Artist Profile: Charon Henning

To say that Charon Henning is simply an artist is a vast understatement. When I interviewed her and learned more and more about where she came from and what she has done, a common refrain kept going through my head, that of The Cat in the Hat – “But that is not all I can do. Oh no. That is not all…”

Charon’s roots as a Visual Science Communicator and Scientific Illustrator began when she was a child and would bring home toads and harvestmen to share with her mother, who never discouraged her curiosity. In her basement, Charon had a set up of tanks where she could watch creatures she’d collected at a creek near her house. But the point of no return for Charon, “when it really took off…

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Artist Profile: Elizabeth Mills

Welcome to the very first edition of a new feature highlighting artists who focus on the natural world. This edition I am pleased to introduce you to Elizabeth Mills. I met Elizabeth on Twitter and was lucky enough to win a small painting of a seahorse by her. My thanks to Elizabeth for being willing to be the first artist featured.


When Elizabeth Mills was in her final undergraduate year at university, she became stressed and realized she needed to find a guilt-free way to relax. But because she had a hard time switching off, she had to trick her brain into relaxing and came up with a creative solution. She combined making art, which was something she had always loved to do, but had neglected while she was in university, with her current focus on marine biology. Elizabeth…

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365 Nature – Day 332

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


It rarely snows in Seattle, although when we first moved here in 2009 we thought perhaps it did. The first few years we had really good snow and I remember many days cars were stuck on top of Capitol Hill where we lived. One particularly bad snowstorm stranded a row of buses along our street. Then we moved to the south end of Seattle and didn’t get anymore snow storms with one exception, when all the neighbors went to the local park and sledded down the hill. Other than a couple snowflakes in recent years, we have not seen any other snow. Last year was particularly disappointing as it never snowed once all winter thanks to an unusually warm winter.

To make up for the lack of snow, a…

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365 Nature – Day 304

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Yesterday afternoon I received an email telling me that my glass bird I had designed on Day 296 was ready to be picked up. Very excitedly, I drove to Tacoma this morning to the Museum of Glass and bring it home. As I waited, I looked at the other birds the master glass blowers had created during the Bird Lover’s Weekend and there were some very nice ones. I was happy to see when my bird came out, although I was only able to look at it for a minute before they wrapped and boxed it up again.

When I finally returned home, I was able to take a better look at my new Varied Thrush. It turned out beautifully and the patterns and details are wonderful. Holding it…

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365 Nature – Day 296

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


This morning I got to do something very exciting, I designed my own Toikka glass bird. Every year the Museum of Glass in Tacoma has the Bird Lover’s Weekend where they have a focus on glass birds designed by Finnish glass maker Oiva Toikka. He has been designing birds for over 40 years for the Finnish glass company Iittala. There are hundreds of different birds, many out of production and hard to find. They release new birds each year and during some events, like the one in Tacoma, they create special birds just for the event. The master glassblowers also blow demonstration birds all during the weekend that can be purchased later and these are often birds in different colors and patterns from the standard birds.

This is the thirteenth annual…

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365 Nature – Day 249

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


It’s been awhile since I did any arts and crafts and today I decided would be a good day to do something. Last autumn I dabbled in making plant imprints in clay. Then I made small ones that could be made into pendants or other wearables. My method was to use oven baked clay, roll it out, place a leaf or flower on it, roll the foliage in and peel it off. After it was baked hard, I painted it and then wiped off the excess paint, leaving the veins and details behind. I had limited success, some of the leaves were too dainty to leave good imprints and the paint all wiped off.

Today I made a few more, trying the wipe-off method along with a new idea,…

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