Several years ago some of our neighbors and I started a gardening for wildlife group. We now have about 35-40 people from our middle class suburban neighborhood in our group. It has been quite fun to find like minded people so close in our midst.

Last year I counted how many species I had on my Christmas tree and counted about 35 (some mythical or non-identifiable as a species). I'm trying to convince Karen Johnson to make some bug Christmas ornaments. It's not easy to find bugs.



Patricia Savage


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On 1/17/14 12:46 PM, Barry K. MacKay wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">

I was thinking along those lines myself.


Late in my life I am in a relationship with a widow who has two grown (but not grown-up) kids, a boy, who still lives with his mom, and a girl who has moved out.  We don’t live together, mainly because of the boy still being at home…he and I get along super but I think that our friendship might falter if we were living in the same house.  The girl moved into with her boyfriend and his family, but that broke up and she’s now with me, at least temporarily…and that works out since she’s hardly ever here (she already has a new boyfriend…oh to be young)..  


BUT, none of them, thus their friends and colleagues, are from “my” world.   And it is astounding to me when I come up against “ordinary” people…people who don’t have a hawk spending the winter in the furnace room while recovering from head trauma; who don’t have preserved zoological specimens tucked here and there; who don’t have massive reference libraries, who don’t comment on the appearance of clouds, who don’t automatically kill spiders, who have a dead whatever in the freezer (but is a vegan in their diet as I and one group of my friends are) or runs toward, not away from, snakes, or whose camera is virtually never aimed at humans, or is not fanatical but is careful, about saving energy or properly recycling, or has “ugly creatures” as screen-savers and so on and on…


It doesn’t help that I read non-fiction, don’t watch television other than news shows and documentaries and I haven’t heard of any of a wide range of “celebrities” they seem to know intimately.   In short, they are “ordinary people”.


But the biggest difference is this:   They work at jobs they don’t like!  Not in the sense that they’d do the work whether paid or not.   My jobs…artist, writer, animal protectionist…are all complimentary and I enjoy and would do each of them paid or not, and far from looking forward to getting away from them, I look forward to doing them.   They, this other group of friends and acquaintances, don’t. 


That’s why I stayed a bachelor…I knew that I’d wouldn’t earn a good living doing what I enjoyed doing (unless I met Miss Right who felt the same…alas, I never did) and so now I have this comfortable relationship and it’s working out fine except that my tongue is sore from biting it so as not to express my own shock at so much of what they say.


I could be wrong, but I think that as artists who do, in varying degrees and in varying ways, representational work – realism – even if it’s entirely by computer (I am entirely old fashioned traditionalist in my own work) we SEE the physical world more clearly than “ordinary” folks.   I am forever noting how the light hits the edge of a twig, or the shape of shadows, the texture of a rock or wall or whatever, and I’m pretty sure we all do the same.


But I think (and, as I say, could be wrong) that this habit also makes us more analytical than those “ordinary people”.   I can’t say that to them without sounding horribly elitist, so I shut up, but I find that they tend to make assumptions unfounded by anything close to facts.   My other friends are far less inclined to do that…artists and advocates both.


It’s just a theory, but often sitting with ‘them”, although they may be fun or entertaining to be with, I still feel a little like I’ve fallen down the rabbit-hole.






From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barbara Harmon
Sent: January-17-14 11:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] TAN- Gecko recovered!


Probably my favorite thing about this profession.



Barbara Harmon   





On Jan 17, 2014, at 11:49 AM, Linda Feltner wrote:

We do have stories to tell...... 




Linda M. Feltner Artist, LLC
P.O. Box 325
Hereford, AZ 85615
(520) 803-0538






On Jan 17, 2014, at 9:44 AM, OC Carlisle wrote:

This whole series of texts has all the makings of a short movie, cartoon drawings…Scientific illustrators encounters with animals. “Drawing on the Wild Side…”  Reminds me of the movie “Ratatouille"




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