Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Small, Smaller, Smallest! A Microbial Adventure

Kelli here. It was a small adventure. Really small. It was inspired by the Scale of the UNIVERSE. The site loads with human beings in the center, and in my person-centric frenzy I immediately zoomed out to view all of the things larger than myself. When I zoomed back in I realized what I'd missed at the beginning. Humans are in the center of the scale. Planets and star clusters, meet microbes and quantum foam; your balancing counterparts. 
I'd forgotten to get CLOSE UP! Astounding. Bacteria became my focus for 24 hours. I am not an immunologist, microbiologist, nor do I speak for the CDC, but I have seen "Contagion" and I have the Internet. So, I Googled and drew as many of the elegant little creatures as I could fit on a page. Which is a lot.

I planned to carve stamps, so I was going for broad shapes here, although my daughters have been picking out specific shapes and naming them. "Hey! It's Streptococcus!"  and "Why, isn't that Bubonic Plague?" I have no idea where they got the science geek gene but it can be a little disturbing at times.  Since the shapes were simple, I redrew them directly onto the carving blocks. The idea is to carve one to three and just restamp them to create a cluster.
Carved and tested!

On a sheet of watercolor paper (but certainly appropriate for a sketchbook) I painted some fancy petri dishes, then I populated them with stamped bacteria. In my colorful world the various kinds of bacteria live happily together in the same dish. What about it? It could happen. The names of the bacteria were so interesting that I circled the petri dishes with some of them, using a Micron pen.
 In a final act of lunacy, I cut them all up into postcards and stitched the edges.

And now I'm going to gift one of you with a dose of bacterial love by sending you a microbial postcard of your own. Be sure to enter your sketches into this month's giveaway if you'd like one of these or the other high falootin' giveaway packages! And pop over to my blog for more chances to get a postcard from your friendly mail person.


  1. Oh Kelli, this is fabulous! And hilarious at the same time. Love those little critters, and the stamps - oh my!

  2. arg! In this case - I SOOOOO wish I were eligible to win one of these! Somebody here is LUCKY!

    Kelli - I love, love, love your work!

  3. Hmmm-a close up of my refrigerator! AAAACCCKKK!LOL Lori W at Art Camp for Women

  4. I love postcard size art.....I send them to my grandchildren who live out of state...what better reason to create.....

  5. These are fabulously creepy and intensely fascinating at the same time. Super creative and certainly unique! Great job!

  6. I love your germs. I am going to have to make some germs too. Great idea!

  7. What a wonderful idea to make them into stamps. Love the cards.

  8. Ohhh my, this brings back memories of biology class!! I used to love drawing cells... in fact... now you've got me thinking of looking up my old books for inspiration!

    Great idea! :)

  9. Whoa, I LOVE this! I wish I could hang with you and do this all day. Fun, fun, creative, and colorful.


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