Drunk in Autumn is the latest work from Chinese artist and illustrator Zhao Na who works primarily with acrylic pens on large canvases to create spectacular tableaus of wildlife. Every detail is achieved with line work and crosshatching, a tremendous feat considering the scale. This particular piece measures about 60″ x 31″ and is a companion of sorts to a similar drawing from two years ago titled Calm. If you liked this and are new to Na’s work, you’re in luck, there’s much more to see here.
Intricacies is a forthcoming book of collaborative illustrations between artists Christina Mrozik and Zoe Keller. The black and white drawings of birds, intertwined anatomical studies, and other bits of wildlife stitched with hints of narrative were inspired in part by the rural landscape surrounding their small art studio in Michigan. Each illustration represents 30-50 hours of combined drawing time, with some pieces passed back and forth multiple times between Keller and Mrozik before the piece was finished. The 64-page hardcover book is currently funding over on Kickstarter with just 3 days left. (via Juxtapoz)
Tant de Forets is an animated short by french illustrators and animators, Burcu Sakur and Geoffrey Godet that was released on French TV earlier this year. According the the animators, the piece is based on a poem by Jacques Prévert by the same name that “speaks of the irony of the fact that newspapers warn us about deforestation although they are made of paper themselves.” The film’s illustrative style seen in the two trailers here is unlike anything I’ve seen before, with beautiful use of color, depth, and geometry that’s somewhat reminiscent of Charley Harper in parts but with a bit more depth. If you like this, here’s an entirely different experimental piece the duo created “just for fun.”
Italian artist Nunzio Paci works with pencil and oil paints to create strange amalgamations of plants and animals in what he describes as an intent to “explore the infinite possibilities of life, in search of a balance between reality and imagination.” Paci currently has a solo show including several of the pieces you see here at the Palazzo del Podestà in Bologna through October 12. (via Artchipel)
Australian artist Meredith Woolnough creates elaborate embroideries that mimic delicate forms of nature like leaves and coral. “I have been collecting skeletonized leaves for as long as I can remember,” says the artist, whose “traceries” capture the beauty and fragility of nature. Woolnough uses a special embroidery technique that involves a domestic sewing machine and a base cloth that dissolves in water after the piece is complete leaving just the skeleton. In a way, her process also mimics the natural process of leaves dying and drying up which, in turn, become the subject of her work.
The Rose of Jericho (Selaginella lepidophylla) is a species of desert moss that has the amazing ability to ‘resurrect’ itself after bouts of extreme dehydration lasting months or even years. After just a few hours of exposure to moisture the plants burst to life, uncurling from a tight ball of dry leaves to a green flower-like shape. Videographer Sean Steininger shot this timelapse of several plants as he exposed them to water. (via Cause, Science!)
Nestled in Northeast India next to the Brahmaputra River sits Majuli Island, a giant sandbar that happens to be the largest river island on Earth, home to some 150,000 people. It is also the location of the 1,360 acre Molai Forest, one of the most unusual woodlands in the world for the incredible fact that it was planted by a single man. Since 1979, forestry worker Jadav Payeng has dedicated his life to planting trees on the island, creating a forest that has surpassed the scale of New York’s Central Park.
While home to such a large population, rapidly increasing erosion over the last 100 years has reduced the land mass of Majuli Island to less than half. Spurred by the dire situation, Payeng transformed himself into a modern day Johnny Appleseed and singlehandedly planted thousands upon thousands of plants, including 300 hectares of bamboo.
Payeng’s work has been credited with significantly fortifying the island, while providing a habitat for several endangered animals which have returned to the area; a herd of nearly 100 elephants (which has now given birth to an additional ten), Bengal tigers, and a species of vulture that hasn’t been seen on the island in over 40 years. Gives you more than a little hope for the world, doesn’t it?
Filmmaker William Douglas McMaster recently wrote and directed this beautiful documentary short titled Forest Man from the perspective of Payeng’s friend, photographer Jitu Kalita. The project was funded in part last year through Kickstarter. The video is a bit longer than what we usually see here on Colossal, but completely worth your time. (via Gizmodo)