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.
Happy summer solstice! Summer solstice officially occurs at 2:07 am Alaska Time. Where I live in McCarthy the sun will rise at 3:49 am and set at 11:17 pm for a total of 19 hours and 28 minutes of daylight. That contrasts with the winter solstice, where we have 5 hours and 22 minutes of daylight. Daylight gives us energy and makes us happy so it’s a reason to celebrate. You can use this daylight calculator to see how much daylight there is on a certain day of the year in your location.
I just launched a Patreon page, Nizina Naturals, as a way to share my upcoming work with you. This is something I've thought a lot about. As much as I love putting a gallery show together and putting my work behind glass on big, white walls, I am really excited about creating something more intimate, that you can hold in your hands.
I’m sitting down at my computer to write in the evening. I just watered the garden, but a new rainstorm is moving up the valley from the Chugach. I hear Robins and Varied Thrushes singing outside and I found that many of the Calypso Orchids are in bloom today. Many other flowers will follow them. Summer and its’ frenetic energy seem to have arrived on the Nizina. I thought I’d sit down and give you a summary of where I’ll be and when, so you can follow along with me.
“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.