Thursday, October 30, 2014


I've got five words for ya:  Botanical Research Institute of Texas.  I went there and it is amazing.  There are around one million specimens from around the world and the two oldest specimens in the collection are from 1791.  Yeah…1791.  No big deal.  This initial visit has instigated some ideas and I'll return soon to take some photos and sketch from the archives - I can't wait!

It is unbelievable to me that these two specimens are from 1791!
One million plant specimens live here!  E-ghads! 
Hand-painted print from BRIT library collection.
The BRIT has a nice collection of living, breathing specimens too.

I'm not sure exactly what to call the five works below.  They are photographs taken within the last two months that I have paired together and printed on drawing paper and then drawn on with graphite and framed.  I self-published a small book a couple of years ago filled with paired photographs (no graphite) but this format is new which is exciting.

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens Conservatory
Monnig Meteorite Gallery
Starling/Botanical Research Institute of Texas
Cactus Garden

I spent a portion of the day getting the studio prepped for my first committee meeting next week.  It always seems something comes out of rearranging and getting organized - the vignette below happened.  I like seeing all the work that has sprung from one fallen starling.  The mixed media piece above can be included as well.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Studio Update

Shakespeare's Birds I - finito!

Two Houses/One Landscape - check!

The starling project continues.  This week the fallen bird was scanned and 3D printed.  I believe my next step is making a mold so multiple copies can be made.

scanning process
The white form in the front is the finished print.
Long story short...the grad students are funding the trip to NYC through a CSA project.  All of the deets are below.  My portion has turned into what I like to call "Truck Stop Art" and I'm pretty happy about it.  Here is a glimpse of the little dudes in-progress...

Dear Art Lovers and Community at large,

This  fall  the  TCU  Master  of  Fine  Arts  candidates  are  making  works  of  art  to  sell  in  “Shares”  in  a   “Community  Supported  Art  (CSA)”,  a  riff  on  Community  Supported  Agriculture  (which   supports small local farms). The original concept creates a symbiotic relationship between consumer and producer that encourages quality product and local support for small business. Our take on this project has similar goals in introducing the artwork of local artists to the public. Through this CSA, a total of 20 shares are available for purchase, each share will include four unique and original works of art.

The money generated from this project will help fund the MFA students educational trip to New York city, led by TCU School of Art professors Cam Schoepp and Adam Fung, in January 2015.
We invite you to participate in this project by purchasing a share (or double share if you want to receive 8 works of art, all 7 of the MFA students and selection from one of the three TCU, School of Art, Assistant Professors participating, see list below).

The price for a share is $300 (4 works of art) and $600 for a double share (8 works of art). To purchase  a  share  pay  via  paypal  “gift”  (pay  to  email  “”  )  or   check made out to our managing Professor, Adam Fung. Paypal is our preferred method of payment.
Please visit our website: for further details.

December 11, 2014 from 7:30pm-9pm, a Release Party will be held at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts. This lively event will be the first time shareholders get to see their purchased share and pick up their share.

Participating Artists include:
Amanda Arredondo (Master of Fine Arts candidate) Mason Bryant (Master of Fine Arts candidate) Courtney Hamilton (Master of Fine Arts candidate) Alyssa Hawkins (Master of Fine Arts candidate) Fernando Johnson (Master of Fine Arts candidate) Layla Luna (Master of Fine Arts candidate)
Max Morris (Master of Fine Arts candidate)
Nick Bontranger (TCU School of Art Faculty) Adam Fung (TCU School of Art Faculty)
Rachel Livedalen (TCU School of Art Faculty)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scatter Brain

I feel like I'm all over the place and here is proof…

16 Dream Houses, oil pastel on paper
Sparrows as Landscapes, acrylic with oil glazes on canvas

Sitting Room, graphite, colored pencil, & gesso on birch

Meteorites, graphite and pastel
Sometimes you just need to draw meteorites and luckily there is a meteorite collection on campus.  I'm partial to the guy below.  He is from Canyon Diablo in AZ.  Found in …(drumroll)…1891!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mid-semester what?!

Mid-semester break…wait…what?!  Hold the phone, I'm still stuck in week one!  I definitely feel like time is moving way faster than I am but time is on a schedule and won't wait on me so I'm doing my best to keep moving forward.  

The excitement over the starling is still bubbling which is good fuel.  Above is a collage of a tracing I did of the starling and below that is a screen shot of him on the 3D printer.  You heard right…this little dude will soon be a 3D image of itself.  I love that this work is coming from a very particular bird.  Out of the millions of starlings in the world this one specific starling is my reference.

I took a solo field trip to the Botanic Gardens to visit the conservatory which did not disappoint.  I was most drawn to the thin panes of glass that separated the plants inside from the space outside.  I also fell in love with this blood orange tree on the outskirts of the garden outdoors.

The oil pastel houses I began earlier this year are growing 
and another large canvas was started.

And I haven't forgotten about my sparrows which temporarily look like little ghosts...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Collage de College

Q:  What happens when a fellow grad student finds a deceased starling?
A:  You put said bird in the kiln at 200 degrees for two days then cover him in baking powder for preservation purposes of course.

Q:  How do you properly enjoy the prickly pear cactus garden outside of the sculpture building?  
A:  You pick up the fruits, place them in a jar, take them to your studio, and marvel at their loveliness.  (Then pick out the tini tiny thorns from your fingers because you didn't wear gloves during the harvest.)

Q:  What do you do with the seemingly different visual information from the above experiences?
A:  You combine them and realize that it makes them all the more lovely.

Birds of Shakespeare painting progress...

I'm working on both of these paintings at the same time.  They're about two feet apart from each other in the studio and I really see one as an extension of the other.  A night and day kind of thing.