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14 h x 11 w inches, hand drawn ink on paper     purchase a giclee

cellular generation

(featured on the “It’s OK to be Smart” blog)



Pigment ink felt tip pen and prismacolor art marker on Strathmore “Windpower” acid free recycled content drawing paper.

A little fantasy on cellular structure and function. A cell is like a little Biological factory or engine in many ways, and that is an aspect of cellular function that has always fascinated me.  The drawing is divided into black and whiite detailed ink drawing zones and colored geometric ink painting zones.  These differentiated areas loosely represent the parts of a eukaryotic cell that are defined by membrane structures.  There is an outer membrane made of phospholipid amphiphiles and membrane proteins.  An inner membrane surrounds the chromosomes and material in the cell nucleus (Eukaryotic cells have nuclei).

I didn’t really try to specifically depict the molecular structures in each part of the cell; that is part of the “art” aspect to the drawing.  There are stippled areas suggestive of complex fluid structures in the areas of the cell that are more gelatinous and fluid, linear connected shapes suggestive of biological polymers and macromolecules, and defined regions suggestive or organelles.  As with many of my Science Inspired drawings, it is possible to read a good deal of science subject matter into the drawing, if the viewer is willing to make the translation from technical diagramming to Art.

The soft wash effects in the colored areas were created by layering marker colors on the reversed side of the drawing paper and allowing the ink to seep through. When the paper is flipped over, single marks have a soft uneven washed appearance with a faint dark line around the edges from the properties of the ink and paper fibers. In places where marker was applied more than once in layers, each pass with the marker pushes more color from the previous layers through to the other side of the paper. This property allows me to create mask effects, broken shapes and different types of contrast. When the colored portion was finished, the paper was lipped so I could work on the less saturated and more interesting side where the ink seeped or was pushed through the paper. Fine line traceries with an ultrafine tip felt tip (micron pigma 005 through 03 pens) were added. Selected colored regions were filled in with marker to create pops of saturated color.

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