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Why all the ducks ??

You might ask.

As a child I liked to draw and paint. I also spent countless hours in my back yard watching and collecting insects and salamanders. I would keep them as pets, study them endlessly, and would make drawings of them. I also raised tropical fish and preferred watching them over the TV! I was a budding naturalist.

Then, in the 5th grade we had a pair of Mallard ducklings in the classroom. They were on loan from the ranger at the Lake Merritt Wild Duck Refuge in Oakland, California. At the end of the school year I was given permission to bring them home to raise them for the summer. They followed me everywhere and we became best buddies. That was a wonderful summer of my childhood and my duck theme reflects that. I now also have a collection of interesting duck figurines from around the world given to me by friends and family and a few that I collected, too. You can see some of them surrounding me in the pic to the right.

I continued with my love for art by taking four full years of art classes in high school (Holy Names). I had a wonderful teacher, Carol Larkin, who inspired me tremendously while we had a lot of fun. I learned the techniques of pencil, charcoal, ink, water color and acrylic painting. I also greatly enjoyed silkscreen printing. The pic shows my favorite silkscreen that I did in my senior year.

Eva sitting at the drawing table

At the drawing table which overlooks my garden.

Closeup of Eva working on an ink drawing

Working on my "Circle Doodles" project.

As I entered college, I was torn between becoming an artist or a scientist. I even had an art professor who asked me to major in art! I was extremely flattered, but alas, I opted for Botany and eventually completed a bachelor's degree in Plant Pathology at UC Berkeley. I chose science because I felt it would be a more practical way to make a living.

As the years went by I became focused on my science career in plant tissue culture and hardly did any art at all. Eleven years ago, following my inner geek, I went back to school and studied Computer Science at Diablo Valley College (DVC) in Pleasant Hill, California. I was so excited about learning to program that I made a mid-life career change to Java programming for a bioinformatics company. It was all left brain work and it consumed my life. I succeeded in making a living and enjoyed it, but, at the cost of my artistic creativity.

It was time for a change...

Eventually, I lost the Java job when our office was downsized. Once again, I decided to go back to DVC and learn something new. This led to a most fortuitous moment-my Intro to Graphic Design class. My teacher, Ruth Anderson, was truly inspirational. She told us: no computer for the first half of the semester. We were going to learn to design the old-fashioned way: pencil and pen and construction paper cutouts. Sketches and drawings and magazine clippings. I was hesitant at first wondering how I could do anything without a computer and Photoshop... so many years as a geek, but, it all started to turn the other way. Each assignment became a small work of art. I looked forward to drawing with my black ink pen and I actually started to feel trepidation about going back to the computer! The computer suddenly felt limiting and cumbersome to the creative process, incomparable to the free flowing pen roaming the paper with ease. Pen and paper rule.

Well, this class was the catalyst my neglected right brain had longed for. My hesitation melted away and the creative energy started to happen. The Topo 5 drawing originated from one of my class assignments where Ruth had us simply "draw lines across the paper". The Ant Forms idea just popped into my head out of the blue during that time and the Calla Lilies evolved from an enjoyable experiment with lines and pointillism. My love for nature expressed through abstractions...and colors and patterns.

My roots as an artist have come full circle. I hope you enjoy my works as much as I do making them.

Abstract pointillism ink drawing

As seen on my drawing table: an exercise in pointillism from my Intro to Graphic Design class.

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