October 24, 2017 Why did I choose “Thermophylic Bacteria” as my painting subject, to be included in the upcoming book The Artists Field Guide to Greater Yellowstone? Because it gave me the opportunity to paint more Yellowstone hot springs paintings, which I LOVE to do. Now you ask, what in tarnation are Thermophylic Bacteria and why should I care?? Tiny microbes that can survive the acid and heat live in these pools, surviving at different temperatures creating the multitude of colors you see there. They are considered the first inhabitants of our planet, and their discovery in recent science has enabled DNA fingerprinting, and medical diagnoses among other things. Karen Reinhart is the author of the essay that my painting accompanies. Check out the book (to be published in early spring of 2017): www.artistsfieldguide.com.
The slippery metallic surface of the shikishi board is perfect to showcase how watercolor blends and flows. The addition of the textured “watercolor crystals” around the edges makes it very obvious (well, to me at least) that the painting is of a hot spring, with all of the wild colors and textures that make these natural features so popular.
The hot spring in Yellowstone where this was all first discovered is called the Mushroom Pool. That is the pool that the painting below depicts: