insects

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with insects



Art Craft

Vivid Hues and Intricate Embroidery Bring Yumi Okita’s Remarkably Tactile Moths to Life

November 30, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

All images © Yumi Okita

In vividly colored thread and textiles, Yumi Okita imbues remarkably tactile moths and butterflies with lifelike features. The North Carolina-based artist designs each specimen to perch on its own delicate wire legs, and some of the larger creatures boast wing spans nearly 10 inches wide. Long fascinated by the natural world, she portrays the insects’ intricate detail, innate fragility, and sublime patterns in embroidery thread, faux fur, feathers, and layers of dyed fabric.

Okita often sells her sculptures in her Etsy shop and is currently exploring the theme of nature further in a series of botanical designs, which she has begun sharing on Instagram.

 

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth held in a hand.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

A photograph of an embroidered, life-like moth.

 

 

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Art

Anatomical Paintings by Lily Mixe Connect Flora and Fauna Through Textured Motifs

October 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Curious Collection” (2022), acrylic paint on wooden box assemblage, 33 x 31.5 centimeters. All images © Lily Mixe, courtesy of Saatchi Gallery, shared with permission

In The Butterfly Effect, French artist Lily Mixe illustrates the textured patterns of beetles, shells, cells, and birds through stark black and white. Working in acrylic on found wooden boxes and furniture panels, Mixe accentuates the lush motifs of scales, branches, or feathers in renderings devoid of color. Each work juxtaposes the artist’s elegant graphic style against the worn backdrops, which reflect a past of human intervention through splattered paint, scratches, and printed text. Whether presented as symmetric tableaus as in “Dragon Flying Birds” or an anatomical assemblage of flora and fauna in “Curious Collection,” the specimens detail the similarities and interconnected nature of all earthly life.

The Butterfly Effect, which will feature an on-site mural, opens on November 3 at Saatchi Gallery in London. Until then, find more of Mixe’s works on Instagram and her site.

 

“Bird of Pray” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 40 x 27.5 centimeters

“Fauna and Flora” (2022), collage on a wooden box, 42.5 x 28.5 centimeters

“Cuckoo Bee On A Platter” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 35 x 25 centimeters

“Dragon Flying Birds” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 106 x 30 centimeters

“No Feather Left Behind” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 57 x 27.5 centimeters

 

 



Photography Science

Masters of Disguise: Sly Insects From Costa Rica to Malaysia Show Off Their Expert Camouflages

August 31, 2022

Grace Ebert

Nature’s propensity for survival continuously manifests in surprising ways, and thanks to David Weiller (previously), we’re able to witness some of the most clever disguises of the insect world. The photographer captures a wide array of critters and their deceptive traits, from the Malaysian geometer moth and its expert camouflage as a dead leaf to the lichen katydid, which mimics the stringy filamentous lichen from which it draws its name. Weiller’s YouTube is a trove of exceptional imitations, including glimpses of the seemingly invisible bagworm moth caterpillar and the lappet moth caterpillar that appears to show off a cheesy grin.

 

 

 



Photography

Phenomenal Skies and Animals in Action Top This Year’s Nature TTL Photography Contest

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Astonishing,” Godafoss, Iceland, Mauro Tronto

The annual Nature TTL Photographer of the Year contest garnered more than 8,000 submissions this round, with some of the most impressive images focusing on fauna in the wild and stunning light-based phenomena that illuminate nighttime skies. Taken around the globe, the winning photos demonstrate both acts of stealth and moments of serendipity. Images range from Matt Engelmann capturing an unaware dog fox as it creeps over a Swiss mountain to Mauro Tronto framing a rainbow shooting upwards from the misty Godafass waterfalls in Iceland, the glowing northern lights overhead. See some of our favorite photos below, and visit the competition’s site to view all of the top entries.

 

“A Moment of Wilderness,” Mountains of Switzerland, Graubünden, Switzerland, Matt Engelmann

“City Hare,” Kassel, Germany, Jan Piecha

“Sunset Ray,” Tuna Factory, Maldives, Andy Schmid

“Vantage Points,” Hosanagara, Karnataka, India, Achintya Murthy

“Pretty in Pollen,” Mutter’s Moor near Sidmouth, Devon, U.K., Tim Crabb

“The Top of Australia,” Kosciusko, Australia, Josselin Cornou

“Nature Fights Back,” Loxton, Northern Cape, South Africa, Bertus Hanekom

“Ice Bear,” Klukshu, Yukon, Canada, Geoffrey Reynaud

 

 



Illustration

Jewels Encrust Ornamental Insects in Sasha Vinogradova’s Digital Illustrations

July 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sasha Vinogradova, shared with permission

Los Angeles-based artist Sasha Vinogradova merges her fascination with nature and ornate design in a series of jewel-coated specimens. Sculptural in form to evoke a brooch or other piece of wearable art, the digitally illustrated insects encase gems and vibrant, iridescent body parts within a metallic structure. Symmetrical motifs adorn the wings and shells, adding an extra layer of ornamentation to the otherwise natural subject matter.

With a background in motion design and key art, Vinogradova works with various clients on illustrations and art direction. You can explore more of her commercial and personal projects on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography Science

In ‘Extinct and Endangered,’ Photographer Levon Biss Magnifies the Potential Loss of Insects Around the Globe

June 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Madeira brimstone. All images © Levon Biss, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History, shared with permission

Despite existing on separate continents thousands of miles apart, the Madeira brimstone and giant Patagonian bumblebee are experiencing similar hardships. The former, which inhabits the islands it inherits its name from, is dealing with an invasive species decimating the trees its caterpillars require pre-metamorphosis, while the latter has been struggling to survive in its native Chile after farmers introduced domesticated European bees to aid in crop pollination. Both species are in danger and are part of an ongoing exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History conveying what’s at stake if their species are lost entirely.

Extinct and Endangered is comprised of massive, macro shots by Levon Biss, a British photographer who’s amassed a stunningly diverse collection of images with a variety of natural subject matter from dried seeds to iridescent insects. Biss often collaborates with institutions like the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Oxford Museum of Natural History, gaining access to their archives and selecting specimens. He then takes about 10,000 individual images using various lenses that are then stitched together to create extraordinarily detailed shots of beetles, moths, and butterflies.

 

Raspa silkmoth

From the American Museum of Natural History’s collection of more than 20 million, Biss chose just 40 creatures, some of which have already vanished. “To know an insect will never exist on this planet again, primarily because of human influence, is upsetting and emotional. And it’s humbling,” he told The New York Times. “As an artist, it’s the thing that drives me on to make that picture as good as it can be.”

Spanning up to eight feet, the photos are immense in scale and focused on each specimen’s striking forms, whether the undulating wings of the 17-year cicada or the intimidating tusk-like appendages of the lesser wasp moth. Biss hopes that Extinct and Endangered, which is on view through September 4, will raise awareness about the rapid decline in insect populations around the world. “I want people to be in awe of their beauty but to also be damn sad about why they’re being put in front of them,” he says.

Prints of the collection are available on Biss’s site, and you can explore an extensive archive of his works on Instagram.

 

Ninespotted lady beetle

Giant Patagonian bumblebee

Sabertooth longhorn beetle

17-year cicada

Blue calamintha bee

Lesser wasp moth

 

 

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