I’ve been looking at cells and microbiology recently on the web, and have been blown away by some of the images out there, so I decided to investigate the facilities we have within Perth College to see if I could do anything similar. My colleague, Maggie Fenton, has allowed me to visit her lab and will let me use the microscopes to view some of these spectacular patterns. At the moment, the labs are busy with students finishing off their course work, so Maggie kindly let me borrow some slides of cells and cross sections through plants.
I decided to do some drawings from the slides and wanted to use monotype drawing as a technique to give a slightly looser feel to the studies. Concentration started to wane slightly and I found it a challenge to remember which part of the cellular structures I was observing and drawing, so I decided to draw the parts of them that interested me, rather than trying to copy the whole photo. This also made me feel a bit happier in the fact that I was not plagiarizing, but being selective with parts the images which inspired me. I also took prints from the plate glass to give a negative drawing, which I may develop into paintings or mixed media pieces at a later date.
I really liked the second drawing which I did from a cross section through a pumpkin stem, the sizes of cells are more diverse and would make an interesting composition for an abstract piece.
Just been playing around on Photoshop with the cells I drew earlier, filling them with colour in the hope that I could develop them into a painting. I really love the work of Canadian artist Claire Desjardins, she paints beautifully chaotic abstracts using a wide spectrum of colour. I may use her work as an inspiration for my painting.
Thought I’d try deleting the black outlines to make it less like a drawing…
Its definitely starting to look better, I like the negative space around the shapes, it balances the composition more.
Started to over the larger shapes with a thick brush…I think it has improved yet again, cells have become slightly less rounded. One thing that I’m not keen on is the centralized pink and purple shapes, I need to move these off centre to improve the composition.
Finally…happy with the composition and colours…now I just need to find the time to start painting it!