Friday, April 27, 2012

Gross! (Pilobolus)

It's Oddment 144 today, so of course I had to draw something kinda gross. (Forgive me...) Luckily I have a new friend (we met at our local Hoop Jam) who provided the perfect substrate for today's oddment outgrowth!  Alissa Bernholc is a scientist-poet, a biostatistician who has written a wonderful collection of poems called The Other Kingdoms. Here's the Introduction: 

Pieces of glass have brought to light
A secret world beyond your sight.

And everywhere you dare to look
You’ll see what clever Leeuwenhoek

Has seen before. He magnified
Strange creatures all and so he spied

The protozoa and the yeasts,
All kinds of tiny living beasts,

Bacteria, and algae too,
Even cells in me and you.

And here's the particular poem that inspired this image: 


Pilobolus lives on horse's dung,
Not dog's or man's or mice.
Sporangial hats up high are flung
To land on something nice.

Pilobolus are particular.
No common dung will do.
The scenery is spectacular
On soft sweet horse's doo!

Thank you so much, Alissa, for permission to use your work! Both poems are copyright Alissa Bernholc. Please contact Alissa if you'd like to reprint or see more. Also, Alissa would like to point out a slight amendment: Pilobolus can live on other herbivore dung as well as horse's. But not dog's or man's or mice. ;-)

Of course, the real Pilobolus doesn't have faces, unless you're talking about the brilliant dance company of that name. It was named after the fungus because one of the founders had been researching it. Here's an appropriately biological sample of their highly inventive work. I've seen them perform several times over the years & they never fail to cast all sorts of delightful new spores into my brain. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It's Spring & the flowers are smiling!
Photoshop sketch (for the eternal painting).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Another zoophytic critter for the painting, possibly in the same family as the mothroom.

Really this would be more of a rootfly, botanically, but I couldn't resist the dyslexic pun. Photoshop.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hegemony Print Sale

My kitty Ivy is at the vet with what appears to be kidney issues... so in her honor & to help raise funds for her treatment I'm putting this print on sale in my Etsy shop, Curious Art Lab

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


More flora from the painting-in-progress. I love embroidery but rarely find the time to do it these days. I was remembering fondly the little flowers I made as a child, using buttons & lazy-daisy stitch, & I thought how funny it would be if you actually saw them growing in the garden... well, they'll be growing in the painting instead!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Blue

Another little critter for the painting-in-progress.

Friday, April 13, 2012


A little bitty quizzical quickie for IF-- this fellow was painted in acrylic on the back of a jigsaw puzzle piece. He's about 2" from ear to ear.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anxiety: A Tax

Yes it's that time again (well, it is if you live in the US & you're a chronic tax procrastinator like me). No time for an oddment so I'm offering this oldie. Some of you may remember it from days of yore... if so I apologize for bringing up painful memories.

Oh, & don't panic-- it's not the 15th yet! Hey, that means I'm actually ahead of the game, right?

Sculpey, acrylic, paper & found objects on canvas, 9"x12"

Monday, April 9, 2012

Z is for Zashiki-warashi

In contrast to all the zombies, my final entry for AlphaBeasts! is a not-very-beastly beast: meet Zashiki-warashi, an auspicious yōkai that takes the form of a young child with a red face & bobbed hair. She protects the household & brings good luck, but occasionally performs benign mischief such as sitting on someone's futon or turning over pillows.

Acrylic on Cream of Wheat advertisement scanned from True Experiences magazine, February 1937, ~6.5"x8"

And with that, AlphaBeasts is put to bed... *sniff* are all mine in one place. Many thanks to Andrew Neal for hosting... & for putting me in his final Zombie illustration! week brings fresh hazards to be faced!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ephemeral Eggs

No time for an oddment today as I'm madly painting eggs, but here's a little Victorian trade card from my ephemera collection for your enjoyment.

Happy Easter, happy Passover, happy Spring to all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blue Man Drupe

Okay, technically that should be blue man drupelets, but it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Another inhabitant of that painting I'm always on about.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Y is for Yama-oroshi

Apologies for the late post & AlphaBeasts! entry-- lots going on with work & family right now, so I may miss a post here & there in the hubbub.

Yama-oroshi was actually one of my favorite Yokai discoveries-- its whole existence is based on a pun, & there's just something so delightfully random about a radish grater monster!

Acrylic on text scanned from Sears Roebuck Catalog of 1897.