Wednesday 13 November 2013

Little cone

Here's a study of a female fruit of the lovely bog myrtle or Myrica gale.

It's a great big enlargement, the real thing is about 8mm long. Whenever I look at anything under a microscope, it suddenly looks incredibly tasty and delicious. You get a better idea of how juicy everything alive is. A delightful thing about such reproductive structures as this is that they are often somehow disturbingly sexy as well. All that thrusting and jutting and other adjectives ripped straight from the Mills & Boon. It's something I hope to get across in a subtle way, in a sort of "While I'm here I might just add that Nature's a Bit Of A Good Time Girl, don't you know..." sort of way.

Anyway this is a nice enough picture but it isn't of Much Use To Science - it's not schematic enough, and you can't tell at a glance that the cone is made up of  a spiral arrangement of three-pronged  prongy things. Too much of the higgledy-piggledy 'well I just grew where I could and how I could under the circumstances' individualism and not enough of the 'this is how I work' generalisation. So it's perfectly good Natural History but rubbish Botany. That's the sort of conversation between me, my making, a plant and Culture that I find endlessly fascinating. How will it affect what I do next? How will it affect how I see others' work?

Fellow paint-nerds will be interested to hear that I used both the familiar and much-loved Greengold (W&N) but also the marvellous Nickel Azo Yellow by Daniel Smith to get those cheerful acid lime greens and yellows. And the biggest fattest brushes I could fit into the corners.

Monday 4 November 2013

Sunday night at the Vetinary Varieties.

Here's S i n k improvising to the life cycle of slime mould Physarum polycephalum at the Anatomy Theatre at Summerhall.  (It's Edinburgh's old Vet school, now given over to artists, hackers & the like.)  I did a short talk & me and Slimey did the visuals for the rest of the night. Very nice it was too, a gentle, eclectic night.