© 2015

the image from the NYTimes article

Forests in the Age of Fishes

burned drawing on handmade paper
20" x 20"

The New York Times ran an article about a fossil from the Devonian period, roughly 400 million years old. The fossil shows evidence of the evolving vascular structure in early trees, and is one of the earliest examples of trees ever found. The article was accompanied by a very small, but very beautiful photograph. This drawing is taken from that photograph.

The drawing was commissioned by the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco. I first collected sawdust from the Crucible, an arts space in Oakland, and used it to make a large sheet of paper. Then I drew the fossil using a wood burner as a drawing tool. The thick soft paper was compressed by the burned lines, giving it a shallow three-dimensionality.

During the Devonian, plants took off on dry land, and the first forests were formed. During its 60 million year span, fish diversified extensively, giving the Devonian its nickname: The Age of Fishes.