Thank you for visiting. I work as a science illustrator and natural history artist from my home in McCarthy, Alaska.
I love to create visuals that explain a process or a place. From pop up books for children, interpretive signs, coloring books, and other educational materials, I have experience creating engaging, one of a kind visuals. Here you will find a selection of projects that I have worked on, as well as portfolios of black and white, color, and digital work. Further information and professional recommendations are available upon request.
I enjoy making work about the natural world that isn't quite "science illustration". This work includes drawings, paintings, cyanotype prints, and other mixed media. It is my venue for exploring our relationship with the natural world and diving into the subjects that are of deep interest to me. I also am happy to create commissions for others.
“Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union. Loneliness is small, solitude is large. Loneliness closes around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity”
-Quote by Kent Nerburn, which I found posted by @northernproject on Instagram several months ago.
This post is going to be more of a photo essay. I want to share my recent experience doing an artist in schools residency in Nondalton. First welcome to Nondalton! It takes about an hour to fly there from Anchorage, located on the Alaska Peninsula on Six Mile Lake which drains out of Lake Clark and into the Newhalen River. I was there in April, during their last two weeks of school so the lake was frozen, but you couldn't quite trust the ice to go too far. Even though it was break up you could tell the importance of the geography of the watershed. People drive over the lake in the winter and use boats to get around in the summer.
This year I decided to participate in the 100 Days Project, a free, global project, hosted online where people do one creative act every day for 100 days. You can learn more about it on their website and see what other people are doing by searching under #the100dayproject.
I’m not the type of tourist who wants to see every museum that a place has to offer, but I do love to go and spend a couple of hours walking around an art or natural history museum. Often when going to a new museum there is so much to see that I get overwhelmed. One of my favorite ways to slow down and appreciate what’s in front of me (instead of worrying about trying to see everything) is to bring a sketchbook or journal and take some time for focused observation.
While I was traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia I filled an accordion sketchbook, and I had quite a bit of fun doing it. Accordion sketchbooks are relatively cheap to buy, or are easy to make; they are portable, and provide a wealth of options for how to fill them. First I am going to show you how to make your own, then I’ll write a bit about how I filled mine while traveling.
Think about using both pages of your sketchbook (the spread) to spread out and tell more of a story, adding context to your original illustration. In this post are three examples from my travel sketchbook. I love drawing and thinking about plants, so that is my focus here, but you can obviously choose whatever you like as your subject.
Creating your own field guide or collection can be a great way to organize visual information. You also can be creative with it and don’t need to take it to a Sibley-level of perfection unless you want to. Here is an example of a collection of different tropical flowers I found while walking around Hoi An, Vietnam.
I have a 13-hour flight from Vancouver to Guangzhou and then a 5-hour layover in China before getting to Vietnam. I thought it would be fun to write a post on some things you can do on the airplane. I especially wanted to provide some ideas that don’t involve the Internet or watching movies (though that is a great way to pass the time too). I want to prep a few activities that aren’t too mentally grueling and maybe are even a bit relaxing.
I’m leaving in a few days to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia (want to come with and share the experience? learn more here). Note that since I live in remote Alaska, it is going to take me a few days to get there. Before I leave, I wanted to write a post about what I’m bringing with me.
First of all, there is nothing wrong with keeping your sketch kit simple and affordable. A notebook with unlined paper and pen or pencil will suffice! Really lined paper would be fine too. However as a professional artist I have lots of art supplies, and I wanted to share a few of my favorites for taking on the go.
I’ve been working on this blog post for a while. I keep putting it off because wilderness is a complicated idea near and dear to my heart. Before I begin I feel the need to disclaim that I’m not going to be able to fit all of my thought in one blog post, but that doesn’t mean I should share some of them.
One of the projects I am working on right now is to illustrate a poster for the Nellie-Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area. Last summer I did an artist residency there with the US Forest Service...