Monday, February 27, 2017

The Natural Sciences

Oxford University in the Summer
  All of these thoughts on microbes and evolution bring me to the dawning of the natural sciences. I always think of the old universities, Oxford and Cambridge, and imagine explorers sending seed samples or bringing birds or reptiles there to study and question. Greenhouses were built, gardens were grown, and students and professors pondered the origins and movements of never before seen creatures. How enlightening it must have been.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Microbial Worm

Microbial Worm, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2017
  I'm loving this idea of weird microbial creatures that have never before been seen. What might they evolve into given the time? What are the implications of life and even the definition of life? I found a related article questioning what life might be found on other planets, similar to these microbes? Our space equipment could be bringing it back to earth unawares. Tiny, dormant microbes sleeping in a grain of sand from Mars and brought back to Florida.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weird, Microbial Creatures

Weird, Microbial Creatures, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2017
  Have you heard of the Cave of Crystals? It's in Mexico and it's an otherworldly place with oversize crystals continuously growing through it. The scale is confusing. While exploring this incredible place, scientists collected crystal and discovered dormant micro-organisms. With some coaxing, they brought some of them to life. 90% of them have never been seen before.

  This discovery just blew my mind. I've always been fascinated by the strange shapes of micro-organisms and how they evolve. This painting is my interpretation of these new life forms.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Thing in the Forest

The Thing in the Forest, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2017

  "It's head appeared to form, or become first visible in the distance, between the trees. Its face-which was triangular-appeared like a rubbery or fleshy mask over a shapeless sprouting bulb of a head, like a monstrous turnip. Its colour was the colour of flayed flesh, pitted with wormholes, and its expression was neither wrath nor greed, but pure misery. Its more defined feature was a vast mouth, pulled down at the corners, tight with a kind of pain. Its lips were thin, and raised, like welts from whipstrokes. It has blind, opaque white eyes, fringed with fleshy lashes and brows like the feelers of sea-anenomes. Its face was close to the ground, and moved towards the children between its forearms which were squat, thick, powerful, and akimbo, like a cross between a monstrous washerwoman and a primeval dragon. The flesh on these forearms was glistening and mottled. every colour, from the green mould to the red-brown of raw liver, to the dirty white of dry rot." - A.S Byatt, Little Black Book of Stories

New to Gardening

Magnolia bloom with kangaroo paw in the background.

I've been spending a lot of time in our garden lately. Spring is almost here and for the first time since we moved into this house 6 years ago, I feel the need to start taking care of it. It was reading about roses that got me started. I learned that the end of January is the time to prune roses. The garden has a lot of roses that we have been ignoring this whole time. After reading a how-to in a Sunset gardening book and watching a few tutorials on YouTube, I gave it go. Once I started, I couldn't stop. It's like sculpting. It started with the roses and now I'm pruning trees and shrubs and digging up weeds and clearing away dead leaves and branches. Now I understand why people like to garden. It feels good to dig in the dirt, watch the first buds sprout, and know that worms crawling in the soil means it's healthy.
Today, while clearing muddy dirt from the root of a rose vine, I was reminded of a short story written by A.S Byatt about a little girl who ventures into a forest and speaks to a large slug. It's a strange story and full of magical and vivid imagery. It's a beautiful, modern fairy tale. I wonder of A.S Byatt is a gardener?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

One More Go

After an almost 2 year hiatus, I've come back to my blog to offer a space to journal my every day thoughts and ideas. I am making a change from featuring only projects and specific artists and inspirations to allowing myself the freedom to post and write about whatever I'm interested at the moment. No limitations.