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A 12 inch by 12 inch wooden board with insects burned into it. The piece of wood is round and has sanded edges. There are tens of different species, including a Hercules beetle, giant desert centipede, scorpion, rusty spotted moth, mosquito, ants, yellow jacket, inch worm, earth worm, firefly, stinkbug, pill bug, earwig, daddy long leg, damsel fly, snail, house fly, lady bug, cockroach, millipede, house spider, wood-boring beetle, cocoon, acorn weevil and gnats!

Entomology Board

Mimi Hourihane

Burning Pen on Wooden Board

As an artist, I am drawn (pun intended) towards subject matter that tends to be considered beautiful only as illustration, but not reality. Usually, to me this means depicting detailed anatomy in scientific contexts, and in some cases, just gore. Lately I have found myself fascinated with the polarizing beauty of insects, arachnids, and invertebrates, which have been reflected in my recent work as I’ve been learning more about them. I'm not sure what gravitates me towards them - perhaps it's the way their bodies are segmented differently than ours, almost like naturally occurring robots. Maybe it's the vibrancy of their colors, or lack of emotion in their actions, driven purely by the instinct of survival. I chose to illustrate these different species using a burning pen on wood because I wanted to challenge myself as a line-artist. With this medium I rely solely on the lines to create a readable image, and remove color as an identifying factor. The entire piece was free-handed, and the limitations of the medium taught me to embrace my mistakes. Plus, it smells damn good!