15 Minutes: Cabinet of UnNatural Curiosities

I got the book, The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Albertus Seba’s meticulous nature artwork,  a long time ago on sale. I’s a gigantic book that should be on my coffee table but is in my book shelf. Then I was in a museum store in Milan and discovered they made a much smaller version of the book and bought that to bring to my studio. It’s all written in Italian.

I’ve recently put out the book and opened it to different pages just to imbibe the feeling of the artist’s great work. It’s packed full of what I think of as “botanical” drawings, although armadillos and snakes may not be included in that concept. There are many pages of snakes. I mostly look at the leaves, flowers and insects as well as some other stuff he puts in a kind of grid, which is my favorite of his drawings, putting many of the same thing on the page in a grid.

I recently ventured into drawing bees. I’ve drawn leaves and flowers but not bees. For some reason at the moment I am more interested in them than other insects, scarabs, beetles, for good reason. Bees are endlessly fascinating, scary, magical, powerful and fun to draw. I stared at a bee drawing today for around 45 minutes while on the phone before I drew it.

I’ve now drawn six bees, two in each drawing. The first drawing was just of bees, in my Sketchbook Project. I cut it out and copied one of my bees using one of my fountain pens. I’ve found other detailed bee drawings and copied them in the drawing below.

I have been posting a few drawings and “mixed media” drawings on wood, calling it My Cabinet of Unnatural Curiosities. I like the name as I am doing weird stuff with observational type drawings of bees, leaves, flowers and mushrooms. I’m not sure it’s legal to title this series something so close to the original book, but for now it’s a fun way to think of them as I dive into this realm of weirdness that synthesizes some old art pursuits and current interests in making images…


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