An artful look at eating meat

Eating Meat_The Learned Pig_screenshot (04.2015)

Ever since I first took an animal’s life with my own hands with the intention of eating it – a brook trout caught in a barely-big-enough-to-call-a-stream back in high school – I have been at turns fascinated and repulsed by what is involved with getting meat from hoof to dinner plate. This preoccupation predates my interests in science communication (#scicomm and #sciart) and persists to this day.

A lot of science and emotion is tied up in modern assessments of the ecological sustainability, morality, and even human/animal rights issues associated with eating meat. The British publication The Learned Pig recently published a photo essay of mine which explores the hands-on experience of killing, butchering, and eating meat. Continue reading “An artful look at eating meat”

Urban Sketchers helps advertise my upcoming Glacier National Park workshop

USK_Drawing Attention_screenshot (02.2015)

Urban Sketchers International produces a monthly newsletter called Drawing Attention, in which they feature the projects, workshops, etc. of sketchers all around the world.

In their February 2015 edition, they gave my upcoming Glacier National Park workshop – Drawn to Natural History – a nice shout-out. They also mentioned the photojournalist who spotted me sketching in Tucson in early January.

Arizona Daily Star caught me sketching

BGMerkle_sketching_Tucson Daily Star (01.01.2015)On New Year’s Day, a reporter from the Arizona Daily Star spotted me sketching in downtown Tucson, AZ. I was working on field sketches for an illustration project about desert bighorn sheep (see details here and here), and needed to depict how far up into the Santa Catalina Mountains housing developments have sprawled. My husband had the brilliant idea to ascend a parking garage in order to gain the right vantage point.

It had snowed overnight, making for a crisply cool morning and lots of extraordinary photos before I set out sketching. The snow is what brought that photojournalist up to the top of the very same parking garage. That’s where he noticed me sketching mountains, a sea of houses, and a particularly bold cactus wren.

20150101_Tucson parking garage (27)_c_cr


Drawn to Quebec: an illustrated newspaper column

Drawn to Quebec banner (07.2014)_v6 I’m delighted to announce that my illustrated column, Drawn to Quebec,  has been nominated for a provincial ‘Best Column Writing’ award! Scroll to the bottom for links to all the articles in the series, or keep reading to see what the nomination, from the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph‘s editorial team, says: D2Q_Vineyard to Sante_QCT (12.17.2014)_5 “Bethann’s illustrated column, Drawn to Quebec, has been a breath of fresh air for the editorial team and our readership. Specifically, she raised our awareness of issues that we didn’t know. Her extensive knowledge of the natural world, combined with years’ of teaching experience, enable her to write in a conversational fashion, including the readers in her articles by using “we” and “our”. This approach has helped not just our readers, but our staff, feel as though they’re being spoken with (not at), and they’re actively participating in discovery and exploration of Quebec City’s nature/culture overlap. Continue reading “Drawn to Quebec: an illustrated newspaper column”