Microbial Masterpieces

When you think of bacteria, what comes to mind?

For one of my friends (and probably most people), he immediately thinks of “bad.” But for me I think of them as a creative outlet. In microbiology course, our professor has something he likes to call the “LuxArt Competition” (#LuxArt). In this competition, we are tasked with creating microbial artwork on agar plates (a growth medium used to culture microorganisms), with bioluminescent bacteria culture (Photobacterium leiognathi). And as a result, if we look at these plates in the dark, we are given these beautiful, brightly glowing pieces of art like this.


Someone’s rendition of the Logger Axe.


A recreation of Ruth’s microbe rocket.

Creating these art pieces is actually a lot simpler than it looks; to get these designs all you have to do is dip a brush of q-tip swab into the bacteria culture and draw onto the agar, just as if it was a canvas. And if you’re not that artistic of a person, you can place the plate over an image and trace the outline. Since I was afraid of messing up and making I mistake, I used that same trick to outline my design.

For this competition, I made two pieces, Homer Simpon’s infamous “D’OH” face and a failed attempt at painting a thinking cartoon bacteria (hence the light bulb).


I Must Not Draw with Microbes.


The Microbial Thinker.

The prizes awarded for this competition are microbial plushies, each varying in size depending on your place.


Some microbial plushies that Giantmicrobes, Inc has to offer.

Since entering college, I never once thought that I would have the opportunity to make artwork in any of my courses, like those solar system models and dioramas we did back then in elementary/middle school (aside from enrolling in actual art courses).  And by being able to compete in this LuxArt competition, it was such a nice refresher to be able to take a step back from academic learning for a little while, and allow for students to express their creative sides. It was nice to see the creativity and individuality of my peers.

If you’re interested in looking at more microbial art, you can look up #Bio350 or #LuxArt on Instagram and/or twitter.

Images courtesy of Professor Martin aka Doc Martin and Google

Wayzgoose 2016

This weekend marked another successful Wayzgoose print festival at King’s Books, one of my favorite things to look forward to during spring in Tacoma. My housemate and I arrived this morning just in time to see the traditional steam roller print taking place, with a beautiful design carved by Tacoma’s own guerrilla art group, Beautiful Angle!


Image courtesy of Beautiful Angle’s Facebook page

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Senior Studio


I’m one of those panicking art major seniors. (Which means I’ve basically been living in the studio, along with my fellow majors.) But all is well! The projects are coming along nicely, and everything is falling into place. The senior show is fast approaching, with the reception on April 27th (including food curated by yours truly and fellow senior Rachel Kalman). The PR committee put together this fab poster to advertise the show, featuring all the art seniors!944868_10207511964231130_4182966983552573722_n

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Art Major Life: Linocut

Just before fall break, I finished my second printmaking project of the year. I’ve done some work with relief printmaking before and wanted to experiment a little bit more, so for this project I worked with speedy-cut (a rubber-like substance perfect for carving) on a medium scale. I chose to do a monoprint series that addressed the theme of femininity. I’m very interested in the classics (I would be a double major if I had time for the language requirement!), so I worked with figures from Greek mythology. In particular, I chose to represent two women of Ancient Greek mythology that represent different sides of femininity for me: Persephone and Artemis.

My carved and inked plate of Artemis with my first test print

My carved and inked plate of Artemis with my first test print

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Print Progress: Photo Screen Print

This semester, my upper level printmaking class allows for a lot more freedom and experimentation, which means new techniques! The first project we worked on involved a method of screen printing called photo screen printing. I designed an image digitally and then printed it onto a transparency, coated my screen in an icky substance called photo emulsion, and then exposed the image to my screen with a machine that uses concentrated light. It was basically a bunch of cool chemical nonsense that I honestly still don’t completely understand, but it ended up perfectly exposing my very intricate image to my screen! This method is super useful because of it allows for lots of detail and a screen that can be printed and washed many times. I decided to do some test prints with just black ink before I worked on my edition.

My reversed image and black ink, pre first pull

My image and black ink, pre first pull

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That Lizzie Life: A Summer in Roma!

Hello first semester of senior year! It’s good to be back. This summer was particularly eventful; I spent the first half of it living that Lizzie McGuire life abroad in Italy! Last semester, I was lucky enough to have made it into a brand new connections class called Rome: Sketchbooks and Space. This class was based in the study and appreciation of ancient Roman art and architecture, focusing heavily on sacred spaces and the utilization of space as a whole. Throughout the semester each student also worked on a sketchbook with weekly entries. As an art major, I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the class, though it wasn’t all art majors in the class. The classroom part of the course was very interesting… but the best part was going to Italy for the first three weeks of summer.

You heard me, Italy! Our entire class lived in Rome– along with our fabulous professor and official guardian angel, Elise Richman– and worked in the Rome Center studio spaced owned by the University of Washington. The Rome Center was right in the middle of the beautiful Campo di Fiori, a bustling marketplace during the day and vibrant city life scene at night. I used to sit in this one particular windowsill and look out onto the square… and people used to take pictures of me in my little spot! I guess it is pretty rare to see a redhead in Rome. Here’s the view I had from that windowsill one night as the sun was setting. Stunning. 11390041_10153300221982778_8003798161520122779_n

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Senior Art Show 2015

This week was the opening of the senior studio art majors’ art show! As a studio art major myself, I love going to see the art my peers and friends have spent the semester creating. I took a lot of photos; everything was so interesting and inspiring!

One of the first pieces seen when entering the gallery, Preserves by Chloe Boulay

One of the first pieces seen when entering the gallery, Preserves by Chloe Boulay

The charming Andrea Eaton poses in front of her screen printed work

The charming Andrea Eaton poses in front of her screen printed work

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What’s in the Box?

This semester, I’m taking my first ever oil painting class. As an art major, I’m required to take several classes outside my emphasis (printmaking), so I decided to try my hand at painting! It’s been a rough process, but I finally finished a painting that I’m pretty proud of. The assignment was called the “box project.” We were tasked with filling a box with a few objects and a 2D image that would create a composition we wanted to paint. I went with a beachy theme and borrowed a few things from my suitemate. Here’s what my box looked like!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I took a few photos through my painting process and I thought I’d share them with you guys. Here’s how this piece all went down. Continue reading

Fundraising for Rome!

This semester there’s a course being offered on the art, architecture, and spacial studies of Ancient Rome. It’s a Connections course that culminates in one particularly awesome thing: an ACTUAL trip to Rome!!

For the first three weeks of summer, our small class will be staying in Italy and visiting all sorts of incredible cities, museums, and landmarks. We’ll be staying at the university of Washington’s Rome Center which is in a courtyard where a lovely market is held, and using their studio space to study and create art.rome Continue reading

Sketch and Etch

Just before last semester ended, I finished my first ever intaglio print! (in-TAL-ee-o) The assignment was “inside/out,” so I went with an image I’m quite fond of including in my art: the blossoming of a rosebud. I’ve always liked to continue themes within my work across various mediums, and since I’ve done roses in both lithography and screen printing, it seemed fitting to do an intaglio print as well. Here’s what my preliminary sketch looked like.


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