Drawn to the West: a syndicated sciart column

If there’s anything I enjoy more than sketching and illustrating the world around me, it’s sharing…

…what I discover or wonder about with others through #scicomm projects and workshops. That’s what compelled me to launch Drawn to Quebec, an illustrated #sciart column about nature and culture, nearly one year ago.

Recently, I unpacked all my art materials, guide books, and gear into a new home on the windswept grasslands of Wyoming. And so I’ve returned to visually capturing what makes life so compelling in the high, dry, and sunny Mountain West of my childhood. Continue reading “Drawn to the West: a syndicated sciart column”

What I learned drawing: Fish & Desert Plants

Chiricahua National Monument (6)_wm

“Close observation is the first step in any scientific inquiry, and to my mind, there is no better way to observe than to try to draw what you are looking at.” – Barrett Klein

Barrett Klein, a trained artist and entomologist, is a preparator and display maker in the Exhibition Department at the American Museum of Natural History, and what he said couldn’t be more true for a couple of my recent commissions.

In December, I spent a luxurious handful of days in Arizona’s Sonoran desert, sketching and photographing the landscape, creatures, and plant communities. As I mentioned in my January newsletter, I was working on reference images for a set of commissioned pen-and-ink sketches slated to run in a book about desert bighorn sheep.

Perhaps one of the most revealing observations I made, though, had nothing to do with bighorn sheep.

Continue reading “What I learned drawing: Fish & Desert Plants”

Illustrating Ecology…conferences, that is

*Images are from the ‘drawing for scientists’ section I led in a scicomm workshop at ESA’s 2014 annual meeting.

Researchers have demonstrated that drawing (even without training) can help clarify what you know, assist instructors in assessing student knowledge, and enhance public communication efforts. And, there is evidence that collaboration between scientists and artists may result in better science.

Continue reading “Illustrating Ecology…conferences, that is”