Monday, December 15, 2008

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

The Boy With Green Hair

Exodus Into Space

The False Eyelid

A friend of mine mentioned this artist - as being his favorite - so I looked him up. Hundertwasser ended up becoming more famous for his architecture. He prefers the organic - so even his floors are undulated. According to the Wikipedia page about him, "The common themes in his work utilised bright colours, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism, rejecting straight lines." Which, of course, I can totally relate to.

Born in Vienna 1928 -he eventually settled in New Zealand. He died in 2000.
Hot springs, Bad Blumau (Austria)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beatrix Potter - Scientist/ Artist

Recently I have been learning about different women scientists and philosophers. I was looking at a list online and noticed Beatrix Potter on the list. I had not been aware that became a self-taught expert on fungi and lichens. She had worked as a scientific illustrator for Charles McIntosh and then began studying mycology on her own.

Algae contain chlorophyll and can photosynthesize glucose from carbon dioxide and water. This glucose provides food for both the alga and the fungus. The fungus, on the other hand, was very effective at drawing water from the air, water that both the alga and the fungus need to live, and the very water the alga uses to photosynthesize glucose. She also noted that some substance produced by the fungus had antibiotic behavior and protected both the alga and the fungus from harmful bacteria (although like Alexander Fleming, she didn't seem to think of using these compounds to fight disease in humans). The two really did seem to depend on each other to survive. Potter wrote a paper detailing her theories in 1897. (

Her theories were rejected by people (men) in the scientific community who knew less than she did.

Discouraged by having her research rejected - she went and created the books, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, The Story of Miss Moppet, and The Tale of Two Bad Mice, and others.

Those were among the books that I especially enjoyed reading to my children when they were young. I liked the pictures, too. :)