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Niche Environments – February 2015

Life forms in frigid lakes thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface, in tiny cracks in rocks miles underground, and possibly under the frozen surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, where scientists theorize there is twice as much water as here on Earth.

When we look at a drop of pond water under a microscope, we see a complete world buzzing with life. Brown flatworms, Medusa-like nematodes, starfish-like hydras –– completely alien, unnerving and disorienting life forms.

My paintings reflect a fascination with both the microscopic and macroscopic worlds that exist in water, our most precious resource, and in niche environments. My drawings mimic life in the water, microorganisms on top of organisms, constellations of organic life. They also reflect the symbiotic relationship we have with the bacteria and fungi that live on and in our bodies. They present an opportunity for viewers to reconnect with nature and their ideas of nature. Working in encaustic allows me to layer my drawings the same way life lives in layers in a pond, in the ocean, and even on us.

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