Lorena Babcock Moore or Daniel Moore
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 11:02:06 -0700
Last week I spent 4 days at the Geological Society of America annual
meeting in Denver, CO. I gave a slide talk as part of a symposium on
"Teaching geology with art". Contributors included art educators, geology
professors, and two artist-geologists (me, and a young woman who is
grinding local rocks for ceramic glazes, then studying the petrography of
the results). An inspiring and encouraging session. I also had a booth
the exhibit hall, which was (theoretically) a near-perfect opportunity to
market my mineral paintings and services as an illustrator to thousands of
geologists and a dozen educational publishers. I took a portfolio with
reproductions and of course plenty of framed originals. Results were
1. No sales (!)
2. Several leads on one of my geology research projects
3. Encouragement from a geological educational journal for an
4. Several requests for a workshop on mineral pigments
5. One "bite" from a publisher who added me to her file of illustrators
and has offered to help me show some paintings alongside a photography
exhibit related to the release of a new book.
6. One request from a paleontologist who wants some pencil drawings, if
can get his publisher to agree. Neat project but too early to pin any
hopes on it yet.
Most meeting attendees were professors or students. Reactions to the
artwork ranged from delight to surprise and puzzlement to condescension to
My overall impression: the idea of an artist who draws scientific
is not new to anyone, but a geologist who draws pictures is outside the
natural order of the universe.
The new books I saw contained no drawings (they had photos, or no
illustrations at all).
Enough to give anyone the impression that traditional scientific
illustration is dead.
Turns out most people I talked to about this merely thought that
scientific ILLUSTRATORS were dead! (Remember, these people like rocks, and
tend to shy away from bugs, botany, and dissected colleagues).
Next year I hope to organize a show of geological art by anyone who wants
a reproduction or two - the whole thing to be displayed like a poster
Lorena B. Moore