ONE BUG A DAY
The beauty of having a new year is to think that one can start with a clean slate. I thought it would be nice to do one of those 30 Day projects, that are normally collective endeavors, but in my case, it is a way of keeping some sort of discipline. Just before the end of the year I visited the Natural History Museum in Tring, a wonderful collection donated by zoologist enthusiast: Lionel Walter Rothschild. Amongst the many treasures, there are some cabinets with beetles, moths and butterflies, truly amazing. Thus my project for 30 days is to draw one bug a day, in its natural size, based on my sketches in situ.
Instagrammed pictures of the bugs
Beetles are such as fantastic creatures, very colorful, resilient and diverse. Their presence are also indicative of the health of any environment. The wide variety of beetles and other insects is astonishing, some people, even predict that the food problem can be solved if we turn our apetite for bugs, indeed, some cultures have culinary specialties on bugs. In Colombia we have the big bottom ants (hormigas culonas) that make a local delicacy in the area of Santander in the north east.
I was also inspired by some botanical artists that I recently discovered in Facebook. IN particular, I loved the work of Dianne Sutherland Ball, her botanical drawings are just divine! The nice thing about studying other people’s work is to realise how much talent and possibilities are around, but also, it makes me think about my own particular style. My interpretation of natural images -botanical drawings, insects, etc- is a combination of taking on the classical language of botany and taxonomy, mixed with my own abstraction and colourful approach. Thus, although I try to keep as faithful to the original, my work is not a reproduction or description of the plant or the bug. Instead, I aim at recreating the image throughout my own psychedelic eye. Nonetheless, I like to learn more about the taxonomy or genre of each of the insects or plans, and a good deal of my time is spent on researching. This combination of a “imaginative” and “academic” approach allows me to develop my very own original take on this genre of work. My dear friend Professor Heather Hopfl, said:
“your work is magnificently vivid – it also has classic qualities which let the art communicate its historical resonances – this is what I first saw in your amazing flower drawings.” (Personal communication, FB 06.01.2014). Thanks Heather!
For this project I am experimenting with a mirroring approach, I am working in two different formats: on one hand, I am using a large (A1) watercolour sheet -textured- for a random positioning of the bugs (well, I started very neatly but I realised that it’s rather fun and less strict to random locate the bugs). At the same time, I am using A4 bristol paper (a very white clean paper with no texture) to present the beetles in a more traditional way. Depending on the real size of the bugs, I think I can do 4-6 per sheet. The white paper allows to scan it in a more precise way, thus making it easier to print.
6 Beetles (07012014)
Original drawings by BAcevedo
(Limited edition of Prints for Sale)
As I am preparing myself for my first exhibition in Spring 2014 (organised by the super executive and fellow artist Lesley Longworth), I think that this type of images will go well with the venue chosen for this exhibition on the 26th and 27th of April/2014 at Poplars Garden Centre.
So, if I keep on with this disciplined approach I will be able to have something substantial to show and share. Now keep working!