There will soon be a bunch of freshly-accepted papers to write about… but in the meantime, I’ve been maintaining my work-life balance by indulging one of my oldest passions – art! My Mum was an art teacher before she retired, and working on creative projects has been something I’ve done to relax for as long as I can remember.
Nowadays, there’s nothing I love more than combining my love for art with my love for science and the natural world!
I designed and made these lino prints with my friend Beth Reinke in mind. Beth studies painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) at her long-term field site in Wisconsin, where she’s collected data on morphology and colour from 1000+ turtles! They’re the most widespread native turtle in North America – keep an eye out for these beautiful reptiles next time you’re near some slow-moving fresh water.
Lino printing (a descendent of traditional wood block printing that became popular through artists like Matisse and Picasso in the early 1900s) is my current favourite way to relax and be creative in my downtime. I started with a basic turtle-shaped stamp, and then carved down to provide the layers of gold and black that you see – what’s cool about this method (and what makes each print unique!) is that by adding detail to the lino stamp, you are also destroying it – so, these can’t be recreated. ART, PEOPLE 😄
I’m working on some more natural history-based ideas, and taking lots of inspiration from the study species of my friends. Got any ideas? What do you do to relax in your downtime? Let me know!