Tip: Using words for all they are worth

Hares sketched in East Africa – this was the best I ever could do, because they didn’t stick around long enough! (© B.G.Merkle, 2016)

Not all sketching plans go according to plan, and then words can play a critical role. 

In May 2016, I took a trip to East Africa, working on the first international phase of my ecology storybook project: “The Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare.” I did a lot of prep for my trip to East Africa. But of course, all kinds of situations arise which planning can’t anticipate. Continue reading Sketching Tip: Using words for all they are worth