Stuck on You
Species depicted, clockwise starting lower left:
Octopus chierchiae, Octopus penicillifer, Octopus fitchi, Paroctopus digueti, Octopus bimaculatus, and Octopus veligero
The Sea of Cortez is home to an incredible array of octopuses and I was excited to depict many of the representative species in this painting. Because of my scientific illustration background, I’m interested in how similar life forms vary, so I thoroughly enjoyed studying the specimens in the lab and recording minute differences between the species. However, rather than restrict myself to scientific realism, I wanted to combine this with a bit of whimsy. So, I developed a clay model that allowed me to play with unusual ways of grouping the animals, which led to me envisioning them as an octopus chandelier, which features thelargest octopus as the centerpiece, balancing smaller ones on its arms. This allowed me to accurately depict the animals, but put them in a more whimsical setting and deviate from the strict guidelines of scientific illustration.